Alfred Richard Howse

Alfred Howse volunteered for service in British Columbia with the Columbia Detachment. He and his wife sailed on board the Thames City in 1858. His trade was as a surveyor.

Howse took up the challenge of Theatrical manager for the Royal Engineer "Theatre Royale" on the Thames City.

"Yes, indeed, Johnny.  Do you remember the great fun we had on board (the Thames City) when the men got up private theatricals; and don't you remember that chap- Howse, I think his name was- who called himself the manager of the Theatre Royal?  And didn't he think himself smart?"

"Yes, Hughie, I remember how he rigged his company out, making us really believe he was the manager of a real 'City Theatrical Troupe.'  But he was a clever chap, for didn't he and his fellow actors help to make us laugh, and thus amuse us?"

-- REMINISCENT OF PIONEERS, Daily Columbian, Wednesday, October 13th, 1909

Howse worked with Captain Parsons in the RE Observatory.

Originals, 1858, 2 cm

Notebook of tables for the observation and recording of meteorological records, kept by Corporal Alfred R. Howse.  Includes table of corrections to reduce barometric readings to 32
degrees Fahrenheit, table of factors for computing the dew point, table of the elastic force of vapor below zero, corrections to barometers for capillary action, etc.

--from BC Archives, GR-1121, Textual records

Howse, in June of 1860, was stationed at Fort Hope and sent for his wife to join him. Mrs. Howse caught the attention of Mrs. Moody who was also packing to leave for Hope ( to escape the Mosquitoes).

"...I should send up some beds, etc.,  and as one of our Women are going up there i should beg her to have the beds sheeted and ready for the Children is case of our arriving late in the evening."

-- 28th June, 1860,
From The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"You will be glad to hear that I am in great hopes of succeeding in persuading Mrs. Howse, one of the Soldier's Wives, to return to England.  She is here now (Fort Hope) and is most useful, in helping with the Washing, looking after Baby, etc., etc..  Her husband is here on Duty, and she is in a Tent "hard by".  She is a most respectable Scotch Woman and I tell her I am sure she ought to go to Edinburgh to see her old Mother, and I was glad to find today that they have been talking it over very seriously.  She is elderly with no Children.  They were in Edinburgh on the Survey, while we were there, and they recollect us very well.  Should I not be fortunate is she would go?  So much better than having a young girl."

-- 15th August, 1860,
From The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"...Mrs. Howse, the Soldier's Wife, still talks of going to England with us.  It will be such a comfort if she does and I am sure she would remain with me a few days till I got a Nurse.  I think she and her husband may come and live with us this Winter.  She would do the washing in the house, and help in any other little ways.  She would always look after Baby for me when I was out, he, of course, would merely live and have his meals with the others, as Sergeant Bonson did.  It is not quite arranged yet but I think it will answer.  They are both most respectable people.  She is the only woman in the Detachment who goes regularly to Church twice every Sunday."

-- 1st October, 1860,
From The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Howse was also a member of the RE Cricket Club.

The British Columbian, June 19th 1863

The following is the score of the return match played between the Pioneer and Engineer's Cricket Clubs in this city:

Pioneer Club

Pooley, st. Osmet..............8
Knipe, lbw, Haynes.............30
Smith, run out.................1
Sheepshanks, b. Edwards.........2
Howman, ct. Wolfenden, b. Haynes...3
Bacon, ct. Howse, b. Edwards...3
Pritchard, not out.....15
Claudet, ct. Haynes, b. Edwards..13
Cole, b. Haynes....0
Fisher, ct. Wolfenden, b. Edwards...1
Leg byes...1
Total 112

Royal Engineers' Club

Wolfenden, run out...3
Hand, ct. Bacon, b. Smith....1
Osmet, not out...22
Haynes, b. Smith...5
Butler, b. Bacon....9
Howse, ct. Pooley, b. Smith....1
Luard, b. Bacon.....2
Edwards, lbw, b. Smith....4
Meade, ct. Smith...4
Brown, ct. Pooley, b. Bacon....1
McMoran, b. Smith....3
Total 84

This return match between the New Westminster Pioneer Cricket Club and the Royal Engineers' Cricket Club came off yesterday.  On account of the unfavorable weather it was agreed to decide the game with one innings, the result of which was that the R.E. Club was beaten by 28 runs.

Howse remains in the Colony when the Detachment disbands in November 1863.

On the British Columbia Cricket Team, 1865.

Theatrical manager for the New Westminster Dramatic Club, 1866.

According to Woodward, Howse received Crown Grants:

  • Dec. 7th, 1860, for Lot 22, Group 1, 160 acres;
  • April 6th, 1867, for Lot 37, group 2, 150-acre military grant;
  • May 6, 1871 for Section 26, Block 6 North, Range 1 east, 160 acres;
  • September 17, 1877 for Section 23, Block 6 North, Range 1 east, 160 acres.

All the above in the New Westminster District.

A surveyor, Howse was in New Westminster for several years, then went to Esquimalt (1876-1880), finally settling in the Vancouver area.

And from  BCGenWeb Home  BC Lists  Index to 1875 Voters List at

NAME Howse, Alfred Richard
RESIDENCE near Bush Tavern, Esquimalt, Rd
Land surveyor
DISTRICT Esquimalt

From the BC Online Archives we found four marriage listings for Alfred Richard HOWSE, two with one woman and two with another, listed as follows after doing a search in both Marriages (1872-1930) and Colonial Marriages (1859-1872) for Alfred Howse:

Vital Event Marriage Registration
Groom Name: Alfred Richard Howse
Bride Name: Mary Ann Eckstein
Date: 1885 7 11 (Yr/Mo/Day)
Place: New Westminster District
Event: Marriage
Reg. Number: 1885-09-114484
BC Archives Microfilm #: B11381
GSU #: 1983709

Digital Image Available for Purchase

Vital Event Marriage Registration
Groom Name: Alfred Richard Howse
Bride Name: Mary Ann Renew
Date: 1885 7 11 (Yr/Mo/Day)
Place: New Westminster District
Event: Marriage
Reg. Number: 1885-09-114484
BC Archives Microfilm #: B11381
GSU #: 1983709

Digital Image Available for Purchase

At first glance, these are two separate marriage records, but the registration numbers, dates, and microfilm numbers are identical, even though the bride's name is different.  The BC Online Archives says this on its "Purchase an Online Digital Image" page:

"Explanation: The record has one digital image, but is listed more than once because (1) the index includes corrections, (2) the person was also known by an alias, or (3) for marriages, the index shows the bride's previous married name.  Sometimes, there are two different records with the same number. In this case, the digital image file will contain images of both registrations."

Thus, Mary Anne Eckstein and Mary Anne Renew are one in the same, though which of the two surnames is her maiden name remains --at this time-- a mystery.

Also found during this search was a death listing for:

Vital Event Death Registration
Name: Richard Howse
Date: 1923 12 9 (Yr/Mo/Day)
Age: 61
Place: Ladysmith
Reg. Number: 1923-09-323736
BC Archives Microfilm #: B13123
GSU Microfilm # 1927300

Digital Image Available for Purchase

And after doing a bit of number crunching, our theory is that Richard Howse of Ladysmith is the son of the R.E.'s Alfred Richard Howse.  If so, the son was born about 1862, and would have been 23 when he married Mary Anne in 1885.  Following through with this bit of guess work, we think it's quite likely that the below listed Herbert Howse is perhaps R.E. Alfred R. Howse's grandson.

Vital Event Marriage Registration
Groom Name: Herbert Alfred Howse
Bride Name: Lucy May London
Date: 1919 4 30 (Yr/Mo/Day)
Place: Lulu Island
Reg. Number: 1919-09-199004
B.C. Archive Microfilm #: B11389
GSU Microfilm # 1984110

Digital Image Available for Purchase

If you can confirm or correct any of this, please let us know.

Howse died in 1909

As a Corporal, his Regimental Pay per Diem would have been 2s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem 1s. to 4s.