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The Rosenberg Scenario

Helena Marion Brown's paternal grandfather was Harris ROSENBERG (b: about 1797 in Prussia) His first marriage was to Sarah JOSEPH  and they had 3 children 
(i) Amelia Rosenberg b: 1829 (baptism not found) mar: Julius HARRIS)
Mr and Mrs Harris and family arrived in Australia on board the "Syria" on March 6, 1854. (Julius and Amelia HARRIS had 11 children - 6 born in Liverpool, Lancashire, 3 in Hobart, Australia and 1 at sea on the way back to the UK in 1859)
(ii) Helena Sarah Rosenberg b: 1833 became second wife (she was his first cousin) of  Edward Henry LEVEAUX, son of Henry LEVEAUX/Catherine JOSEPH - (they had no children) . His 1st wife was Sarah Brown dau of Michael and Margaret Brown
(iii)Alfred Joseph Rosenberg (b: 25 April 1838 at York;  chr. 21 May 1838 at Chester by Rev. Henry Samuel Joseph (he was a brother to both Sarah JOSEPH and Catherine JOSEPH.) Alfred was in a Jewish Boys Boarding School in the 1851 (Src. Census)
Sarah, Harris Rosenberg's wife, died 31st May 1838. The children were  placed in the care of Henry Samuel JOSEPH and Margaret nee Brown(Henry was originally Jewish as were Rosenbergs but had converted to christianity). This was his wife Margaret's second marriage - her first was to Michael Brown. The children used Brown as their name.   Louise believes this name change was probably to avoid the embarrassment of admitting they had a convict in the family.
Time Line:
Harris Rosenberg married to Alethea (no marriage yet found but she called herself Rosenberg) BARNETT 

1841: Harris is recorded living 1841 in Aberdeen, Scotland where, the following year, he was charged in April with arson - read these 2 newspaper reports:

1842: The York Herald, and General Advertiser; Sat. Jun 18: THE CASE OF H. ROSENBERG AND HIS WIFE: Our readers will recollect that some time ago, we gave an account of the case of Harris Rosenberg and Alithia Bennett or Rosenberg, his wife, who had been convicted in the Circuit Court at Aberdeen of having set fire to the premises occupied by them, for the purpose of defrauding an insurance office.  These parties formerly resided in this city, whence they went to Thirsk, and there is now every reason to believe that they were guilty of a similar crime in that town, as premises occupied by them in the Tollbooth were mysteriously set on fire, and Rosenberg made a demand upon the insurance, which, after investigation, was allowed. 

At Aberdeen, however, he was not so successful.  After a trial which commenced on Saturday morning, April 15, and lasted till the following Sunday forenoon, they were found guilty, with a recommendation from the jury to the lenient consideration of the Court.  One ground for the mitigation of punishment was somewhat singular, namely that Rosenberg was a stranger, and presumed to be ignorant of the law of the country. Lord Moncrieff, before whom the trial took place, in consideration of the extraordinary circumstances  connected therewith, abstained from pronouncing sentence and certified the case to the High Court of Judiciary, at EdinburghOn Tuesday last, judgment was accordingly passed, when Lord Moncrieff, in passing sentence, observed he did not believe that the attempt was not a thing of her (Alithia Rosenberg's) contrivance; and with respect to the woman, he thought the Court should abstain from a sentence of long imprisonment - namely, of imprisonment for two years. 

The Court having expressed their concurrence, the Lord Justice-Clerk, in appropriate terms, pronounced sentence of transportation beyond the seas for the term of his natural life on Harris Rosenberg and of imprisonment for two years in Perth Penitentiary on Alithia Rosenberg.

1842: Caledonian Mercury - Thursday, June 30HARRIS ROSENBERG: We have received the following particulars relating to this individual from a sources on which we can place implicit reliance. "Observing that Harris Rosenberg has been sentenced, a fact which cannot now .......his fate, may be interesting to your readers.  He formerly lived in our city of York, where he carried on business as a jeweller for many years and was greatly respected.  He had branch establishments in many adjoining towns, including the town of Thirsk, where he occupied premises in the Tollbooth.  His stock was insured in the Yorkshire Fire Office and a fire occurred in his premises at Thirsk; under circumstances of the greatest suspicion.  Very strict investigations were made, but all efforts failed to prove positive facts although the general impression was than incendiary had fired the place.  Nevertheless, the Fire office felt itself bound to pay Mr. R's claim for alleged damage to his stock, which amounted to a very considerable sum; and the circumstance was nearly forgotten when this new accusation appeared against him.   At the time of the first at Thirsk, he was married to a lady of the Jewish persuasion, and of great personal attractions, who died at York in child-bed.  The female who is a partner in his present guilt must therefore have formed her connection with him since the Thirsk fire; and the probability is that the offence (as Lord Moncrieff observed) was not of her contrivance."  Aberdeen Journal

1841: Imprisoned from 8th August, 1842  in one of the hulks, "Justitia"  on the Thames

1842: Harris Rosenberg was transported to Hobart in Tasmania along with 270 other convicts aboard the Duchess of Northumberland from Sheerness departing 2nd Oct 1842 and arriving in Van Dieman's Land on 18 Jan 1843.  He died in 1857.

 Founders & Survivors' Website

Offence:  Wilfully setting fire to the house in which he lived, viz. a Jewellery and Furrier shop - Sentence:  Life
Sentenced Court:  Court of Judiciary; Place of Sentencing:  Aberdeen
Sailed:  108 days from:  Sheerness Direct
Master:  Chas. Scott;  Ship: Duchess of Northumberland Surgeon:  Wm. West
Population:  Embarked 270;  3 deaths;  Landed 267
To Colony:  Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) 
Arrival Date:  1843-01-18
Surgeon's Character Report:  Orderly;  Quiet
Height in Inches:  67.5 (5 feet 7 1/2 inches)
Family Relationships:  w. Alicia;  f. Solomon Hertz on the Vistata;  2 uncles
Literacy:  Reads and Writes; Religion:  Jewish;
Marital Status:  Married; No. Children:  3
Trade:  Silversmith
Convict Status at Death:  Conditional Pardon
Death Date:  24 Sep 1859 Death Institution:  Hospital, Hobart

Harris Rosenburg served a number of years in prison in Hobart, Tasmania and then opened an outfitters shop.

1854:  By Dec 1854, Harris had a clothiers shop called New Wharf Outfitting Establishment - he was selling out due to "delicate health". 

1855 June: His son, Alfred Rosenberg had arrived in Hobart, Tasmania, on 27 June, 1855 on board the Iceni. 

1855 Aug: Harris Rosenberg was a general dealer with a store on Murray St. He became insolvent in Aug 1855. The cause is listed as "general falling off and losses in business, and also losses sustained by robbery".

1855 Aug 3, 1855: he goes to his daughter and son-in-law's (Julius & Amelia Harris) home with a loaded six-barrel revolver. They had had an argument about 18 months earlier and Julius hadn't seen him since then. Julius states that Harris Rosenberg is "of a very affectionate disposition" but on this day he seemed deranged due to a fever which he had had for "two or three weeks". The revolver appears to have discharged when Julius attempted to remove it from Harris.

1855 Aug 11: Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tasmania), Sat 11 Aug: Hobart Town: Mr. Harris Rosenberg, outfitter, Murray Street, was taken into custody upon the charge of shooting at, with intent, etc., Mr. Harris, clothier, Elizabeth-street. The accused is under police charge in St. Mary's Hospital, it having been stated that the prisoner is insane. (Son-in-law, Julius Harris was a clothier on Liverpool Street (Julius Harris' store burned down together with another 5 stores just after he had sold it.)

At the end of the trial, Harris' attorney, Mr. Knight states that the accused would rather be found guilty of common assault, than insanity due to the consequences. He is sentenced on 7 September 1855 to 12 months imprisonment. 

Harris died in prison two years later on 24 September 1857.  He should have been released a year prior to this so perhaps had problems with behaviour while in prison and had his sentence extended.   His body was taken to his daughter's home. He was bur: in the Hobart Old Jewish Burial Ground

The HARRIS family return to England;  Alfred Joseph Brown/Rosenberg goes on to NZ and Helena Brown Rosenburg - well, she remained in England

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