Christopher Mortensen

Much of the information was taken from letters written to Mrs. BETTY RAYMOND, between March 1994 and May 1995, by researcher ARNE JENSEN KNUDBY, CAND.MAG., Bispehusene 18, DK-2620, ALBERTSLUND, DANMARK. Some additional information has been added from research during 2000 and 2001

CHRISTOPHER was born 29 Apr. 1781 in Annisse, Sjaelland, Denmark, the son of MORTEN CHRISTOPHERSEN and ANNE HANSDATTER. (He was christened as LARS MORTENSEN but never went by that name.)

ANNE HANSDATTER, CHRISTOPHER MORTENSSEN’s mother, was born in the parish of Tikob (abt. 1757). She was the daughter of HANS JACOBSEN and BIRTHE OLSDATTER.

On 23 Apr 1779, a baby girl named AGNETE (ANNE) CATHRINE, was baptized, who was an illegitimate child of ANNE HANSDATTER. She had given birth in Vanlose in the house of SOREN BERTELSEN, to whom she came together with her father, mother and siblings, who were itinerants and lived by diverse works.

After marrying MORTEN CHRISTOPHERSEN (abt. 1780), who was a nightman, ANNE had two more children, one being CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN. When MORTEN passed away (1788) she was a widow for several years before marrying JOHAN JACOB MEYER, a glazier. JOHAN had also traveled around the country, been arrested, and been in prison.

On the 24 Jan 1804, JOHAN JACOB MEYER and his group were arrested for "simple theft". They had stolen money and clothes from a PEDER HANSEN in Nedre Draby after having been allowed to sleep in his barn for two nights.

CHRISTOPHER’s Background
His father's occupation was that of a "nightman" and their family was despised because of it. Morton would collect garbage, skin dead animals, castrate animals, and do other things that had to be done, but were considered to be "unclean" by the peasantry. Peasant children were not allowed to play with a nightman's children. Marriages had to be arranged with families from other parishes because they would not be welcome son or daughter-in-laws. The citizenry born into this station, hated what they called, the ordinary people.

Many did not have homes and wandered around the countryside as vagrants. Unlike the homeless people in our society today, who usually travel alone, in eighteenth century Denmark whole families would travel around the countryside together. They would sleep in barns, under trees, or if they had some money, in an inn. Babies would be born and oftentimes die. The men would work at whatever they could find to do, usually castrating animals, dealing in rags, or glazier work. While the women would sell or trade, needles, ribbons, and other small things.

At times they would steal to survive and when caught, would be given excessively long prison terms. When in prison, they would receive very inadequate diets and be forced to work at hard labor. Their children would be taken away from them and placed in foundling homes by the "poor law authorities". Many people died in prison. Much of the information we have about these people comes from court and prison records that have been preserved.

When CHRISTOPHER was born, his parents lived in Annisse near Frederiksborg. Later they moved to Ballerup in the county of Copenhagen. He was seven years old when his father passed away. MORTEN CHRISTOPHERSSEN had always been "on the road" and may have died anywhere, in a barn or under a tree.

After his father's death (1788) in Ballerup, CHRISTOPHER went to live with his uncle, HANS CHRISTOPHERSSEN, who was a horse cutter (castrated horses) in Ballerup. About three years later (1791) his mother married JOHAN JACOB MEIER who was a glass glazier (one who sets glass in window frames) and they moved to a parish called Gronholdt near Frederiksborg. However, like many people in their class, even though they had a permanent address they would still travel around the countryside. CHRISTOPHER stayed with them for a short time and then went to Nakskov, Lolland where he became an apprentice with a glass glazier named PEDERSEN. His apprenticeship lasted six years. (to abt. 1797)

When he was fourteen years old, (1795) CHRISTOPHER was confirmed in the Nakskov Lutheran Church by the Vicar KRYGER. He would have been about sixteen (1797) when he finished his apprenticeship and apparently could read. As an adult, CHRISTOPHER was 5 ft 6 in tall, had blue eyes, dark hair, and a proportioned build. His height was average for men of his day because most people were shorter then than they are now.

After finishing his apprenticeship, CHRISTOPHER traveled around the country earning money by the glazier-profession. For a time, he traveled with a family whose father was named FREDERIK AHRENFELDT. He began to like one of the daughters, KIRSTINE, who later became his mistress and had six children by him. The first was born in 1801 and died when a little over a year old. Five others were born to them between 1814 and 1821. KIRSTINE notes in an 1801 court record that she had an illegitimate child in 1799. This may be the same one or a different one.

One evening, in about 1799, they had made a stop by the side of the road for the night. When the Prefect (Dan.: Stiftamtmanden) passed by and, pressed CHRISTOPHER into the navy. He was stationed on board a naval ship called the "Arveprinsessen" which was in Copenhagen. After serving aboard the ship for six weeks and four days he was released and then enlisted with the Hussars of Frederiksborg. He served with them for the next six years. (to abt. 1806)

He had been with the Hussars for about 2 years in 1802. Court records show KIRSTINE and most of her family were in prison during 1801. She was released before her parents. KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT came to CHRISTOPHER and stayed with his parents. Her stays were temporary as she came and went away often, and he didn’t know where she stayed, when she was away. When he, in the year 1803, had to march to Holsten for the first time, KIRSTINE went away, and he didn’t hear from her until 1809. Again, the records indicate she was in prison from 1809 to 1811.

During the Napoleonic wars the Danish King, FREDERIK VI, sided with NAPOLEON and NAPOLEON lost. Denmark never took an active part in the war, but their troops were mobilized. CHRISTOPHER was a musketeer with Copenhagen Infantry Regiment's 11th company, a regiment that was established in 1808 and existed until 1816. He did not take well to military discipline and in 1804, while on the "grass-watch" near Skjoldenaesholm, was punished with five days on "water and bread" for having assaulted and beaten shoemaker NIELS CHRISTENSSEN. Another time CHRISTOPHER was punished, for a minor offence, by being hogtied for 48 hours.

The background on his wife ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER follows:
ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER was born, illegitimate, in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1782. At that time, because there were so many desperate, unmarried mothers, the police would often find dead bodies of new-born children in the canals. In 1759, an institution was established, called Fodselsstiftelsen, where women could give birth anonymously. When they arrived, a sign with a number was hung around the woman's neck and no name was revealed. ANNE DORTHEA's mother was number 169. The baby would then be given to foster parents, to be cared for until it's confirmation (about fourteen years old). The foster parents were often very poor themselves, and took the child because it gave them a little money from the town's/parish's poor relief fund.

For a short period of time, another system was used. In the wall of a specific hospital in Copenhagen, a drawer was established. It was lined, and here a mother could place her new-born child anonymously. After having placed the child in the drawer, she would pull a bell and leave. The staff of the hospital would wait for a few minutes, to give the mother a chance to get away, and then fetch the baby. Children born in this manner, as well as the way DORTHEA was, came to be known as "Skuffebarn/Drawer-child". ANNE DORTHEA was raised by JEPPE IBSEN and KAREN JORGENSDATTER in Ringsted. After JEPPE passed away, KAREN married HANS MADSEN. Thus, she took the name HANSEN.

DORTHEA was 4 ft 11 in. tall, had blue eyes, dark hair, and a stocky build. Her religion was Lutheran. It appears that she could read. Around 1798 to 1803 she served as a maid with a farmer named NIELS CHRISTENSEN in Kvaerkeby for five years. Later she served with vicar SCHROEDER for a year and PEDER CHRISTOPHERSON from 1 Nov 1806 to 1 Nov 1807.

Continuing on with the story of CHRISTOPHER and DORTHEA and KIRSTINE:
In 1807 CHRISTOPHER was dismissed from the Hussars and went to Ringsted where he stayed with the chimney-sweeper HANS CHRISTIAN, whom he helped with sweeping chimneys. Here he met DORTHEA and they were planning to be married. An official engagement-declaration was made in 1807. “bachelor and journeyman fireplace sweeper CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN in Ringsted, has received his discharge as a hussar to publish his marriage to the unmarried DORTHE HANSDATTER in Ringsted. Has promised during the wedding to produce marriage certificate that is a bill from his former vicar…” That everything is in order two men had to sign the engagement-declaration, and in this case the two men are a JENS JENSEN, chief of the jail and a JORGEN MOURITSEN, policeman. However, that autumn, the English armies came into Denmark and CHRISTOPHER had to march away with the territorial force.

After the English left, CHRISTOPHER went back to Ringsted to fetch DORTHEA. He took her with him to the militia-dragoons, with whom he then served and who at that time was quartered in Falster. In March 1808 they were married and she went with him when the regiment marched to Naestved. It was not uncommon, at that time, for women, both married and unmarried, to follow their men into war. CHRISTOPHER was transferred from one regiment to another and DORTHEA followed him.

When winter came, they were living in the barracks in Kronprinsessegaden, near Copenhagen when he was sent to a drill school. By this time (1809), DORTHEA had a baby girl and nothing to live on, so she took her child and went back to Ringsted. On Shrovetide Monday (a holiday) in 1811 CHRISTOPHER returned to Ringsted and told her that he had finished the Drill school and had received a passport so that he no longer had to serve. But he did not show her the passport. They then began traveling around the countryside where CHRISTOPHER carried out his work as a glazier. They drifted around in Sjaelland and on the Small Islands, and late in 1811 went back to Moen.

Their first baby must have died, living less than a year, and they had another. On 23 Aug 1812 in Ringsted they had another child, probably a girl, named MADS CHRISTOPHERSON.

At this time CARL FREDERICK MORTENSEN was born (29 Nov. 1812) in Olstykke, Frederiksborg, Denmark. His father was the small farmer and master glassmaker, JORGEN ANDREASEN and the mother KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT. The birth took place while they were on the way from oen (the island of) Nyord to their home in Eskilstrup Bye. It should be noted that while the birth records list JORGAN, no further information can be found on him and the researchers doubt that this is correct. They consider that CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN probably is really the father. Interestingly, CARL FREDERICK lists his father as MORTEN JORGENSEN.

One day, late in 1813, CHRISTOPHER left DORTHEA with a crofter, telling her that he had to be away for a few days as he had some work to do and went away with KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT over to Sjaeland, where they traveled around all through Pyen, Langeland, and the small islands. CHRISTOPHER worked as a glazier and a plumber, and KIRSTINE did trading with needles, ribbons, and finger-rings.

The year 1814 was a bad one for DORTHEA. On August 31, she was arrested in Roskilde, for theft of a diamond used for cutting glass and a silver spoon. She claimed in court that CHRISTOPHER had been dead for a year and that she was now engaged to CHRISTIAN HOLGERSON who traveled around the country as a glazier and a watchmaker. (This, of course, was not true as CHRISTOPHER was still alive and had run off with KIRSTINE, while CHRISTIAN was married to someone else.) After being interrogated, DORTHEA admitted to the theft of the diamond and said that her fiancée had given her the spoon. She had sold the items and purchased cloth, sugar, coffee, soap, and chewing tobacco. She was sentenced to two months imprisonment in "Tugt-Rasp-of Forbedringshuset" in Copenhagen. Her description, at that time, was given as such: of medium height, has strong limbs, brown hair, blue eyes, corpulent and red faced. By the search was found a diamond, a wallet with many papers, and a 1/4 pound of chewing tobacco. She was taken to prison 29 Dec 1814 and released 28 Feb 1815.

The transcript of the police records (Roskilde byfoged, justitdokumenter 1814-1815) Provide a good insight and details into their lives.

“Anno 1814, Wednesday 31 August in the afternoon at 5 o’clock sharp the police court was opened in Roskilde town hall. Present were the witnesses HALLENGREEN and SCHOW. Two women without passport had been taken in. The woman, who gave her name as BOLETTE STROPSDATTER, appeared before the court and declared, that she was married to RASMUS HERMANDSEN, living in Yder Sundby near Frederikssund, who was working as a glazier, and that her business today was to buy window glass at glazier GESTRUP’s… (and she explains furthermore that she and her husband for many years have bought glass at GESTRUP’s. To see if this is correct the police sent for glazier GESTRUP, and he confirms her statement)…But by seeing the other woman, that had been taken into the police station, he declared that she, about 4 weeks ago, on a Tuesday had been in his shop where she had bought some glass and lead, saying she was the wife of ‘JENS GLAZIER’ from Ringsted. The woman had received the glass and the lead, but immediately after she had left the shop he (GESTRUP) had missed a diamond for glass preparation.”

“The mentioned woman (i.e. ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER) was brought before the court, and having been told to tell the truth she declared that her name is DORTHEA JEPPESDATTER, that she is from Ringsted where she has lived all her life, that she is a ‘skuffebarn’ (Eng.: drawer child) that she has been raised by her stepparents HANS MADSEN and wife KAREN, both living in Ringsted and that she in the year 1807 was married to dismissed hussar CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, who, according to her statement, has been dead for about a year now, though, whereas she is now engaged to CHRISTIAN HOLGERSEN, who is supposed to be a dismissed horseman of the ‘Sjaellandske Rytter Regiment’, with whom she got acquainted on the last ‘Sct. Hans Market’ in Ringsted, but she does not know him well, other than he has been a horseman and that he had been quartered in Naestved, from where he came to Ringsted, where he she was engaged to him. She explained that furthermore that she and her fiancée are living with her mentioned stepparents in Ringsted, and that he travels around the country as a glazier and a watchmaker. She explains that her errand her today is only to visit BOLETTE STROPSDATTER,…She and her fiancée CHRISTIAN HOLDERSEN and RASMUS HERMANDSEN and wife came together from Gjoderup, where they all have lived with the smith, to Glim where they parted so that the men should go to Blasenborg and the women to Roskilde to buy window glass.”

“Then she declared that it is correct that she around four weeks ago had been in his shop to buy glass and lead, saying she was the wife of JENS GLAZIER from Ringsted. She explained that her fiancée had advised her to say so to be more sure to get glass, but denies completely to have taken the said diamond. She produced a diamond belonging to her fiancee, but GESTRUP declared that it was not the stolen diamond. She explained furthermore that her fiancee has two more diamonds, about which she couldn’t tell anything…RASMUS HERMANDSEN now explained that as long time as he has worked together with CHRISTIAN HOLGERSEN, he (C.H.) has had the two diamonds and that CHRISTIAN HOLGERSEN has told him, that he bought one of them from glazier GESTRUP’s apprentice in Roskilde for a bottle of snaps and a glass of beer…(dismissed but told to return the next day). As DORTHEA HANSDATTER has no passport and because of the result of the interrogation she was placed in the jail as a suspect. Her description was done and is as such: of medium height, has strong limbs, brown hair, blue eyes, corpulent and red faced. By the search was found a diamond, a wallet with many papers, a ¼ pound of chewing tobacco. (The interrogation was postponed until the next day. But now DORTHEA gets afraid):”

“The interrogation continued: Now the arrested DORTHEA HANSDATTER admitted, at the suggestion of her fiancee, that she had stolen the diamond from glazier GESTRUP…(Now a merchant, Levin Israel of Roskilde, reports that he has bought a silver spoon from a woman, and when he is confronted with DORTHEA HANSDATTER, declares, that it is her). DORTHEA HANSDATTER admits that it is as LEVIN ISRAEL has told the court. She continues and explains that her fiancee had given her the spoon 6 to 7 days before, but she does not know how he has gotten it. She explains furthermore that she for the money has bought goods here I the town at merchant WELTRUP’s (cloth, tobacco, sugar, coffee, soap, chewing tobacco), which she has given to RASMUS HERMANDSEN’s wife, except for the chewing tobacco and some money, which was found in her possession.”

“The CHRISTIAN HOLKERSEN, who had been fetched in Blaesenborg Inn and brought to Roskilde, was brought to court, where he explained that his name is CHRISTIAN HOLKERSEN JEMBAEK, 39 years old, dismissed soldier of Sjaellamdske Rytter Regimant, is married to Ane Cecilie, living in Thraelose near Naestved, that he at the last Sct Hans Market in Ringsted met DORTHEA JEPPESDATTER, with whom he, after having wandered around in the country, arrived in Roskilde. (The he is brought to jail. A description of him is made, and on the left hand engraved the letters C.H.S. and under that sign, showing Christ on the cross plus the letters A.C.H.D. and K.K.D. and I.C. 1805). Now follow several statements about the silver spoon that are omitted here.”

“Again appeared before the court the arrested DORTHEA JEPPESDATTER, who explained about her life of crime: She is 35 years old, stepchild, raised by her stepparents JEPPE IBSEN and the mother KAREN, now married to HANS MADSEN, both of whom live in Ringsted. After having served in different places, which her papers that are produced here in court tell, she was married in 1807 to chimney sweeper CHRISTOFFER MORTENSEN, who now is supposed to be dead half a year ago in Lolland, to where he went together with another woman. The arrested person has during the time they have been married, always lived with her stepparents, with who she still has a little daughter about 5 years old, whose father is her deceased husband. She declares further more that she has never been punished before.”

“Then witnesses are called before the court, but they do not add much new. We hear that she has served as a maid with a farmer NIELS CHRISTENSEN in Kvaerkeby for 5 years around her confirmation, i.e. around 1798-03), later with vicar SCHROEDER in Ringsted for 1 year and 1 year with PEDER CHRISTOPHERSEN in Ringsted from 1 Nov. 1806 until 1 Nov. 1807. She is convicted of her crime and is sentenced to two months of imprisonment in ‘Tugt-Rasp- of Forbedringshuset’ in Copenhagen. She is brought to prison 29 Dec. 1814 and released again 28 Feb. 1815.”

On 13 Apr 1815 DORTHEA gave birth to a girl named CATHERINE MARIE CHRISTIANSDATTER (called TRINE). The father was CHRISTIAN HOLGERSON.

The year 1814 was not a good one for CHRISTOPHER and KIRSTINE either. They were traveling near Nykobing, Falstar and KIRSTINE, went into town to buy some glass where she was arrested. When CHRISTOPHER heard about this, he went to Nykobing and he was also arrested. They were both charged with vagrancy and were under arrest for about nine months. KIRSTINE gave birth to a son named HANS CHRISTOPHERSON 14 Aug 1814. The baby was christened 29 Jan 1815 in the church in Nykobing Falstar. The parish register reads; HANS, parents CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN and wife ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER, vagrants and arrested persons. This is a very interesting entry, especially because the mother is not ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER, but ANNE KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT. We know from the interrogations in Ringsted in the summer of 1819, that CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN carried his marriage certificate (with ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER) around, and when asked who they (CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN) and ANNE KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT were, he simply showed them (who ever asked him) his marriage certificate. ANNE KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT was once arrested (around 1814), and she went through the whole trial under the name of ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER. Later on, i.e. in 1819, ANNE DORTHEA HANSDATTER had difficulties with explaining to the judicial authorities that she had never been tried before the court in Nykobing Falster and that she had never been in jail in Moens Tugthus. During that time they had a child (MORTEN, May 1816 and chr. 16 Mar. 1817 in Nykobing, Maribo, Den.), which together with another child (AHRENFELDT, b. Mar. 1818 and chr. 5 Jul. 1818 in Nykobing, Maribo, Den.) they had, was taken by the "poor law authorities". They were both sentenced to one year of forced labor in Moen's Tugthus prison.

After having served that year in prison they were taken back to Falster, where they were arrested again. The reason for the second arrest was that the authorities had found out that Kristine was not his wife, and he was, for having had intercourse, sentenced to 5x5 days on water and bread, whereas she was sentenced to 3x5 days on water and bread. As KIRSTINE was pregnant at that time, her punishment had to be postponed. They now sat arrested, about two years time, during which time they begot two more children, both were also taken by the poor- law authorities. The first was FLORENTINE, b. 1819. The second was CHRISTOPHER, b. 1821.

CHRISTOPHER was later given a passport to go to Ringsted where he was employed as a watchman (a man who watches or guards premises). He met DORTHEA there and began to live with her again, for a while. Christopher did not like working as a watchman, and quit after six months and started doing glazier work again. Then KIRSTINE came through Ringsted and he decided to go with her again. This time he was working as a glazier and a plumber, but often met people who were dealing in rags and decided to make a living doing that too.

As before, DORTHEA was again pregnant when CHRISTOPHER left and gave birth to HANS CHRISTOPHERSEN, on 25 Nov 1818 in Ringsted. When HANS was baptized, the parish register recorded, "...the father, CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, watchman in Ringsted, has run away."

In 1819 DORTHEA was caught stealing again, this time in her home town, Ringsted. She was now accused of having stolen three sacks from a mill, which she had sold to some of her friends. During the time she was interrogated, it was revealed that she had stolen something more, but only trifles. DORTHEA was sentenced to three years imprisonment. Before she was delivered to the prison, it was revealed that she, two or three years before had stolen a shirt from a man in the kitchen of the "Poor-House", and that she had stolen some clothing in a garden in Ringsted. That gave her another six months added to her prison term.
During the interrogations DORTHEA revealed that the father of her daughter, CATHERINE MARIE, was not CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN’s but her former friend and supposed fiancée, CHRISTIAN HOLGERSEN’s. She is therefore accused of fornication, and as CHRISTOPHER is inscribed in the parish register as the father, he is called to witness before the court. Since the last trial in 1814 it has been revealed that he was not dead at all. So they were both accused of vagrancy.

On 18 Jun 1819 CHRISTOPHER was arrested and interrogated as the run-away watchman from Ringsted. At that time he was traveling with KIRSTINE. They had stayed, the evening before, with a farmer where he had left KIRSTINE. The description of the arrested person was: 38 years old, rather tall, mediocre of stature, has blue eyes and brown hair which is a bit curly, he wears a coat, a brown vest, blue long wide trousers with some red cloth on them, woolen stockings and shoes, a red scarf and a round hat. KIRSTINE was then arrested by some road workers.

“Then appeared before the court, loose and free, for an interrogation the arrested woman, who explained, the her name is ANE KIRSTINE AHRENFELDT, born by parents JACOB FREDERIK AHRENFELDT and ANNE MARIE HANSDATTER. Her father was ‘kursmed’ (Eng: cure-smith) with a regiment, that was stationed in Horsens, but whose name she does not know, and after he had received his dismissal from the regiment, which happened when she was around 2 years old, he began to travel around the country with his family, making a living by curing cattle. In this was they traveled around in Jylland for some time and after that in Fyn, where she left her parents as they treated her badly. She acquired some needles, ribbons, fingerrings, etc. with which she traveled around. After a few years of travelling in this manner in Fyn she was arrested in a village in Fyn for having no passport and papers, and she was sentenced to one year imprisonment on Odense jail. While there she was confirmed, but it is totally impossible to say how old she is.”

“After her release from jail her sister TRINE, who had continually been with her parents, who were travelling around in Sjaelland, has asked her to come with her back to their parents, which she did. She then met her parents near Frederikssund in Sjaellland, where her father had a living by curing cattle and her mother sold needles, etc. After half a year of travelling with her parents she got to know CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, who was traveling around with his parents. She now left her own family and traveled around with this family for some time, but as she didn’t get along well with CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN’s mother she left the family and looked for her sister TRINE, with whom she now began to travel around trading with people. After some time they got to know JOHANNES STIGSEN, who was traveling around as a plumber, and they now traveled around together. After some time they arrived in Sorup, where they were arrested for having no papers, and when her parents, soon arrived in Sorup too to visit them, they were arrested too. Her father and mother were both sentenced to two years of imprisonment, whereas sheherself, her sister and JOHANNES STIGSEN were sentenced to 1 year, all in Tugt-Rasp- og Forbedringhuset in Copenhagen. Her father died during his stay in the prison (1801), and her mother, after being released, was arrested again in Lolland, and this time she was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment, during which she died."

“After her own release from the prison in Copenhagen she traveled around with her sister for some time, but soon they looked for CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, who at that time had taken service with the hussars in Frederiksborg, and here she now stayed with his parents, who then lived as a glazier in Gronholt, a village near Frederiksborg. After awhile here she left again and went to see her mother, who, after her release from the prison in Copenhagen, traveled around trading with people. It was now they were arrested, and her mother was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment and she herself to 2 years of imprisonment on Mons Tugthus (Eng. The jail the Stege on Mon). They were arrested in Maribo. (Island of Lolland). After her release she went into service at a manor on Mon. After half a year of service here CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN came and fetched her. She now traveled together with CHIRSTOPHER who was traveling as a glazier and plumber, and went through all of Sjaelland, Fyn, Langeland and the other islands. During their stay on Falster she was arrested, though, and when CHRISTOPHER came to visit her, he was arrested too. They were arrested in Nykobing Falster, where they were imprisoned for about a year and here she got a child (MORTEN) with CHRISTOPHER, which, together with another child (HANS) of hers, were taken under poor-law authorities. They were both sentenced to 1 year imprisonment in Mon’s Tigthus. After having served that year in prison they were brought back to Flaster, where they were arrested for having begot children without being married. They now sat arrested around two years time during which time they begot 2 more children (AHRENFELDT and FLORENTINE), that both were taken under the poor-law authorities too. They were now sentenced to a punishment of water and bread; but for how long time she doesn’t remember. She says that they got the sentence in Nykobing but that they were imprisoned in Saskobing on Lolland.”

“After having served this sentence CHRISTOPHER was brought to Ringsted, where he was supposed to be in a marriage with DORTHE. She herself stayed in Falster after CHRISTOPHER’s release, as she by this time was about to give birth to her last mentioned child After having given birth to her child and after having served her last sentence. She got a passport to Ringsted, where she intended to visit her brother, FREDERIK, who she thought was serving at Bjernedegarden. But when she got there she met CHRISTOPHER, who at that time was a watchman in Ringsted and now went away with her.”

“From this time on they wandered around the country, working by the glazier and plumber trade without a permanent stay. It is not possible for her now to remember all the places they have visited, but they never stayed in one place more than 2 nights except once when they stayed 8 days last winter with CHRISTOPHER’s cousin, whose name is CHRISTOPHER too, and who is a settled glazier in Sondersted near Holbaek. The night between last Sunday and Monday they stayed in a farm, which is situated between Ringsted and Kage, but she doesn’t remember exactly where. Here CHRISTOPHER did some glazier work at the windows of the farm yesterday. Towards evening a quarrel arose between her and CHRISTOPHER, and he beat her thoroughly and beat her a black eye, and then went away. As he didn’t return during the night she decided to go to Ringsted to find him, which she did, but on the way to Ringsted she was arrested and brought to Ringsted.”

An innkeeper that was brought in to testify at CHRISTOPHER's trial gives us a picture of his life style. "Monday night between 8 and 9, CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, who has been a watchman here in this town, but who had been absent for a long time, entered the taproom and ordered a snaps. WICHERER, the innkeeper, was surprised over his presence and asked him why he had come back. He answered, that he had heard that the glazier here in town had died and that he therefore thought that it would be possible to do some glazier work here" ... a little later the town Judge's head clerk entered the inn and took CHRISTOPHER to the jail. The innkeeper declared that he had not seen CHRISTOPHER since he left the town and his service as a watchman. (The interrogation was then postponed until the next day.)

The next day as the interrogation was continued, the main theme now was, whether CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN had served or not with "Kobenhavns Infantry Regiment". DORTHEA and KIRSTINE were both brought in to testify. It seems that CHRISTOPHER had not been released from the drill school in 1811, but that he had, in fact, deserted. He was sentenced to life imprisonment as a fortress slave. His crime: desertion in time of war, adultery and theft. He was punished on his body and taken to Copenhagen's military prison on 27 Sep 1819.

CHRISTOPHER deserted on 2 May 1820, was brought back on 14 Apr 1821 and punished on the body. He deserted again 18 Oct 1821 and was brought back 27 Dec 1821. He must have been spending the time with KIRSTINE as she gave birth to CHRISTOPHER 9 Nov. 1821. He was chr. in Copenhagen 14 Nov. 1821.

DORTHEA must have been released from prison in the spring of 1823 because on 9 Apr 1823 she helped CHRISTOPHER to escape for the third time. She went to visit him at the fortress, the Citadellet, where he worked, and took clothes to him. He was caught in Koge two months later and brought back. DORTHEA was then sentenced to two years imprisonment for having helped him escape. It was at this time that HANS CHRISTOPHERSSEN was taken away from his mother and placed with another family. In the 1834 census he is listed as a foster child of THOS LYNGE

While they were together, DORTHEA again got pregnant and on 4 Jan 1824 gave birth, in prison, to a girl she named DORTHEA CHRISTINE CHRISTOPHERSDATTER. The baby was baptized 18 Jan 1824 and placed in a foundling home. (It was this child, whose name was extracted by the church, that enabled the researcher to tie everyone together.) Following the birth of this daughter, the only information given about DORTHEA is that twice she was sentenced to life imprisonment but was pardoned after some years in prison.

In 1829 CHRISTOPHER escaped yet another time, this time in company with a co-prisoner. And once they were free, they had to steal to survive. They were caught, and this time the escape was judged more severely as he had done it in company with another person.

Let it be known, that

1. The arrested slave JOHAN CHRISTOPH HEEROLDOFF and the slave CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, will have to be whipped at the whipping post, stigmatized at the forehead and then work for life in the "Kobenhavns Raspus' under close surveillance; furthermore
2. Both arrested shall, in common, pay for the expenses in connection with their capture plus for the expenses in connection with their escape in general.

In the census for Copenhagen for 1845 we find him too. - Christianshavn, Forbedringshuset: "CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, 63 years, married, born Annisse, Frederiksborg amt, slave."

CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN spent the rest of his life in prison where he died from consumption at age 63.

The probate record of CHRISTOPHERSEN MORTENSEN in Copenhagen states, "Year 1847 the 20th of March the probate court came to the Correction House in Christianshavn to carry out a probate record on the prisoner for life, CHRISTOPHER MORTENSEN, who according to a produced message of 9 March has died in the hospital of the prison. Present at this affair was the assistant, FISCHER, who declared that the deceased has no salary for over-work at all, and he showed the court his belongings, which the court's constable declared were without any value." (Kobenhavens Skiftekommission, Forseglingsprotokot 5B, 1846-47, page 137)

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