Hortence Smiley was the governess of Tad Collins and Carrie Stokes before Daphne Harridge in 1840. When Quentin Collins refused to give up custody of Tad, Samantha Collins arranged to take Tad away from Quentin at any cost. She asked Hortence to pack Tad's cloths and have him meet her at Rose Cottage. Gabriel Collins overheard their plan and told Quentin about it. Quentin stopped Hortence from taking Tad away from Collinwood and fired her. On the way to Rose Cottage, Hortence Smiley was murdered by the headless body of Judah Zachary.