Throughout his short life George William Emptage suffered from what we would now describe as learning difficulties, however this didn’t prevent him from enlisting for what turned out to be a very brief military career.
Five years after her husband, Thomas Hepburn, had been convicted for his part in the Swing Riots of 1830 and had been transported to Australia, Elizabeth took advantage of the British government scheme to send wives and children to join their husbands once the convict had served his sentence.
Alfred was born into a long line of mariners but, perhaps realising not only that it was a difficult life but also a dangerous one, he and his four brothers turned their back on the sea and sought other means of making a living.
An assurance agent in Margate, Thanet, Alfred rose to the position of a Vice President of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (pictured) in New York.
When Daniel’s parents and siblings emigrated to the USA, he chose to remain. Descended from an agricultural branch of the family, Daniel became a fisherman and an oyster seller in Ramsgate. He married Caroline in 1838 when he was twenty one and raised a family. In 1861 a nightmare began for Daniel, one which would ultimately end in his death.
In January 1756, the court in Nottingham heard how a young female apprentice received nothing but cruelty and barbarity from her master, Obadiah Emptage.
In 1851 William Henry Emptage signed on with the Hudson Bay Company and sailed to north west America, making the long and perilous journey around Cape Horn.
Despite sustaining a life changing injury, he was described as a “colourful and useful man” in the British Columbia Historical Quarterly, October 1945.