Thomas Hepburn married Elizabeth Emptage and they had two young children. He was 30, a ploughman and a wheel wright and yet, he risked everything, including jail, execution or transportation to a penal colony on the other side of the world if he were caught carrying out the action which he and others were planning on the night of 21st November 1830.
The nine men crew of the Victory Lugger lost their lives when their boat was swamped by terrible seas during their attempt to rescue the crew of the American sailing ship Northern Belle which had foundered on rocks off the most south eastern point of England, off the coast of Kent, on 5th January 1857. Amongst them were William Emptage, aged 52 and his nephew, John Emptage, aged 29.
On 5th January 1857, an American sailing ship, the Northern Belle, was en route from New York to London when she was driven on to rocks off the coast of Kent, at the most south eastern point of England. The weather conditions were atrocious with a blizzard blowing and there were 28 men on board the ship.
Amongst those in the rescue boats were Alfred Emptage and his three brothers: George, Charles and Edward. They all survived but their uncle William and cousin John perished.