The story of the rescue of the crew of the Northern Belle and the loss of nine Margate men gets a wider audience.
Ann Phoebe Hopkins was brought up in Canterbury, inland from the Kent coast. So the life she experienced in Margate after she married Alfred Burnett Emptage, a mariner and lifeboat man, was quite different from anything she had experienced previously or could even have imagined.
Thanet Advertiser 10th April 1869.
Edward Robert Emptage and Stephen John Emptage were witnesses in an almost ludicrous assault case brought against the Borough Surveyor.
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.
The brigantine ‘Druide of Cardiff’ was driven ashore on rocks opposite Fore Point, Margate. Subsequent events led to the shaming of Edwin Robert Emptage, second coxswain of the lifeboat Quiver and the awarding of Sea Gallantry medals to Albert John Emptage and six others. Did Edwin deserve to be pilloried or were political forces at work, using him as scapegoat?
I wanted to identify William, the father of two sons, Peter Wootton Emptage (born in 1830) and Erasmus Sympson Emptage. It should have been relatively simple, shouldn’t it?
Then I discovered there were fifteen baptisms of William Emptage between 1793 and 1838….