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.
When I researched the events which triggered the actions of Thomas Hepburn and other agricultural labourers during the Swing Riots, and the impact those actions had, both socially and politically, I was truly amazed.
It seems to me that we owe our ancestors rather more respect than is normally accorded to the agricultural labourers who feature in our family history.
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.