I discovered Stephen Hedges about a year ago whilst researching my great-great-great-grandfather Richard Hedges (1808-1882). The two of them were brothers. Having noticed that Stephen died in Australia in 1885 I straight away wondered whether he’d been transported there. Sure enough, a descendent of the family, Julia, confirmed the fact. She herself is descended (like me) from William Hedges who was born in Abingdon in 1750 and his wife Jane (surname unknown) who was born in 1754. I am descended from their son Henry Hedges (1776-1844) and Julia from his brother James (born in 1787). Stephen and Richard were sons of Henry.
Stephen Hedges was convicted at the Berkshire Easter Sessions at Newbury on April 15th 1828. On trial with him were his co-defendents, H. Stockwell and J. Harper. They were all indicted for stealing 154 lbs of lead from a house in Radley and having been found guilty Stephen and Henry Stockwell were sentenced to be transported to Australia for 7 years.
Stephen Hedges (and his accomplice Henry) left England on June 27th 1828 aboard the Marquis of Hastings, arriving in Port Jackson, New South Wales on 12th October. Having served his sentence, Stephen remained in Australia, marrying Elizabeth Carter on Christmas Eve 1838.
Below is the first part of a report concerning Stephen Hedges’ conviction taken from Jackson’s Oxford Journal (April 26th 1828) – click on the image to open the full PDF.