The story of Isaac Mepstead comes from a tree I’m researching for a customer.
Isaac lived in Hythe, Kent, England and was a fish hawker. At the age of 19 he stole some lead and iron and was convicted and sentenced on 13 Apr 1846 at the St Augustine’s Quarter Sessions. There isn’t any more description of what he stole except on one record it says he stole a fixture.
He was in Pentonville and then Millbank prisons before coming to Australia. His sentence was 1 week and 7 years. His father, Thomas, wrote a letter and petitioned for Isaac’s full pardon or that he at least be able to remain in England but he didn’t fully succeed.
Thomas wrote, “May I beg the favor most earnestly of your looking into the merits of the petition forwarded you and for the sake of an agonized father attend to the prayer thereof and prevent the youth leaving the country.”
Isaac and others aboard the Marion were pardoned as long as they remained in Australia for the term of their sentences. Many, including Isaac, never returned to England. The Marion arrived in Port Phillip Bay on 25 Jan 1848.
Isaac went on to marry and have a large family, living and working in both states of Victoria and South Australia.