Robert Stephens, Marine, Friendship, 1788 and Elizabeth Hippesley Convict, Lady Penrhyn 1788

Robert Stephens was born c1762 in Devon, he was a Private of the  Marines 30th (Portsmouth) Company, arrived in NSW aboard the Friendship 1788, he was assigned to Captain Shea’s Company Port Jackson Garrison and was sent to Norfolk Island aboard HM Supply in June 1789.

On Norfolk Island he formed a relationship with Elizabeth Hippesley, they were one of the many couples married by Reverend Richard Johnson, in Nov 1791 on Norfolk Island.

Elizabeth Hippesley – Hipsley was born c1756 in London, she was a neddle worat the age of 28 years, she was charged with the crime of stealing from a dwelling goods valued at £4/6/8, at Old Bailey on 23 Feb 1785, and received a sentence of transportation for 7 years.[1] Elizabeth arrived in NSW aboard the Lady Penrhyn 1788.

The good behaviour of  Elizabeth Colley, Elizabeth Lee and Elizabeth Hippseley on the voyage aboard the Lady Penrhyn  was recorded by Surgeon Bowes, and all three recommended by Bowes on 30 Jan 1788 to be members of the party to be sent to Norfolk Island. All three women travelled to Norfolk Island aboard HM Supply arriving in Mar 1788 on 6 Mar 1788, leaving Port Jackson aboard HM Supply 15 Feb 1788.

Robert Stephens left the Marine Corps on 21 Jan 1792, and recorded as a Marine Settler of Norfolk Island on 24 Feb 1792 when he was granted 60 acres of land, described as between Painter and Mitchell’s lots.[2] This been Lot 44, today located along JE Road and Selwyn Pine Road and part of the National Park area on Norfolk Island.  This property of 60 acres was sold to Edward Garth (ex-convict).

Robert Stephens became a constable of the Cascade steam area in Sept 1793. In June 1794, Elizabeth was recorded as free, married to Robert Stephens with no children.[3] They both left Norfolk Island for Port Jackson aboard the Daedalus on 6 Nov 1794. On his returned Robert enlisted into the NSW Corps on 25 Nov 1794 in Sydney and given the rank of Sergeant. He was discharged from the NSW Corps in Oct 1799 and re-enlisted in Jan 1800. In 1803 he held the rank of Corporal and in July 1808 promoted to Sergeant.

July 1801 Elizabeth Hipsley: Expired sentence living in Sydney, off stores.
Aug 1806 Elizabeth Hipsley: Free by Servitude, married (NSW) to Robert Stephens with one male legitimate child.

Both Robert and Elizabeth Stevens (sic) marked their names with an X when they were witnesses of the marriage between 102nd Regiment private, James Mackey to Mary Page at St Phillips Sydney on 7 Mar 1810.

Robert and Elizabeth and their son left the colony under the name of Stevens aboard HMS Dromedary in May 1810.

[1] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17850223-61.

[2] PG King’s Journal, AJCP PRO Reel 5, CO/201/10, p. 55.

[3] Women off the Stores 16 June 1794 Norfolk Island, AJCP PRO CO/201/10, pp. 199 – 200.

Norfolk Island landing Place 1788

Image: Monument for First Landing Party site March 1788, Kingston Norfolk Island

Cite this article as: Cathy Dunn, 'Robert Stephens, Marine, Friendship, 1788 and Elizabeth Hippesley Convict, Lady Penrhyn 1788', Australian History Research,, accessed [insert current date]
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