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Tom and Elizabeth's Odyssey

Globetrotting Australian couple Tom and Elizabeth Wynn stopped off in Hethersett to learn more about the village and one of its most notorious former residents. 

Both Tom and Elizabeth are keen genealogists and have been re-searching their roots in the UK – a 4,000 mile odyssey which has taken them to all parts of the country over a three month period. They began their UK trip on September 20th and will end it at the beginning of December. 

Their trip to Norfolk and Hethersett in particular was to investigate further the amazing story of 16th Century Hethersett resident Elizabeth Pulley, from whom Tom is descended. 

Tom, who is a school teacher in Stockton, New South Wales, is a member of the Rope-Pulley Society which traces the descendants of Elizabeth Pulley and Anthony Rope. Tom has researched his connections to the couple in depth and, like so many others, found a fascinating story of theft, incarceration, transportation and survival against the odds. 

Elizabeth Pulley was born in Hethersett in 1763 and first convicted of theft at the age of 17. By the age of 23 she had turned into a one woman crime wave and was eventually sentenced to be hanged, only for the punishment to be changed to transportation to Australia. 

After causing considerable problems on the voyage, Elizabeth landed in Sydney Harbour and married fellow convict Anthony Rope who came from Essex. There then follows a long and interesting story about their life in Australia which saw them bring up eight children including Robert who is thought to be the first white child conceived and born in Australia. 

Tom and Elizabeth were particularly interested in historic Hethersett buildings such as St Remigius Parish Church, the Queen’s Head and the King’s Head all of which would have been standing in one form or another in Elizabeth Pulley’s time. They are pictured above outside St Remigius Church. 

Tom has his own family web site which can be accessed by clicking here.