England in 1787 was ruled by King George the Third (1760 -1820) and was feeling its strength as a mighty power, based around its superb navy. In 1707 England, Scotland and Wales had been joined in one kingdom - the United Kingdom of Great Britain. This was later augmented in 1801 with the addition of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Despite this power, England had recently lost control of its colonies in America during the Revolutionary War and this had a direct influence on the life of William Hubbard. He had been sentenced to transportation to the American colonies which was then changed to transportation to the penal colony about to be established at New South Wales.

William Hubbard is believed to have been born c.1768 in the Parish of St. Olave, London. The names of his parents were Thomas and Ann and it appears he had trained as a plasterer after whatever schooling he received as this was the occupation he gave in 1785 and again in 1791.

At the age of 15, William was brought before the Quarter Sessions in Southwark, Surrey on 14 January 1783 charged with the theft of one bed sheet valued at three shillings, the property of George Anderson. He was committed and sentenced on 19 February to be publicly whipped, in company with a William Boggis, but then appears to have been charged with a further or more serious crime and sentenced to transportation to America for seven years. (1)
After spending two years in the New Gaol at Southwark, William was transferred to the
Censor hulk in the River Thames on 8 April, 1785 and later to the Justitia hulk. On 24 February 1787 William was ordered to Portsmouth and on 27th was embarked on board Scarborough.

Research conducted by two people in Australia has indicated that William was possibly christened on 18 December 1768 at Sunbury on Thames in London by his parents, Thomas Hubord (sic) and Ann. A record for a marriage between Thomas Hubbard and Ann Wale exists for 11 September 1755 and it has been noted as significant that William Hubbard named his first two children Ann and Thomas. Both records are in I.G.I. and references are available.
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