The Coningsby Family
I have traced a branch of my grandmother’s family, the Coningsbys, through to their origins in Meldreth. My grandmother was born Adeline Hannah Coningsby. Her grandfather, Edward Coningsby, was born in Kegworth, Leicestershire in 1800. His antecedents, however, going back at least four generations were all born, and presumably lived, in Meldreth.
Edward was transported to Tasmania, Australia on the convict ship Caledonia in 1822 following his conviction at Huntingdon Assizes on 18 March 1822 for stealing a pony in Meldreth. He had been sentenced to death but this was commuted to transportation.
Edward was eventually given a ticket of leave by 1833 and finally pardoned in 1840 and came to reside in Launceston, Tasmania. In 1839 he was given permission to marry another former convict, Frances Waddell (also named Privett). We know of only one child, also named Edward.
An account in the Hobart Mercury in 1863 records that an Edward Coningsby was attacked and robbed on 30 November 1863, although we are unsure whether the Edward was the father or son. The assailant, Robert McAvor, was sentenced to death for his crime.