- Born: 1772, Battle, , Sussex, England
- Christened: 19 Mar 1772, Battle, , Sussex, England
- Marriage (1): Ann Lingham on 14 Oct 1794 in Battle, , Sussex, England
- Marriage (2): Mary A Hancox in 1817 in St Lukes C Of E, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
- Died: 22 Jul 1860, Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia at age 88
James was tried in the Sussex Assizes in Horsham on 24 March 1806 and convicted of stealing a sheep. Initially sentenced to hang, this was later commuted to transportation for Life. He left England on the Duke of Portland on 26 February 1807, arriving on 26 July1807.
In England he left behind a wife and six children. He married again in Australia and gave the four children born there exactly the same names as his children in England (except Mary in England was named Maria in Australia).
He received his conditional Pardon on 31 January 1818 and was described as 5'8½" tall with hazel eyes, brown hair and a fair ruddy complexion.
From the Sydney Gazette Sat 4 Dec 1819 p. 1
GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS.
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, PARRAMATTA
Saturday, 27th Nov. 1819.
HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR has been pleased to appoint James Eldridge and William Blackman (the former in the Room of Robert Sells, resigned) to be Constables in the District of the Cow Pastures, for the Protection of the wild and tame Herds belonging to the Crown in those Districts. - James Eldridge to be stationed at Lowe's Hill, and William Blackman at Mulgoa Forest. They will receive special Instructions for their Conduct from Mr. George Johnston, Principal Superintendent of Government Herds and Flocks.
By His Excellency's Command,
J.T. CAMPBELL, Secretary
In 1825 he was recorded in the Convict Muster as a Landholder at Bringelly and living with his wife Mary (also an ex Convict) and children James, 10 William, 8, Harriet, 6 and Maria, 4.
From the Sydney Gazette Tue 10 Dec 1839 p. 3
If this should meet the eye of GEORGE or JAMES ELDRIDGE, he is requested to call on his FATHER, at the "Woolpack", Brickfield Hill. Any person acquainted with the said party are requested to inform him of this advertisement.
James married Ann Lingham on 14 Oct 1794 in Battle, , Sussex, England.
James next married Mary A Hancox in 1817 in St Lukes C Of E, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia. (Mary A Hancox was born circa 1780 in England.)