Australian author appeal for help with book on ship Simon Taylor- wrecked at Margate in 1849

Robert is continuing his research on the ship

The author of an illustrated book charting the history of ship “Simon Taylor”  that was grounded, wrecked and dismantled on the shingles at Margate on 7th June 1849.

Robert Caporn, who lives in Western Australia, tells the story of the ship’s journey under the command of Captain Brown conveying 219 new settlers from London to the Swan River Colony (Fremantle) in Western Australia in 1842.

The book was published last November and is now going for a second print run. Robert is also continuing his research and is hoping to track down a photo or drawing of Captain Thomas Brown and/or any of the salvaged parts of the “Simon Taylor.”

Robert’s ancestors Samuel and Ann Caporn who migrated to the Swan River Colony in 1842.

He said: “The captain of this vessel from 1838 was Thomas Brown who at that time had a residential address somewhere in Broadstairs. I have not been able to locate any further details about Captain Brown except that he was the Captain of the Simon Taylor for the period 1838 to the time of the ships grounding in1849.

“My interest in Captain Brown and the Simon Taylor is simply that it was this ship under the command of Captain Brown that conveyed 219 new settlers from London to the Swan River Colony (Fremantle) in Western Australia in 1842 which of course was 7 years prior to the vessel being lost on the Margate shingles.

“I have recently published a book about the ship, the passengers and its voyage from London to the Swan River colony in 1842. In November 2022 I posted a complimentary copy of the book to Elizabeth Finn at the Kent History and Library Centre, at James Whatman Way, Maidstone, for the library’s local history collection.

“I am currently arranging a second print of the book and would be very appreciative of any further information about Captain Brown or any of the salvaged materials from the vessel hence my request to you for assistance.

“Apparently the salvaged material from the vessel was sold by auction in July 1849 at Mr Jenkins Auction rooms which were located at the time at 121 Highgate Street in Margate.”

Anyone who is able to help is asked to contact Robert by e-mail at [email protected]

The Sailing Ship Simon Taylor, A voyage of significance

The book includes details of the ship’s voyage to the Swan River Colony where it arrived on Saturday 20th August 1842 after a voyage of 111 days from London. There was a total of 219 emigrants on board when it arrived which comprised of several individuals as well as at least 44 family groups and 18 Parkhurst boys.

The tale looks at the  courageous decisions of the respective families to leave their homeland, family, and friends to embark on a future that would be reliant firstly on the skills of Captain Brown then on their own abilities in an unfamiliar land with different meteorological seasons and an environment vastly different to that which they were accustomed too.

The author’s interest in Captain Brown and the Ship Simon Taylor is because it was his ancestors Samuel and Ann Caporn who migrated to the Swan River Colony in 1842.