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"Henry Porcher"
The Immigrant Ship, "Henry Porcher"

The 485 ton bargue “Henry Porcher”, sailed from London on the 23rd September, 1832,  arriving in Hobart town before leaving for Sydney on the 5th June, 1833. The ship arrived in Sydney on 29th June, 1833, with a general cargo, and passengers. It seems to have been a surprisingly long journey, perhaps more research will bring to light the reason for this. The ship may have put into an English port before finally setting sail for Australia, or been held up at Rio de Janiero, where it took on more passengers. According to George Woolnough’s obituary on Thomas Cowlishaw, a group of young couples and families travelled together to start a new life in Australia. There were 6 such families on board the Henry Porcher, as well as several tradesman travelling as single men. These couples would have made up the “small band of young men and their wives”, referred to by George Woolnough. George Woolnough also comments on their “protracted passage here, sufficed to form and strengthen friendships which lasted through all the following years”. Perhaps he knew of difficulties which arose on the ship. The travellers were


Mr John Froom, coach painter, age 33, and Mrs Mary Froom

Mr Thomas Smith, shoemaker, age 34, and Mrs Harriet Smith, age 31

Mr William Patten, stonemason, age 29,  and Mrs Ann Patten, age 29

Mr Thomas Cowlishaw, age 26, stonemason, and Mrs Maria Cowlishaw, (spelt Collishaw in the ship’s passenger list, and Collisham in the newspaper report of their arrival.)

Mr George Wilkie, baker, age 28, and Mrs Mary Wilkie, age 32

Mr Benjamin Fuller, pensioner, age33, and Mrs Anne Fuller.


William Patten and his wife Ann, nee Foss, were married in the same church, St George's Church, Hanover Square, London, England, on the same day as Thomas Cowlishaw and Maria Evans, and follow each other in the register. The marriages took place on the 12th August, 1832. They both had the same witnesses, James Cowlishaw and Ann Patten. Thomas and Maria Cowlishaw named their third son, William Patten Cowlishaw after their friends. There is a death registered for an Ann Patten, age 41 in 1845, who was probably the wife of William Patten.
The picture above titled, "View in Port Adelaide, South Australia", from the Mitchell Library in Sydney, shows the "Henry Porcher" as the fourth ship from the right.

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