Captain George Martin

George Martin (1778 – 1842) was born in England. He married Mary Brett in 1817 when he was 39 and she was 22. By 1835 Mary had given birth to eleven children, three of whom did not survive past infancy.

Martin was a continual wanderer and an experienced ship’s captain. His childrens’ birthplaces read like a world tour and include London, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Hobart, and Valparaiso in Chile. In 1823 Martin and his growing family set up home in Hobart, purchasing 800 acres of land and joining the local Freemasons Lodge. Martin also spent some time in Sydney and by 1836 was very familiar with colonial conditions and the sea route between Britain and Australia.

Martin was a deeply religious man. He was involved in the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society and he most likely met George Fife Angas who was the Society’s founding joint treasurer in 1833.

In 1836 Martin was appointed Master of the John Pirie, owned by the South Australian Company. The vessel was to take company personnel and settlers to Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island. Martin joined the departing John Pirie on 23 February 1836 on the River Thames.

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