Thomas Slater

Thomas Slater Born: 29 March 1767, London, England
                  ("of St James' Parish, London")
Christened: 16 April 1767, Saint Mary, St Marylebone Road, Saint Marylebone, London
Parents: Matthew Slater and Elizabeth Slater (nee Twells)
Siblings: Matthew William Slater, 3 October 1757, London
                  Elizabeth Rachel Slater, 12 December 1759, London
                  John Slater, 5 September 1761, London
                  George Rodney Slater, 26 October 1762, City of London
                  Ann Slater, 14 March 1765
                  Thomas Slater, 29 March 1767, London, England
                  Juliana Slater, 26 April 1770, London (died 1 September 1791)
                  Robert Slater, 20 March 1772, London
                  Sarah Maria Slater, 9 January 1774, London (died 13 July 1790)
                  Matthew II Slater, 23 December 1775
                  George II Slater, 29 July 1778
                  Charles Richard Slater, 13 February 1780, London (died 17 June 1800)
                  Rach(a)el Elizabeth Slater, 8 April 1783, London
Married: Sophia Hall, 19 December 1793, St James parish church, London, England

Children: Sarah Slater, 18 September 1794, South Kensington, London, England
                  Matthew Slater, 1796, London (stayed in England, or migrated to India)
                  Charles Slater, 1799 (or 1797/8), England (Butcher, aged 21 in 1820) (later represented Albany in Cape parliament)
                  Juliana Slater (also known as Julia Ann or Hannah), (aged 17 in 1820), 3 July 1803, London, England
                  Elizabeth Slater, 1806, England (aged 13 in 1820)
                  George Slater, 1808, London (aged 12 in 1820); farmer and member of Cape parliament
                  Henry Twelves Slater, 1809 (or 1811 or 1810), London, England ('aged 9 in 1820')
                  Thomas Slater, 1811, London, England
                  Edward Slater, 1812, England ('aged 7 in 1820')
                  John Francis Slater, December 1816, London, England ('aged 5 in 1820')
Occupation: Cotton dealer (1820)
Died: 11 December 1841, aged 74 years and 9 months, Salem, Albany District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Buried: Salem Methodist Church (under the church)
The present Salem Church was built over the graves of Thomas and Sophia, and a brass plaque was placed in the church by their descendants.

Marriage of Thomas Slater and Sophia Hall
Thomas Slater - Sophia Hall marriage
Westminster Marriages:
"No.451 Thomas Slater & Sophia Hall, both of this parish, were married in this church by licence from the Bishop of London this nineteenth day of December in the year 1793. By me John Waring, Curate. This marriage was solemnized between us. Thomas Slater - Sophia Hall. In the presence of Chris Hall - Elizabeth Slater"

In 1820 Settler records, Thomas and Sophia's children were listed as Hannah 17, Elizabeth 13, George 12, Henry 9, Edward 7, and John 5. They travelled to South Africa on the Aurora ship as part of Hezekiah Sephton's party, and settled in Salem (near Grahamstown).

Their descendant, Francis Carey Slater (1876 - 1958), was a well-known poet.

Thomas Slater was described as a delicate scholarly man of independent means. He was an artist; one of his paintings (of Port Elizabeth in 1829) was displayed in the Port Elizabeth library.

Thomas and Sophia emigrated to the Cape in 1820, seeking a warmer climate for their delicate health. Thomas had visited North America and had already booked passages for that country when he was persuaded to join Sephton's Party. They sailedin the Aurora, Captain Pearson, reaching Algoa Bay on 15 May 1820. They were accompanied by seven of their children: Charles, Juliana, Elizabeth, George, Henry, Edward, and John. Their eldest son Matthew is said to have gone to India, while Sarah and a young brother remained in England. In 1821, Thomas requested a refund of the deposit he had paid for Sarah's passage in the Aurora, stating that she had not embarked with the family owing to illness. Juliana was the first Salem bride, marrying Benjamin Rudman in August 1820. Thomas was of scholarly nature and artistically inclined, and produced drawings and paintings of the Eastern Cape, of which has survived his painting of Port Elizabeth c.1826.
    From "The Carnarvon Dale Papers", Volume 4, pp.11-12.

Thomas Slater was allocated allotment No. 30, which consisted of 23 morgen [about 20 hectares]; his son Charles, a settler in his own right, was allotted No. 32 of 11 morgen 362 roods, this being directly opposite his father's on the Assegaai River.
    From "The Carnarvon Dale Papers", Volume 4, p.12.

1820 Settler, part of Hezekiah Sephton's party in the ship Aurora (344 passengers).
Departed from London on 15 February 1820. (Left from Deptford on 6 February 1820, and, after some further delay, from Gravesend on 15 February 1820.) Arrived at Simon's Bay 1 May 1820.
Arrived at final destination of Algoa Bay, Cape Colony on 15 May 1820.


Thomas Slater painting of Port Elizabeth

Thomas Slater plaque in Salem church

Thomas Slater - Death Notice
Copyright © 2007-2022, Rodney Jones,, Johannesburg, South Africa (Last updated on 14 February 2022)