Capt. Robert Brown
The first thing to be admitted is that there may be two masters of the same name, one W. Brown, the other R. Brown. The fact is that most of the time he is simply called Captain Brown, but other times we find either the 'W' or 'R' Brown. Then there is the entry with the name 'Robert'. So we are left with the question, just how many Captain Brown's were there?
It seems likely that Captain Brown brought out the first “Celt”. The first recorded voyage in the Cape Argus was when the “Celt” arrived on the 5th of December 1857. The master’s name is given as W. Brown, which it is reasonable to think was either a typographical error or perhaps a middle initial.
Each round ‘trip’ took 3 months, sometimes more. The service was a monthly one, with the ships having a month layover in Table Bay, with probably the same in Southampton.
What is interesting is that the well publicised feature ‘every Thursday at four o’clock’ may have had its origins from the very beginning of the company, it is surprising how frequently the company advertised the mail ship sailing at 4.00 pm.
Nine voyages, beginning October/November 1857 to December 1860, the ship arrived in Southampton in time for Christmas. Captain Brown was relieved by Captain William Strutt.
Captain Brown is not recorded as master on any later vessels, further research may shed light on his fate