Syms Covington was born in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England back in 1816 to Simon and Elizabeth. When he was fifteen you could find him working as a “fiddler and boy on a ship that left England in 1831 under the command of captain Robert FitzRoy. During the voyage, he kept a journal landing at Bahia Blanca in South America.
In 1833, he and another passenger was left ashore at Maldonado, Uruguay for a 12-day excursion into the mainland. The ship returned in 1836 where he worked for that passenger until 1839. He moved to Sydney, Australia in 1840 where he married Eliza. In 1854, he became Postmaster of Pambula and managed the Forest Oak Inn. He died 1861.
What you may not know about Syms is that the ship he sailed on was the HMS Beagle and the other passenger was Charles Darwin. He kept a large collection of bird specimens which established his relationship of Darwin’s Finches to each of the Galapagos Islands as, unlike Darwin he had taken care to label where each specimen had been taken.
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