Capper's book The Emigrant's Guide to Australia went to at least three editions by 1856, and a condensed facsimile edition was issued in Melbourne by Hawthorn Press in 1973. It is a particularly detailed guide for emigrants, including suggestions on clothing, organising passage, shipboard life, requirements for 'bush life' and regulations relating to gold mining.

The author was probably John Henry Capper, a Home Office clerk who succeeded Aaron Graham as Inspector of the Hulk Establishment at the end of 1814. He was given an annual salary of £400, with an allowance of £131 a year for the use of his home. Capper carried out the recommendations of the 1811 Committee by dividing the convict ships into compartments. In 1822 he wrote Two Reports [on Transportation]… detailing expenses and chaplains' reports on convict hulks for the House of Commons, and also authored a report on the employment of prisoners at Bermuda. However, he used a room at the Home Office while he still drew the allowance for use of his home, and during his long term of office his nephew increasingly carried out the work while also running his own grocery business on the Strand. In 1847 Capper was blamed for the slackness and corruption within the system, and a damming report on the atrocious conditions on the hulks forced Capper and his nephew to resign.

W. B. Johnson, The English Prison Hulks (Phillimore, Chichester, 1970), quoted by Ann Coats in From 'Floating Tombs' to Foundations: The Contribution of Convicts to Naval Dockyards and Ordnance Sites., accessed 02 Feb 2005.

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