Alfred Swaine Taylor was born in Northfleet, Kent, in 1806, the son of Thomas Taylor – a sailor from Kings Lynn who was a captain in the East India Company – and Susannah Bachelor Badger, a Kent native. In 1834, he married Londoner Caroline Cancellor, and they had two children, only one of whom, Edith Caroline, survived infancy. Edith married Frederick John Methold, the great-nephew of Nicholas Conyngham Tindal, the judge responsible of the inception of the M’Naughten verdict, ‘Not guilty by reason of insanity.’
Taylor had only one sibling, Silas Badger Taylor, who married Caroline’s friend, Mary Ann Swinley. Mary Ann was born just after her father died, drowning in the River Thames at Henley when his boat overturned.
Caroline Cancellor’s family included a grandfather who had been in the East India Company, and a father who worked on the Stock Exchange.