Coram’s legacy in Taunton is in the shipyard he established and the contribution he made towards the town’s Anglican/Episcopal church (the Episcopal church was established after the American War of Independence as separate from, but allied to the Church of England). John Hathaway continued the business after Coram had left the town. Other yards were established along the bank of the deep-water channel, so much so that in the early 1700s, the area became a distinct town, known as Dighton. Trading ships left Dighton, travelling across the globe, importing from, and exporting to Europe, South America, and the West Indies.
Coram left 59 acres of Taunton land from a court settlement to help found a Church of England in Taunton. In Coram’s typically robust style he said it should be used:
…if ever hereafter the inhabitants of the town of Taunton should be more civilized than they now are, and if they should incline to have a Church of England built amongst them, or in their town…
He left the land in trust with the King’s Chapel in Boston, where he worshipped, along with a substantial collection of books. books became the basis for the parish’s ministry. By the mid-19th century, Taunton had grown to be a busy port. The townspeople were from a wide range of Christian denominations, including a strong and growing Episcopal community.
The church took Saint Thomas as its patron, in part to honour Thomas Coram. The third and present St Thomas’ Church was consecrated in 1859, and was funded entirely by subscription. The church’s 250th anniversary celebration in 1978 was attended by the Bishop of London and representatives of the Coram Foundation. Today the church archives are held in a room in the parish house.