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All names on the maps are as Flinders spelt them, but in the body of the book modern spellings have been adopted. In the case of the Duyfhen the usual spelling, which is also that of Flinders, is retained; but the late J. Backhouse Walker has shown reason to believe that the real name of the vessel was Duyfken. Enters the Royal Navy. Midshipman on the Bellerophon.

Voyage in the Providence. Participates in the battle off Brest. Sails for Australia in the Reliance. Cruise of the Tom Thumb. Voyage of the Norfolk. Discovery of Port Dalrymple. Return to Port Jackson. Exploration on Queensland coast. Return to England in the Reliance. Plan of Australian Exploration. Sailing of the Investigator. Discovery of Kangaroo Island and St.

Meeting of Flinders and Baudin in Encounter Bay. Flinders in Port Phillip. Voyage to Northern Australia. Discovery of Port Curtis and Port Bowen. In the Gulf of Carpentaria. Return voyage; Australia circumnavigated. Sydney reached; the Investigator condemned. Sails in the Porpoise. Wrecked on the Barrier Reef.

Voyage in the Hope to Sydney. Arrival in Port Jackson. Sails in the Cumberland. Arrival at Ile-de-France; made a prisoner. Removal to the Garden Prison Maison Despeaux. French Government orders release of Flinders. Matthew Flinders was the third of the triad of great English sailors by whom the principal part of Australia was revealed. All the great seafaring peoples contributed something towards the result. The Dutch especially evinced their enterprise in the pursuit of precise information about the southern Terra Incognita, and the nineteenth century was well within its second quarter before the name New Holland, which for over a hundred years had borne testimony to their adventurous pioneering, gave place in general and geographical literature to the more convenient and euphonious designation suggested by Flinders himself, Australia.

In the Report of the Committee of the Privy Council, dated May 1, , "New Holland" is used to designate the continent, but "Australia" is employed as including both the continent and Tasmania. But, important as was the work of the Dutch, and though the contributions made by French navigators possibly also by Spanish are of much consequence, it remains true that the broad outlines of the continent were laid down by Dampier, Cook and Flinders.

These are the principal names in the story. A map of Australia which left out the parts discovered by other sailors would be seriously defective in particular features; but a map which left out the parts discovered by these three Englishmen would gape out of all resemblance to the reality. Dampier died about the year ; nobody knows precisely when. Matthew Flinders came into the world in time to hear, as he may well have done as a boy, of the murder of his illustrious predecessor in The lad was then seven years of age, having been born on March 16th, His father, also named Matthew, was a surgeon practising his profession at Donington, Lincolnshire, where the boy was born.

The Flinders family had been settled in the same town for several generations. Three in succession had been surgeons. The English middle-eastern counties received frequent large migrations of Flemings during several centuries. Sometimes calamities due to the harshness of nature, sometimes persecutions and wars, sometimes adverse economic conditions, impelled companies of people from the Low Countries to cross the North Sea and try to make homes for themselves in a land which, despite intervals of distraction, offered greater security and a better reward than did the place whence they came.

England derived much advantage from the infusion of this industrious, solid and dependable Flemish stock; though the temporary difficulty of absorption gave rise to local protests on more than one occasion. As early as , a great part of Flanders "being drowned by an exudation or breaking in of the sea, a great number of Flemings came into the country, beseeching the King to have some void place assigned them, wherein they might inhabit.

Again in the reign of Edward I we find Flemish merchants carrying on a very large and important trade in Boston, and representatives of houses from Ypres and Ostend acquired property in the town. In the middle of the sixteenth century, when Flanders was boiling on the fire of the Reformation, Lincolnshire and Norfolk provided an asylum for crowds of harassed refugees.

In two persons were deputed to ride from Boston to Norwich to ascertain what means that city adopted to find employment for them; and in the same year Mr. William Derby was directed to move Mr. During one of these peaceful and useful Flemish invasions the ancestors of Matthew Flinders entered Lincolnshire. In the later years of his life he devoted some attention to the history of his family, and found record of a Flinders as early as the tenth century.

It would be very interesting if it were clear that there was a link between the family and the origins of the great Nottingham hosiery trade. Matthew Flinders himself wrote the note: A family tradition relates that the Lincolnshire Flinders were amongst the people taken over to England by Sir Cornelius Vermuyden, a Dutch engineer of celebrity in his day, who undertook in to drain , acres of fen in Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

He was financed by English and Dutch capitalists, and took his reward in large grants of land which he made fit for habitation and cultivation. Vermuyden and his Flemings were not allowed to accomplish their work of reclamation without incurring the enmity of the natives. In a petition to the King in he stated that he had spent , pounds, but that 60, pounds of damage had been done "by reason of the opposition of the commoners," who cut the banks of his channels in the night and during floods.

The peasantry, indeed, resisted the improvements that have proved so beneficent to that part of England, because the draining and cultivation of so many miles of swamp would deprive them of fishing and fowling privileges enjoyed from time immemorial. Hardly any reform or improvement can be effected without some disruption of existing interests; and a people deeply sunk in poverty and toil could hardly be expected to contemplate with philosophical calm projects which, however advantageous to fortunate individuals and to posterity, were calculated to diminish their own means of living and their pleasant diversions.

He endeavoured to allay discontent by employing local labour at high wages; and was courageous enough to pursue his task despite loss of money, wanton destruction, and many other discouragements. Ebullitions of discontent on the part of fractious Fenlanders did not cease till the beginning of the eighteenth century. He may have been one of the "participants" who benefited from them. The fact is significant as bearing upon this conjecture, that no person named Flinders made a will in Lincolnshire before Foster, Calendar of Lincoln Wills to , It is, too, an interesting circumstance that there was a Flinders among the early settlers in New England, Richard Flinders of Salem, born He may have been of the same family as the navigator, for the Lincolnshire element among the fathers of New England was pronounced.

The name Flinders survived at Donington certainly for thirty years after the death of the sailor who gave lustre to it; for in a directory published in occur the names of "Flinders, Mrs. The Flinders papers, mentioned in the preface, contain material which enables the family and connections of the navigator to be traced with certainty for seven generations.

The genealogy is shown by the following table: John Flinders, surgeon at Spalding, born , still living in , had at least two children: John Flinders, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, born , died Matthew Flinders, surgeon at Donington, born , died , married Susannah Ward, to , in and had at least two children: Samuel Ward Flinders, born , died , Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, married and left several children.

Matthew Flinders the Navigator, born March 16, , died July 19, , married Ann Chappell, born , died , in and had one daughter: Ann Flinders, born , died , married William Petrie, born , died , in and had one son: Flinders Petrie, eminent scholar and Egyptian archaeologist, born , married Hilda Urlin in and had at least two children: There is also an interesting connection between Flinders and the Tennysons, through the Franklin family.

The present Lord Tennyson, when Governor of South Australia, in the course of his official duties, in March, , unveiled a memorial to his kinsman on Mount Lofty, and in April of the same year a second one in Encounter Bay. The following table illustrates the relationship between him who wrote of "the long wash of Australasian seas" and him who knew them as discoverer: Matthew Flinders father of Matthew Flinders the navigator married as his second wife Elizabeth Weekes, whose sister, Hannah Weekes, married Willingham Franklin of Spilsby and had at least two children: Sarah Franklin, married Henry Sellwood, solicitor, of Horncastle, in and had at least two children: Emily Sarah Sellwood, born , died , married Alfred Tennyson, Poet Laureate, born , died , in and had at least one son: The Flinders papers also contain a note suggesting a distant connection between Matthew Flinders and the man who above all others was his choice friend, George Bass, the companion of his earliest explorations.

Petrie, wrote "we have reason to think that Bass was a connection of the family," and the point is too interesting to be left unstated. The following table shows the possible kinship: John Flinders of Donington, born , died great-grandfather of the navigator had: Mary Flinders, third and youngest daughter, born , married as her third husband, Bass, and had: It is clear from the particulars stated above that the tree of which Matthew Flinders was the fruit had its roots deep down in the soil of the little Lincolnshire market town where he was born; and Matthew himself would have continued the family tradition, inheriting the practice built up by his father and grandfather as it was hoped he would do , had there not been within him an irresistible longing for the sea, and a bent of scientific curiosity directed to maritime exploration, which led him on a path of discovery to achievements that won him honourable rank in the noble roll of British naval pioneers.

His father earned an excellent reputation, both professional and personal. The career of a country practitioner rarely affords an opportunity for distinction. It was even less so then than today, when at all events careful records of interesting cases are printed in a score or more of professional publications.

But once we find the elder Matthew Flinders in print. The child died; whereupon the surgeon expresses his regret, not on account of infant or parents, but, with true scientific zest, because it deprived him of the opportunity of watching the development of an uncommon case.

Donington is a small town in the heart of the fen country, lying ten miles south-west of Boston, and about the same distance, as the crow flies, from the black, muddy, western fringe of the Wash. It is a very old town.


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