Matthew Flinders
Australia Crest

Explorer, navigator, hydrographer and scientist born in Lincolnshire, England on 16th March, 1774.

Flinders served in the Royal Navy under William Bligh on a voyage to Tahiti before sailing to Australia in 1795.

With naval surgeon George Bass, he explored the south coast of the continent and circumnavigated Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in the sloop Norfolk confirming the channel (named Bass Strait) between the mainland and Tasmania on December 9th, 1798, and returning to Sydney on 12th January, 1799.

Matthew married Ann Chappelle at the old Norman church of St Nicholas in Partney, U.K. in 1801.

On 9th June, 1803 he arrived in Sydney after circumnavigating Australia and charting the Gulf of Carpentaria. Whilst on this voyage, aboard The Investigator, he met the two ships of French explorer Nicolas Baudin off the South Australia coast on the 8th April, 1802.

His wife Ann must have despaired of him as he left her his wife of only 3 months to sail around Australia, didn't come back until 9 years later and was dead within another 4 years.

In July 1814, his monumental work, A Voyage To Terra Australis, was published. He died the very next day, aged 40.

Flinders gave Australia it's name, the name being first used in 1817 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, instead of New Holland.

There is a book Letters To Ann. The love story of Matthew Flinders and Ann Chappelle published by Harper Collins and co-written by Shirley Sinclair, wife of former NSW Governor, Rear-Admiral Peter Sinclair.

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