Matthew Flinders (1774 – 1814) explorer
Matthew Flinders, aged 24 years, was the first man who circumnavigated Australia. He wrote, “When circumstances were favourable, such was the plan I pursued and, with the blessing of God, nothing of importance should have been left for future discoverers upon any part of these extensive coasts.”
Matthew Flinders (1774 – 1814) was one of the world’s most accomplished navigators and hydrographers and at the age of 24 was the youngest captain in the Royal Navy.
During the period 1798-1803, he became the first man to circumnavigate Australia. He used the name “Australia”, which was adopted in 1824.
“My leading object had hitherto been to make so accurate an investigation of the shores of Terra Australis that no future voyage to this country should be necessary; and with this always in view, I had ever endeavoured to follow the land so closely that the washing of the surf upon it should be visible, and no opening, nor anything of interest, escape notice. Such a degree of promixity is what navigators have usually thought either necessary nor safe to pursue, nor was it always persevered in by us; sometimes be cause the direction of the wind or shallowness of the water made it impracticable, and at other times because the loss of the ship would have been the probable consequence of approaching so near to a lee shore. But when circumstances were favourable, such was the plan I pursued and, with the blessing of God, nothing of importance should have been left for future discoverers upon any part of these ex tensive coasts.” The Life of Matthew Flinders, page 272.
Flinders drew charts so accurate that they were used for many years after his death.
When questioned about sailing on the sabbath he re plied, “The Stars still shine on the Sabbath. How could we keep it better than in telling the glory of Creation.” My Love Must Wait page 169.
He is fondly remembered as a man of integrity, determination, courage and faithfulness in marriage.
His biography, written by Ernestine Hill, My Love Must Wait and showed the anguish of the young Captain, who had only spent six months with his bride and did not see her again for more than nine years.
He circumnavigated Australia and was then imprisoned in Mauritius by the French for seven years. He was eventually rescued by the British and returned to England.
He died aged only 40 years.
The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders
Author : Ernest Scott
My Love Must Wait: The Story of Matthew Flinders
Author: Ernestine Hill
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