Matthew Flinders biography and facts


Matthew Flinders Captain Matthew Flinders RN (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) was a distinguished navigator and cartographer, who was the first to circumnavigate Australia and identify it as a continent. On his first voyage to New South Wales, he made friends with the ship's surgeon George Bass, and the two of them presently sailed through what became the Bass Strait, confirming that Tasmania was an island. In 1801 he was commissioned to chart the whole coastline of New Holland, and he specially noted the fertile land around Port Phillip, today's Melbourne. Heading back to England in 1803, his vessel needed urgent repairs at Mauritius. Although Britain and France were at war, Flinders thought the scientific nature of his work would ensure safe passage, but a suspicious governor kept him under arrest for more than six years. In captivity, he recorded details of his voyages for future publication, and put forward his rationale for naming the new continent 'Australia', as an umbrella-term for New Holland and New South Wales - a suggestion taken up later by Governor Macquarie. His health had suffered, however, and although he reached home, he did not live to see the publication of his widely-praised book  ( Wikipedia )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth
Ann Flinders Ann Chappelle
Explorer, Sailor, Naval Officer


Company Job title From To
Royal Navy


Date of death
Place of death

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