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Home  > Modern  >  Matthew Flinders
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Matthew Flinders

Matthew Flinders is one of the renowned cartographers and navigators of the world. He was born in Lincolnshire. At the age of fifteen, Matthew Flinders joined the Royal Navy as midshipman under Captain Pasley, who recommended him to Captain Bligh. He sailed with Captain Bligh from Tahiti to Jamaica transporting breadfruit. He sailed to Australia in HMS Reliance as a cartographer and navigator. Matthew Flinders explored the coastline around Sydney and circumnavigated Tasmania. The passage between Tasmania and Australia was named Bass Strait, after his close friend George Bass and the island was named Flinders Island. He also sailed to Norfolk with George Bass.

Matthew Flinders married Ann Chappell in 1801. He circumnavigated Australia between 1801 and 1803 and charted the different parts of the coastline including the Gulf of Carpentaria and Great Australian Bight. It is noteworthy that Flinders was the first European to reach You Yangs ranges. The highest peak, Station Peak, was renamed after him. In 1801, he was also assigned to explore the Great Australian Bight. However, in 1803, he was forced to abandon his survey. In order to complete his survey, he set sail for England to secure a vessel from the British Government. Unfortunately, he was castaway on the Great Barrier Reef. He returned back to Sydney and is also said to have rescued the marooned crew on Wreck Reef. He tried to return to England, but the poor condition of schooner forbade him to do so. He returned to England in 1810. In 1814, Flinders published his book, A Voyage to Terra Australis. Flinders died at the age of 40, a day after the publication of his book.



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