photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
English navigator and cartographerwd:Q219895
country of citizenship:
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Great Britain
language of expression: English
occupation: explorer, cartographer, botanist, navigator
Captain Matthew Flinders (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) was an English navigator and cartographer who led the second circumnavigation of New Holland that he would subsequently call "Australia or Terra Australis" and identified it as a continent. Abel Tasman had circumnavigated it more widely in 1642–43 and had charted its north coast in 1644.
Flinders made three voyages to the southern ocean between 1791 and 1810. In the second voyage, George Bass and Flinders confirmed that Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) was an island. In the third voyage, Flinders circumnavigated the mainland of what was to be called Australia.
Heading back to England in 1803, Flinders' vessel needed urgent repairs at Isle de France (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.
Flinders' health had suffered, however, and although he reached home in 1810, he did not live to see the success of his widely praised book and atlas, A Voyage to Terra Australis. The location of his grave was lost by the mid-19th century but archaeologists, excavating a former burial ground near London's Euston railway station for the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, announced in January 2019 that his remains had been identified.
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1814 book by Matthew Flinders describing his circumnavigation of the Australian continentwd:Q3294529