Mathew Flinders was a British sailor who, because of his extraordinary discovery, ranks alongside other famous explorers like as Christopher Columbus. The continent Australia, as the world knows it, was discovered by this illustrious explorer. Flinders began his profession at the juvenile age of fifteen and went on to investigate various locations, particularly those in the east of England. He went on to command a number of ships, including the ‘HMS Investigator’ and ‘HMS Reliance.’ During his travels, the explorer encountered many notable people, including botanist Sir Joseph Banks and sailor Nicolas Baudin. However, Mathew’s glory days came to an end in 1803, when he was apprehended by French forces for allegedly entering their country illegally. After years in captivity, the sailor was finally allowed to return to England. Flinders constructed an atlas called “Voyage to Terra Australis” after his return, which was a masterpiece and helped many subsequent explorers navigate. Many places and organizations in Australia have been named after him as a mark of respect. ‘Flinders Ranges National Park’ and ‘Flinders University’ are two of these places. As a testament to his discovery, the postal service had even created stamps.
Childhood and Adolescence
Mathew Flinders was born on March 16, 1774, in Donington, Lincolnshire, to parents Susannah and Mathew Flinders. He attended a local grammar school for his primary education.
He was appointed as a member of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom in 1789 when he was just fifteen years old. He was first assigned to the ship ‘HMS Alert,’ then to the ship ‘HMS Scipio.’
The next year, he embarked on a journey to Tahiti, a Pacific island, alongside British navy commander William Bligh. One of the purposes of this journey was to transport breadfruit.
The Career of Matthew
Following that, Flinders was invited to join the crew of the ‘HMS Reliance,’ which also contained Captain John Hunter, the Governor of New South Wales. This ship sailed to ‘Port Jackson,’ in New South Wales, in 1795.
Mathew made friends with George Bass, a surgeon he met aboard the ship, on this voyage. These two later traveled together to destinations such as Botany Bay, New South Wales, and Lake Illawarra.
In 1798, Flinders was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and given command of the warship ‘Norfolk.’ The goal of this tour was to visit areas like Furneaux’s Islands and Van Diemen’s Islands, which are located between Victoria and Tasmania. ‘Flinder’s Islands’ was the name given to one of the larger islands discovered during this period.
In 1799, the sailor boarded the ‘Norfolk,’ a vessel that sailed to Moreton Bay on Australia’s eastern coast.
Mathew met Sir Joseph Banks, an English naturalist, and botanist, on one of his journeys.
Banks was so impressed with Mathew’s abilities that he assisted the sailor in commanding the ship ‘HMS Investigator’ in 1801. The purpose of the trip was to explore the Dutch coastline.
During this journey, Flinders also discovered a length of Australia’s southern coast, which he named Cape Leeuwin.
This sailor noticed a French vessel named ‘Geographe,’ captained by the great explorer Nicolas Baudin while patrolling the seas in 1802.
Both Baudin and Flinders got along swimmingly and even shared their stories. For obvious reasons, the location where the two explorers first met was named ‘Encounter Bay.’
In 1803, Flinders arrived in Sydney, but he desired to return to England, his motherland. After failing to find a ship that he could command, the explorer sailed as a passenger on the ‘HMS Purpose.’
However, while Mathew was on board, a catastrophe struck in the shape of a shipwreck. His foresight aided in the rescue of the passengers.
The explorer was stuck on the French coast in 1803 while returning to England on the vessel ‘Cumberland’ due to ship difficulties that made it difficult to sail farther.
He was arrested by the French governor Charles Mathieu Isidore Decaen on suspicion and released a few years later.
After arriving in England in 1810, this famed sailor began work on an atlas based on his travel experiences. Four years later, this piece was renamed ‘Voyage To Terra Australis’ and released.
Matthew’s Major Projects
Flinders is most known for coining the name “Australia,” which he named after a region he discovered on one of his expeditions. In a letter to Botanist Sir Joseph Banks, he used the term “Australia” to refer to the area he had discovered.
Personal History and Legacy
In the year 1801, this explorer married his close friend Ann Chappelle. After that, the couple welcomed a daughter named Anne into their family. Due to his imprisonment, the adventurer had to be separated from his wife for nine years.
Flinders died in London in 1814, at the age of 40, from a heart attack.
In Australia, a number of places and organizations have been named after this renowned explorer. ‘Flinders Ranges National Park,’ ‘Mathew Flinders Girls Secondary College,’ and ‘Flinders Street,’ all of which are in Adelaide, are among the most well-known.
Several stamps have been published in Mathew’s honor by the Australian Postal Service. In 1964, the first of them was released.
Estimated Net worth
Matthew Flinders is one of the wealthiest and most well-known explorers. Matthew Flinders’s net worth is estimated to be at $2 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Mathew’s unwillingness to dine with French Governor Decaen offended him, and Decaen was forced to extend Mathew’s sentence for a few more years.