Captain Matthew Flinders RN, Donington, Lincolnshire

Captain Matthew Flinders RN, Donington, Lincolnshire

Born in Donington, Matthew Flinders was a Captain in the Royal Navy, a navigator and cartographer.

Flinders led the first circumnavigation of Australia and identified it as a continent. However, with Britain at war with France, 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 later taken up by Governor Macquarie.

His health had suffered, however, and although he reached home in 1810, he did not live to see the publication of his widely praised book and atlas, A Voyage to Terra Australis.

There is a statue of Flinders in London and memorials to him and his family in Donington Parish Church but in Australia his name is now associated with over 100 geographical features and places - Flinders Island in Bass Strait, Flinders Range National Park, Flinders University, the suburb Flinders Park and Flinders Street in Adelaide, Flinders Bay in Western Australia and many more.

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