Biography: Matthew Flinders

Biography: Matthew Flinders

Matthew Flinders: Biography Word Count: 1620 Matthew Flinders was a great British navigator. He first mapped and circumnavigated a large a mysterious landmass which he would later name Australia. Reminders of Flinders exploits can be found in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Even his cat Trim has a statue that can be seen outside the State Library in Sydney. However, to his crew and people under him in the Royal Navy Flinders was an arrogant and occasionally reckless man who could often never see another’s point of view. Flinders’ job was not easy. He was told to chart and make scientific notes on the coast of “The Great Southern Land.’ He had to do this with one unseaworthy vessel and only a few scientific staff where as his rivals, the French, had several boats and the best materials and the best staff of the age. Captain Nicolas Baudin, who was sent by Napoleon, “returned to Paris with thousands of specimens, and their reports were illustrated with some of the finest natural history art ever produced on a voyage of discovery.” He has been described as a typical Aussy hero “? struggling against impossible odds yet overcoming them. He was a spectacular man who achieved a lot even if fame and fortune was elusive during his lifetime. Matthew Flinders was born on the 16th March 1774 at Donnignton, Lincolnshire in England. Usually in a small town like Donnington you would work in agriculture as a farmer. However Flinders family were a long line of doctors and were reasonably wealthy. Matthew’s father wanted him to continue the family profession and become a country surgeon. However as a child Matthew read Robinson Crusoe “? a story about a shipwrecked person written by Daniel Defoe. This was his calling to a life at sea. Matthew was inspired but did not no know what to do so he wrote to his cousin John who was in the Royal Navy, and asked him how to persue his dream. John told him what to read in orde…


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