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Transcript of Matthew Flinders
An Australian Explorer Is Born
Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) was born in Lincolnshire in England. Flinders joined the navy where he trained as a navigator. Flinders wanted to become a sailor and explorer after reading the book Robinson Crusoe.
Meeting George Bass
He met George Bass, a ship's doctor, when they were both sailing to Australia on the Reliance. They became very good friends and were to go on many journeys of exploration together. Flinders was to first man to circumnavigate Australia.
The Name Australia
It was Flinders who suggested the name "Australia" and it was adopted in 1824. Several places have been named after him such as Flinders Island.
Van Diemen's Land Is An Island
Flinders had been doing some exploring on his own and believed that he could prove that Van Diemen's Land was an island. Bass and Flinders convinced Governor Hunter that another expedition should be set.
The Loss Of A Friend
In 1798, Bass and Flinders sailed the Norfolk through Bass Strait and round Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), proving that it was an island. This was to be their last voyage together as Bass disappeared mysteriously in the Pacific Ocean.
Returning To England
Flinders returned to England in 1800. While he was here, he became married. The British government asked him to make an even bigger voyage - right around Australia. Leaving his wife, Anne, behind in England.
Flinders was captured by the French on the island of Mauritius in 1803 until 1810. They claimed that he was a spy. He was later allowed to return to England. When he reached London, he was 39, but looked much older.
The Death Of An Australian Explorer
He died on the day that his book was published. Flinders proved that Australia was not a series of islands, but one island. His charts were so accurate, that they were used for many years after his death.