Matthew Flinders

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Matthew Flinders
BirthplaceDonington, Lincolnshire, England
Royal Navy Ships Officer

Flinders, Matthew,

1774–1814, English naval captain and hydrographer, noted for his charting and coast surveys of Australia and Tasmania. From 1795 to 1799 and again from 1801 to 1803 he made valuable maps and charts of the water and coasts, circumnavigating both Australia and Tasmania. He is said to have been the first to perceive and correct compass errors caused by iron ships. He wrote A Voyage to Terra Australis (1814). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie was his grandson.


See biography by J. D. Mack (1966); study by M. Colwell (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Flinders, Matthew


Born Mar. 16, 1774, in Donington, Lincolnshire; died July 19, 1814, in London. English explorer of Australia.

In 1797–98, Flinders circumnavigated Tasmania with G. Bass on the Norfolk, establishing that it was an island. From 1801 to 1803, on the Investigator, he explored and mapped the southern coast of Australia and discovered Spencer Gulf, the Gulf of Saint Vincent, Yorke Peninsula, and some coastal islands, including Kangaroo Island, which had been discovered somewhat earlier by a French expedition under N. Baudin. In 1802, Flinders explored the eastern and northern coasts of Australia; he plotted the Great Barrier Reef and made a survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 1814 he proposed that the continent be called Australia instead of New Holland.

A number of geographical features have been named after Flinders, including an island off Tasmania; a bay in the Indian Ocean; a passage and reefs in the Great Barrier Reef; and, in Australia, a mountain range, a river, a city, a bay, and the settlement of Flinders Bay, in the southwest.


A Voyage to Terra Australis, vols. 1–2 (with atlas). London, 1814.


Svet, la. M. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Avstralii i Okeanii. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Matthew Flinders is a towering figure in Australian history--the first to chart our coastline and the leading champion for naming the country Australia.
The last five years have seen a sudden outpouring of books celebrating the French expedition to the great South Land and the meeting in 1802, in what is now called Encounter Bay, of the French expedition under the command of the ill-starred Nicolas Baudin, who would die of tuberculosis at Mauritius on the way home, and the British ships, commanded by the young, ambitious, and equally ill-starred Matthew Flinders, who would spend seven years on Mauritius before the rabidly anti-British governor allowed him to return to England.
On the afternoon of 17 February 1803, Captain Matthew Flinders rounded Cape Wilberforce at the northeastern corner of Arnhem Land, his quest to extend the English story of the discovery of Australia.
The other short-listed books are: Mussolini, by Richard Bosworth; The Life of Matthew Flinders, by Miriam Estensen; Broken Song, by Barry Hill; and James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia, by Pamela Statham-Drew, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
One of them was a young officer in the Royal Navy by the name of Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), a Lincolnshire-man from an unlikely background--both his father and his grandfather were surgeons.
Basically, the exhibit is the work of William Matthew Flinders Petrie - who was apparently the equivalent of the Victorian Indiana Jones.
James Cook and botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who hired artist Sydney Parkinson to draw their discoveries, including the first sighting of a kangaroo; Matthew Flinders, who charted the coastline of Australia along with botanist Robert Brown and artist Ferdinand Bauer, who used a paint-by-numbers technique to draw his exquisite sketches and color them in later; Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently came up with proof for the theory of natural selection; and the Challenger expedition, which was the first government-funded study of oceanography.
Michael Cantwell and Matthew Flinders of RMT Accountants and Business Advisors worked with Mrs Reay on all aspects of the acquisition, while legal advice was provided by Craig Malarkey, partner in corporate and commercial Team at Tilly Bailey & Irvine LLP.
170 years later Matthew Flinders decided to retain the name of the islands, though he slightly modified it to Wessel.
Matthew Flinders, 20, shown right, who attended the college from 2012 - 2014, has been offered a contract as a dancer in Cinderella at The Sands Centre in Carlisle.
Fran Butt--Teacher Librarian, Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim