Navigator and scientist, grandfather of the Egyptologist William Flinders-Petrie. Born in Lincolnshire, Flinders eveloped a hankering for maritime exploration after reading 'Robinson Crusoe'. After receiving a Grammar School education, he enlisted in the Navy in 1789, serving as a Midshipman with William Bligh in 1791 (fortunately, not during the famous Mutiny, although the Tahiti destination was the same!). He later saw action in the Battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794, and in 1795 sailed to Australia, where he explored Botany Bay, St George's River, and Norfolk Island. Three years later, by now promoted to Lieutenant, he returned to the area and carried out hydrographic work at the Furneaux Islands and the Norfolk Islands, thereafter circumnavigating Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). He was the first to prove that it was an island, and explored some of the Queensland coast before returning to England. He published 'Observations on the Coasts of Van Diemen's Land', 'On Bass's Strait and its Islands', and 'On Part of the Coasts of New South Wales', and was promoted to Commander. In 1801 he wed Anne Chappell, and soon embarked on a voyage that would separate him from his wife for nine years. As Commander of H.M.S. Investigator, he received a mandate to explore Australia's 'Unknown Coast'. He reached the western extreme of the Unknown Coast on 28 January 1802 and charted Fowler Bay, Kangaroo Island, Spencer Gulf, and Gulf St Vincent before heading east. After overhauling the ship, Flinders surveyed the Queensland Coast before realising that the ship was beginning to fall apart. He charted the Gulf of Carpentaria before giving up the Survey, and arrived at Prt Jackson in June 1803. Sailing in HMS Porpoise with the prpose of securing a new survey ship, Flinders was shipwrecked but navigated the ship's cutter 700 miles back to Port Jackson. Returning toward England on the unfit Cumberland, he sought assistance at Mauritius in 1803. Unfortunately, the island was held by the French - and war had broken out between England and France. The Governor of Mauritius, De Caen, arrested Flinders, although it was a liberal imprisonment - Flinders was allowed to stay with friends on the island. Flinders spent his time working on his journals, log books and papers. He was on Mauritius until 1810, when he was allowed home. He prepared his monumental work 'A Voyage to Terra Australis', published on 18 July 1814, the day before he died. He was buried at the extra-parochial churchyard of St James's Piccadilly, in Hampstead Road, but later alterations to the churchyard have obliterated his grave.
St James Chapel (destroyed)
London Borough of Camden
Greater London, England
Plot: unmarked, churchyard now Gardens to west of Euston station
Created by: Mark McManus
Record added: Dec 19, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 17079661