warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/iovannet/public_html/explorion/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Seas

The subject of this book died one hundred years ago. Within his forty years of life, he discovered a very large area of what is now an important region of the earth; he participated in stirring events which are memorable in modern history; he applied a vigorous and original mind to the advancement of knowledge, with useful results; and he was the victim of circumstances which, however stated, were peculiarly unfortunate, and must evoke the sympathy of everyone who takes the trouble to understand them.

Flinders' actual discovery work on the south coast was completed when he met Baudin in Encounter Bay; for the whole coast line to the east had been found a short while before he appeared upon it, though he was not aware of this fact when completing his voyage. For about a hundred and fifty miles, from the mouth of the Murray eastward to Cape Banks, the credit of discovery properly belongs to Baudin, and Flinders duly marked his name upon the chart.

[The following is a fairly literal translation of Peron's report on Port Jackson, furnished to General Decaen at Ile-de-France.]

Port N.-O., 20th Frimaire, Year 12.* (* Note 16: i.e., Port North-West (Port Louis), December 11, 1802.)

Citizen Captain-General,

Matthew Flinders was the third of the triad of great English sailors by whom the principal part of Australia was revealed. A poet of our own time, in a line of singular felicity, has described it as the "last sea-thing dredged by sailor Time from Space; "* (* Bernard O'Dowd, Dawnward, 1903.) and the piecemeal, partly mysterious, largely accidental dragging from the depths of the unknown of a land so immense and bountiful makes a romantic chapter in geographical history. All the great seafaring peoples contributed something towards the result.

The condition of Le Geographe when she made her appearance outside Port Jackson, on June 20th, 1802, was in striking and instructive contrast with that of the Investigator on her entry forty-two days before. Flinders had not a sick man on board. His crew finished the voyage a company of bronzed, jolly, hearty sailors, fit for any service. Baudin, on the contrary, had not a single man on board who was free from disease.

Among the Flinders Papers is a list of names given by Flinders to points on the Australian coast, with his reasons for doing so. The list is incomplete, but has served as the basis of the following catalogue, for help in the enlargement of which I am greatly indebted to Mr. Walter Jeffery: -

Young Flinders received his preparatory education at the Donington free school. This was an institution founded and endowed in 1718 by Thomas Cowley, who bequeathed property producing nowadays about 1200 pounds a year for the maintenance of a school and almshouses. It was to be open to the children of all the residents of Donington parish free of expense, and in addition there was a fund for paying premiums on the apprenticeship of boys.

Preparations for the continuance of researches in the Investigator proceeded speedily during June and July, 1802. Friendly relations were maintained with the staff of the French ships, who on one occasion dined on board with Flinders, and were received with a salute of eleven guns. A new chart of the south coast was then shown to Baudin, with the part which he had discovered marked with his name.

Hat Hill, named by Flinders from Cook's suggestion that it "looked like the crown of a hat." Red Point. Martin's Isles, after the boy who accompanied them. Providential Cove (native name, Wattamowlee).

VOYAGE OF THE FRANCIS:

Green Cape. Cape Barren Island. Clarke Island, Hamilton's Rocks, after members of the crew of the Sydney Cove. Kent's Group, after the Captain of the Supply. Armstrong's Channel, after the Master of the Supply. Preservation Island.

VOYAGE OF THE NORFOLK:

Bligh's second expedition was authorised by the admiralty in March, 1791, and the commander was consulted as to "what sort of vessel may be best adapted to the object in view." The Providence, a 28-gun ship, was chosen, with the brig Assistant as a tender. The latter was placed in charge of Lieutenant Nathaniel Portlock. Flinders, eager for sea experience, joined the Providence as a midshipman on May 8th, and thus had the advantage of being under the immediate direction of her captain.

Syndicate content