Cruisers Forum

  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-01-2019, 01:15   #1
Senior Cruiser
IslandHopper's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,166
Remains of explorer Matthew Flinders found

Remains of explorer Matthew Flinders found under London train station during HS2 dig, ending 200-year mystery

The remains of explorer Matthew Flinders have been found at a burial site beneath Euston station in London, 216 years after he circumnavigated Australia.

His remains were identified by archaeologists working on the controversial HS2 high-speed rail project, thanks to a well-preserved lead breastplate.

"I was rather hoping that there would be a ship or an anchor — something that linked him to his nautical endeavours," Helen Wass, the project's heritage chief, said.

"But it's just so exciting to see that here and to know that this was his grave."

Flinders circumnavigated Australia between 1801 and 1803.

Among his crew on HMS Investigator was Indigenous sailor Bungaree, credited with being the first Australian to sail around the continent.

Flinders died at the age of 40, the day after the book detailing his journey, A Voyage to Terra Australis, was published.

He was interred in what was then St James's burial ground on July 23, 1814.

For years, experts thought the explorer was buried under what became platform 15 at Euston station. But while Flinders's remains were found at Euston, they were not under platform 15.

"The records show that he was buried here. He died in a house not very far away from this site," Ms Wass said.

The cemetery at St James soon became overcrowded. Originally designed for 16,000 bodies, it quickly expanded to about 60,000.

Euston station expanded into the burial ground in the 1840s. Flinders's headstone was removed, and it was feared his remains had been lost forever.

Now, it's the site of one of the largest infrastructure projects in British history — the $101 billion HS2 rail link between London and Birmingham.

As part of the painstaking project, a team of archaeologists and specialists are exhuming about 40,000 graves.

Many will never be identified, but the unearthing of the lead breastplate attached to Flinders's coffin confirmed the discovery of the British navigator.

"The archaeologists go through a very rigorous process, so once they identify a grave area you can tell by the different coloured soil," Ms Wass said.

"You get a grave-shaped patch of ground and then they carefully use their hands and their tools to scrape away the soil.

"Obviously as soon as you start to see any type of coffin plate you know that that might have biographical information about the person who's buried there.

"Of course, he's at the slightly more affluent end of the burial ground.

"St James Chapel is just beyond his grave, and generally the richer you were … the closer you were buried to church, to God".

The burial site includes the remains of other notable figures, including the founder of Christie's auction house and American boxer Bill Richmond, but Flinders is its most renowned resident.

"This is a very exciting moment for Australia," Australian High Commissioner to the UK George Brandis said outside the station, standing beside a statute of Captain Flinders.

"It is serendipitous the discovery of the remains of Matthew Flinders, one of the great early explorers, should come in the week of Australia Day".

General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia, 1814-1822.

A painting of Matthew Flinders who died at age 40

Flinders's remains will undergo testing for more clues about his extraordinary life before he is interred with the other bodies at an undecided site.

Archaeologists frequently discover remains underneath London during digging works for rail links.

Flinders University honorary senior researcher Gillian Dooley, said Flinders — the university's namesake — could now "be treated with the respect he deserves".

"Even in death, after his short and unsettled life, he hasn't been allowed to rest in peace in the English countryside, which is what he wished for. Let's hope this can now be achieved," Dr Dooley said.

In 2013, 20 Roman skulls were uncovered in a dig for the city's Crossrail project.

Archaeologists said it was possible the remains, found along the River Thames, dated back to a rebellion by the British queen Boudicca.

In 2015, experts uncovered a mass grave of thousands of plague victims underneath Liverpool Street station.
IslandHopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2019, 02:38   #2
Registered User
Alan Mighty's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Moreton Bay
Boat: US$4,550 of lead under a GRP hull with cutter rig
Posts: 2,133
Re: Remains of explorer Matthew Flinders found

At Scarborough Boat Harbour, we're ambivalent about Matty F. That's partly because of what we see to the N across Deception Bay: Bribie Island.

On the plus side, for one there's the chain of learning: Jimmy Cook taught navigation to Billy Bligh who taught navigation to Matty F.

For two, there's the chart history. I and may others have seen Matty's charts on which he had marked Jimmy C's work and then done his own surveying and hydrography. Most impressive.

For three, there's Matty's log of his work in Moreton Bay. He was accurate and respectful and, for instance, recorded that on what we today call Bribie Island he saw and entered "houses" built and used by the indigenes and he saw and recorded (and perhaps stole) fishing nets that he assessed as up to the quality of the best nets made in Europe.

That's at a time when most other whitepfellas were ignoring the evidence of aboriginal agriculture, aquaculture, landscape modification and so on, denying that indigenes built anything more than a temporary humpy, all for the purpose of denying land rights and dehumanising indigenous Australians so that acts of genocide against them were 'excusable' and 'inevitable'.

On the negative side is what happened at what he called "Skirmish Point" on Bribie Island (today's charts have a Skirmish Point, but it is not where Matty had his skirmish with the locals - that most likely happened at the location now called Bongaree, named after the indigenous man who worked with Matty).

What caused the Skirmish?

Matty records it in his logbook.

He went ashore, armed and with companions (including Bongaree) wearing a cabbage tree hat. It was not the fashion of the day among the Bribie locals to wear a cabbage tree hat. So one local man pointed at Matty and laughed.

Matty's response, recorded in his log, was to shoot the man dead!

Eventually most if not all of the people of that nation were killed. Not by Matty, but by other whitepfellas.

A few people still living claim their ancestors were part of that original nation.

There are a few bits of the landscape modification still visible. One suburb on the Redcliffe peninsula is called Kippa Ring after the bora ring, still visible, in which youth learned to be men and from which they graduated as men (that's why it is called Kippa ring: a kippa was a youth about to graduate as a man; sort of equivalent to an apprentice or a university student). On the mainland side of Pumicestone Passage there's at least one other bora ring still extant.

Most of the highways around, from Gympie Road (part of Highway 1) running north from Brisbane, the Anzac Avenue running from Highway 1 into the Redcliffe peninsula, and much of the roadway running from Highway 1 to the bridge over the Pumicestone Passage, run on the alignment of aboriginal trading paths that were there before Matty arrived.

For that matter, Matty anchored somewhere off today's Bongaree, put a longboat down and had his crew row a way up Pumicestone Passage, into a creek, and then followed aboriginal trading paths to the Glasshouse Mountains. And they even climbed some way up one of the Glasshouse Mts.

So you can see why we're all conflicted about Matty F.

The land always was, always will be, aboriginal land. Pay the rent, whitepfella.
“Fools say that you can only gain experience at your own expense, but I have always contrived to gain my experience at the expense of others.” - Otto von Bismarck
Alan Mighty is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Wanted: Sailing from port douglas to lizard island and flinders is tookawile Crew Archives 0 02-07-2013 19:13
Matthew Flinders' Cat BlueSun Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 9 14-05-2012 14:09
flinders island islandspirit7 Crew Archives 0 27-09-2008 19:49
In Flinders' Wake markje4 Pacific & South China Sea 2 16-03-2007 23:30
Life Happens - But the Dream Remains markpj23 General Sailing Forum 17 04-09-2006 21:50

Advertise Here

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:01.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.