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Matthew Flinders' narrative of his voyage in the schooner FRANCIS in 1798

Date: 1946
Overall: 320 mm, 0.65 kg
Medium: Ink on paper in cloth binding with gilt
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00018149
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    This is number 506 of 750 limited edition copies printed by Golden Cockerel Press in 1946. It details the voyage of Matthew Flinders as a passenger on board the schooner FRANCIS and was taken from a manuscript he wrote, now held in the State Library of Victoria. In 1788 FRANCIS was sent to salvage cargo from the wreck of the SYDNEY COVE, lost in one of Australia's first attempts to trade with Bengal. On this expedition Flinders' gained experience in survey work despite the limitations in equipment and his status as a passenger. The voyage generated his interest to chart Bass Strait in 1789 and prove Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) was an island.
    SignificanceThis limited edition book contains information compiled by the famous explorer Matthew Flinders in his first official attempt to conduct cartographic survey work of the Australian coast.
    HistoryIn 1801-1803 Matthew Flinders became the first European to circumnavigate Australia and prove that New Holland and New South Wales were one continent. He was also the first to consistently use the term 'Australia', and produced charts so accurate some were still used well into the 20th century. His achievements made Flinders one of the most respected and famous maritime explorers of the 19th century.

    In 1788, prior to his circumnavigation of Australia Flinders requested and was granted permission by the NSW Governor to conduct geographical observations on board the schooner FRANCIS. The primary goal of the expedition was to salvage cargo from the SYDNEY COVE wreck near Preservation Island. The expedition was Flinders' first attempt to officially survey Australia's coastal geography. The trip sparked his ongoing interest in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), Bass Strait and the exploration of Australia's unknown coast.

    Although he only had 12 days to conduct the work Flinders made insightful descriptions of the wildlife and vegetation around Bass Strait, conducting survey work and discovering the Kent Group of islands. He also observed the sea currents and weather patterns around Preservation Island and theorised there was a body of water situated between Van Diemen's Land and mainland Australia. His report along with information collected by the explorer George Bass was of vital importance to the emerging colony, as a strait allowed quicker passages for ships travelling to and from England.

    Flinders' notes and journals from the FRANCIS expedition were edited by Geoffrey Rawson and published by Golden Cockerel Press in 1946 - a successful limited edition publishing company which operated in London, England during the 1930s-1950s. They specialised in historical research and the reproduction of books, manuscripts and journals related to Australian and Pacific maritime history.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Matthew Flinders' narrative of his voyage in the schooner FRANCIS in 1798

    Primary title: Matthew Flinders' narrative of his voyage in the schooner FRANCIS in 1798

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