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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Letter from Matthew Flinders to Ann Flinders (24 of 41) (FLI25)

Mrs Flinders
      Partney near Spilsby

May 31st           No 32

                    Wilhems Plains in the Isle of France
                                  Dec. 11. 1806

    I wrote yesterday, my best love, a letter to Mr Tyler proposing to him
a compensation for thy board and accommodation, to which I hope he will
agree. As mentioned in my last letter to thee, of Nov. 27., the sum I have
proposed is thirty or forty pounds per annum; which of the two I leave to thee
and to Mr Tyler to settle. In specifying this sum, I expect to be rather
under than over the increase of expense he may be at on thy account; be-
ing satisfied that the offer of a sum which should be more than a compensa-
-tion would be refused. I cannot tell what mode will be the most conve-
venient for making the payment, but have written to Mr A. Standert to
double the £40 per annum he has been in the habit of advancing to thee,
that is, when he receives thy order to that effect; I however suppose, that
the interest of the sum left to me by Mr Ward will be conveniently substi-
-tuted as a part: thou wilt make such arrangements on this head as are
best calculated for the completion of my intention, and for our interest.
      From there being no more than £750 in the three per cents reduced,
which, if purchased in at £60 will amount only to about £460, I per-
ceive that there were several sums due to me not then received ^ by Standert; most pro-
bably my first balance bill as purser of the I., amounting to about £130
and my compensation pay for four servants, which, up to Dec. 1803 only,
should amount to more than £100. There is also a second balance bill
amounting to a sum nearly similar to the first, but the derangement of my
papers at the shipwreck will not, I fear, permit any settlement of it un-
-til my return. This £230 placed in the three per cents at the present prices,
would make the stock in that fund nearly £1150. I do not understand
either why Mr Fowler paid £17 to Standert in lieu of £33.10 which was
the difference between us, unless he advanced money in China to J. Franklin
and Sherrard Lound which he has charged to me.
      The account that Samuel gives me of the disposal of my late dear fa-
thers property is satisfactory, and I doubt not that Mr Tyler, with thy con-
currence, will dispose of what is left me by my uncle Ward in a secure and

profitable manner. On my arrival in England, if the E.I. Company shall
think the circumstances of our voyage of sufficient consideration to com-
plete their promise, I shall have nearly £200 to receive from them, and I
hope also some pay due to me; so that upon the whole, my love, if I live
to return to England and get all these matters arranged, there is a pros-
pect that the interest of the whole, added to my half pay, will enable us to
live with some comfort, even should not the admiralty chuse [sic] to give me
employment. If any indemnification for what I have suffered here should
be made by the French government, it will alter the circumstances in our
favour; and in the ^ above calculation I make no allowance for the advantages
that may possibly accrue from the publication of my voyages.
      Having thus discussed the subjects of thy arrangement with Mr
Tyler and of our general interest, I return to those of love and friendship.
It is now my dearest friend fourteen months since the date of thy last
letter received here. I much fear that some subsequent ones have been lost or
detained, since the opportunities of writing by the way Mr Aken informed
thee are constant. The arrival of thy letters forms the greatest epochs in my
present monotonous life, and I sigh for them as for the most desired of
blessings; next to the liberation which should permit me to fly to thy arms
they afford me the greatest happiness I can receive. The improvement in
thy health, the constancy of thy affection, and the continued kindness of
our friends to thee, are the subjects which I call to my aid, to keep off
that depression of spirits which so many causes are ever ready to excite, and
I receive consolation from them. Cease not then, my best beloved, to write
often if thou wouldst preserve me from distraction. A six months
longer silence, without such an increase in my prospects as to give
me the strongest assurance of obtaining liberty may, alas, — be pro-
ductive of disastrous consequences. Such an accession of despair as
I experienced in September, would be more than my mind could sup-
-port. As I told thee in my last, should no important change take
place before the end of May next, I must and will attempt some-
-thing. Great risks must be run and sacrifices made, but my ho-

nour shall remain unstained: no captain in His Majestys navy shall have
to blush in calling me a brother officer. But enough of this, and perhaps too
much to thee. Depend upon my resolution and foresight, and leave the rest
to Providence.
      The letter from Samuel which accompanied these, gave me much
satisfaction, though I like not that he should remain unemployed in expec-
tation of my return; before this, however, my letters will have shewn him
how little dependence is to be put upon this event, and he will now be ex-
erting himself for his own honour and advantage in some active situation.
By this occasion I have written him a very long letter.
      No promotion, it seems, has taken place amongst my officers, not even
with Mr Fowler; not will there I apprehend, at least in consequence of our
voyage, until my return: this is another subject which presses upon me.
Of James Franklin I have heard nothing, but see his arrival in India men-
tioned in the Madras gazette. The letter which thou hast intrusted ^ to his care but
still more [illegible] of twenty pages which thou wast afraid, and with reason
    [illegible] hazard, I desire very much to see, but most probably
    shall never obtain that pleasure in the I. of France.
Request, my love, that Mr Tyler and thy sister would give me a few
lines when thou writest to me: from my mother-in-law also and from
Thos Franklin I have ^ not once heard in this island. Tell the latter, that I have
written several letters to him from hence, but shall do so no more un-
less he will write to me sometimes; nevertheless I request him and Wil-
lingham, Mrs Booth, and all the family to accept my friendly remem-
brances and to be assured of my best wishes. The letters that will accompa-
ny this, are addressed to Sir J. B. Mr Tyler, Isabella, Samuel, my Mother-
in-law, Hannah, Mr Aken, Standert, and colonel Barclay of New York.
      Thank thee, my love, for the verses thou hast sent me. Miss Sophie
was so pleased with them, that she has translated them into
French verse; I do not, however, think the translation quite equal to the origi-
nal. Her eldest sister Delphine desires me to present thee with her compli-
ments: she is a very good and amiable young lady, and would be happy to
make acquaintance and friendship with thee. My faithful Elder is in good
health, and at this moment employed at another table near me in writing
a correct copy of my narrative: my health also is pretty good at this time.
      Adieu, my dearest friend and only love, Believe me to be with
the most ardent affection           thine most faithfully
                                          Mattw Flinders

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Standert, A.
Fowler, Robert
Lound, Sherrard
Flinders, Samuel
Franklin family
Aken (Aiken), John
Flinders, Elizabeth
Franklin, Thomas
Banks, Sir Joseph
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)
Elder, John
Flinders, Matthew

Ile de France (Mauritius)

Words and phrases
East India Co

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