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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Letter from William Owen to Matthew Flinders (3 of 3) (FLI01)

Captain Matthew Flinders R.N.
      Standert Esqr Navy Agent
No 7 Mary Street rear
    3 Cliffords Inn Brook Street
                          New Road

Annotation:     Aug 6. 1812 W F W Owen

                Coast of Malabar
            H.M.S. Cornelia 7 January 1812

It is almost impoƒsible that a man of but common place obse-
-rvation cou'd live so long in the World as you or I and be {such or egegious}
deceived in appearances – On their Aƒsurance my Dear Capt Flinders
I believe that you will gladly hear of my succeƒs in promotion at last.
        To be sure Money has not flowed into my Coffers, but I have form'd
favor in the sight of my Superiors and have just been promoted into a
Death Vacancy to the Piémontaise which Ship I have exchanged for the
Cornelia – a very fine tho' Small frigate which sails like the Wind
before it, and free but not superlatively close. — before I
sailed on the Expedition to the Isle of France I received your letter
stating your grievances and immediately write off to Bengall
to Hope who found your Trunk with the Contents half eaten by
White Ants. He however forwarded it immediately to your addreƒs.
I was a servant to the Honorable E. I. John on that Expedition Against
our dungeon. They paid me handsomely but my Veƒsel joining to stay to stay
and my Veƒsel to Sail. – this did not please me.– Since that
time I have been very actively employed but the whole time on the
Coast of Java – to the down fall of which also I added my [illegible] and
now I believe myself on my way there again.
        I am happy to congratulate you on your promotion even so far
back as the time of our Embarkation at Port Louis – This is a sure mark
of their Lordships approbation but a mere expreƒsive one in that you
are ordered to print at their Expence – I need not say that I congratulate
you on these things, I congratulate your Country that free means are given
to merit to develop itself – Don't take too much pains, My Dear
Sir to be correct in your productions, I mean don't refine too much on the terms

in which you make us acquainted with your Knowledge and John Bull [illegible]
cherish you. — His Children are men of plain parts who don't mind a thing
being a little ungrammatically expreƒsed, provided it be expreƒsed in the
common ^ way and do not Smell of School — Excuse me for this hint but I am
afraid of your attempts to avoid every poƒsible [illegible] both in language [illegible]
us of your productions for a longer term — I speak as plain as a very intimate wou'd
do — But are we not Intimates? — Men who meet in Adversity, require not
in the Cold term of a [illegible] to become so — Indeed do you know that I esteemed
myself half happy that I was prevented from proceeding to the Isle of france
since French Wives however admired are some thing out of {le Foute}
But the letters of {Fouy} and his family seem to imply that I am not yet out
of the Scrape, if then you shou'd hear that I bring a Wife home with me
Consider that it will be one of your firmest admirers altho' she knew
you not, and that you will not stand acquitted of Slighted friendship if
you pay not your [illegible]. The papers will make you acquainted of the
recent stupendous events which have occurred in India — and when
we meet such Observations on the same as I may have for you will serve
as food for my Loquacity, and your patience and will probably furnish
me the means of cultivating your friendship with pleasure to both —
bring leƒs [illegible] than your Mathematics and Magnetics. Why politics
will serve for farces and interludes to these more useful
branches of human Knowledge ——— I am afraid to break out
[illegible] within the [illegible] limits of a letter because the first article
which you wou'd perceive wou'd remind you of our difference of Opinion
on the Government of this Ball of Earth & Water and things thereon —
You say General Principles. I say particular providence —
God help me My Weak fancy thinks to have seen his hand leading
Britons from here there & then back &c &c merely to fulfill his
Views ———- Oh! Flinders had you but seen us! Admirals, Generals,
Lords, Commoners, Soldiers, Sailors, of all them not one
knowing, when or what next — If ever the hand of God led
Men thus Earthly deeds Britons over Mauritius & Java {to his not their}
Conduct ——— How I scribble — but I should leave you here to laugh
a little at the half puritan —

Hope is Governor of [illegible] – Ramsden is dead —— My favorite
little Miƒs Butler is the only one unmarried of all ours and she might
have had our Meƒsmate Owen had he pleased her taste. ——- Roƒs is killed
^ at Java Waugh is Paymaster at Mauritius — Franklin's Master of the Phæton
Holloway Merchant of Bencoolen with Seven or Eight Thousand
Dollars of mine in his hand. — Home has shared the honor of Mau-
-ritius and Java — and I believe owes me something. Mr Tymon
has quitted the [illegible] & retires to Mauritius — At the India House
you may obtain some information from one of John Hunter's Captains
who Navigated Torres Straits, I cannot here enter into the detail neceƒsary
but shall write immediately to him to send you what he told me he
wou'd – a Copy of the Young Mans Chart – It is well done & seemingly
with great correctneƒs – one is sent to the India House from
the House of Scott Hunter & Co . Write to me to be left at
S H Grey Esqr Madras – and say are you likely soon
to be sent on such Expeditions. — I have endeavoured
to find by Enquiry if any Chance of the Mediterra-
-nean, you think of, do exist – but so far as I have [illegible]
(securely surface preƒs) – no signs have yet been found.
Be sent, Come along, there is not a spot from the South
End of Majindanus to New Holland that does not require
light. Shou'd I be able to spare a writer I will send you
a Memorandum on the South End of the Maldives — &c &c I have
several more. but if you come out this way I hope we may meet
shou'd my stay or your {celebrity} admit it. I met old Lynne in the
[illegible] & find you were right^ he never saw you at Mauritius by Jove he L ___d when in
prison – but Prison tales for discretes shou'd not be taken for
Orthodox Gospel – I fear he is not confirmed – When we met I was
not only his Superior but his Commodore – My stars what a Chance for
retaliatory Injury! I did so. I treated him with all the respect due
to a Superior, and gave him his orders in person by waiting on him
myself with much outward devotion & respect, not as a Sycophant, but
I hate to humble a Man I like at all – and Who can say he has no failings
His even a little Vanity – Mine may be something Worse.–—–

Scribbling this as I have done, the chance is that you will not make
ten following words of sense out of it — but by Jove I will not read it over
again, to correct — If it tells you the news I have. I aƒsure you
that you live in no Mans Esteem and Consideration more than
in those of your faithful fellow Sufferer W F W Owen It will then
merely say enough –- –- Adieu

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Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Owen, (Captain) William Fitzwillam
Franklin, John
Holloway, (Mr)
Tymon, (Mr)
Hope, Hugh

Torres Straits
East India House
Ile de France (Mauritius)

Piedmontaise (Piémontaise)

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