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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 (17 of 41) (FLI25) Page 3

indebted to captain Bergeret, who when commanding the frigate La Virginie was taken
by Sir Edward Pellew and detained a long time in England: his good heart sym-
-pathises with me in spite of the malevolent rigour of the brutal governor De
. For four months the master of the Investigator and me, with Elder to at-
-tend us, were shut up in a house and not suffered to go out even to walk for our
health, though a French surgeon made a representation of its being absolutely ne-
-ceƒsary, neither was any person permitted to speak to meus but such as had leave
from the governor. At length I applied through the medium of my friend Bergeret
to be removed to a large house where the prisoners of war were confined, and where
a piece of ground inclosed by stone walls was allowed us to walk in. Here we have
since had a little society with some officers, our fellow prisoners, and with that and ex-
-ercise have now got restored to tolerable health. I have now applied for a further
remove and am in expectation of its being complied with. The French pretend to
treat me with respect in the midst of their injustice. They have abstained from
taking away my sword, and they send officers to me of some consequence when they
have any communication to make, and they allow 105 dollars per month for the
subsistence of Mr Aken, myself and servant.
    [illegible] told to me, that my peculiar case is made known to the Fre
    French government, and that until an answer is received
we must remain prisoners here. This answer cannot be expected in leƒs than three
months and may probably be five, and then if the governor should be ordered to set me
at liberty, as I expect, in 4 or 5 months after that I may be able to reach England; but
since it is uncertain what accounts of my being a spy may be sent to France, it is
also very ^ un certain what orders may come out. I place more reliance upon the demand to the
French government which I expect the Admiralty will make for me to be given up with
my book and charts by virtue of my paƒsport, than upon any justice or philanthro-
-py from the French.
    What would I not now give to know the state of thy health and the situations
of our friends and affairs. Comfort thyself, my dearest Ann; a few months more af-
-ter thou shalt have received this will restore me to thy arms, and in our happineƒs the
memory of this misery shall be buried, as a frightful dream.
    Be good enough to write to my mother, or if thou canst, visit her and give her
comfort. In me she may firmly depend upon finding a most sincere and affectionate friend:
I will be to her indeed as a son. To my young sisters give a kiƒs and my best love. To
thy good father and mother I am much indebted, and much bound in love, as I will
be to all those whom I shall find to have treated thee with kindneƒs; for in thee I live
and move and have my being, and whosoever loveth thee, him will I love.
    If my brother shall not have got into a ship in employment, tell him that
I think he should get into a ship in the channel fleet or into a cruizing frigate
until such time as I can come home to see what can be done. To my dear Belle, to
Thomas Franklin and the charming family, and to my cousin Henny and her family,
pray my dear, give my best love and remembrance; and my respects to my uncle
at Bolingbroke. This is the first opportunity that has occurred for writing to thee here,
and I write no other letter than this or my sister Susan and my mother should not
have been neglected. How much do I want to see every body, but above all, thee,
thou beloved of my heart. Thy most affectionate Mattw Flinders

    P.S. If my friend Wiles should have come to England pray present him
with my best esteem and regard; and say that I still hold him as one of the

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Related people
Fowler, Robert
Flinders, Samuel
Brown, Robert
Bauer (Bawer), Ferdinand
Westall, William
Elder, John
Thistle, John
Bergeret, (Captain)
Pellew, (Admiral) Edward, Viscount Exmouth
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Aken (Aiken), John
Flinders, Elizabeth
Franklin family
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)
Flinders, Henrietta
Flinders, Matthew
Wiles, James
Franklin, John
Lound, Sherrard
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Douglas, Charles
Franklin, Thomas
Flinders family

Port Jackson
Ile de France (Mauritius)

La Virginie

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