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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 (33 of 41) (FLI25)

                        On board the Harriet cartel
                                      Isle of France May 11. 1810

      At length, my dearest friend, I have the happiness to tell thee of
my approaching departure from this island. This cartel brought prisoners
from India about five months since, and a request from Lord Minto,
the governor-general of India, that I might be allowed to leave the island
with the other English officers. This request, which had been so often before
refused, the general was at length brought to comply with, by Mr Hugh
the commissary of prisoners, whose prudent conduct and amiable
manners have succeeded in conciliating the good will of a man, who
who [sic] was thought to be intractable.
      I am permitted to return to my country on condition "not
"to serve in a hostile manner against France and its allies during the
"continuance of the present war"; but under the pretext that the French
government having has not finally decided upon my case, my journal,
and any account ^ of my vessel and ^ of every thing taken from me, is refused; from
whence, and to get back my parole, if not to obtain some justice, I shall
be obliged to go to France soon after my arrival in England, if the Ad-
does not oppose it.
      If the general had permitted me to go to the Cape of G. Hope in
the French cartel which sailed from hence in January last, I should pro-
bably have been very near to England at this time; the forcing me to go to

India in order to reach England is, I hope, his last spurt of animosity. It
is now five or six weeks since this cartel was to sail, but the arrival of our
cruizers again off the island, after the hurricane season, has prolonged our de-
tention. At length yesterday was fixed for our sailing, when the Cape cartel
came in sight, and we are still kept in order, as I suppose, to know what has
been the conduct of the governor of that place towards the French prisoners.
I flatter myself with some hope of receiving some letters by this occasion from
the Cape, and perhaps from thee, my dear friend, from whom I am without
any letter for more than three years.
      I now write to thee in the hope that I may find an occasion
of getting the letter on board one of our cruizers in going out of the
port; having little or no hope that I can myself quit the cartel to go
directly to the Cape; the commander of our squadron having, as we are
told, promised to take no person out of this ship. In going to India,
the time of my arrival ^ at home will probably be prolonged from four to six
months; so that I cannot hope to reach London before January and
perhaps February next, although we should be allowed to sail tomorrow,
which is very uncertain even yet. Before filling my paper any further, I
will wait to see whether I have any and what letters in the French cartel;
only requesting thee, as I write to no other person but thee, to inform Sir
Joseph Banks
of this intelligence, and also all our principal friends,
saying that I am in good health and better spirits than I have long been.

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Related people
Minto, Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of (Lord Minto)
Hope, Hugh
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Banks, Sir Joseph
Flinders, Matthew

Ile de France (Mauritius)
Cape of Good Hope

Words and phrases

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