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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Letter from (Sir) John Franklin to Ann Flinders (5 of 5) (FLI27)

                      Govt House VD Land
                          27th December 1842

My dear Mrs Flinders
                I hope you have heard from
some member of my family how completely occupied
I am with the various & complicated duties of my office
and that I scarcely ever can find time on the departure
of a ship to write to any of my relatives. I have long
been desirous of giving you the full particulars of
the monument which I am about to erect on
Stamford Hill above Port Lincoln to the memory
of your deeply lamented husband – and my earliest
friend – not that his undying fame needed such a
memento for he must live in the grateful remembrance
of every friend of Hydrographical Science and
especially of those who navigate the shores of Australia
and VD Land. My dear wife selected the spot
as being that point whence Captain Flinders first
discovered the extent of St Vincents Gulph and which
he distinguished above others by naming most of the
Islands & Bays on which he was then looking, after
the Towns & villages of the scenes of his early remembrance

Mrs Captain Flinders

in his Native County – All the stone connected
with the base and ^ in which the marble bearing the
Inscription is to [sic] inserted have been forwarded
from this place to the spot – Col Gawler the late Govr
of South Australia purposed making over the [illegible]
for the Site of the Monument – but having been
recalled before the neceƒsary documents could be prepared
his succeƒsor Capt Grey has fulfilled that intention
and has further shewn his earnest cooperation
by sending from Adelaide the Foreman of the Works
to superintend the getting the stones properly placed
on the mountain – and putting under his direction
as many men as could be spared at Port Lincoln
to get the materials up to the spot – The County Engineer
of South Adelaide Capt Frome has with great zeal
& [illegible] undertaken to give his best aƒsistance
in this interesting work – You see therefore my
dear Mrs Flinders – that we are all heartily engaged
in this good cause – to make in creating this tribute of regard
esteem & affection and I hope shortly you to have the
pleasure of announcing to you its being finished.
      I was much surprized about three months since
by a son of Samuel Flinders and named Mathew
after my dear friend – presenting himself to me as I was
coming out of the Legislative Council – he brought me
no letter – but a meƒsage from you desiring him to call
upon me – He accounted for your not being able to write

by saying you were not well – and he told me that Miƒs Flinders
was not with you – I made some enquiries of him at the
time which satisfied me as to his identity which indeed
his likeneƒs to his father ^ might have told me – but I could not well account
for his being on board the ship not as an apprentice – but
as one of the Seamen – I therefore begged a naval friend
and my A-D-C to go on board and ascertain from the
Captain & mates what they could respecting him –
for there are so many who leave their friends on
account of their wild habits & conduct and embark
in merchant veƒsels coming here – that I have found it
neceƒsary to be very careful in enquiring into the causes
of their proceedings before I can notice them though I may
know their parents – and if they have not run away
or have acted disgracefully so that their parents cannot
recognize them they have generally continued to get
recommended to my notice by some friend or other of mine.
    I was glad to find young Mathew Flinders to be spoken
well of by his Captain & officers – I gathered from him
that he was ready to do whatever I advised him either
to remain here if I could give him a situation or
return home on the ship – he told the gentlemen whom
I had sent that he was the only son – and that he had
three sisters (I beleive) [sic] that some money was to be
divided amongst them left by his Father and I subsequently
learnt the same facts from himself – and that he expected
the money would be paid to them in October next by
the Trustees of his Father – It appeared to me therefore
of much importance to himself & his family as he was
the only son – that he should not be absent from
England at that time – from the experience of every one

who has such busineƒs to transact – it is well known
that delay and often loƒs of the property result from
the principal person being absent – and under any
circumstance expense & risk would be incurred by
sending the neceƒsary documents here for his information.
    I therefore strongly advised his remaining in the ship
& returning to England that he might be on the spot –
and I told him that I would write and say this to you.
    Independent of this consideration I felt that he was
as yet too young to be placed in a situation in this
community where he would have no other control
over him than that of his Superiors during the hours
of office – he would at all other times be exposed
to the society of giddy & thoughtleƒs young men of his
own age – having no parent to guide him – I should
of course have given him such protection & countenance
as laid in my power – but this you may well suppose
from the nature of my duties – could not extend to
more than frequent enquiry & advice. The salary too
of such Youths is barely sufficient to maintain them
and they are therefore usually filled by youths who reside
with their parents – Our Local Marine is very limited and
though I might perhaps have ^ placed Mathew in that receiving a
[illegible] Pay – but I find he does not understand Navigation
and besides is not as yet of an age to be appointed one of the
mates – at present too there is no vacancy – I have told him
however that if after being home and the property is divided
and he should then like to return to this Country – I should be
glad to get something for him – if I were here – my time of Service
has expired – but I hear from my friends that I am likely to remain
some time longer – I should not object to a few years – in order
to carry out more the plan of Convict Disapline [sic] which I have
recently put into practise – otherwise I should be quite

continued on front page

ready & willing to go home at once – to renew my intercourse with
my dear family & friends – I regret to say that the Climate
agrees with all of us – my daughter especially who is now a
young Lady of 18 – though not a {tall} one – Lady F – Eleanor & Miƒs Creath
unite with me in affectionate remembrance to you & Miƒs Flinders
Beleive [sic] me ever most affly

      Your Sincere friend
            John Franklin

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Flinders, Matthew
Gawler, (Lieutenant-Colonel) George Gawler
Grey, Sir George Grey (Captain Grey)
Frome, (Captain)
Flinders, Samuel
Franklin, John
Petrie, Ann

St Vincent's Gulph, Australia

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