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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 (15 of 41) (FLI25)

The Rev. Mr Tyler
Partney near Spilsby
For Mrs Flinders

Annotated: June 1803

                          Investigator at Port Jackson
                                        July 20. 1802

My dearest love
      On May 31st last I wrote to thee from
this place, not having then heard from thee, but since that
time thy letters of Jan. 7 1802 and of Oct. 1801 have arrived;
but there is still another to come dated previously to either,
which it seems was sent to Mr Standert; and also that
directed to Spithead is still behind. That of October tells
me of the fate of my once anxious hopes, and that of Jan.
of thy very ill state of health, of and of an operation thou
hast been obliged to undergo to save thy poor eye. How
melancholy, how severe are these pieces of information to
a fondly affectionate husband. Oh my love, my love, how
much do I sympathize in thy sufferings. That I could but
transport myself to thee, and soothe thee, whilst thou shouldst
rest upon my fond bosom; then wouldst thou know that
my heart beats with as much rapidity as it ever could have
done, for thee. Indeed, my beloved, when anxious care leaves
me to reflection and myself, then am I altogether thine;
my frequent last words, on laying my head down to sleep
are, Oh my poor wife! and often do I visit thee in my dreams,
sometimes with delight, but oftener with that confused and
uncertain feeling which partakes too much of my troubled
thoughts concerning thee.
    My dearest friend, thou adducest my leaving thee to
follow the call of my profeƒsion, as a poor proof of my affec-
-tion for thee. Dost thou not know, my beloved, that we could
have barely existed in England? That both thou and me must
have been debarred of even neceƒsaries; unleƒs we had given
up our independence to have procured them from perhaps
unwilling friends. It was only upon the certainty of ob-
-taining an employment, the produce of which would be

adequate to thy support as well as my own, that I dared
to follow the wishes of my heart and preƒs thee to be mine.
Heaven knows with what sincerity and warmth of affection
I have loved thee, — how anxiously I look forward to the
time when I may return to thee, and ^ how ernestly I labour that
the delight of our meeting may be no more clouded with
the fear of a long parting. Do not then, my beloved, adduce
the following of the dictates of neceƒsity, as my crime.
Rather, my dearest Ann, let us submit to what has been
decreed for us, and look forward with our best hopes
for the good which is in store for us. — Thy ill health,
my dear love, is indeed very grievous; but I have some
hopes, amongst my many fears for thee, that the operati-
-on thou hast suffered will be of service to thy eye. Let
not unavailing sorrow increase thy malady, but look my
dear Ann to the happy side. See me engaged, succeƒsfully
thus far, in the cause of science and followed by the good
wishes and approbation of the world: — see rising out of
this employment a moderate competence for thee and my-
-self, and ^ see me, thus circumstanced, hastening to thy love
as the best reward of all my toils. Then, my dearest, art
thou not surrounded with the kindest and most affectionate
friends; and I hope thou art not in any want of any comfort
which thou wishest to enjoy; — do not then, I pray thee,
let grief affect thy health, for in so doing it preys both
upon thee and me.
    I write to thee, my dearest, supposing thee to be
as thou wast seven months back; but I hope a material
alteration has taken place for the better. I must wait, how-
-ever, near a twelvemonth for any further information
concerning thee, for we sail hence tomorrow upon an ex-
-pedition which will constitute the body of our voyage
in point of consequence, and it will occupy ten months

if we succeed, or probably more.
    I must tell thee of a loƒs which I deplore very much,
and which at first affected me in some degree like being
seperated from thee. I had desired Elder to scrub out the
little cabin, and to scour the paint work; — this was
done, and when afterwards I looked for thy forget me not, to indulge myself with fond thoughts of thee, —
it was not ^ to be found. If thou hast lost my portrait, thou
mayst have some idea of what I felt. I sighed myself
to sleep and dreamed of thee; and although it is now
sometime since, I am not reconciled. I thought of trac-
-ing them again, but it would not be thy writing, and
unleƒs it was so, it was nothing; the sentence, however,
is so engraven on my memory, that the place where it
was written brings every letter of ^ it the sentence to my
recollection, even to the croƒs on the T, at the end of not.
In my last letter to thee, which was dated May 31, I told
thee something of bills sent home; in addition to which
I might have added £60 of pay due to me for servants,
which I hope Mr Standert will be enabled to get; and
now I have sent him bills for £76.8.; making altogether
about £654 in the stocks, and what he has and will get;
and this supposes thee to have drawn in the prop [illegible]
that I told Mr S. before we sailed.
    I have made a little amends for former neglects by
writing a tolerable long letter to my friend Thomas, and
I have written a nonsensical one to your mother, for
I fear she will call it so; but I beg she will consider it
to be my earnest wish to have a line from her occasionally
as well as from my dear little crickety sister, if she still
deserves to be called cricket.
    I have requested of thee a short journal-like detail of
^ thy transactions, and if thou couldst favour me with such, it
would be a great gratification. A few lines written once

a week might suffice to fulfil this wish and would not
be a very heavy task upon thee; if indeed thou hast tolerable
health and thy eye will permit it. Thou hast been very
kind, though, to lose no opportunity of writing, and in so doing
has relieved my doubts much. Samuel is well but knows not
that I am writing or he would desire to bear a part in affec-
-tionate regards to the family at the thatched house.
    Adieu, my beloved, be happy, and ever believe me to be
most affectionately and sincerely
    thy anxious husband
      Mattw Flinders

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Related people
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Standert, A.
Elder, John
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)
Flinders, Samuel
Flinders, Matthew
Franklin, Thomas

Port Jackson


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