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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 (23 of 41) (FLI25)

Mrs Flinders
Partney near Spilsby


Ah melancholy
harrowed up
No 31

Meƒsanger, how thou hast
my Soul & made me
wretched –

                  Wilhems Plains in the Isle of France
                                Nov. 28 1806

    A friend having informed me that a ship is to sail tomorrow for
Hamburgh, I embrace the occasion to write a line to thee, my best love,
to tell thee of my health and the letters I have received and written.
It being now some time since the date of my last, I intended to
make up a general packet for all my friends, and for sending which
I expect an occasion will offer in three weeks or a month, but this
departure for Hamburgh does not permit me to do it now.
      On Oct. 22.1805 I received the first letters from thee at the
Isle of France, and most, oh most welcome, they were. Their dates were
of May 22. and June 14. 1805: they were accompanied with others from my
cousin Henny, Mr Robertson, and Sir J.B.
      On May 16. 1806 I received thy letter of May 20. 1805, accompa-
-nied also by one from my good friend Mr Robertson: this packet
having passed by the way of America was the cause of its long delay
      Sept. 26.1806 I received thy letter dated Oct. 1805 accompanied with
one from my brother and one from Mr Aken: but the letter written to
me by the latter from New York, two months before, did not arrive until
Oct. 23. 1806. Of the letter thou hast sent by James Franklin I have
seen nothing, although, by the public papers, I see his arrival in India
mentioned; this, however, does not surprise me, knowing how difficult
it is for him to find opportunities of sending to this island.
      Thy last informs me, that my letters up to May 1805 (with the
exception of two short ones to Mr Tyler in Jan. and Feb. 1804) are all
arrived. Since then, I have written thee on July 7. 1805, which letter was
accompanied with a postscript of Aug 23 (I think), and two letters for
Sir Jos. Banks, and one with a packet of papers for the admiralty.
My next letter

      My next letter to thee was a very long one, dated Nov. 1805, and
sent by the way of America: it was accompanied with others for Sir
J.B., the admiralty, my cousin Henny, Samuel, Mr Aken, my mother
, Mr Robertson, and my agent.
      On March 19. 1806 I wrote thee a long letter, inclosing letters of
recommendation for France and a bill for 300 dollars. This was ac-
-companied with one to Sir J.B., one to my brother, and one to Mr
of the admiralty: by America.
      April 1. 1806 I wrote thee a long letter by the way of Lubeck
to Mr Tyler, discussing further the subject of thy voyage hither, and
inclosing an order on my agent for £400, and a duplicate of the bill.
      On April 4 I wrote thee a long letter on the same subject, by
the way of America, with a duplicate of the order: a P.S. also of April
13. was added. This was accompanied with a letter to Thos Franklin,
one to my mother-in-law, one to Mr Aken, and one to Standart. [sic]
      On April 27. I wrote thee a short note by the way of Lubeck.
      On July 4 to 22 I sent thee a long letter by captain Larkins, ac-
-companied by one for governor King, another for Sir J.B. one to Thos F.
inclosing another for Mr Wiles, and one to the admiralty with the journal
of my shipwreck and imprisonment.
      This will serve thee, my love, as a general memorandum.
      Since the last letter, my spirits have suffered much. I never, even in
the Maison Despeaux, experienced such depression; my reason, even, was
upon the point of being affected. I was obliged to quit my charts and
journals, to make visits amongst my good neighbours and take off
my attention from the distressing circumstances of my imprisonment.
With the aid of thy last charming letter and those of my brother and
Mr Aken which happily arrived at the time, and the consolatory
friendship of the excellent family with whom I reside, this plan most-
-ly succeeded. At present I enjoy good health, and the state of my

mind is more tranquil. I still cling to the hope, that between this time
and May next, either from the interference of our government, or from
the application of some members of the National Institute, an order will
arrive here, which shall in some way terminate this most distressing
state of suspense. Oh, my best beloved, had I but thy society I could
bear the deprivation of all the rest with some patience; yet the dread I
entertain of thy voyage, and the yet lingering hope of soon joining thee
force me still to adhere to what I wrote thee on April 4.
      I see on the Steeles List of Dec. 1805 a new Investigator! What is the mean-
-ing of it? Is she coming here to me, under Mr Fowler or my brothers command,
for me to finish our voyage of discovery? Or is some other officer to reap the
harvest of my labours whilst I am let to remain in prison? I know not
{what to} think; but if the first takes place, particularly under the command
{of my} brother, I request he thou wilt apply to the admiralty, by the
[missing] of Sir J.B. for a permission to take a passage to Port {Jackson}
[missing], my love, in that case I would place thee, should not [missing]
peace, {my} own inclination and other circumstances induce thee rather to re-
-main with my friends here, whilst the examination of Australia should
be completed.
      In the monthly magazine of 1806 (Jan) I see, that a paper I sent
upon the variation of the compass to Sir J.B. has been presented to the Roy-
-al Society
and published in their transactions. I am sorry for this, inas-
-much as I have since sent one upon the same subject, more extended
and much less imperfect, but as it shews some attention to me I am
glad of it. My brother does not appear to have seen Sir J.B.! this
surprises me.
      I am, my best beloved, obliged to conclude. Adieu then, for
two or three weeks. Preserve thy health and thy hopes, and rest confi-
-dent in the ardent affection of thy
        M. Flinders
P.S. Tell Mr Aken that his letter is silent about his business with
the admiralty and navy offices, Dr Maskelyne &c &c and to write me more
fully – My most affectionate regards always attend the members of thy fami-
-ly, as well as my own.
      I highly approve, my dearest love, of thy desire to offer an indem
-nity to Mr Tyler; and pray offer to pay him annually £30 or £40, as thou

shalt judge most proper, informing him that it is by my request. My
next letters shall contain the necessary orders to my agent. Adieu, Hea- -ven preserve thee. It would have been better hadst thou inclosed Standerts ac-
-count to me.

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Flinders, Henrietta
Banks, Sir Joseph
Aken (Aiken), John
Franklin family
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Flinders, Samuel
Flinders, Elizabeth
Pearce, Thomas
Franklin, Thomas
Standert, A.
Larkins, Thomas
King, Philip Gidley King
Wiles, James
Fowler, Robert
Flinders, Matthew
Maskelyne, Nevil

Ile de France (Mauritius)
Port Jackson


Words and phrases
Royal Society

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