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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Loose pages from Flinders' private letterbook (4 of 6). Flinders to his father 1801; to cousin, Henrietta Flinders 1801 (FLI04)

to get my agent to put into the stocks. As far as I can learn
the only way he can do it, to receive the dividends for me, is
by investing it in his and my name jointly. I shall be obliged
to you to inform me how far this is neceƒsary, and the
plan you adopt for Wilson and Co to receive yours. Was
any accident to happen to me, the money would rest with
him in the bank books, and my heirs could only claim as
a debt from him. I have the most perfect reliance in my
agents uprightneƒs, but as I cannot tell who his executors
or heirs might be, I do not like this plan altogether; and
I shall be much obliged to you for information on the subject.
      I have just now a melancholy letter from Mrs Carr,
informing me of the unhappy marriage of her eldest daughter
and expreƒsing a desire that I would take her out as a com-
-panion to Mrs Flinders. This, for many reasons, would be
highly impolitic in me, and indeed impoƒsible under
present circumstances. She rather complains of having
never heard from you, as in my letter from Spilsby, when
first in the country, I had led her to expect.
      I have heard from my cousin Henny about a week fortnight since
I do not find that her great concern advances much. I fear
that a peace with Sweden will lose captain Lawford his
prizes, and then they ^ it will, if profitable, be more uncertain. I
have endeavoured to persuade her to cut the connexion en-
-tirely, but the happineƒs or misery of her future life seems
so entirely wrapped up in this procrastinated marriage
that all argument and almost matters of fact become wind before
it; and as it only gives her pain without answering any
good purpose, I have given it up lately.
        If you should ever invite Miƒs Tyler to Donington, you
will find her to be a girl of strong sense, somewhat eccen-
-tric, but of an amiable disposition. She returns into the
country with her father, whom we shall meet in town, if
I am called up about the 19th . The family with whom we lived
in town is a respectable one, and they have been very atten-
-tive to Penelope and my sister Susan. It came in our way
to aƒsist the former ^ at least in raising her consequence with her employers
at least

at least, by laying out a sum of money at the shop; she was
glad of such an opportunity to shew them that she had respec-
-table friends; and I hope Penelope will do very well yet.
      No doubt you are better acquainted with everything relating
to Susan than I am. I left her at 31 Basinghall Street
waiting Mrs Ashtons coming up to town.
      As my dear partner will add a postscript, I know of
nothing material to add, but the affectionate regards of
Samuel and myself to you. to our mother and sisters.
and rememberances to our Donington friends.
      I am my dear father, your affectionate and
          dutiful son
                Mattw Flinders

To Miƒs Flinders at Mr Hursthouses TiddH.M.S. Investigator
                                    Little Nore May 10 1801
Your last long and very acceptable letter, my dearest cousin,
I found on board the Investigator about a fortnight since, on
my return from London. I will first answer it, and then talk
about my own affairs.
      You close your letter by requesting the initials of that officers
^ name who gave me the information that distreƒsed ^ you. I wish my cousin
you had not asked it, because it is improper that I should comply.
If what he said is true, he acted a proper part in telling me, and
if it is not true, it is not worth your thinking further about.
I cannot tell what affect these northern affairs allegations will have upon
the Swedish prizes, but I rather fear that if that power gives up
the confederacy, all the prizes belonging to that nation will be re-
turned as a part of the price. It gratifies me, and is a reaƒsurance
of captain L's affection that he wrote you so soon after the action.
I think my dear Henny it says a great deal, and may the Almighty
Power bring that soon to paƒs, that shall prevent all my ^ further fears and
doubts for you on this subject.
      You know my cousin that it is my custom to say what I think;
it is perhaps the best plan in the end but not always politic at the
time. Had I told you, my dear Henny, that your firm adherence
to what appears to me to be a plan ill calculated for your happineƒs
made no difference whatever in the esteem and indeed veneration I
have for you in every respect, I should have said wrong; and truly I think

you would not have believed it. When I said you would be esteemed
little leƒs than if you had followed my advice, I said the truth.
There is something, my ^ dear cousin, in human nature, which makes us better
pleased with those that think as we think, than with those who
think and act otherwise. Whether this is a weakneƒs, or a proper
sentiment must be left to each one the judgment [sic] of each individual;
it is probably right in the main, but often wrong in many single in-
stances; perhaps the present is wrong, my cousin, and most sincerely
do I hope it will prove so, and that the event will shew that
what you have done will 'ere long be proved to be exactly what you
"ought to have done".
      It would be with no little surprise that you would hear
of my marriage with Miƒs Chappelle, after what you had
all along understood was the present state of our correspondence
I will tell you how it came about. Previous to leaving England
I thought ^ it neceƒsary to leave a will (in which you my dear cousin
and friend, was not forgotten). In this I had occasion to say a good
deal of her, as well as in my letter to my father on the occasion, and
to think a great deal more of her. This recalled all the fond affec-
-tion that I had been at so much pains to overcome; and with such
force, as to induce me to reconsider with question. How far marriage
could be made compatible with the present state of my finances, my
employment, and with situation in the ship? On this revisal I
found considerable alteration from since the former examination.
I had obtained the command of a ship and gotten promotion; my
pay was consequently more considerable; and with the penury
and some other advantages attached to my situation I saw a
prospect of a rising fortune. My present finances had also im-
-proved somewhat, for I found that my outfit was complete
and yet that I was perfectly independent of the world; for I
had relinquished an £100 which my father had agreed to let
me have, in favour of my brother. In point of circumstances
therefore I found myself enabled to enter into the holy state, pro-
-vided that with a wife I should receive such a sum as would
be sufficient to meet the immediate increase of expense. I therefore
without any further hesitation, made the proposal, with the proviso
attached to it. Every thing was agreed to in a very handsome
manner, and just at the time I was called up to town and found
that I might be spared a few days from thence. I set off on
Wednesday evening from town, arrived next evening, ^ at Spilsby was married
next morning which was Friday. On Saturday we went to Donington,
on Sunday reached Huntingdon, and on Monday were in town.
Next morning I presented myself before Sir Joseph Banks with
a grave face, as if nothing had happened, and then went on with
my busineƒs

as usual. We staid [sic] in town till the following Sunday (this day fortnight)
and came on board the Investigator next day; and here we have
remained ever since, a few walks on shore, and a day spent
over on the Eƒsex side of the Thames, excepted. My dear partner
has pretty well gotten the better of her sea qualms and begins
to reconcile herself to her new life.
      I think I have every prospect of happineƒs before me, but the
interval of All seperations during the time of my employment
on discovery, will make chasms in it, but the prospect of the future
great advantages to result from them must buoy up our
minds to bear them with fortitude.
      You know that my attachment consisted as much of esteem
and friendship as of what the world calls love, if not more so.
My love now increases every day, and my esteem and friendship
for her too become greater. I begin to feel, that with the affection
and esteem of my dear wife, I could absent be callous to that
of almost all the rest of the world. I prize her ^ too for perhaps
what no man else would; she is of double value to me from
not being a beauty. It is too dangerous an experiment for
a sailor to marry a beautiful woman whom he must be
obliged to leave frequently; and if captain L. thinks as
I do, and has not a wonderful opinion indeed of the conduct of
her he loves, somebody would stand a very poor chance of
getting married. I don't name no names.
      I shall be in weekly expectation after this letter, of receiving
one of congratulation on my felicity, from Tidd. I wish it
could so happen, that you and Mrs F. could meet and become
acquainted. Your sentiments are so congenial, and your disposi-
-tions so fitted for friendship, that I am sure you would soon be-
come inseperable; except by me, and I should certainly be coming
between you sometimes. When I say, I would that ^,you were acquainted,
I forgot that I am getting jealous of her attachment to several
female friends. Now were you to come in the way, you would
absorb so much that I should not be able to bear it, but
yet I think I should love you, and continue to be
      your most affectionate cousin and sincere
      Mattw Flinders

You must by no means forget my kindest regards to the
very kind and sensible family with whom you reside, for
every one of whom individual of which I have a great respect. When you write
to Spalding remember me most kindly and dutifully to
your good father and mother.

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Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Flinders, Henrietta
Flinders family
Flinders, Matthew
Flinders, Samuel
Banks, Sir Joseph
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)

Tidd (Tydd)


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