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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Letter from William Owen to Matthew Flinders (1 of 3) (FLI01) Page 2

lack of that quality occasioned got himself into several scrapes; Hunter and his sister
concluded by the most beastly and [illegible] conduct towards him. and I by endeavouring
to soften the Asperities [sic] on all sides, obtained a little of that importance which is so
agreeable in Society when it can be useful. The Conduct of our Young Women to
the last was Admirable, was I only speaking of one of them, you wou'd believe me
partial, but I speak of all, and all four have therefore obtained my most sincere
friendship and Esteem, tho' this Sentiment may never be useful to them, or either
of them, they are not the leƒs worthy of it.
    Agreeable to my promise to you, Mr Tymon made me his honorable
Amends a few days before our Arrival here, & thereby avoided the disagreeable consequences
which must have ensued from his Extravagant folly –– And the poor Man, Learmouth,
who, whilst I was encaged and Motionleƒs, spared no pains to calumniate me, now
courted me; he employed poor little Ramsden, whom he had originally prejudiced
seriously against me, desiring at all times to act openly & having no reasons for not
arousing my Sentiment openly. I explained the circumstances to him, & left
the other poor Man Learmouth to himself – Undoubtedly, his Aƒsurance wou'd
have led him to charge you with his Cousin also, had you been with us. Ramsden
concluded by saying that he did not see how I cou'd act in any way differently; nor cou'd
he so much esteem me, if I now deserted the principle I had laid down; he was highly flatter'd
by my Condescending to explain any views Sentiments and Creed to him. Not that
this was neceƒsary to me, his opinion wou'd neither have changed my principles, conscience
or action, tis only for those who neither fit their principles,or listen to conscience, to endeavour
to forestall the opinions of them by turbulent Clamour and influence a party in behalf of
an untried question for, he who squares his actions on a sense of the duty he owes
to God, his neighbor and himself will generally but oppose to such Clamour, the Silent
approbation of conscious rectitude. – Such was my case with Meƒsrs Learmouth and Tymon
who, immediately on the dispersion of the partisans they had obtained, court the Pardon
and Friendship of him they had before Villified & calumniated to the last degree, and all this
change without my taking any [illegible] whatever, but Silent Indignation in opposition to

^but no sooner am I loose, my hands free of Shackles, and I at liberty. I have the lore they like
{Shimen} declare their persistence & attribute their errors to the pains taken by others to mislead
them – Can a Man have faith in any such? but what in the Cause of them thus having

to ever have induced me to pardon them, Yet their remembrance is always aƒsociated with
disgust, indignation and Abhorrence. with which we will leave them to follow their Career in
a world large enough for us all.
      On my Arrival here, Adml Drury was glad to see me, offered me a place in his
House, and proposed to turn me to Account against the Isle of France, where I yet hope to
Justify both you & me.

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Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Hope, Hugh
Tymon, (Mr)
Franklin, Thomas
Owen, (Captain) William Fitzwillam
Drury, (Admiral) William O'Brien

Ile de France (Mauritius)


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