An archaeological excavation of a former burial ground at Euston Station in London recently found the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders.
An important piece in the history of Oceania
Flinders is an historically important person as he was the first to sail all around Australia, thus proving that Australia was a separate continent.
Not long after his death in 1814, his travel journal “A Voyage to Terra Australis” was published. This book helped to establish the name Australia.
Until Flinder’s popularization of the name Australia, this big land area was known as New Holland.
Inspired by Robinson Crusoe
Matthew Flinders was born March 16, 1774 in Donington, England. He was a cartographer and a navigator by profession. In addition to sailing around Australia, he also confirmed that Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) was an island.
As a surgeon’s son, he had every opportunity to become whatever he wanted. He is supposed to have found the inspiration for his career choice in the book “Robinson Crusoe” of 1719 by Daniel Defoe.
40,000 graves have to be given a new resting place
Matthew Flinders is not alone in being exhumed these days. Newatlas.com reports that a total of 40,000 graves are now being moved to a new burial site.
One of the coffins that has been excavated by archaeologists at Euston Station in London had a lead plate attached to it. It was this lead plate that identified Flinder’s remains. The grave has remained untouched for over 200 years.
The reason for the excavation is that new high-speed lines called HS2 (High Speed 2) are being built. The lines are designed to open in 2026 and 2033, respectively.