The Naval Pioneers of Australia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about The Naval Pioneers of Australia.

Ultimately Flinders reached the Cape of Good Hope, and from thence England.  When he arrived he received a warm enough welcome from his relatives and immediate friends, but the public had too many stirring events to talk about to think of him, and so publicly his services were practically forgotten.  Among other indignities he suffered, he found that the charts taken from him by de Caen had been appropriated to Baudin’s exploring expedition.  The remainder of his life he devoted to writing his book, An Account of a Voyage to Terra Australia, which was published on the very day of his death (July 14th, 1814).  Almost his last words were:—­

“I know that in future days of exploration my spirit will rise from the dead, and follow the exploring ships.”

Flinders had married in 1801 Ann, daughter of Captain [Sidenote:  1814] Chappell, and by her he had one daughter, Mrs. Annie Petril, who was in 1852 granted, by the joint Governments of New South Wales and Victoria, a pension of L200 a year, which she enjoyed until her death in 1892.



Bligh arrived in New South Wales, and relieved King as governor, in August, 1806.  His two years’ administration in the colony is noteworthy for nothing but the remarkable manner of its termination.  Just as Sir John Franklin’s name will live as an Arctic explorer and be forgotten as a Tasmanian governor, so will the name of Bligh in England always recall to mind the Bounty mutiny and scarcely be remembered in connection with Australian history.

Any number of books, and a dozen different versions, have been written of the mutiny.  There is Sir John Barrow’s Mutiny of the “Bounty," which, considering that the author was Secretary to the Admiralty, ought to be, and is, regarded as an authority; there is Lady Belcher’s Mutineers of the “Bounty," by far the most interesting, and probably, notwithstanding a strong anti-Bligh bias, an impartial account of [Sidenote:  1806] facts.  It is no wonder Lady Belcher was no admirer of Bligh.  Heywood, the midshipman who was tried for his life, was her step-father, and she had very good reason to remember Bligh with no friendly feeling.  There are other books, some of them as dull as they are pious and inaccurate, others containing no quality of accuracy or piety, and only dull; and there is Bligh’s own narrative of the affair, remarkable for its plain account of the mutiny and the writer’s boat voyage and the absence of a single word that could throw a shadow of blame upon the memory of Captain Bligh.  Byron’s poem of “The Island” is, of course, founded on the Bounty mutiny, but the poet has used his licence to such an extent that the poem, which, by the way, some of the poet’s admirers say is one of his worst, has no resemblance to the facts.  In 1884 Judge McFarland, of the New South Wales District

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The Naval Pioneers of Australia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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