Captain Matthew Flinders (1774 – 1814), the English navigator and cartographer who successfully circumnavigated Australia, is to be reburied in his home village of Donington, Lincolnshire. He is also credited with the naming of Australia, or Terra Australis, changing it from New Holland.
Ever since his remains were discovered in Euston in London recently, during excavations in a burial ground for the HS2 project, there has been speculation about where his final resting place would be.
Although a Lincolnshire man, it’s probably true that Flinders is even more famous on the other side of the world in Australia, where many places bear his name. Adelaide for example, capital of South Australia, even has a university named after him.
Bearing this in mind, it is perhaps no surprise that there has been much debate about where he should be reburied. However, probably the most logical resolution, and one certainly supported by his descendants and the Donington community, was to allow his remains to be interred in his home church of Saint Mary and the Holy Rood, the final resting place of other members of his family.
A recent picture from a flower festival inside Saint Mary and the Holy Rood church in Donington, Lincolnshire.
copyright Francis Barker 2019
We owe Italy quite a lot really, don’t we?
Pizza, pasta, risotto, fine wine, passion, flair, fashion style, not to mention the Romans (and yes, what did they ever do for us?) to name but a few. These are things our lives would be far less rich without.
Well, some say it was around this day in history, May 10 or 11, when someone else Italian set sail on a voyage to what we now term ‘the New World’, namely Amerigo Vespucci.
Born in Florence in 1454, Vespucci is famous for debunking Columbus’ notion that the West Indies and Brazil were in fact the other side of the world, actually the easternmost parts of Asia.
In other words, he envisioned the new discoveries as a completely new, separate landmass from Asia. Originally termed the New World, what the new continent lacked was a proper name. Step up Amerigo Vespucci once again, whose latinised Christian name reads as ‘Americus’.
It was only a small step from there to someone suggesting that this huge piece of earth should be called after him, but with a feminine ending – America – and why not? Are we still grateful to him and Italy?
PS. Of course, we know now that the Vikings founded what they termed ‘Vinland’ in what is now the north eastern seaboard of North America centuries before Columbus, but that’s another story…