Duke of Cambridge to honour the explorer who named Australia

By / 16th of July, 2014

PRINCE William, the Duke of Cambridge, will unveil a statue in London in honour of Captain Matthew Flinders, the British cartographer who was the first man to circumnavigate Australia.

The ceremony will take place at Australia House in London before the memorial is installed at Euston Station, a site believed to be the final resting place of the explorer.

Flinders, an Australian icon, has the honour of naming Australia. On an 1804 chart of his exploration of the southern coast of Australia he labelled it ‘Terra Australis’ (Latin for South Land). He also discovered that Australia was a continent and proved that New South Wales and Western Australia were a single entity. 

He is especially renowned in South Australia, having named and mapped Kangaroo Island and the state's coastlines, paving the way for colonisers such as Colonel William Light, the Surveyor General who founded the state's capital, Adelaide.

Artist Mark Richards created the six-foot high bronze statue of Matthew Flinders at work over a map of Australia. He wanted to create an art piece that described who Flinders was and what achievements he accomplished.

The Duke of Cambridge will also reveal a locomotive nameplate in tribute to Matthew Flinders for one of Virgin’s Pendolino trains that travels between London Euston and Glasgow.

Matthew Flinders has a number of landmarks and institutions named after him in South Australia, including the Flinders Ranges, Flinders Chase National Park, Flinders Street in Adelaide and Flinders University.

For more information visit http://www.flindersmemorial.org/

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