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Matthew Flinders. Portrait of Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), British explorer of Australia. In 1798 he was the first to circumnavigate Tasmania and prove that it was an island. During 1801-03 he was the first to circumnavigate Australia and proved that it was a single continent. During the voyage he mapped the coastline and Great Barrier Reef. Flinders' consistent use of the term "Aust- ralia" led to its adoption rather than "New Holl- and". During his return to Britain, Flinders' ship was wrecked & he navigated 1130 km to safety in an open boat. Captured by the French, he devised in prison the first method for compensating for compass deviations due to iron parts in ships.
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