Captain Matthew Flinders RN, Son of Donington in Lincolnshire

Matthew's story

Captain Matthew Flinders - Explorer and Cartographer - born 16th March 1774 in Donington - the man who named Australia. The story of Matthew Flinders - son of Matthew Flinders - Surgeon, Apothecary and Man-Midwife of Donington in rural Lincolnshire - is well documented - accounts of his life and exploring is detailed on Wikipedia 

When Matthew died in 1814, he was still living in London working with the Publishers of his great works A Voyage to Terra Australis. So his remains were buried in London. For many years, it was thought that their location was lost. However work by the HS2 team in preparation for the new High Speed Railway Project in early 2019 revealed the discovery of those remains - identifiable with a clearly marked lead breastplate on the coffin.

As soon as this find was publicised, people from Donington began the campaign to have him brought back to Donington as his final resting place. The Matthew Flinders Bring Him Home Group was established with this sole aim. The Group worked with Matthew's direct descendants, the Church Authorities at Lincoln, Sir John Hayes MP - who raised the issue in the House of Commons - and gained much support. The campaign has been successful - on 17th October 2019 the decision was announced that Matthew's mortal remains would return to Donington for reburial.

The Reburial: - 

Plans are now in preparation for the reinterment which is likely to be in the North Aisle of the Church - see picture - adjacent to the Flinders Stained Glass Window. The preparation work will involve an archaeological survey of this part of the church; church permissions / Faculties; the design and creation of an appropriate Ledger Stone for on top of the grave to provide an appropriate and permanent tribute to this great man. Fund raising for all of this has started - please see the Make A Donation section to support these works and to ensure Matthew has a permanent and fitting memorial!

The details of the reburial - including date / timing - is still in planning - it is likely to be in the second half of 2020 - updates will be published here as soon as they are available.
There will also be a further Public Meeting in the village to give more information - again the date for this is still to be decided

Matthew Flinders' Updates

Matthew Flinders' Updates Matthew Flinders' Updates Matthew Flinders' Updates
On Thursday 28th November  2019 at 11.15am and 9.15pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra is a repeat of the 2005  
broadcast “My Love Must Wait” based on the letters of Matthew and Ann Flinders.
My Love Must Wait - written in 1941 by Ernestine Hill - features Jenny Agutter as Ann.

Picture shows Matthew's flute - as mentioned in the "My Love Must Wait" play - photo courtesy of Lisette Flinders.

Pictures are miniatures of Flinders and Ann - by kind permission of Lisette Flinders.

Make A Donation to Donington Church for Matthew Flinders

Donation Amount



The Matthew Flinders Bring Him Home Group was established early in 2019 with the aim of influencing the return of Matthew Flinders' mortal remains to Donington for their final reinterrment. The Group is made up of local people from the Parochial Church Council; the Parish Council and others. The Group is also supportive of the Flinders display material in the Church and would like to raise funds to ensure the materials on display are continually updated.
They have created a 2020 Calendar of Flinders pictures from around the village - this is a high quality, keepsake Calendar containing 13 professional images - including the Flinders Statue in the Market Place; Flinders Park; Thomas Cowley High School - the school on the site where Flinders began his education - and many more. These Calendars are available in the village at the Library, in the Get-A-Head and Vanity Fayre Hair Salons and at the Church - or by contacting the group at Cost is £10 - or £12 incl P&P to anywhere in the UK; £17.50 to Australia. You can purchase below and we will mail it to you direct.

The Group also has a very active Facebook Page - LINK to Facebook!

MFBHH Calendars

Donation Amount


Events - What's on in Donington

  • £0.00
  • 06/01/2020 02:59 PM - 06/01/2020 03:00 PM
  • Church

The Church is decorated with almost 30 Christmas Trees - open daily for everyone to see approx 10am - 3pm - do also look at the photos of just some of this lovely display

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  • £0.00
  • 15/12/2019 03:30 PM - 15/12/2019 04:30 PM
  • Church

Christingle Service - with Primary School Choir

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  • £0.00
  • 14/12/2019 10:00 AM - 14/12/2019 03:00 PM
  • Church

Christmas Fayre with lots of Competitions and Stalls, Gift Ideas, Refreshments and Raffle. Features performance by children from Donington Primary School at 11am

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  • £3.00
  • 11/12/2019 07:00 PM
  • Church Hall.

Salvation Army Concert - all proceeds to be in aid of Salvation Army Funds - tickets £3 each - available from Carol ( 820248 )

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Trim Trim Trim
One companion of Matthew for several years of his travels was TRIM - the black and white cat who has become almost as famous as the Explorer himself.
Trim has 6 statues - 4 in Australia and 2 in Britain.
Trim has had a number of stories and publicatons written about him - obviously allowing for some 'story-telling' licence relating his story along those years until he disappeared in Mauritius whilst Matthew was detained there.
These include -

- Trim: Being the True Story of a Brave Seafaring Cat by Matthew Flinders

- Matthew Flinders' Cat by Bryce Courtenay

- Trim, The Cartographer's Cat - The Ship's Cat who helped Flinders Map Australia - by Gillian Dooley

- A Cat Called Trim by Corinne Fenton  ( a Children's Book ) 

The picture shown is Trim at the feet of Matthew's statue in the Market Place in Donington

"To the memory of Trim: 'The best and most illustrious of his race, the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures' says a State Library of NSW plaque"  

1797: Trim is born on board HMS Reliance in the Indian Ocean between Cape Town and Botany Bay. Flinders is Master's Mate.
1798: Flinders takes command of HMS Norfolk and circumnavigates Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) with George Bass. Trim remains on board Reliance.
1799: Flinders and Trim sail north on Norfolk to what is now south-east Queensland.
1800: Flinders and Trim sail to England on Reliance via Cape Horn and St Helena.
1801: Flinders and Trim sail to what is now Western Australia on HMS Investigator via Madeira and Cape Town.
1802-03: Flinders and Trim survey the southern coast of Australia, arriving in Sydney in May. Two months later they head north on Investigator and circumnavigate the continent.
1803: Flinders and Trim head to England on HMS Porpoise but are wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef. Flinders sails back to Sydney on Porpoise's cutter Hope while Trim stays on Wreck Reef. Flinders and Trim are reunited and sail for England on HMS Cumberland but are captured by the French in Mauritius.

Contact Us

  • Church Street, Donington, Spalding PE11 4UA, UK
  • The Church is open daily for visitors
  • 01775820158
  • We love to meet our visitors - if you are planning to come to Donington to see the Flinders display - please 'Contact Us' and we will try to meet you there!