Ann Flinders imageAnn Flinders imageAnn Flinders image
Ann Flinders. Ann Chappelle was born on 21st November 1770 at Hull,  the daughter of a captain in the Merchant Navy who had died early of illness at sea off Java. Her mother remarried to a Rev William Tyler and had another daughter, Isabella, with whom Ann lived and remained very close for the rest of her life.
Ann was described by eugenicist Sir Francis Galton as 'with above average mental powers, considered clever, with a sweet and perfect temper, beloved by all who knew her, witty, generous, nervous, with apptitude for poetry, literature, singing, verse, and painting flowers from nature'.
Ann and Matthew married on 17th April1801at Partney in Lincolnshire - and it was the intention for Ann to travel with him on his voyages - however that was vetoed by the Lords of the Admiralty and after just three months of marriage, they were parted for over nine years.
Ann and Matthew had one daughter - Anne, born in 1812 who later married William Petrie, a civil engineer. Their only child and son Sir William Flinders Petrie ( 1853 - 1942 ) went on to become a renowned Egyptologist who is buried in Jerusalem.
It is believed that through illness Ann became blind in one eye, nevertheless she was a watercolourist with an aptitude for painting flowers - some of her work is in the Usher Gallery at Lincoln.
Ann outlived Matthew by almost forty years, living at various addresses in London with her half-sister Isabella. Her headstone can be seen in the Churchyard of St Thomas, Charlton, London.
Inscription on the Headstone reads -
"Sacred to the memory of Ann, Widow of Capt Matthew Flinders RN The Circumnavigator of Australia and Discoverer. She died 10 February 1852. Let me die the death of the righteous And let my last end be like hers. Also of Isabella Tyler Half Sister of the above and daughter of the late Revd Wm Tyler of Ashby Lincoln Who died on 18th December 1867"
Images are: - Of Matthew and Ann; and Daughter Anne in the Blue Dress - by kind permission of Lisette Flinders
and the gravestone at Charlton