02 May

It has long been speculated that the grave of Captain Flinders had been removed by the late 19th century expansion of Euston station. This assumption seems based on a letter written years after Flinders’ death by his daughter, Mrs. Anne Petrie (1812–1892), which read:

 ‘Many years afterwards, my aunt Tyler went to look for his grave, but found the churchyard remodelled, and quantities of tombstones and graves with their contents had been carted away as rubbish, among them that of my unfortunate father, thus pursued by disaster after death as in life’ (Ernest, 2011 (1914): 396).

Nevertheless, the burial ledger of St James’s Chapel, Hampstead Road, clearly records his burial in the ‘second ground’. An area unaffected by the expansion.

[1] There is no record that the Flinders family ever purchased a memorial, and it was probably this lack of a marker which led to the later confusion, especially once other landmarks in the ground had become overgrown or been removed. In 2019, contrary to decades of speculation, excavation showed that Flinders’s burial had never be moved and was still in the same spot recorded by the burial register. 

   [1] The coffin of ‘Captain Matthew Flinders RN’ was brought from ‘London Street, St Pancras’ on 23 July 1814 and buried in plot 2 J 70 (second ground, lot J, number 70) (City of Westminster Archives (CWA), SJC/0494/1/328)).