Remains of explorer who first rounded Australia found in UK

LONDON — The remains of a noted Royal Navy explorer who led the first known circumnavigation of Australia have been found by archeologists excavating a burial ground where a railway station is planned.

The archeologists identified the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders by the lead plate placed on top of his coffin. He was buried at St. James's burial ground in 1814 but the headstone was removed in the 1840s, leaving the precise location of his grave a mystery.

Flinders made a number of important journeys and was commander of HMS Investigator when he navigated the entire coast of Australia, confirming it was a continent.

A number of places in Australia have been named after him, including Flinders Station in Melbourne and the town of Flinders in Victoria. A statue honoring him was unveiled in London by Prince William on the bicentenary of his death in 2014.

Officials believe other notables are in the burial ground, including Bill Richmond, a slave born in New York who as a free Londoner gained prominence as a boxer, and James Christie, a naval officer who in 1766 founded the auction house that bears his name.

Experts plan to remove tens of thousands of skeletons from the burial ground, where a rail station for a new high-speed rail line will be built.

HS2, which is building the rail line from London to Birmingham, said the remains of Flinders and roughly 40,000 others will be re-buried at a location to be announced.

Helen Wass, heritage director at HS2, hailed the discovery.

"Given the number of human remains at St. James's, we weren't confident that we were going to find him," she said Friday. "We were very lucky that Captain Flinders had a breastplate made of lead, meaning it would not have corroded."

She said his skeleton will now be studied, in part to gauge what impact a life at sea had on him.

You may also interested in

Malaria parasite may trigger human odor to lure...

Feb 9, 2017

Scientists may have figured out part of the reason why mosquitoes are drawn to people infected with...

Uber to investigate sexual harassment claim by...

Feb 20, 2017

Uber's CEO has ordered an investigation into a sexual harassment claim made by a female engineer...

UK zoo gets license rejected after hundreds of...

Mar 6, 2017

Local officials have refused to renew the license of an English zoo where nearly 500 animals have...

Study: Taking abortion pill at home as safe as in...

May 17, 2017

Medical abortions done at home with online help and pills sent in the mail appear to be just as...

Billion dollar race to break 2-hour marathon mark...

May 17, 2017

Nike, Adidas and Vodafone are all backing separate plans to break a key barrier in athletics: a...

Sign up now!

About Us

Future Science Today reports on captivating developments in science, medicine, technology, and the world around us.

Contact us: sales[at]futuresciencetoday.com