Matthew Flinders’ remains to be reburied in Lincolnshire

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The remains of a Lincolnshire explorer credited with naming Australia will be reburied in his home village in 2024.

Captain Matthew Flinders, from Donington, led the first circumnavigation of Australia.

His remains were identified after they were found in an HS2 rail project dig at St James’s burial ground in Euston, London, in 2019.

The pandemic delayed reinterment but a £35,000 grant means it can now proceed.

Jane Pearson, of the Matthew Flinders Bring Him Home group, said: “What we want to do is make sure he has the proper tributes to him, the proper grave.

“He will be buried within the [village] church so we have been through the church authorities, got the faculty permission to dig up the church floor.

“It will be the first burial within the church since the 19th Century.

“His grave will be marked with a splendid black marble ledger stone, all of which is a big expense, so having this UK levelling up fund grant gives us the assurance to go ahead with doing all the right things.”

Ms Pearson told BBC Radio Lincolnshire there had been suggestions about where Flinders should be laid to rest, including Australia, “but we were quite determined that Donington, his birthplace, was the right place”.

She said Flinders’ coffin will be carried by Royal Navy pall bearers during the service at St Mary and the Holy Rood Church in Donington on 13 July 2024, with services for children and the village either side of the interment.

Flinders joined the navy aged 15 and he made several coastal explorations of Australia, completing the circumnavigation in 1803.

It was known Captain Flinders (1774 – 1814) was buried at the site in London.

However, the headstone marking his grave was removed in the 1840s, and it was thought his remains had been lost.

Archaeologists were able to identify his coffin by a lead breast plate placed on top.

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