200 years since 1st complete map of Australia

1st complete map of Australia - Louis de Freycinet 1811

In June 2011 it will be two hundred years since the first complete map of Australia was published.

Why is this significant? Because although we all know that Matthew Flinders sailed all the way around Australia in 1802, he never made it back to England and so never published his maps. It was not until 1811 that Louis de Freycinet published the first complete map of Australia using a combination of his own and Flinder’s charts.

Flinders had done a swap with the French explorer Baudin when they met in Encounter Bay in the Great Australian Bight. But Baudin also died before his ship reached France. The task of writing up the report of Baudin’s voyage, including the compilation of the map, fell to Louis de Freycinet. And, as you will know if you were reading this page in January/February, I am at present writing the story of Rose de Freycinet who stowed away aboard her husband’s ship in 1817.

No prize for guessing who Rose was married to. More about her very soon …

Leave a Reply