Two weeks ago, Henry de Freycinet, the last male descendant of the sea-faring brothers, Louis and Henri de Freycinet, met with the Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, and presented her with a copy of the first complete map of Australia.
A few days later, on the 19th June, Henry took part in a symposium at the Australian National LIbrary in Canberra to mark the 200th anniversary of the compilation of the map by his great, great uncle, Louis de Freycinet.
The map is among the treasure trove of items relating to Australia’s early maritime history, now held in the Archive de Laage in Quimper, France. While I was in France earlier this year researching the story of Louis de Freycinet’s wife, Rose, Henry, who is the curator of the Archive, very kindly allowed me to read Rose’s letters and to examine many of these unique and valuable artefacts for myself.
If you would like to read the article published in the Canberra Age about Henry and the celebrations surrounding the 200th anniversary of the map go to:http://www.ambafrance-au.org/