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 The Explorers 
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Post The Explorers
I'm not much of an expert in this field but living in Wisbech, the neighbouring town to King's Lynn I've become interested in Captain George Vancouver a son of KL.

Vancouver, along with other explorers, apparently named various bays and inlets after people he knew, i.e. Burrard Inlet, where Vancouver now stands, after Sir Harry Burrard Neale, in whom I also have a very special interest.

Has anyone, especially those living outside the UK who might indeed live in these places, given thought to the names of geographical locations and who they were named after?

Wisbech has its own naval "explorer", Captain John Clarkson, the younger brother of Thomas Clarkson, which has had me looking at my own home town a little closer.

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Fri Oct 31, 2003 7:50 am
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Post Re: The Explorers and Place Names
Mil Goose wrote:
Has anyone, especially those living outside the UK who might indeed live in these places, given thought to the names of geographical locations and who they were named after?

I suspect the average person on the street doesn't give it much thought.

In Honolulu, there are two streets named after Vancouver (Drive and Place). Another place that comes to mind is the area on the southeast coast of O'ahu named after Nathaniel Portlock. There is also Thomas Square in central Honolulu named for Rear(?)-Admiral Richard Thomas.

Thomas raised the Hawaiian flag (where the square is located) and restored the Kingdom of Hawai'i back to King Kamehameha III in July 1843. Captain Lord George Paulet (HMS Carysfort) had forced the king to annex Hawai'i to Gr. Britain in February.

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Last edited by susan on Sat Nov 01, 2003 3:49 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:25 am
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Spurred on by Susan's enthusiasm for the exploring RN officers, a friend and I went off at the weekend in search of the statues of Matthew Flinders and Sir John Franklin.

Both were born in Lincolnshire, one of the counties adjacent to my home country of Cambridgeshire, and the first port of call was to Donington, the hometown of Flinders where the new statue stand proudly on the small Market Place with his cat, Trim, rubbing round his ankles. Thanks to the presence of the church cleaning ladies we were able to access the parish church and view the vast exhibition related to Flinders and the fine stained-glass window dedicated to him, and which also features Joseph Banks and George Bass. Also to be viewed were a number of family plaques including one in memory of his younger brother Samuel, also a naval officer.

Heading north of Boston we arrived at Spilsby, the hometown of Sir John Franklin, where, again, the statue to him stands proudly in the Market Place. Further along the High Street is the Franklin House Bakery, his birthplace; a plaque distinguishes the shop.

The church contains a large wall plaque in his memory along with one to his first wife, Elearnor, who touchingly only survived his departure by six days.

We also attempted to visit the church of Revesby which was the home village of Joseph Banks and Peter Briscoe, and the church at Mareham-le-Fen, the village where James Roberts hailed from. Alas, the churches were locked and we hadn't time to seek out the keyholder. Apparently Boston St Botolphs has a plaque to those three and George Bass who came from that town. We hope to visit that church on another occasion.

For your info and perusal click here to find a partial map of Lincolnshire. I couldn't accommodate Donington on the same section of map but if you click on the diagonal arrow at the bottom left of the map, it will show Donington, which is, I suppose, about 25 miles from where I live.

Incidentally I took a number of photographs for Susan's use when she has her much longed for gallery installed on the SN website.

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:20 pm
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Mil Goose wrote:
the first port of call was to Donington, the hometown of Flinders where the new statue stand proudly on the small Market Place with his cat, Trim, rubbing round his ankles.

I love the fact that they included Trim in the design of the statue! It's a nice tribute to a faithful friend.

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Thanks to the presence of the church cleaning ladies we were able to access the parish church and view the vast exhibition related to Flinders and the fine stained-glass window dedicated to him, and which also features Joseph Banks and George Bass.

The window is a wonderful piece of artwork. It's nice to see that their efforts are recognized in such a lovely way.

Quote:
Incidentally I took a number of photographs for Susan's use when she has her much longed for gallery installed on the SN website.

For which I am very grateful. Now if I could just get that gallery working. Nick...oh Nick!

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:48 pm
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susan wrote:
Mil Goose wrote:
the first port of call was to Donington, the hometown of Flinders where the new statue stand proudly on the small Market Place with his cat, Trim, rubbing round his ankles.

I love the fact that they included Trim in the design of the statue! It's a nice tribute to a faithful friend.





.... incidentally, I forgot to add that the statue of Flinders is within sight of the site of the house in which he was born, and which was unfortunately pulled down in 1908, but from the pictures available of it, the house was in rather a dilapidated state.

Some of the pics I took include Flinders in the foreground and the present house in the background.

P.S. I hope Nick soon gets the gallery up and running, as I know you have some interesting pictures to put there.

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Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:47 am
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Post Flinders
Continuing on in this thread, I went to a talk in Spalding last evening to hear Lady Marion Body speaking about her new book, The Fever of Discovery: The Story of Matthew Flinders, and, as the title implies is about the life of Flinders.

Marion Body, is the the wife of Sir Richard Body, who was the local Member of Parliament and whose constituency included Matthew Flinders' birthplace, Donington. Apparently in 1974 she first met Matthew Flinders' great-grand-daughter, Ann Flinders Pertrie, whose stories were the inspiration for research based on Matthew Flinders' journals and letters. This research lead to journeys to Australia and the writing of Fevers of Discovery.

Also of interest among those attending was a descendant of Toussaint Antoine de Chazal who painted Flinder's portrait while he was in captivity on Mauritius. Incidentally, scroll down this list for an exciting list of merchandise and the portrait to which I refer.

I hope to add Lady Body's book to my personal library in due course, needless to say. She portrayed a man devoted to exploration and to his family and, ironically, as she pointed out, a man famous in Australia, but little known in Lincolnshire, his home county!

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Sat May 13, 2006 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Flinders
Mil Goose wrote:
Incidentally, scroll down this list for an exciting list of merchandise and the portrait to which I refer.

Glad you enjoyed the talk.

I am tempted to get one of those Trim t-shirts (I like the cartoon-y one) from that list. Lots of good books as well.

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Sat May 13, 2006 5:05 pm
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Post Re: The Explorers
Mil Goose wrote:
I'm not much of an expert in this field but living in Wisbech, the neighbouring town to King's Lynn I've become interested in Captain George Vancouver a son of KL.




I liked this idea of leaving bottles behind to mark their presence.

From Vancouver's Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World....Part 1 and of the British Columbia coast

" ....to commemorate our visit, near the stump of one of the trees we had felled, in a pile of stones raised for the purpose of attracting the attention of any European, was left a bottle sealed up, containing a parchment on which were inscribed the names of the vessels, and of the commanders; with the name given to the sound, and the date of our arrival and departure. Another bottle, containing a similar memorandum, was likewise deposited on the top of Seal Island, with a staff erected to conduct any visitor to it, on which was affixed a medal of the year 1789 ....."

.... a case of George wuz 'ere ... :lol:

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Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:02 pm
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For those of you whose focus is on the USN, I have a question.

Who was considered the cream of the crop when it came to exploration and scientific observation/surveying?

I'm most familiar with Charles Wilkes and the US Ex Ex. However, considering all the problems he had, was he really a successful exploring officer?

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Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:17 pm
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Post RE: Wilkes
Susan,
I've thought a lot about this question over the past few weeks. I don't have an answer to your first question. The Age of Exploration lead to the founding of the US though much of the subsequent exploration took place while the US was still under colonial rule. Much subsequent exploration by Americans was undertaken in the interior of the country. One thinks of Lewis and Clark and Zebulon Pike.
As far as Wilkes is concerned, I would say that though he may have been an inferior leader, the expedition itself seems to have succeeded. I haven't read that much on Wilkes, just the journal of William Reynolds, who did not like Wilkes, and Magnificent Voyagers, which deals with the activities of the 'scientifics' on the Ex. Ex.
Wilkes poses an interesting question: can an enterprise succeed in spite of bad leadership?
PT


Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:27 pm
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Hi PT,

Thanks for your reply. One of the books I'm reading (John M. Brooke's Pacific Cruise and Japanese Adventure, 1858–1860) prompted the question.

In the Introduction, the editor (a descendant of Brooke) writes:

"The zest for exploration, which began in 1839 with the famous Wilkes Expedition to the South Pacific and Antarctica, continued. The small United States Navy, which had not fought a great power since the War of 1812, seemed more interested in exploring and furthering trade than in constructing iron-clad vessels and developing rifled cannon. Brooke's expedition was one of the last in an impressive series before the Civil War."

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Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:02 pm
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