Archaeologists working on the HS2 railway behind Euston station, have discovered the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, the explorer who is credited with giving Australia its name.

HS2 archaeologists say that they were able to identify his remains by the lead depositum plate (breast plate) placed on top of his coffin. The discovery of his burial site among 40,000 other human remains in the burial ground so early in the archaeological dig has thrilled archaeologists working on the project.

He was buried at St. James’s burial ground on 23rd July 1814.

Following the expansion of Euston station westwards into part of the burial ground in 1840s, Flinders’s headstone was removed and it was thought that his remains had been lost.

For a long time, there was an urban myth that Cpt. Flinders was buried under platform 15 at Euston station. Now they know the real location of his real burial place.

Captain (Cpt.) Flinders made several significant voyages, most notably as commander of H.M.S. Investigator which he navigated around the entire coast of Australia. This made him the first known person to sail around the country in its entirety, confirming it as a continent. He is also credited with giving Australia its name, although not the first to use the term, his work popularised its use. His surname is associated with many places in Australia, including Flinders Station in Melbourne, Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the town of Flinders in Victoria.

At the bicentenary of his death in 2014, a memorial statue of Cpt. Matthew Flinders was unveiled by the Duke of Cambridge at Australia House and later installed at Euston Station. Virgin Trains also named one of its Pendolino trains “The Matthew Flinders”.

A scientific study of human remains from St James’s burial ground will also improve our understanding of life and death in London’s 18th and 19th centuries, shedding light on health and disease, social status and lifestyle. Those buried in the long since demolished chapel and burial ground include individuals from all walks of life, as well as victims of accidents, disease, suicide and murder.

Cpt. Matthew Flinders will be reinterred with the buried population of St. James’s Gardens at a location to be announced.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with: ,

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. David says:

    Great story. Which platform was he nearest?

  2. Dave jessop says:

    Don’t know but down under somewhere

  3. Mr Robert Hill says:

    Right. Okay – now the site should be respected and replaced in it’s entirety in honour to the deceased whose remains have rested here, and the whole damned greedy & corrupt HS2 project should be shut down. Compared to the many, many more needy areas of UK’s infrastructure, this is going to benefit few apart from the wealthy of questionable integrity, and certainly so, those who have so greedily invested into it, ignoring principles of virtue and morality. The whole thing, and those involved in it (including govt politicians past & present) stinks!

  4. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I watched it on ITV London News and BBC London News. I’m shocked beyond disbelief.

  5. David Moss says:

    There’s no need to do a “scientific study of human (the) remains”. Most were poor,they had malnutrition and were aggressive to each other. Job done! Re-Inter the remains, give some respect to our ancestors.

Home >> News >> History