Captain Matthew Flinders was an English navigator and cartographer who led the first inshore circumnavigation of the landmass that is now known as Australia. He is also credited as being the first person to utilise the name Australia to describe the entirety of that continent including Van Diemen's Land, a title he regarded as being "more agreeable to the ear" than previous names such as Terra Australis.
Flinders was involved in several voyages of discovery between 1791 and 1803, the most famous of which are the circumnavigation around Australia and an earlier expedition where he and George Bass confirmed that Van Diemen's Land was an island.
While returning to England in 1803, Flinders was arrested by the French governor at Isle de France. Although Britain and France were at war, Flinders thought the scientific nature of his work would ensure safe passage, but he remained under arrest for more than six years. In captivity, he recorded details of his voyages for future publication, and put forward his rationale for naming the new continent 'Australia', as an umbrella term for New Holland and New South Wales – a suggestion taken up later by Governor Macquarie.