On his next attempt to get home, in the Cumberland, he was detained by the French on Mauritius. His long imprisonment, combined with harsh conditions during his years at sea, may have contributed to his declining health, although some writers disagree with this suggestion.
Finally returning to England he gained an overdue promotion, but failed to gain fame, or even due recognition, for his accomplishments. After years of absence, Matthew and his beloved Ann resumed married life, and a daughter, Anne, was born to the couple.
Matthew Flinders died on 19 July, 1814, in London, after having lapsed into a coma as a result of his illness.
His widow, Ann, and daughter, Anne, suffered financial difficulties over the following years. Several decades later the governments of the NSW and Victorian colonies offered financial assistance, and while Ann had died, Anne used this money to help bring up and educate Matthew and Ann Flinders' grandson, William Matthew Flinders Petrie, who became prominent in his own right.
The geography of Australia's coastline was of vital importance to Matthew Flinders; he placed the highest priority upon filling in the blanks on existing charts, and was the first to explore the vast length of the southern