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GOVERNOR MACQUARIE.'

MAJOR-GENERAIi 73rd REGIMENT.

(BY G.H-P.}.

Captain Arthur Phillip, RJI., landed at thô Sydney Cove to And a track c* land without, habitation. It must havo appeared a hopeless task to clear and form a pettloment there; yet when'ho left the Sydney Cove in 1792 there was flourishing a small but stfiî struggling town, with no roads, a* few houses, and huts chiefly com- prised the dwellings of the eatly settlers, which dotted the landscape. Lieuten- ant Governor Major Francis Grose, Lieuten- ant Governor Captain William Paterson, Go- vernor John Hunter, Governor King, and Go- vernor Bligh folloaved in succession, and dur- ing the interval of the Bllgh-Johnston rebel- lion In 180S wero Lioutonant-Govornors Major , -orge Johnston, Lt.-Coloael Foveaux,, and

Lt.-Colonel Wm. Paterson.

The home authorities then deemed it advis- able to send out a military man as Governor, and an Imperial regiment, thereupon Brig- adier-General Nightingall was appointed Go ?vernor of New South Wales; but owing to his illness he had to resign almost immediately after his appointment, and tho vacancy was filled by Major-Gonoral '' Lachlan Mac- quarie of 73rd Regiment, who, at the timo of his appointment, was Lieutenant-Colonel of the. regiment. '

When Governor Macquarie landed "offley lally" on 31st December, 1809, at Sydney, ho found the task before him anything but an easy »r pleasant one. There wero a deposed Governor and a population divided in opinion as to its law- ful nillir, while tho officers in the regiment station« d in the colony were engaged in licentious living and trade, chiefly In spirits, with the duties of their profession totally neglected. But snch were tho measures ot MacquaHe's administration that when he lets the colony in 1822 he had laid the foundations ot a future nation and. a, fine city.

Governor Macquarie has been described as a man distinguished for his energetic en-i deavouis to promoto the prosperity of Ure settlement of which he was Governor, both socially and financially. He carne from a Una and sturdy Scotch clan, who had occupied Ulva, the Island of Mull, one of tho Argyll- shire Hebrides, for nine hundred years, and his forebears were burled at Icolmkill. Go- vernor Macquarle's father, whom we are given to understand was a "man of Intelligence, polite, and much of the world," though th« house in which he lived is described as "mean," attained the age of 103 years, dying on 4th January, 1818. In 1762 Macquario was born at Ulva, and on 9th April, 1777, being then fifteen years of age, ho entered the army as an ensign the 2nd battalion ut 84th Regiment, During this year his old home was sold in payment of debts, portion of which, Ulva, was repurchased by Governor Macquarie on his return from New South Wales In 1822, when he left instructions in his will that his remains should bo interred

there.

In 1777 Lachlan Macquarlo saw active Berrico In \Nova Scotia, Halifax, and other parts of North America, and was appointed on 18th January, 1781, a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of 7lBt Foot, then doing garrison duty at New York, Charleston, and Jamaica. On June 4, 1784, ho was placed on half pay, bnt three years later, on Christmas Day, 1787, ho re- ceived his commission as lieutenant in 77th Regiment, and was drafted to India, where ho was engaged in several important engage- ments. On November 9, 1788, he was pro- moted captain, in 1790, was at tho selge of Cannanore, and the following year, 1791, en- gaged at the siego of Seringapatam. In 1795 we find him at Cochin China, and tho follow- ing year at Colombo, when, on May 3, 179G, ho was made brevet-major. In 1799 he was nt the second Biege and capture of Seringapatam, and on March 12, 1801, he was appointed major in 86th Infantry, and on November 7 of tho same year he became brevet lieutenant colonel, during this year he had accompanied Sir David Baird and the Indian Army to Egypt, with the rank of Deputy Adjutant General, and was present at the capturo of Alexandria and the final expulsion of the French Army from Egypt. Two years later, 1803, he was in London, holding thq position on the Home Staff of Assistant Adjutant» General to Lord Harrington, who commanded tho London district. ThiB year and th<Ä following year again saw him on activai service in India. He returned to London ia 1807, commanding the 73rd Regiment, and oa May 8 was appointed Governor of Now SoutH Wales and its dependencies, leaving for tho colony on Thursday, September 23, 1809, in H M S. Dromedary, where ho landed officially on December 31 of the same year, at tho Syd- ney Core, and on Monday, January 1, 1810, ho assumed the Government of New South Wales. He was a man who had seen much foreign ser- vice, and was by no means unknown In official circles. While he was Governor In New South Wales ho was promoted to his colonelcy on July 25, 1810, and In 1811, on February 21, to that of Brigadier-General, on Juno 4, 1813, to be Major-General. In 1821 ho was succeeded by Sir Thomas Brisbane as Governor of New South Wales, and sailed for England In tho ship Surrey, in February, 1822. Ho did not long enjoy his well-earned rest, for he died on July 1, 1824, at Duke-street, St James, London, and on 11th of the same month his re- mains were placed in a chartered vessel and conveyed to Ulva, the Isle of Mull. Threo months before his death, on April 29, the an- niversary of his receiving his first commis- sion, ho waa granted a pension of £1000, for his 47 yeare' service.

Governor Macquarie was tylce married, first to Miss Baillie, of JerviBwood, and secondly to a daughter of Sir John Campbell, of Aird, who accompanied him out to New South Wales, where a son was born to them at Government House, Sydney, on Monday, March 28, 1814, and who was baptised at St. Philip's Church, amidst great rejoicings, but who left no de-

scendants.

A few words before closing this biographical sketch of a man to whom Australia owed so much, yet whose memory Is so little honoured. Macquarie was pre-eminently the "building Governor." He devoted his attention to tho construction of roads and the opening up of the country and the coast-lino, erected many of the principal edifices, useful, but peculiar monuments of architecture, and established many of the most Important public institu- tions which have been handed down to tho present day. Amongst them wo find tho Sid- ney Hospital (the Infirmary), tho Bank of Now South Wales, the Benevolent Asylum He laid the foundations of many buildings and churches, and saw them erected. Nor did Mrs. Macquarie shirk the responsibilities of her position; in fact, she took interest in her husband's projects, and it has been stated that many of the architectural designs carno from her pen. She took Interest In the young of tho colony, urging the establishment of schools and asylums to aid in the betterment of the morals and conditions of the lnhabI-> tnnts, and with Governor Macquarlo helped to give to tho society of the timo a moro philanthropic tone.

Macquarie ruled-not with the Iron hand of his predecessors, but bent to erring human- ity. He considered that to ostracise a person for life who had been transported fqr a petty offence and to extend the social ignominy to his children waa unjust. In religious mat- ters ho showed advanced broadness of princi- ples by removing as far as lay In his power the religious disabilities undor which the settlement laboured, but his humanity and broadness of principles were criticised, caus- ing much dissatisfaction from a certain por- tion of the community, who harassed him in every possible wayf Ultimately ho adopted an attitude bordering on the autocratic. Com- plaints reached the home authorities, and a Commissioner-John Thomas Bigge-Vas sent out to inquire into matters and make a full report, which he did, much to the detriment of Governor Macquarie, disagreeing with him over the emnncipiBt question, and condemning his extravagance and expenditure on public work; but on other mattera he credited him with the praise due to him.

When the recoil of Governor Mncqnarle was announced there Is no doubt that his popu- larity was shown by the way in which the in- habitants both in New South Wales and Van Dlemen's Land tendered him their addresses

Subscriptions were collected, and his por- trait was painted by R. Read, of 39 Pitt street, for the court-honse at Windsor, while meetings were called for the purpose of pre- senting him with a gold cup During his regime Australia first awoke from her adoles- cence to her responsibilities as to the placa she would in future hold with the rest of tho world in trade and commerce.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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