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3 corrections, most recently by RonnieLand - Show corrections



(BY G.H-P.).

Captain Arthur Phillip, R.N., landed at the Sydney Cove to find a track of land without habitation. It must have appeared a hopeless task to clear and form a settlement there; yet when he left the Sydney Cove in 1792 there was flourishing a small but still struggling town, with no roads, a few houses, and huts chiefly com- prised the dwellings of the early 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 followed in succession, and dur- ing the interval of the Bligh-Johnston rebel- lion in 1803 were Lieutenant-Govornors Major George Johnston, Lt.-Colonel 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 the vacancy was filled by Major-General Lachlan Mac-   quarie of 73rd Regiment, who, at the time of his appointment, was Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment.  

When Governor Macquarie landed "offic- ially" on 31st December, 1809, at Sydney, he found the task before him anything but an easy or pleasant one. There were a deposed Governor and a population divided in opinion as to its law- ful ruler, while the officers in the regiment stationed in the colony were engaged in   licentious living and trade, chiefly in spirits, with the duties of their profession totally neglected. But such were the measures of Macquarie's administration that when he left the colony in 1822 he had laid the foundations of a future nation and a fine city.

Governor Macquarie has been described as a man distinguished for his energetic en- deavours to promote the prosperity of the settlement of which he was Governor, both socially and financially. He came from a fine and sturdy Scotch clan, who had occupied Ulva, the Island of Mull, one of the Argyll- shire Hebrides, for nine hundred years, and his forebears were buried at Icolmkill. Go- vernor Macquarie's father, whom we are given to understand was a "man of intelligence, polite, and much of the world," though the house in which he lived is described as "mean," attained the age of 103 years, dying on 4th January, 1818. In 1762 Macquarie was born at Ulva, and on 9th April, 1777, being then fifteen years of age, he entered the army as an ensign the 2nd battalion of 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 be interred


In 1777 Lachlan Macquarie saw active service in Nova Scotia, Halifax, and other parts of North America, and was appointed on 18th January, 1781, a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of 71st Foot, then doing garrison duty at New York, Charleston, and Jamaica. On June 4, 1784, he was placed on half pay, but three years later, on Christmas Day, 1787, he re- ceived his commission as lieutenant in 77th Regiment, and was drafted to India, where he was engaged in several important engage- ments. On November 9, 1788, he was pro- moted captain, in 1790, was at the seige of Cannanore, and the following year, 1791, en- gaged at the siege of Seringapatam. In 1795 we find him at Cochin China, and the follow- ing year at Colombo, when, on May 3, 1796, he was made brevet-major. In 1799 he was at the second siege and capture of Seringapatam, and on March 12, 1801, he was appointed major in 86th Infantry, and on November 7 of the 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 capture of Alexandria and the final expulsion of the French Army from Egypt. Two years later, 1803, he was in London, holding the position on the Home Staff of Assistant Adjutant- General to Lord Harrington, who commanded the London district. This year and the following year again saw him on active service in India. He returned to London in 1807, commanding the 73rd Regiment, and on May 8 was appointed Governor of New South Wales and its dependencies, leaving for the colony on Thursday, September 23, 1809, in H.M.S. Dromedary, where he landed officially     on December 31 of the same year, at the Syd- ney Cove, and on Monday, January 1, 1810, he 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 he was promoted to his colonelcy on July 25, 1810, and in 1811, on February 21, to that of Brigadier-General, on June 4, 1813, to be Major-General. In 1821 he was succeeded by Sir Thomas Brisbane as Governor of New South Wales, and sailed for England in the ship Surrey, in February, 1822. He 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. Three months before his death, on April 29, the an- niversary of his receiving his first commis- sion, he was granted a pension of £1000, for his 47 years' service.

Governor Macquarie was twice married, first to Miss Baillie, of Jerviswood, 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-


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 the construction of roads and the opening up of the country and the coast-line, 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 the present day. Amongst them we find the Syd- ney Hospital (the Infirmary), the Bank of New 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 came from her pen. She took interest in the young of the colony, urging the establishment of schools and asylums to aid in the betterment of the morals and conditions of the inhabi- tants, and with Governor Macquarie helped to give to the society of the time a more 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 for a petty offence and to extend the social ignominy to his children waa unjust. In religious mat- ters he showed advanced broadness of princi- ples by removing as far as lay in his power the religious disabilities under 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 way. Ultimately he adopted an attitude bordering on the autocratic. Com- plaints reached the home authorities, and a Commissioner — John Thomas Bigge — was 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 emancipist question, and condemning his extravagance and expenditure on public work; but on other matters he credited him with the praise due to him.

When the recall of Governor Macquarie 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 Diemen'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-house 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 place she would in future hold with the rest of the world in trade and commerce.

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