Lachlan Macquarie

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Lachlan Macquarie

Ln-Governor-Lachlan macquarie.jpg
5th Governor of New South Wales
In office
1 January 1810 – 30 November 1821
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byWilliam Bligh
Succeeded byThomas Brisbane
Personal details
Born31 January 1762 (1762-01-31)
Ulva, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Died1 July 1824(1824-07-01) (aged 62)
London, England
Spouse(s)Jane Jarvis (m. 1792–1796)
Elizabeth Campbell (1807–1835)
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
RankMajor General
Commands73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War
Napoleonic Wars
Australian Frontier Wars
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath

Major-General Lachlan Macquaire CB (31 January 1762[1] – 1 July 1824) [2] was a British military officer and the fifth Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821.

Macquarie had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of Australia. Historians say he changed New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement. This was very important in making the future of Australian society.

Early life[change | change source]

Macquarie was born on the island of Ulva, in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland.[1] His father had a small farm at Oskamull on Mull. Macquarie's brother Donald, died as a prisoner of war during the American Revolution.[1] Macquarie joined the army, the Royal Highland Emigrants. He was sent to Nova Scotia in 1776, and later served at New York and Charleston. In 1781 he became a Lieutenant and went to Jamaica for three years.[1] He went back to Scotland, for a few years on half pay. He then joined the 77th Regiment and went to India.[1]

Governor[change | change source]

He was ordered to arrest John Macarthur and George Johnston who were the leaders of the Rum Rebellion but they had already sailed to England before he got to Australia. There was a large increase in the number of convicts sent to Australia while Macquaire was governor. He used the extra convicts to build roads, building, and towns. He gave tickets of leave to well behaved convicts. This caused him problems with the free settlers, people who had not been convicts. They thought they should have special rights, and that the convicts should not be seen as their equals. They made many complaints about Macquarie's government back to their friends in England.

Clashes between the settlers and the Aboriginal people increased. Macquarie believed that the best way to treat Aboriginal people was to civilise them. That meant replacing their traditional way of life with European ways. He set up a school for children but most left or went back to their families after a short time. He tried to make a small town to teach the Aborigines how to farm and build houses. He made laws to place Aborigines under British control.

Macquarie resigned at the end of 1821 because of poor health and the difficulty of the job. He served longer than any other governor. When he left 265 major works had been completed, including new army barracks, three convict barracks, roads to Parramatta, a road across the Blue Mountains, stables, a hospital and five towns along the Hawkesbury River, which were out of reach of floodwaters.

Return to Britain[change | change source]

In 1822 and 1823 Macquarie took his family on a holiday to France, Italy and Switzerland. In 1824 he went back to live in his house on Mull. In April 1824 he died in London from a bladder and kidney infection. His body was sent back to his home for burial. His grave is now looked after by the National Trust of Australia.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 N. D. McLachlan, 'Macquarie, Lachlan (1762 - 1824)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 187-195.]
  2. The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation: its people and their origins. (2001) James Jupp p650 Cambridge University Press。
  3. "Lachlan Macquarie Biography - Macquarie University Library". lib.mq.edu.au. Archived from the original on 20 June 2000. Retrieved 19 June 2010.