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Lachlan Macquarie – Father of Australia

Governor Lachlan Macquarie was called the ‘Father of Australia’. The title is just. It was his governorship that corrected many of the inveterate problems caused by troublemaker John Macarthur, the ‘exclusives’, and the NSW Corps who instigated the Rum Rebellion and removed Governor Bligh. Below is a short piece about Macquarie by Dennis Hill on his Facebook page. As is currently the trend, Hill gives too much space in such a short piece to the inevitable conflict with the Aborigines. See my next posting which has the section on Governor Macquarie from my book PRISON HULK TO REDEMPTION. I concentrate on Macquarie’s determining role as a nation builder.

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Lachlan Macquarie

by Dennis Hill FB


Major General Lachlan Macquarie, CB ( 31 January 1762 – 1 July 1824) was a British Army officer and colonial administrator from Scotland. Macquarie served as the fifth Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, and had a leading role in the social, economic, and architectural development of the colony. He is considered by historians to have had a crucial influence on the transition of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement and therefore to have played a major role in the shaping of Australian society in the early nineteenth century. Macquarie expressing a desire for Aboriginal peoples to be treated kindly, in 1816 he gave orders that led to the Appin Massacre of Gundungurra and Dharawal people during the Hawkesbury and Napean Rivers

On 8 May 1809 Macquarie was appointed to the position of Governor of New South Wales and its dependencies. He left for the colony on 22 May 1809, on HMS Dromedary, accompanied by HMS Hindostan. The 73rd Regiment of Foot came with him on the two ships. He arrived on 28 December at Sydney Cove and landed officially on 31 December, taking up his duties on the following day. In making this appointment, the British government changed its practice of appointing naval officers as governor and chose an army commander in the hope that he could secure the co-operation of the corrupt and insubordinate New South Wales Corps. Aided by the fact he arrived in New South Wales at the head of his own unit of regular troops, Macquarie was unchallenged by the New South Wales Corps, whose officers led by John Macarthur had mutinied against and imprisoned the previous governor, William Bligh.

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