Lachlan Macquarie

Portrait of Lachlan Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie was a Major General in the British Army and served as Governor of New South Wales from 1810 until 1821. He helped transform the region from a penal colony to a free settlement and is often credited as the "Father of Australia".

Lachlan was born in 1762 and came from a small island called Ulva off the coast of Mull and he was educated in Edinburgh before joining the army. He served in North America, India and Egypt before taking over from William Bligh as Governor of New South Wales in the aftermath of the Rum Rebellion.

His liberal policies and extensive building projects saw the settlement grow rapidly however his championing of emancipated prisoners as the best settlers and lavish expenditure on public works led to opposition in London. Complaints from the colony led to an investigation into Macquarie's policies and suffering from ill health he resigned in 1821 and returned to London to defend himself.

Lachlan Macquarie died in 1824 and was buried on Mull; his grave is maintained by the National Trust of Australia.