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COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA.
GOVERNORS' DESPATCHES TO AND
July, 1813—December, 1815.
Published by :
THE LIBRARY COMMITTEE OF THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENT.
LACHLAN MACQUARIE. By the appointment of Lachlan Macquarie as governor of New South Wales, the government showed that English opinion had changed regarding the qualifications required by the man who was to administer and control the affairs of the distant colony. Macquarie's predecessors had been naval officers. When captain William Bligh had been appointed at a salary of £2,000 per annum, it had been recognised that the growth and importance of the settlements made it necessary that an officer of not less than flag rank should hold the position. The disastrous result of placing a stern, outspoken naval post-captain in the command of a colony where the military party was predominant had been shown in the usurpation of Bligh's government. The appointment of a military governor of equal rank was determined, and the final selection was made of Macquarie. Instead of being accustomed to the bluff manners of the quarter-deck, Macquarie was courteous and politic. He had served on the staffs of the earls of Harrington and Cavan, Sir Robert Abercromby, Sir David Baird, and General James Stuart, and by experience had acquired the attributes necessary for an executive officer to avoid friction and useless controversies.
Lachlan Macquarie was born on the 31st of January, 1761. He was a descendant of the chiefs of the clan Macquarie in the island of Ulva, one of the Hebrides islands. At the time of his birth, his relative, Lauchlan Macquarrie, the sixteenth and last chief of the clan, had fallen on evil days, and in 1778 the family estates were sold by order of the creditors. Lachlan Macquarie was one of three brothers; the eldest lived and died a farmer, Lachlan and Charles entered the army. On the oth of April, 1777, he was gazetted an ensign in the second battalion of the 8th regiment. Until the end of the year 1780, he served in Halifax and Nova Scotia, but was not on active service in the field. On the 18th of January, 1781, he received a commission as a lieutenant in the first battalion of the 71st Highland regiment, and was employed on garrison duty at New York and Charleston until the close of the