Major-General Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824) governor
Macquarie was a conservative disciplinarian who believed, in the words of the historian Manning Clark, that the Protestant religion and British institutions were indispensable both for liberty and for a high material civilisation. Macquarie made it clear that he had a vision for Australia’s future. He ordered the construction of roads, bridges, wharves, churches and public buildings.
Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, British military officer and colonial administrator, served as Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821 and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of that colony. Historians assess his influence on the transition of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement as being crucial to the shaping of Australian society. Macquarie was a conservative disciplinarian who believed, in the words of the historian Manning Clark, “that the Protestant religion and British institutions were indispensable both for liberty and for a high material civilisation.” When he arrived in Sydney in December 1809, he found a struggling, chaotic colony which was still basically a prison camp, with barely 5,000 European inhabitants. Macquarie ruled the colony as an enlightened despot, breaking the power of the Army officers such as John Macarthur, who had been the colony’s de facto ruler since Bligh’s overthrow.
Macquarie made it clear that he had a vision for Australia’s future. He ordered the construction of roads, bridges, wharves, churches and public buildings. The oldest surviving buildings in Sydney, such as the Hyde Park Barracks, have his name inscribed on their porticoes. He appointed magistrates to outlying posts such as Van Diemen’s Land and the Bay of Islands (now New Zealand). He founded new towns such as Richmond, Windsor, Pitt Town, Castlereagh and Wilberforce (known as the “Macquarie Towns”), as well as Liverpool. He appointed a Colonial Secretary, a government printer and a government architect, and commissioned his aide-de-camp Lieutenant John Watts (who had some architectural experience) to work on building projects as well. All these actions reflected his view that New South Wales, despite its origins as a penal settlement, was now to be seen as a part of the British Empire, where a free people would live and prosper and eventually govern themselves. Central to Macquarie’s administration was his concern for public morality. In some of his earliest orders the prevailing habit of cohabiting without marriage was denounced, constables were directed to enforce laws against Sabbath-breaking, and a regular church parade was introduced for convicts in government employment. Already in October 1810 he claimed that ‘a very apparent’ change for the better had taken place in the ‘Religious Tendency and Morals’ of the inhabitants. Certainly church-going and the marriage rate increased. Closely connected with all this was his energetic establishment of schools in Sydney and elsewhere, his licensing regulations which reduced the number of public houses in Sydney alone from 75 to 20, and his seizure of clandestine stills. In 1811 he reorganized the Sydney police, appointing D’Arcy Wentworth superintendent.
Sources and complete article : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachlan_Macquarie
Macquarie Christian Studies Institute : http://www.mcsi.edu.au
Christian History Research : https://web.archive.org/web/20130409114529/http://www.chr.org.au/fpbooks/SL/slhs9.html
Lachlan Macquarie’s wife Elizabeth Macquarie : https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/elizabeth-macquarie
John Macarthur’s wife Elizabeth Macarthur :
Information on William Wilberforce : https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/william-wilberforce-the-clapham-cabinet-and-%E2%80%98liberating-the-captives%E2%80%99-in-australia/
The Lachlan Macquarie Institute: http://www.lmi.org.au/home
Information on National Christian Heritage Sunday http://www.nchs.net.au/
Mark Latham: Don’t burn our complicated history down — learn from it
Mark Latham, The Daily Telegraph
GOUGH Whitlam didn’t have many heroes in life. most likely he didn’t need to, given his amazing ability and self-belief in the creation of his own legend. But during my five years working for him in the 1980s, there was one figure often praised around the office: Governor Lachlan Macquarie.
Gough identified with him as a builder, a creator of civilisation, a humanising force who believed in the equal treatment of people. Until the recent debate about Australia Day and its rewriting of Australian history, this was a common Labor thing to do. The great political tension in the early colonial settlement was between the landed aristocracy, who wanted to use the convicts as a form of slave labour, and progressives such as Macquarie, who believed in emancipation and equality of citizens.
Labor’s historian of choice, Manning Clark, subsequently described this as part of the Australian struggle between “punishers” and “enlargers” — a dichotomy Paul Keating picked up during his prime ministership.
As governor between 1810 and 1821, Macquarie was Australia’s first urbanist, founding townships such as Windsor, Richmond, Campbelltown and Liverpool (where I grew up). He mapped out a town square and commons for each, with plans for the construction of the pillars of civilisation on their perimeter: a school, a hospital and a courthouse.
As mayor of Liverpool in 1993, I ordered the construction of a statue of Macquarie at the highest point in our CBD, overlooking his eponymous street. Whitlam was delighted. It sealed our belief in the grandeur of the Macquarie legacy, the remarkable nation-building feat of turning a penal colony into a civilisation.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie. As Manning Clark wrote, he was “the father of Australia, the man with the benevolent heart, who counteracted distress and misery, who erected buildings of the highest utility and ornament, who befriended popular freedom, who sowed the seeds for the reformation of the convicts and the civilisation of the Aborigine.” An early Whitlamite indeed. Yet today, Macquarie is the subject of vicious revisionism.
He’s gone from being a Labor hero to widespread demonisation as an anti-indigenous thug. In truth, Macquarie reached out to Aboriginal tribes with offers of land grants and farm produce. Each year at Parramatta he held an Aboriginal friendship dinner and, in the same township, he built a special facility for the education of indigenous youth. Yet on leftist websites, Macquarie is now derided as a “racist”, a “barbarian” and even a “terrorist”. He’s been fitted up for the 1816 Appin Massacre when, after farms had been attacked and settlers killed, Macquarie sent his soldiers on a law enforcement expedition.
Its leadership ignored his orders for the taking of prisoners and “sparing all women and children”. Instead, 14 Aborigines were slaughtered. Mistakes were made on the colonial frontier but by any fair reading of history, Macquarie should be remembered as a decent man and a visionary leader. In the history wars surrounding the date of Australia Day, the veteran commentator Paul Kelly has depicted the struggle as between “unpersuasive conservatives” and “a progressive crusade”. This is untrue. There is nothing progressive in the trashing of Macquarie’s reputation. There is nothing progressive in rewriting Australian colonial history with the single malignant purpose of recasting each of its leaders as genocidal maniacs. At the far-left ABC and sister shows including The Project, events are being fabricated, massacres are being invented and successful leaders are being maligned.
We must defend the virtues of our civilisation, using reason and rationality to build a society based on merit and the nation-building egalitarianism of men like Macquarie and Whitlam. We must never surrender to propagandists, the extreme, fanatical haters of Australia, like the organiser of Friday’s “Invasion Day Rally” in Melbourne, who, in offering a summary of their cause on the steps of Parliament, screeched aloud: “F … Australia, I hope it f … ing burns to the ground.”
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