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 : 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/
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