200th Anniversary of the Swearing-in of Governor Lachlan MacquariePrint Page Print this page

Governor Macquarie Plaque
Governor Macquarie Plaque

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The plaque unveiled alongside a newly planted Angophora costata, or Smooth-barked Apple tree, commemorates the 200th anniversary of the swearing-in of Lachlan Macquarie as Governor and recognises his work and vision as well as the contribution of his wife Elizabeth. The plaque is on Bennelong Lawn near the location where Governor Macquarie disembarked from his ship the Dromedary on 31 December 1809.

Lachlan Macquarie CB was a British military officer and colonial administrator. He served as the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1810 to 1821 and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony. He is considered by some 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. An inscription on his tomb in Scotland describes him as "The Father of Australia".

There is controversy around Macquarie`s treatment of Indigenous people.  In April 1816, Macquarie ordered soldiers under his command to kill or capture any Aboriginal people they encountered during a military operation aimed at creating a sense of "terror".  At least 14 men, women and children were brutally killed, some shot, others driven over a cliff.

Although Macquarie's orders included an instruction to punish the guilty with as little injury to the innocent as possible, archival evidence shows he knew innocent people could be killed. In addition, Macquarie explicitly instructed his soldiers to offer those Aboriginal groups encountered an opportunity to surrender, and to open fire only after meeting "resistance".

These instructions appear to have been ignored. Historical records suggest the soldiers offered no opportunity to surrender, opening fire on a group of people ambushed at night and who were fleeing in terror.

A discussion regarding this can be read in the attached PDF file.


Address:Mrs Macquaries Road, Bennelong Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.858741
Long: 151.214845
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:01-January-1810
Actual Event End Date:01-January-2010


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 1st January, 2010
Front Inscription

This plaque commemorates the 200th anniversary of the swearing-in of Lachlan Macquarie as the fifth Governor of New South Wales on 1 January 1810.

It was commissioned in recognition of the work and vision 
of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie and unveiled on 1 January 2010.

The Honourable Kristine Keneally MP  
Premier of New South Wales
The Honourable John Aquilina MP      
Chair, Macquarie Bicentenary Commemorations Committee


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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