Governor Lachlan MacquariePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Russell Byers / John Huth

The statue commemorates Governor Lachlan Macquarie's part in founding and shaping Sydney.

Lachlan Macquarie 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:Macquarie Street, Hyde Park North, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869981
Long: 151.212045
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Approx. Event Start Date:1810
Approx. Event End Date:1821
Artist:Terrance Plowright


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 31st January, 2013
Front Inscription

Major General Lachlan Macquarie

Governor of New South Wales

1810 - 1821


Back Inscription

Born Ulva 1762
Died London 1824


Inscription in Proximity

Governor Lachlan Macquarie

He was a perfect gentleman, a Christian and supreme legislator of the human heart.

His government was more ratified by his own merits than by his official insignia and whenever the sculptor shall imagine  a guardian angel for New South Wales and Van Dieman`s Land.  

The chisel of gratitude shall portray the beloved and majestic features of General Macquarie.

This statue was commissioned by the N.S.W. Government and unveiled by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of N.S.W. on 31 January 2013

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