24 Jun 2017

The story of Lachlan Macquarie

I wonder what you know about New South Wales' fifth Governor, Lachlan Macquarie.  If you're like most Aussies, you'll recognise his name because of the things named after him - Canberra's suburb of Macquarie and Lachlan Street, Sydney's Macquarie Street and Macquarie Place and Hobart's Macquarie Street, Macquarie Island south of Tasmania, Lake Macquarie on the NSW coast, the Macquarie River in NSW and the Macquarie River in Tasmania, Port Macquarie, and the Lachlan River to name a few.  Maybe you've sat it Mrs Macquarie's Chair, overlooking Bennelong Point and the Sydney Opera House. The inscription on his tomb on Mull in Scotland names him "The Father of Australia" and yet we know longer know who he is. Should we?

Arriving in Australia in 1810, Macquarie took up the position of Governor vacated by William Bligh who had been deposed by the military during the 1808 Rum Rebellion (remember that?). From the beginning Macquarie saw the colony as both a settlement as well as a penal colony.  "This country," he wrote, "should be made the happy home of every emancipated convict who deserves it." He was frustrated by what he referred to as 'the party spirit' - the class divisions and factional fighting that were so rife in the colony. "Free settler in general...are by far the most contented persons in the colony," he wrote to the colonial office in England.

Macquarie believed that the solution to the convict problem was to put them to work. During his 12 years as Governor Macquarie was responsible for over 250 new buildings, including churches, schools and hospitals.  He built roads and tidied up the design of Sydney's streets. He built Sydney into a city as fine as any in the world. But England was not keen that Sydney become too attractive.  New South Wales was meant as a place of punishment and they worried that people might actually commit crimes in order to be transported!

Macquarie produced the first official currency for the new colony. He authorised exploration of the 'west' beyond the Blue Mountain where well watered grassland and forests were discovered.  It was Macquarie who ordered all traffic on New South Wales roads to keep left. He encouraged the creation of the colony's first bank. He drew up plans for Castlereigh, Pitt Town, Richmond, Wilberforce and Windsor.

The Startling Story of Lachlan Macquarie - Founding Father of Failure by Michael Sedunary and illustrated by Bern Emmerichs goes some way towards introducing Australian kids to the unfairly forgotten  Governor Macquarie.  It's an oddly sophisticated book, and I am not quite sure who its written for.  It is aimed at kids of 10-12, but I suspect that without some prior history knowledge the story would go over the heads of most of them.  It's a long book using complex language and discussing deep questions, and  I suspect that most kids would lose interest long before the end. That said, it is wonderful for use as part of a study of Australian History. It is well balanced, discussing Macquarie's considerable accomplishments with his many less than stellar decisions.  It covers Macquarie's treatment of the Aborigines in a way that is sensitive to our native Australians but without falling into the trap of revising history inappropriately with the wisdom of hindsight and putting our modern worldview onto past events.

Sadly the book paints Reverend Samuel Marsden as a villain, referring to his moniker as 'the flogging parson' and telling the story of the public lending library - which is probably true, but without balancing the considerable good also accomplished by this powerful man of God.  I am saddened by this. So it is not perfect, but in general The Startling Story of Lachlan Macquarie is an excellent book for a child keen to learn more about the early history of our great country and willing to put in the work to understand it.  It is also great for use as part of a history study for school.  Those of you using my Australianised AmblesideOnline will want to grab up a copy for use during both cycles through Aussie history - it is well worth using twice, and who knows how long it will be in print?

The Startling Story of Lachlan Macquarie is the third in a series by this author - illustrator trio and published by Berbay Books.  The first two are The Unlikely Story of Bennelong and Phillip and William Bligh - a Stormy Story of Tempestuous Times.  I haven't seen either of these but I am keen to.  I am sure they would be excellent.

So there you are.  Hopefully you now know more about Governor Macquarie.  Perhaps once you read the book you will be able to decide whether he deserves to be remembered as the father of Australia.  Do tell me what you think. Can a country really have a father anyhow?


  1. Thanks Jeanne! Will jump on my library website before the other locals read your blog post!!

  2. Apparently he was also a good friend of William wilberforce and also one of the founding members of the NSW Bible Society as per Ron :)

  3. Hoping you continue your blog we get so much encouragement from it as well as Australian book idea thanks grace

  4. Great survey, I'm sure you're getting a great response.

  5. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.


    1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
    2. Telephone Numbers:……….
    3. Address and Location:…….
    4. Amount in request………..
    5. Repayment Period:………..
    6. Purpose Of Loan………….
    7. country…………………
    8. phone…………………..
    9. occupation………………
    11.Monthly Income…………..

    Email Kindly Contact: (urgentloan22@gmail.com)

  6. Money loan offer for everyone

    This year the interest on our mortgage has decreased. We have reduced our participation to 2% for 10 years. Previously this was 3.7%. We started in July 2018 with 2 loans for a total amount of € 900,000.

    E-mail: info@creditfinance-bank.com
    Whatsapp number: +33784505888
    Website: https://www.creditfinance-bank.com

  7. This is great story! As a writer of essays from Speedypaper I look for information on various topic.

  8. I just want to thank you for sharing your information and your site or blog this is simple but nice Information I’ve ever seen i like it i learn something today. Best Dental Clinic In Bhopal


  9. We are certified financial company. We loan at reasonable rates 3% P.A. Personal Loan or Consolidation, Car, Investment, house loan, mortgage loan, etc is given to employees working in Private Limited Company, Public Limited Company, Government Sector, We have special scheme to Credit Card Holder, Insurance Policy Holders Documents Required:- Photograph, Residence Proof address or office address of Existing Company, contact us today and put a stop to your financial problem.email:perfectfinancialcredite@gmail.com

  10. I'm so glad and enjoyed your BLOG, It is very informative on the subject or topic, and Thanks For Sharing this post. I have something to share here www.avg.com/retail





  11. Dear Author, you have written a mind-blowing blog all content was very informative and useable information I would like to say thank you so much for sharing such useful information with us and wish you all the best for upcoming comment. I have also something to share here I hope you will like my comment. wwww.norton.com/setup enter product key
    www.norton.com/setup, Norton product key, Norton com setup download, norton.com/setup

  12. I think the writer of this blog has a good idea of the topic he beautifully describes the things, impressive writing I also have some antivirus security links to share here which protects your system from any kind of security threats:


  13. This is very impressive blog post, I like the way you present the content, I have something to share here:


  14. We also known for the best React Native application development company in USA offering React Native development services and custom React Native Mobile Application development across the USA by best React Native Developers.

  15. React Native App Development Company
    React Native is one of the most popular global app development frameworks with a thriving development community. As an established react native development company, we unearth the hidden benefits when you choose React Native for app development.


  16. You completed several nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found the majority of
    persons will go along with with your blog.

    Visit my site :: 안마

  17. I have learned a lot from your article, Thanks for this peace of mind that is worth millions of dollars.
    Only people with clean hearts can share these types of hidden information to the public freely, same as Hi-Tech programmers have been helping people around the world for obtaining from banks and lenders,
    * Personal Loans  
    * Credit Card Loans
    * Home Loans
    * Car Loans
    * Two-Wheeler Loans
    * Small Business Loans
    * Payday Loans
    * Cash Advances

    With their UNDETECTED FAKE BANK STATEMENTS still unknown to many individuals you can also join their 209.3k members TELEGRAM GROUP
    to share your own opinion with the rest of the groups members.
    Thanks once more for this powerful article.

  18. Thank you for the blog, This blog has more beautiful information in it. If you are looking for IOS app development company then click this and get benefited

  19. front-end development more unique and include them while building the application so that you get the application that you’ve always dreamed of for your company.We are determined to develop the front-end for you on time and render you the best Front end Development services in India.

  20. Tecocraft is a world-leading iPhone Application development company in the USA. Providing sterling, feature-rich, and fully optimized iOS applications based on your specific business needs.

  21. This is often at the same time a good present that many of us seriously enjoyed browsing. It's not at all on a daily basis which i provide the likeliness to check something. 안전놀이터

  22. Looking for a React Developer? We have everything you need to hire React developers and build high-quality, scalable and responsive apps.

  23. Largely each sportsbook worth their salt has a betting app 카지노사이트


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...