Mac­quarie Fam­ily re­turns to Scot­land

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - History -

Dis­ap­point­ment, how­ever, awaited the fam­ily. The gov­ern­ment ig­nored the pe­ti­tion by Mac­quarie for the promised pension of £500 per year. The fam­ily strug­gled on their mea­gre sav­ings for nearly two years.

Gov­er­nor Lach­lan Mac­quarie, his wife El­iz­a­beth and their son Lach­lan sailed back to Great Bri­tain on the Surry in 1822. At the age of 61 Mac­quarie was look­ing for­ward to re­tire­ment on his prop­erty Jarv­is­field in Scot­land.

Act­ing on a pre­mo­ni­tion of his own death, Mac­quarie sur­prised and alarmed El­iz­a­beth by giv­ing her a box con­tain­ing mem­o­ra­bilia from his days serv­ing in the Army in In­dia. It con­tained me­men­toes of his first wife, some­thing he had never men­tioned to El­iz­a­beth be­fore.

In the sum­mer of 1824 he went to Lon­don to try to per­suade the gov­ern­ment to hon­our its promised pension. An ur­gent call to El­iz­a­beth and son Lach­lan in Scot­land had them hur­ry­ing to Lon­don. Mac­quarie lay on his death bed. Look­ing at his son his last words were “Fine lad, fine lad”.

El­iz­a­beth re­turned to Scot­land and was even­tu­ally granted the pension although at a re­duced rate. She lived on the Is­land of Mull work­ing to have pub­lished her hus­band’s re­ply to the al­le­ga­tions made in the Bigge In­quiry re­gard­ing his term as gov­er­nor of New South Wales. The gov­ern­ment fi­nally pub­lished Mac­quarie’s an­swers to Bigge’s ac­cu­sa­tions in the Par­lia­men­tary Pa­pers in June 1828. El­iz­a­beth also en­sured the in­scrip­tion on Lach­lan’s tomb­stone reads: The Fa­ther of Australia.

In 1831, son Lach­lan, aged 16 years joined the army and El­iz­a­beth pur­chased an en­sign po­si­tion for him in the 42nd Reg­i­ment of Foot. El­iz­a­beth Mac­quarie passed away peace­fully at Gru­line House in March 1835 aged 56. In 1845 son Lach­lan died in an ac­ci­dent at Craig­nish Cas­tle and was buried with his par­ents.

Fam­ily vault in­scrip­tion

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