Lachlan Macquarie

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Governor Lachlan Macquarie
Governor Lachlan Macquarie

Governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived off Port Jackson December 28, 1809 with strong westerly winds preventing entry through the heads. A break in the weather permitted a short journey around South Head and dropping of the anchor in Watson's Bay the next day. The first man to welcome the Governor was Isaac Nichols who became the postmaster for the colony later in the year. Deposed Governor William Bligh had sailed to Hobart, Van Diemen's Land in February 1809 leaving the colony to the varied control of the 102nd Regiment officers [NSW Corps].

Macquarie was Colonel of the 73rd Regiment which had been sent to replace the 102nd [NSW Corps] following their 'mutinous conduct towards His Majesty's late representative, William Bligh, Esquire'.

His Excellency the Governor landed at ten on the morning of December 31, with the 102nd Regiment formed in an open line extending from the Government landing stairs to Government House. A salute was fired from the ships which was answered by the Battery at Dawes Point. His Excellency and Lady Macquarie were received on their landing by Lieutenant Governor Paterson, Colonel Foveaux, and all the principal Officers.

Macquarie determined to have His Majesty's orders of appointment proclaimed to the citizens of the settlement rather than wait to have Bligh formally transfer the office of Governor.

The 73rd Regiment landed in the forenoon and at 12 noon the troops formed into a square on the Grand Parade, one side of which consisted of the 102nd Regiment.

The Judge Advocate read His Majesty's Commission and displayed the Great Seal of the Territory on which part of the ceremony the Troops saluted by presenting arms.

Sydney Settlement Diary: Australia's first Bank, the Bank of New South Wales [now Westpac] opened for business April 8, 1817

Reference: Sydney Gazette Sunday January 1810 and April 1817

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.