The Macquarie Mausoleum

The mausoleum of Governor Lachlan Macquarie*
The mausoleum of Governor Lachlan Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie was born on the remote island of Ulva, which lies in a deep bay in the island of Mull. In the course of an army career which saw him take part in the battles in America to quash the rebellion there, and further service in Egypt and India, he rose steadily through the ranks until he was appointed to serve as governor of New South Wales.

It was not an enviable position. The previous governor, William Bligh (of Bounty fame) had tried to curb the power of the corrupt New South Wales Corps and had been deposed in a military coup as a result. By a mixture of firmness and geniality, Macquarie succeeded where Bligh had failed and his liberal rule, which saw former convicts encouraged to become successful members of society, was crucial for the transition from penal colony to nation state.

Macquarie died in 1824 and chose to be buried on the island of Mull, where his mausoleum stands in a quiet spot overlooking Ulva. It is cared for by the British National Trust on behalf of the National Trust of Australia.

Anyone who wants to visit it should be aware that there is a half-mile walk from where you have to leave your car to the mausoleum. The walk is through beautiful countryside along a smooth dirt road, but if walking is a problem you'll just have to be content with this film.