Macquarie’s Mausoleum

Isle of Mull, United Kingdom

Lachlan Macquarie was born in 1761 on the Isle of Ulva. He later became one of the most recognisable characters of Colonial Australia and was described as “The Father of Australia,” due to his work as Governor of New South Wales from 1810-1821.

The American War of Independence prompted Macquarie, aged 16 at the time, to enrol in active military service with his father in 1775. By 1781 he was promoted to Lieutenant. This signalled the start of an impressive military career that lasted over 30 years and saw him achieve the rank of Major General. His service not only earned him a small fortune but provided him with the opportunity to travel. He visited North America, Jamaica and Egypt before beginning a long period of association with India.

While in Bombay, he met and married Jane Jarvis, the heiress daughter of a former Chief Justice of Antigua. Jane died of tuberculosis a few years after the marriage.

Macquarie became deeply depressed and decided to go back to Mull. Here he met Elizabeth Campbell, who in 1807 became his second wife. Macquarie was soon after offered the position of Governor of New South Wales by the British Crown and he went back to Australia in 1809. In March 1814, Elizabeth gave birth to Lachlan Junior, heir to the Mull estate.

Macquarie took office in 1810 and set about improving the morale and the physical infrastructure of the Colony. He and Elizabeth toured widely, forging strong relationships and establishing a positive, progressive tone that soon saw the creation of a civilised and stable society.

Ill health led Macquarie to tend his resignation three times during his term in office; his third offer was accepted and the family returned home in 1822. A tour of the continent followed and afterwards they came back to Mull. In 1824, sensing his death approaching, Lachlan put his affairs in order and chose a burial site on the Gruline Estate in Mull. He died on 1 July 1824.

For many years the mausoleum was sadly neglected. But in 1948, Lady Yarborough, the owner of a nearby estate, gifted the mausoleum site to the people of New South Wales. Today, the tomb is preserved and protected by both The National Trust of Scotland and The National Trust of Australia. In 1851 the Drummond family, a socially prominent family, built a final mausoleum on the site.

Set in a grassed area surrounded by a circular stone wall with wrought iron gates, the Macquarie Mausoleum is a plain sandstone structure with two marble panels enclosing the entrance doorways. It holds the remains of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie and their children, Lachlan – and Jane, who died in infancy.

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User Reviews

Dan Stokes (6 months ago)
Suspicious place
godfrey young (12 months ago)
Found by accident it is such a lovely calm place. Why did he travel from here???
Mal Anderson (15 months ago)
I discovered this by accident when driving around Mull in 1992. Fascinating discovery so far from Aus! Amazing thinking someone brought up in a small clan in the wilderness of this part of remote Scotland could turn into the soldier, statesman and nation-builder he became. Some are now concerned about his role in colonial history judged by today's PC. Looking at his life he took a very bad situation and made it a lot better. Would that we saw that universally in public life today.
Gerald Miller (15 months ago)
I have not actually been to MacQuarrie's Mausoleum in a physical sense, but I truly feel that I have been there metaphorically speaking after reading Gretta Curran Browne's quadrilogy about the MacQUARRIE-JARVIS- DEWAR families. I very highly recommend it. The family saga begins with BY EASTERN WINDOWS, continues with THE FAR HORIZON and JARVISFIELD. The concluding book is THE WAYWARD SON. These books are available on the Kindle system. The epic adventures of these historical families are followed from Scotland to India to China and then a return to the beautiful Isle of Mull, Scotland. I just finished reading the series last night and am thinking how much I would have liked it to continue into a 5th book. General MacQuarrie was a special person. Reading about the most significant role he played in the transition of the English prison colony of New South Wales to the beautiful country of Australia was really eye opening.
Gerald Lynch (2 years ago)
Short, easy walk from roadside parking. This should be on every Australian’s “to do” list since we all owe Macquarie so much in stabilising the early colony and by placing it on a more equitable foundation by championing the emancipists rights to participate fully in its society.
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