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.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.