Guide to the Papers of the Macquarie family (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Macquarie Family
Papers of the Macquarie family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1782 - 6 August 1839
Collection Number
15 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Volume entitled 'Paybook of the Grenadier Company 71st Regiment' containing accounts of payments to soldiers by Macquarie 1782-1783, his accounts with sundry people 1784-1786, and the roll of the Company and casualties 1782-1783.

Letters and documents relating to Lachlan Macquarie including letters 1784-1804 from Lachlan to his uncle Murdoch Maclaine on personal, family and military matters, written mainly from Bombay, Alexandria and London; letters to his brother Charles and to his sister-in-law concerning the death of her son in Ceylon in 1818.

Letter 1794 from Jane, first wife of Lachlan Macquarie, to his mother and two letters from Lachlan Macquarie's mother to her brother.

Letters 1793-1802 from Charles Macquarie to his uncle Murdoch Maclaine and to his cousin Murdoch Maclaine 1813-1834 on personal, family, military and estate matters; miscellaneous letters and copies of letters 1793-1835 to and from Charles Macquarie including two from his son 1835; and documents relating to Charles Macquarie's estate.

Selections 1794-1804 relating to the Macquarie Family from the letter-books of Murdoch Maclaine containing very brief notes of letters sent to various correspondents.

Correspondence 1835-1839 between Lachlan Macquarie, son of Governor Macquarie, and his cousin Murdoch Maclaine including references to interests in New South Wales.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the Scotish Record Office, Edinburgh, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1963. (AJCP reel M460). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Scottish Record Office, HM General Register House, 2 Princes StreetEdinburgh.

Collection refference: GD 174

For further information see the National Archives of Scotland catalogue (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Related material filmed by the AJCP includes Miscellaneous collections of the Scottish Record Office. [URL]

Finding Aid Note

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Alexandria, Egypt; Australia; Bombay, India; British Regiments: 63rd; British Regiments: 93rd; Great Britain; India; London, England; Maclaine, Murdoch; Macquarie Family; Macquarie, Charles; Macquarie, Elizabeth H.; Macquarie, Jane; Macquarie, Lachlan; Macquarie, Lachlan, Col.; Governors and Governors General: New South Wales; New South Wales; Sri Lanka


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry number 301, page 112. []

Biographical / Historical

Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824) was the son of Lachlan Macquarie (d. c.1775) and his wife Margaret (1728-1810), who was the sister of Murdoch Maclaine, the 18th Laird of Lochbuie. He was born on the island of Ulva, in the Inner Hebrides. In 1776 he enlisted in the Army and served with the 84th Regiment and later the 71st Regiment in North America and Jamaica. In 1787 he joined the 77th Regiment and sailed to India, where he was promptly appointed a Captain-Lieutenant. He was promoted to Brevet-Major in 1796. In 1801 he accompanied General Sir David Baird as Deputy Adjutant General on an expedition to expel the French forces from Egypt. He left India in 1803 and, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, served under Lord Harrington as assistant Adjutant-General of the London district. He joined the 73rd Regiment in India in 1805 and returned to England in 1807. A year later the Government decided to send the 73rd Regiment to New South Wales with a new governor and in 1809 Macquarie was appointed to the position. He was made a Colonel in 1810. In Sydney, Macquarie was sworn in on 1 January 1810 and he remained in the colony until February 1822. The second longest-serving governor in New South Wales history, he presided over an extraordinary transformation of the previously struggling convict colony.

Jane Macquarie (1772-1796), the daughter of Thomas Jarvis, was the first wife of Lachlan Macquarie. They married in 1793.

Elizabeth Macquarie (1778-1835), the daughter of Campbell of Airds, was the second wife of Lachlan Macquarie. They married in 1807.

Lachlan Macquarie (1814-1845) was the son of Lachlan and Elizabeth Campbell. He joined the Army in 1831 and served as a Lieutenant in the Scots Greys.

Murdoch Maclaine (1730-1804), the uncle of Lachlan and Charles Macquarie, was the 18th Laird of Lochbuie on the island of Mull. He was a Lieutenant in the 114th Royal Highland Volunteers and served in the Seven Years War in North America. From 1764 to 1775 he was a merchant in Edinburgh. In 1775 he was made a captain in the 84th Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment and he served in America from 1776 to 1784. He married Jane Campbell in 1786 and rebuilt Lochbuie House in 1790. In 1794 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Dumbarton Fencibles.

Murdoch Maclaine (1791-1844), son of the 18th Laird and a cousin of Lachlan and Charles Macquarie, was the 19th Laird of Lochbuie. He served in the 42nd Regiment (Royal Highlanders) and fought in the Peninsular War. He retired from the Army in 1812 and in 1813 married Christina MacLean.

John Maclaine (1793-1818), a son of the 18th Laird and cousin of Lachlan and Charles Macquarie, was commissioned (illegally) as an ensign in 1801. He accompanied Lachlan Macquarie on the voyage to New South Wales in 1809 and for a time was his ADC. He incurred considerable debts which were paid by the governor. In 1814 he left the colony with the 73rd Regiment for Ceylon, where he died.

Charles Macquarie (1771-1835), the brother of Lachlan Macquarie, was a Captain and paymaster in the 116th Regiment. In 1795 he was drafted into the 42nd Regiment for service in the Mediterranean. He was wounded at the Battle of Aboukir in 1801 and later served in the Peninsular Campaign. He became a major in 1804 and a Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel in 1810. He retired from the Army in 1811 and married Marianne Willison in 1812. He had extensive estates on the islands of Mull and Ulva. Some of his purchases were ill-judged and on his death his heirs were faced with large debts.

Elizabeth (Betty) Macquarie, the sister of Lachlan Macquarie, married Farquhar Maclaine in 1771.

Hector Macquarie (1795-1836), a nephew of Lachlan Macquarie, was the illegitimate son of Charles Macquarie. He entered the Army in 1811, serving with the 76th Regiment in India. He transferred to the 48th Regiment, which arrived in New South Wales in 1817. For a time he was ADC to Governor Macquarie. He returned to England with his uncle in 1822.

Hugh Maclaine (1781-1828), a nephew of Lachlan Macquarie, was the son of Farquhar and Elizabeth Maclaine. He was commissioned as an ensign in the 77th Regiment in 1799 and was appointed a Captain in 1803. He became Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment in 1822.

Charles Macquarie (1814-1869), a nephew of Lachlan Macquarie, was the son of Charles and Marianne Macquarie. In 1838 he and his wife Margaret emigrated to New South Wales. He farmed on the Paterson River, but with little success. He returned to Scotland in 1845 and unsuccessfully contested the will of his cousin Lachlan Macquarie, who had died without children and left his entire estate to a friend.

Item Descriptions

Fonds GD 174. Maclaine of Lochbuie Papers, 1782 - 1839

15 items

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

The selected records were filmed in the order listed, rather than numerical order.

Ledger account book of Lieutenant Lachlan Macquarie of 71st Regiment, 1782 - 1793 (File GD174/2172)

Ledger account book containing pay accounts with soldiers in the Grenadier Company (1782-83) and in Captain John McDonald's Company (1783), personal accounts of Lieutenant Lachlan Macquarie with various people (1784-1787), various Lochbuie estate accounts (1791-1793), and roll of Captain Duncanson's Grenadier Company in the 71st Regiment, showing casualties (1782-1783).

Letters of Murdoch Maclaine and Lachlan Macquarie to Cox, Mair and Cox, March 1782 - May 1782 (File GD174/2164)

2 items
Lachlan Macquarie (Charleston) to Cox, Mair and Cox (London), 12 March 1782 (Item)

His promotion to lieutenancy in 71st Regiment; arrears owing to service in 84th Regiment.

Murdoch Maclaine (New York) to Cox, Mair and Cox, 11 May 1782 (Item)

Arrears in pay. (Copy)

Power of attorney from Murdoch Maclaine to Lachlan Macquarie, August 1786 (File GD174/2190)

1 item
Power of attorney from Murdoch Maclaine (Lochbuie) to Lieutenant Lachlan Macquarie, 16 August 1786 (Item)

To receive all money due to him from the battalion paymaster.

Letter from Lachlan Macquarie to Charles Macquarie, September 1794 (File GD174/2334)

1 item
Lachlan Macquarie (Bombay) to his brother Charles Macquarie, 14 September 1794 (Item)

Criticises Charles for not joining him in India and instead accepting lieutenancy in Earl of Breadalbane's regiment.

Letters from Lachlan Macquarie to Murdoch Maclaine, March 1784 - March 1804 (File GD174/1373)

1 item
Letters from Lachlan Macquarie to his uncle and patron Murdoch Maclaine, 18th Laird of Lochbuie, March 1784 - March 1804 (Item)

The letters, which are all quite lengthy, were written from Greenock (Scotland), Bombay (1789-1802), Cairo and Alexandria (1801-1802) and London (1803-1804). They refer to Macquarie's return from Jamaica and his uncle's return from America (1784), debts and other financial matters, his voyage to India (1789), promotion, mutual friends in India, the likelihood of war with Tipoo Sahib, the ruler of Mysore (1790), the ill health of Macquarie's wife Jane (1796), an expedition against Dutch settlements in Ceylon, the management of Lochbuie and his interest in purchasing part of the estate, news of Charles Macquarie and other members of the family serving in the Army, the fitting up of an expedition to Egypt, the death of his brother Donald Macquarie (1801), operations with Egypt, a meeting with Charles Macquarie after a separation of 14 years, the defeat of the French forces in Egypt, the raising of funds to purchase land on Mull, Macquarie's return to India (1802), his appointment as under Lord Harrington (1803)), allegations and criticism arising from his assistance to 'the young heroes' John Maclaine and Hector Macquarie, the welfare of his mother Margaret Macquarie, and the threat of a French invasion of Ireland (1804).

(26 letters).

Letter from Lachlan Macquarie to Elizabeth Maclaine, August 1818 (File GD174/2338)

2 items
Lachlan Macquarie (Sydney) to his sister Elizabeth Maclaine, 15 August 1818 (Item)

Reports death of her son John Maclaine, killed in battle in Ceylon.

Maurice O'Connell to Lachlan Macquarie, 18 August 1818 (Item)

Death of John Maclaine. (extract)

Letters from Margaret Macquarie to Murdoch Maclaine, [1801]- April 1803 (File)

2 items
Margaret Macquarie (Oskamull) to her brother Murdoch Maclaine, [1801] (Item)

Sudden death of her son Donald Macquarie; seeks advice about the funeral.

Margaret Macquarie (Oskamull) to Murdoch Maclaine, 2 April 1803 (Item)

Promises to send a servant to join his household.

Letter from Jane Macquarie to Margaret Macquarie, January 1794 (File GD174/1486)

1 item
Jane Macquarie (Bombay) to Margaret Macquarie, 7 January 1794 (Item)

Her marriage to Lachlan Macquarie; sends an Indian shawl as testimony of her affection.

Series GD174/1484. Letters from Charles Macquarie to Murdoch Maclaine, March 1793 - August 1802

1 item
Letters from Charles Macquarie to his uncle and patron Murdoch Maclaine, 18th Laird of Lochbuie, March 1793 - August 1802 (File)

The letters, which vary considerably in length, were written from various places: Lochbuie, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, London, Newry, Armagh, Cork, Southampton, Lisbon, Minorca and Winchester. The bulk of them date from 1793-1795.

The subjects include the management of the Lochbuie estate on Mull, sheep and cattle farming, crops, fisheries, tenants, Macquarie's visits to Oban and other places in western Scotland, meetings with Lord Breadalbane and Colonel Campbell, the offer of a lieutenancy and paymastership in Breadalbane's regiment, financial matters, recruiting for the regiment, Macquarie's reasons for staying in Britain rather than joining his brother in India, criticisms of Charles by Lachlan Macquarie (1795), the funding of the regiment, his promotion to captain (1795), news of family members in the Army and elsewhere, service in Ireland (1794-1795), living conditions, the organisation of the forces in Ireland, the incorporation of the regiment into the 42nd Regiment, news from Mull, rents, financial transactions, the voyage to Portugal (1797), impressions of Lisbon, Gibraltar defences, military operations in Minorca, possible attack by Spanish forces, and proposed land purchases in Mull (1802). (76 Letters)

Series GD174/1627. Letters from Charles Macquarie to Murdoch Maclaine, 1813 - 1834

1 item
Letters from Charles Macquarie to his cousin Murdoch Maclaine, the 19th Laird of Lochbuie, 1813 - 1834 (File)

The letters were mostly written from Gruline, Mull (1813-1820) and Ulva (1830-1834). They deal with financial matters, the management of the Lochbuie estate during the absence of Maclaine, tenants, the birth of Maclaine's daughter (1820), litigation, family arrangements following the death of Maclaine, a land dispute with Colonel Campbell of Knock (1832) and family affairs. (26 letters)

Miscellaneous correspondence of Charles Macquarie, 1793 - 1833 (File)

The letters, some of which are copies, were written by Charles Macquarie, Murdoch Maclaine (19th Laird), Donald McIntyre (Oban) and Donald Mclean (Edinburgh). They refer inter alia to salmon fishing rights on the Lochbuie estate and other estate matters, the acquisition of Glenforsa by Macquarie in 1804, rents, property disputes and the affairs of the Lochbuie trustees. Some letters are incomplete.

Letters from Hector Macquarie to Charles Macquarie, March 1835 - May 1835 (File GD174/1703)

2 items
Hector Macquarie (Roxburgh Castle) to his father Charles Macquarie, 28 March 1835 (Item)

Fear of being caught by his creditors when ship reaches Portsmouth; poor health of his wife Margaret; requests testimonials be sent to Sir George Murray and Duke of Gordon.

Hector Macquarie (Roxburgh Castle) to Charles Macquarie, 11 April 1835 (Item)

Improved health of his wife; conditions on ship; impending arrival in Madras.

Minutes of meetings of trustees of Charles Macquarie, April 1835 (File GD174/35)

4 items
Minutes of meeting of trustees of the late Lieutenant Colonel Macquarie (7p.), 2 April 1835 (Item)
Notes on action taken by trustees since 2 April 1835 (5p.) (Item)
Minutes of meeting of trustees of the late Lieutenant Colonel Macquarie (11p.), 11 April 1835 (Item)
Minutes of meeting of trustees of the late Lieutenant Colonel Macquarie (6p.), 27 April 1836 (Item)

Letterbooks of Murdoch Maclaine, 1794 - 1804 (File GD174/1506)

The letterbooks contain brief summaries of letters sent to various correspondents, including Lachlan and Charles Macquarie.

Correspondence between Lachlan Macquarie and Murdoch Maclaine, 13 December 1835 - 6 August 1839 (File GD174/1707)

4 items
Macquarie (Burnley Barracks) to Murdoch Maclaine, 5 Aug [n.y.] (Item)

Success at races; hopes to obtain position for Lachlan on an East Indiaman; sale of properties.

Lachlan Macquarie (Leeds Barracks) to Murdoch Maclaine, 13 December [1835] (Item)

Sale of Glenforsa; impending marriage.

Murdoch Maclaine to Lachlan Macquarie, 30 July 1839 (Item)

Family news; son Donald working as a merchant in Batavia; he offers to take charge of Lachlan's concerns in New South Wales. (Copy)

Lachlan Macquarie (Limerick) to Murdoch Maclaine, 6 August 1839 (Item)

Believes his interests in New South Wales have been neglected; power of attorney given to Sir Maurice O'Connell; wife is with her family in Jura.