A DESIRE FOR DESKS

A DESIRE FOR DESKS

Perhaps because I’m a writer, I’ve always had a passion for desks, especially roll top models, and those with secret compartments. Unfortunately I have never owned either type. My passion for history led to me discovering portable desks, also known as  campaign desks. Some even had fittings

Read more

LIEUT. JOHN WATTS; AIDE-DE-CAMP & ARCHITECT

LIEUT. JOHN WATTS; AIDE-DE-CAMP & ARCHITECT

Mention the term  ’colonial architect’ in New South Wales and most people would respond with the name Francis Greenway. That is quite understandable, but let’s bring another deserving character out of the shadows. Who better to speak of John Cliffe  Watts’ ability and character than Elizabeth Macquarie?

Read more

THE MYSTERY OF THE WISHING TREE

THE MYSTERY OF THE WISHING TREE

In Sydney’s Botanic Gardens there is a very special Norfolk Island pine known as The Wishing Tree. It is a replacement of the original, which was planted in the early days of the colony. A sign explains its history, and its association with Governor  Lachlan Macquarie’s wife,

Read more

ELIZABETH MACQUARIE AND DR JOHNSON

ELIZABETH MACQUARIE AND DR JOHNSON

                                           A WEDDING GIFT On November 3 1807, 29 year old Elizabeth Henrietta Campbell married 46 year old Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie at Holsworthy, in the English county of Devon. Their wedding marked the end of a long separation. Macquarie had just returned from military service in India,

Read more

THE FRIENDS OF MRS MACQUARIE PART II – A NEW WORLD

THE FRIENDS OF MRS MACQUARIE  PART II - A NEW WORLD

At the end of  PART ONE of this story, we left  Miss Elizabeth Campbell  fretting over her fiance Lachlan Macquarie’s lack of eagerness to return from army duties in  India.  Clearly something  had to be done. Fortuitously, Henrietta Meredith had a friend and family connection by the

Read more

THE FRIENDS OF ELIZABETH MACQUARIE – Part One

THE FRIENDS OF ELIZABETH MACQUARIE - Part One

On January 1st 1810, Lachlan Macquarie was sworn in as Governor of New South Wales, replacing  the deposed William Bligh. Macquarie had arrived in Port Jackson aboard The Dromedary several days earlier, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth.  Her love and unswerving loyalty  would sustain the Governor throughout

Read more

THE MYSTERY OF THE MACQUARIE MINIATURES

THE MYSTERY OF THE MACQUARIE MINIATURES

On September 17  1879,  the much anticipated Sydney International Exhibition opened in the vast, purpose built Garden Palace. It was located at the south-western end of the Royal Botanic Gardens. On October 27 The Sydney Morning Herald reported; There are two  or three more than ordinarily interesting

Read more

THE TWO WIVES OF HECTOR MACQUARIE…..PART TWO

THE TWO WIVES OF HECTOR MACQUARIE.....PART TWO

MARGARET MACQUARIE  (NEE GOODWIN) Recently I posted the story of  Hector Macquarie, and his marriage to the unfortunate Margaret Simson. Hector was the  dissolute nephew of  Governor Lachlan Macquarie.   You can read the first part HERE.   And now the story continues…… It had always been assumed that

Read more

THE WIVES OF HECTOR MACQUARIE – PART ONE

THE WIVES OF HECTOR MACQUARIE - PART ONE

Hector Macquarie was born on Scotland’s Isle of Mull in 1794.  He was the illegitimate son  of Charles Macquarie, Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s younger brother. Governor Macquarie took his nephew under his wing, famously dubbing him Hero Hector…which  was to become  an ironic nickname. The young man  grew

Read more

HISTORIC PAINTING RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA

HISTORIC PAINTING RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA

 THE EVANS PAINTING – AND A LITTLE MIRACLE For many years I have been attempting to trace four unidentified sketches by Elizabeth Macquarie,   wife of Lachlan Macquarie, an early Governor of New South Wales.  As a resident of the Blue Mountains, I would like to believe

Read more