A History of Australia: From the Earliest Times to the Age of Macquarie

By C. M. H. Clark | Go to book overview

15
MACQUARIE, 1820-1821

BY THE TIME Bigge arrived in New South Wales, Macquarie's vision for the future of the colony was fading fast as his mind fed more and more on schemes to confound his enemies, and to win recognition for his work from the people in high places in London. To achieve this, Macquarie had first of all to win the approval of Bigge. Macquarie, who had not conceded equality let alone superiority to a judge or a minister of Christ's Church during his nine years in the colony, was asked to submit himself to the judgment of a man who was twenty years his junior in age, as well as being his junior in the service of government. The man who was incapable of believing there could be any other point of view than his own, was to be judged by a man who enjoyed in abundance the ability to be fairminded, by a man who understood everyone's point of view and was endowed by nature with the gift of thinking himself into the mind of another person. So fate and the past afflicted his heart with a suffering which Macquarie could not reconcile with his notions of just deserts.

It began on 30 October, when Bigge let Macquarie know that he objected to the appointment of Redfern as a magistrate. On 1 November Macquarie called on Bigge who, somewhat to Macquarie's surprise, told him the appointment would not be approved at home, that it would give great offence, and might be annulled. To withhold the appointment was precisely what Macquarie could not do consistently with his honour, because on I September he had promised Redfern to appoint him a magistrate. Nor was Macquarie prepared to expose himself to the humiliating and mortifying reproach of a dereliction from that principle on which he had uniformly acted for the last ten years in the colony. They parted after agreeing that any further discussion on the appointment would be in writing.1 In his first letter, Bigge urged Macquarie to avert a measure so replete with danger to the community and mischief to himself, and not to be swayed by any fear of affording a triumph to his enemies, but rather to disarm their malignity by setting a noble example of devotion to the higher interests of government by making a magnanimous sacrifice of his personal feelings to his public duty.2 Macquarie replied, on 6 November, that he was gratified to be working with a man who, like himself, had the one object of the faithful discharge of their duty to their sovereign and their country in view. Redfern, he went on, possessed the qualifications. Experience had convinced him that some of the

____________________
1
"Macquarie to Bathurst, 22 February 1820", H.R.A., I, 10, pp. 215-16.
2
"Bigge to Macquarie, 2 November 1819", encl. no. 2 in "Macquarie to Bathurst, 22 February 1820", H.R.A., I, 10, pp. 219-20.

-337-

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A History of Australia: From the Earliest Times to the Age of Macquarie
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Errata xiii
  • Contents xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Part I - The Forerunners 1
  • I - The Earliest Times to Catholic Christendom 3
  • 2 - The Contribution of The Protestants 21
  • 3 - The Sons of Enlightenment 42
  • Part II - The Foundation 57
  • 4 - The Choice of Botany Bay 59
  • 5 - The Beginning of Sydney Cove 73
  • 6 - Convicts and the Faith Of The Founders 90
  • Part III - Phillip to Bligh 111
  • 7 - Phillip 113
  • 8 - Grose, Paterson and Hunter 132
  • 9 - King, Flinders, and Port Phillip 160
  • 10 - Van Diemen's Land and The Civilization of New South Wales 186
  • II - Bligh 210
  • 12 - The Society of New South Wales In 1810 235
  • Part IV - The Age of Macquarie 261
  • 13 - Macquarie, 1810-1815 263
  • 14 - Macquarie, 1816-1819 296
  • 15 - Macquarie, 1820-1821 337
  • 16 - Macquarie and Mr Commissioner Bigge In England 367
  • Appendices 381
  • A Select Bibliography 389
  • Index 411
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