Skip to main page content (AccessKey S)
It could almost be a question in a trivia quiz: "Name the monument on a Scottish island that is owned by the National Trust for Australian (New South Wales)." But as you are reading this on a page about the Macquarie Mausoleum, in Gruline on the Isle of Mull, there are no prizes for correct answers. For obvious practical reasons the mausoleum is cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.
Gruline is a scattered settlement at the head of Loch na Keal. It lies at the south west end of the 2½ mile wide isthmus that separates it from Salen, on the island's north east coast and which prevents Mull from becoming two islands. The Macquarie Mausoleum lies some 500m east of the B8035 as it passes through the settlement.
The mausoleum itself stands within a roughly circular grassy enclosure surrounded by stone walls. A carved stone on one end of the mausoleum informs you that it contains the mortal remains of Major General Macquarie of Jarvisfield, his wife, their daughter who died in infancy, and their son who died at the age of 32.
Major General Lachlan Macquarie was born on the island of Ulva off the coast of Mull on 31 January 1762. He joined the army in 1776 and served in North America, Egypt and India. In April 1809 he was appointed Governor of New South Wales with instructions to restore order after a rebellion against the previous governor, William Bligh (better remembered for being captain of HMS Bounty at the time of the famous mutiny).
Macquarie served as Governor of New South Wales until 1821 and did much during his tenure to help shape Australia into the country it has since become. He was also the first person to use the name "Australia" in an official document, which he did in 1817. Explorers of this new continent soon discovered that a good way to gain the support of the governor was to name something after him, so by the time he left Australia, Lachlan Macquarie was remembered in the names of Macquarie River, Lachlan River, Mount Macquarie, Lake Macquarie, Port Macquarie, Lachlan, Macquarie Harbour, Macquarie Pass, Macquarie Lighthouse and Macquarie Island. This list excludes assorted parishes, streets and other minor features which also bear his name, including an Australian parliamentary constituency. It also excludes Macquarie Hospital, Macquarie University, and Macquarie Bank, all of which were named after him in the latter half of the 1900s, an indication of the continuing regard with which he is held in Australia. Meanwhile, his wife was remembered in the name of Elizabeth Bay.
Major General Macquarie died in London in 1824 and was returned to Mull for burial. His mausoleum describes him without exaggeration as "The Father of Australia."