Ulva, Lachlan Macquarie’s birthplace

The Hebridean island of Ulva is to be bought by a community group including its remaining inhabitants and those of nearby north-west Mull.

Ormaig, Isle of Ulva, where Lachlan Macquarie was born

Ormaig, Isle of Ulva, where Lachlan Macquarie was born

When I heard the news yesterday, 11 May 2018, my ears perked up. Not just because it’s an interesting event, but becausethe Isle of Ulva is where Lachlan Macquarie, the ‘Father of Australia’ and the patron of my ancestor, Nicholas Delaney, was born in 1762.

Australia’s National Trust has, press reports say, offered to help promote tourism to Ulva to see the former Governor’s birthplace. I’m guessing this would be the New South Wales NT, though I haven’t seen anything to prove or disprove this yet. It would be logical, since this Trust has cared for the Macquarie Mausoleum on Mull for over 50 years.

Macquarie Mausoleum, Isle of Mull

Macquarie Mausoleum, Isle of Mull

Read more about Nicholas Delaney’s work for Governor Lachlan Macquarie:
Making roads for Macquarie
At the heart of Sydney
Did Nicholas build the oldest bridge in Australia?
Family myths, cover-ups – what did Nicholas Delaney really do?
Wealth for Toil
Australia’s oldest bridge revisited
Nicholas Delaney and the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

1807 map of Scotland showing Ulva

1807 map of Scotland showing Ulva

Image credits:
Ormaig, Isle of Mull: photo by Chris McLean via Wikimedia
Macquarie Mausoluem: photo by Douglas Law via Wikimedia
Arrowsmith map of 1807: National Library of Scotland

About rebelhand

A Rebel Hand is: about Nicholas Delaney, Irish rebel of 1798, transported as a convict to New South Wales, roadbuilder, innkeeper and farmer. My great-great-great grandfather. Other ancestors transported to Australia, like Sarah Marshall, John Simpson and James Thomas Richards, pop up as well. This blog's also about the historical background to their lives, in England, Ireland, and Australia. My respectable Welsh ancestors sometimes get a look in.
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4 Responses to Ulva, Lachlan Macquarie’s birthplace

  1. crissouli says:

    You know I’m intrigued by all of these snippets of history.. more to deleve into… thank you.I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris


  2. MarkBucknall says:

    After having read a Rebel Hand my interest in Governor Macquarie has been heightened. I note also there is a lot of controversy in relation to his treatment of indigenous people. It is difficult to reconcile the two, however it would seem he was a real « nation » builder, even though it wasn’t a nation at that time, and a real benefactor to our shared ancestor Nicholas. I would be interested to read more about Macquarie


    • rebelhand says:

      Hi Mark, it’s good to hear from you.

      I don’t suppose many of the colonists involved with the indigenous Australians would have a clean record in regards to how they acted. And it’s hard, now, to get into the mindsets of the governing and military men 200 and more years ago. As you say, reconciling the different sides to someone like Macquarie is difficult. From what I’ve read, it seems he was a man with good intentions, but whose actions didn’t always live up to those intentions. Plenty of others thought him far too liberal at the time – he had many opponents. Perhaps we have to accept that humans are complicated creatures and acknowledge the positive and the negative both. It’s not very satisfying, but it’s the only way I can think of.

      But for people like our ancestor, his policies offered a huge chance to build a new life and to contribute to the new ‘nation’, and Nicholas had the skills and the brains to make a far better life for himself than he could have had in Ireland.


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