The fifth Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, Lachlan Macquarie (1762 - 1824) succeeded Governor William Bligh. An efficient administrator, Macquarie attempted to transform New South Wales into a prosperous colony. He mediated between opposing factions within the community and began an extensive program of public works. This program resulted in the building of hospitals, roads, bridges and numerous other buildings, many of which were designed by Francis Greenaway.
Macquarie was also able to influence coinage and replace rum which had been formerly used as currency with coins. During his term of office the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) was founded. Macquarie encouraged exploration and personally travelled throughout the colony. After the Blue Mountains were crossed in 1813 he promptly organised road building so that Bathurst and the Goulburn Plains would be accessile. As a result of his encouragement, increasing supplies of agricultural products became available and wool became a major source of revenue for the colony.
However, the wealthy settlers disagreed with Macquarie's belief that convicts who had served their sentences were entitled to equality. Complaints sent to London resulted in an investigation by John Bigge into Macquarie's administration. These men quarrelled; this as well as illness made Macquarie resign and return to England in 1822.
Macquarie was born in the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland. At 15 he joined the British Army and served in North America during the American Civil War. Later he served in India and Egypt and by 1813 had attained the rank of major-general.