Lachlan Macquarie: 1804 Diary
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Author:  LankaLibrary [ Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Lachlan Macquarie: 1804 Diary

Lachlan Macquarie: 1804 Diary

Extract from Lachlan Macquarie's Journal describing the death of his nephew, Hector Maclaine, near Kandy on 23 June 1803.

Copyright - Macquarie University Library, Sydney, Australia. © 2004

Feby. 22. Wednesday 1804.

--- I this day received the certain most mournful and melancholy accounts of the Death of my much beloved, amiable and good Nephew Lieut. Hector Maclaine of the 19th. Regt. of Foot --- who has fallen in a most lamentable and cruel manner in a massacre that took place in the month of June last [ie. 1803] at Candia in the Island of Ceylon in the East Indies; where he was stationed with a Detachment of Major Davie. --- This Detachment having been attacked by the Candians in great force, were under the necessity of surrendering to superior numbers by Capitulation; and having afterwards most unfortunately, given up their Arms, were immediately all put to Death in Cold Blood by these merciless, ferocious, and cruel bloody savage Candians. --- Thus fell a gallant and most promising Youth prematurely in the flower of his age -- being only Nineteen years old -- and a fine elegant handsome young man, highly respected in his Corps. --

I feel sincerely grieved and afflicted for the loss of this very fine young man, being my favorite Nephew. --- But how much more wretched must be his unfortunate Father and Mother when they hear the sorrowful tidings! --- He was their youngest son -- and the Darling of their Hearts! ----

These mournful accounts were communicated to me both by the Public Papers, and by Letters from my Nephew Lieut. Hugh Maclaine of the 77th. Regt. in India dated the 31st. July, and stating this horrid massacre to have taken place on the 23d. of June last.

I wrote to my Uncle Lochbuy by this day's, Post to communicate this mournful News!

Lachlan Macquarie. Journal No.5 12 Sept. 1801 - 14 July 1804. Original held in Mitchell Library, Sydney. ML A770 pp.303-304 [CY Reel 300 Frames #208-209]

Background Notes
Hector Maclaine (1783-1803) was the youngest son of Macquarie's sister, Betty (c.1760-1833) and Farquhar Maclaine of Oskamull (1743 - 1822). Commissioned as Ensign 19th Regiment of Foot on 23 May 1799; Lieutenant (19th) 1 November 1802. He was killed at Watapulawa, near Kandy. Hugh Maclaine (also known as Murdoch Hugh) (1781-1828) was Hector's older brother, and would later serve with the 77th Regiment in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He was severely wounded at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo on 19 January 1812 - requiring his leg to be amputated.

Manuscript Transcripts
Transcript prepared by Robin Walsh
Macquarie University Library, Sydney, Australia. © 2004

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