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Dirk, scabbard, by-knife and fork used by New South Wales Colonial Governor Lachlan Macquarie

Object type
Edged weapons

Object number

A dirk consisting of a large metal blade one edge of which is notched in a decorative manner. It has a carved black wooden hilt studded with silver nails, and a silver cap at the pommel. The dirk is housed within a leather scabbard which has silver mounts. Fitted into two of the mounts is a small metal by-knife and fork, both with carved black wooden hilts and silver mounts.

Collection name
Alexander Ferguson collection

Collection statement of significance
The Alexander Ferguson Collection consists of a 1803 Pattern British Infantry Officer's sword and scabbard, a dirk, scabbard, by-knife and fork and a black leather scabbard belonging to and used by Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. The regimental sword was purchased by Macquarie after serving in North America, India and Egypt, before his appointment to the colony of New South Wales. It reflects his Scottish heritage with a decorative thistle relief. The number of his new regiment, the 73rd, is engraved on the main knuckle-bow. Dirks were worn by senior officers of Scottish regiments as clan insignia.

Lachlan Macquarie is a key figure in the development of the colony of New South Wales. He was chose to replace Governor William Bligh and began his term on 1st January 1810. Over the next decade he transformed the colony's infrastructure, economy and prospects. His determination to rehabilitate the social status of 'reformed' convicts won him powerful enemies in the colony and in Britain, and in 1822 he sailed for London to defend himself against his critics. Fearing that his achievements would be eclipsed by the 'false, vindictive and malicious' report of the Bigge Commission, Macquarie battled to salvage his reputation. He died in London on 1 July 1824, two months after a grueling journey from Scotland to secure his pension

Major-General Lachlan Macquarie
Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821

Associated organisation
British Army
Macquarie was serving in the British Army during his appointment as Governor of New South Wales

Sir George Ferguson
Ferguson acquired the sword and scabbard at auction in London in 1917

Place used
Sydney Cove, Sydney Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The site of the first colony of New South Wales

Associated place
Macquarie was a Scotsman

Associated place
Macquarie was commanding the 73rd Regiment (Scottish) of the British Army during his appointment as Governor of New South Wales

Period of use
1810 - 1821
Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of the colony of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821

Steel, Wood, Leather, Silver

Length: 490mm
Width: 45mm
Height: 47mm

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