History

The Curious Case of Commissioner Bigge’s Will

 Commissioner John Thomas Bigge (1780–1843) arrived in New South Wales in September 1819, charged with conducting a wide-ranging inquiry into Lachlan Macquarie’s administration. Bigge was highly critical of the Governor’s championship of ex-convicts and his “wastefully expensive” building program. The resulting report contributed to Macquarie’s resignation, and he died in London in 1824 while trying to defend himself against Bigge’s charges. When John Bigge left Sydney for England on February in 1821 he travelled aboard the Dromedary, the same ship that had brought Lachlan Macquarie to New South Wales in 1809. After his inquiry was completed, Bigge was appointed to…

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