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Continuing an Eagar tradition

Continuing an Eagar tradition

Stephen Langford will be before the courts in Sydney on Wednesday 5 April.

He is in trouble for pasting an A4 page on a statue of a governor of NSW, Lachlan Macquarie (after whom the specialist doctors’ street in Sydney, and the bank, is named),

A copy of governor Macquarie’s two-centuries-old message on the paste-up read:

All Aborigines from Sydney onwards are to be made prisoners of war and if they resist they are to be shot and their bodies to be hung from trees in the most conspicuous places near where they fall so as to strike fear into the hearts of surviving natives.”

This directive made by Governor Macquarie led to the April 1816 Appin Massacre, which involved a British regiment killing at least 14 Dharawal and Gandangara people about 65km south-west of Sydney.

And the British army officer later told his superiors that the incident had been carried out in accordance with his orders.

Governor Macquarie – – later much lauded for his Sydney and Hobart street layouts, landed in Sydney in December 1809 with his own slave boy, George, aged 6, whom he had bought in India for a pittance.

He made a former convicted criminal, Edward Eagar, a lawyer in Sydney Town, which led to bigamy on a decimal scale, Australia’s Methodist Church, the founding of Westpac Bank, and trial by jury in Australia. The Wikipedia entry on Eagar has the story.

Eagar was described as Australia’s first liberal political agitator, which means Langford is merely continuing an Eagar tradition.

Who knows what Langford will achieve in the magistrate is eager to give him a fair go.


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