Hon. ALEXANDER MACLEAY (also spelt MCLEAY) MLC FLS FRS (24 June 1767
– 18 July 1848) was a leading member of the
Linnean Society , a
fellow of the
Royal Society and member of the New South Wales
Legislative Council .
* 1 Life
* 2 Family
* 3 Notes
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Macleay was born on
Scotland , eldest son of William
Macleay, provost of Wick . Alexander had a classical education, before
London and becoming a wine merchant with his business
partner William Sharp - after whom his first son was named. In 1795 he
was elected a fellow of the
Linnean Society of London, also serving as
its Secretary, and was also appointed chief clerk in the prisoners of
war office. When the office was linked with the Transport Board after
war broke out, Macleay became head of the correspondence department
and by 1806 secretary. The Board was abolished in 1815, and Macleay
retired on an annual pension, of £750.
Macleay's chief natural history interest was entomology , principally
lepidoptery , and he possessed the finest and most extensive
collection then existing of any private individual in England and
possibly the world. This included the British Collection of John
Curtis now housed in
Australia . In 1813, he was elected a
foreign member of the
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences .
On 14 June 1825, Macleay was appointed Colonial Secretary for New
South Wales . He arrived in Sydney in January 1826, with his wife
Eliza, 9 of his 10 surviving children, and his extensive collection.
He was soon working twelve-hour days and on 17 July 1825 was nominated
New South Wales
New South Wales Legislative and Executive Councils, holding
both positions until December 1836. Macleay represented Counties of
Gloucester, Macquarie, and Stanley in the partially elected
Legislative Council from June 1843 until 19 June 1848, a month before
his death. Originally residing at the Colonial Secretary's House in
Macquarie Place, Macleay was granted land at Elizabeth Bay by Governor
Ralph Darling, where he constructed
Elizabeth Bay House
Elizabeth Bay House and laid out
an extensive botanic garden. A memorial to Macleay on the wall of
St James\' Church, Sydney
His extensive entomological collections formed the basis of the
Macleay Museum at the
University of Sydney
University of Sydney .
Macleay was also very active beyond his scientific pursuits and was
the foundation president of the
Australian Club .
Macleay married a Miss Barclay of Urie. He was the father of the
William Sharp Macleay who expanded his father's
collection and of
George Macleay , also a zoologist. Sir William John
Macleay was his nephew.
His daughter Rosa Roberta married Arthur Pooley Onslow; her children
Arthur Alexander Walton Onslow and
Sir Alexander Onslow .
* ^ A B C "Mr
Alexander Macleay (1767 - 1848)". Former Members.
Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 28
December 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
* ^ A B Boulger 1893 .
* "About the Macleay Museum".
University of Sydney
University of Sydney . 2006-06-12.
Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
* 'McLeay, Alexander (1767 - 1848)', Australian Dictionary of
Biography , Volume 2, MUP , 1967, pp 177–180.
* Serle, Percival (1949). "Macleay, Alexander". Dictionary of
Australian Biography . Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
* Macleay, Alexander,
Australian National Herbarium
* Boulger, George Simonds (1893). "Macleay, Alexander". In Lee,
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography . 35. London: Smith, Elder &