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Bereavement & Military Campaigning on the Malabar Coast

On 16 January 1797 Lachlan Macquarie laid his wife Jane to rest in the burial ground set aside for Europeans at Sonapur, Bombay. It was located beside the Esplanade, on the western side of the town and citadel overlooking Back Bay.
See: Newspaper account of her death and burial.

The depths of Macquarie's grief can be gauged by the 475-word epitaph that he subsequently had inscribed on her tomb.
See inscription: Jane Macquarie's Tomb

Five weeks after the burial of his wife Jane in the European Cemetery in Bombay, Lachlan Macquarie joined his regiment (77th Regiment of Foot) in Cochin on 4 March. Soon afterwards he sailed to Calicut to finalise the disposal of his marital home, "Staffa Lodge", and to arrange for the shipment of Jane's clothing back to family members in Britain and to dispose of other unwanted goods to various friends in India.

On 25 April, while anchored at Mahé on his return voyage to Bombay, Macquarie heard news that Governor Jonathan Duncan and Lieutenant General Stuart were in Tellicherry preparing for a military campaign against the Pyché Rajah in the Cottiote region of the Malabar Coast.

Macquarie immediately volunteered for active service and was given command of the Advance Guard of 700 men, made up of four (4) companies of the 77th Regiment and a battalion of the 3rd Native Infantry Regiment.

Macquarie recorded his experiences during the campaign for the three-week period from 3-22 May, 1797. No other journal entries for the year appear to have been written (or rather have survived); although details of his life, and his state of mind during this time, can be gleaned from his letters to his family and friends where he morbidly poured out his feelings and revealed his profound sense of grief and loss.

Sun 7 14 21 28
Mon 1 8 15 22 29
Tue 2 9 16 23 30
Wed 3 10 17 24 31
Thu 4 11 18 25
Fri 5 12 19 26
Sat 6 13 20 27

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