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Machattie, Richard (1813–1876)

We abridge from the Bathurst Times the following notice of the career of the late Dr [Richard] Machattie, who died in Bathurst on the 1st instant:— By name and fame the Dr. was known where distant communities never had the opportunity of practically testing his skill as a surgeon, or of experiencing his singular success as a member of the medical profession generally, or of the merciful tenderness of his character as a man. Few men of the healing faculty have in this colony ever achieved an equal amount of popular favour, or inspired more confidence among a numerous constituency of patients than did Dr Machattie during the long years of his extensive practice in this district. His professional career in Bathurst embraced a personal history of nearly forty years during which we believe his travels and his experiences were such as would have destroyed the constitution and taken the life of most of his brethren in the profession long before his own health finally gave way. He has been thrown from his horse in lonely spots; by accident he has been cast from his buggy, and has been dragged by furious horses till the life was nearly out of him; in the course of duty he has been in other and numerous perils when the country was being scoured and was infested by highway and byway robbers The deceased gentleman was a public man, and a popular man politically considered. All the leading questions of the day he gave his attention to. The personal and professional services which he rendered in his medical practice, large as they were, did not fill his whole grasp. He was a magistrate of the territory during many years, has acted as Returning-officer for the "Western Borough," and for some time filled the position of coroner for the district. In matters of local interest also, he was ever forward and acceptable. He was several times elected as an alderman of the borough, and he was chosen Mayor of Bathurst on four different occasions. Dr. Machattie was born at Forres, Elgin, Scotland on the 10th June 1813; he was therefore 63 years of age at his death, and had been in medical practice 38 years. He studied at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and obtained his diploma as a licentiate from the University of that city in 1836, at the age of 25. He came to the colony in 1838, the same year that Sir George Gipps became Governor of New South Wales. He remained but a short time in Sydney, but came to Bathurst direct, where he made arrangements for entering upon the practice of Dr. Favill who at that time resided in this town. He had reared a large family, several of whom reside in the district, and one of whom is now studying at the Edinburgh University for the medical profession. Dr Machattie was an elder of the Presbyterian Church at Bathurst for upwards of twenty consecutive years, but was highly respected by all denominations.

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'Machattie, Richard (1813–1876)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/machattie-richard-16092/text28030, accessed 16 September 2019.

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