This clan originated from the Pict, Guiaire, (Godfrey) a brother of the Pict Monk, Fingon. Their clan lands included the island of Ulva and part of the far larger island of Mull.
The MacQuarries followed the MacDonalds, then the MacLeans of Duart, and they were badly affected by the defeat at Inverkeithing (1651) when the clan was almost wiped out fighting for Charles II.
The descendants of the last laird of Ulva distinguished themselves in the army and in India; but the most famous of all was Lachlan MacQuarrie, his cousin (1762 - 1824). Born in Ulva, he rose to the rank of Major-General and then returned to buy an estate in Mull.
Lachlan MacQuarrie did an immense service to Australia. He was appointed Governor of New South "Wales in 1809, transforming it from a penal settlement to a thriving colony during his tenure. He restored order, promoted education, road-building and exploration. He also enacted strict Sabbatical rules. MacQuarrie earned well the title that he shared with his rival, John Mac Arthur, as the father of Australia.