Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet

A Father of New South Wales.

John Macarthur, of whom we give a likeness from a portrait in the possession of Mr. Henniker Heaton, was one of those men to whose indomit able energy and shrewd foresight, the cause of social and industrial progress is so largely in debted. To his character and widely Bpiead influence is directly traceable much of the solid advancement and prosperity of New South Wales. He came of a gallant stock, for his father was one of the staunchest supporters of the Stuart cause, and waa the only one of a band of brothers that escaped with life from the field of Culloden. Allowed to return to his native land from the exhile to which his chivalrous sentiments had doomed him, John Macarthur's father was enabled to give his son such education as could be procured ina goodprivate school, preparatory to entering the British Army. In 1782, John entered the service of the King, but soon retired on half pay, and took up his residence in a Devonshire farmhouse, where he acquired the agriciútural knowledge which subsequently stood him in such good stead in this country. ! Afterwards he accepted a com mission in the 102nd regiment, formed for service in New South Wales, and arrived with his wife in Sydney in June, 1790. Three years afterwards, obtaining a grant of200acres at Parramatta, which he nauied Elizabeth farm, after his wife, hé com menced sheep farming, and although the stock available were very poor, in 1797, with the assis tance of Captain Waterhouse and Captain Kent,' he successfully introduced some merino sheep into the colony, and thus laid the foundation of the Australian wool trade. Some': few years afterwards Captain Mac arthur visited England for tho purpose of exhibiting, several specimens of the wool grown by him, the result being that tho then English pre mier, Lord Camden, ordered that he should have a grant of 10,000 acres, the neighbourhood now known as Camden being the locality selected. He returned to Sydney with two ewes and three rxms from a: stud of fine merinos1 belonging to George III. Shortly after, Captain Macarthur dime into violent contact with Governor Bligh, by whom he was arrested on charges arising out of an alleged breach of harbour régulations. . This led- to; his taking part in the .deposition of the Governor, and ^another journey to England, as he refused to admit that he was wrong in his opposi tion to Bligh. He was not allowed to return to "New South Wales until 1817, when the Imperial Government placed at his disposal a vessel' free of cost. During his enforced exile, Captain Macarthur and his two sons tra velled niuoh on the. European continent, studying sheep farming and wool production in Spain, the culture of the vine, olive, &o. ; the knowledge thuè acquired being successfully utilised at Cam den. In 1825 he was appointed a member of the Législative Council. His later yearswere passed in retirement on his Camden estate, where he died April 10,1834, but'not before he had beheld the-successful growth of the wool and wine grow ing industries, of which he had so largely assisted in' laying the foundations. He was in the truest sense of the word a public benefactor, one whose name will ever remain indelibly associated with the" early history of Australia, and whose memory will flourish in the hearts of his fellow colonists and their sturdy descendants.

John Macarthur, a Founder of N. S. Wales.

. - . ?. (Photographed. direot from a portrait tho . properly of - Mr.- Hennicker Heaton.) .