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  • Title
    Macarthur family papers, 1789-1936 [First Collection]
  • Creator
  • Call number
    A 2897-A 2908 (Safe 1/393-Safe 1/400)
    A 2911 (Safe 1/401)
    A 2964 (Safe 1/402)
    A 2902-A 2905
    A 2909-A 2010
    A 2012-A 2963
    A 2965-A 3004
    D 185-D 187
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Refer to Contents for location numbersMicrofilm
  • Physical Description
    Textual Records
    Textual Records - (typescript)
    Textual Records - (printed)
    113 volumes

    John Macarthur (1767-1834), soldier and pastoralist, was baptised near Plymouth, England, the son of Scottish parents, Alexander and Catherine Macarthur. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1782 and transferred to the New South Wales Corps in 1789 with a promotion to lieutenant. Macarthur, and his wife Elizabeth, sailed with the NSW Corps on the second fleet, arriving at Port Jackson in 1790. In 1792 he was appointed regimental paymaster and in 1793 was granted one hundred acres of land at Parramatta on which he established Elizabeth Farm. Macarthur gained significant influence in the colony but clashed frequently with governors and administrators. In 1801 he sailed for England with two of his sons and while in London actively promoted the colonial wool industry. He returned to Sydney in 1805 carrying instruction from Lord Camden that he should be granted further land in order to develop the wool industry. He was granted land at Cowpastures, considered the finest land in the colony, and named his estate 'Camden Park'. Macarthur was involved in the rebellion to depose Governor Bligh and as a result of his involvement went to England in 1809 to defend himself. He was unable to return to the colony until 1817 because of his part in the rebellion. Macarthur was involved in the establishment of the Australian Agricultural Co. in 1824. He was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council in 1824 and again to the reformed Legislative Council in 1829. He remained on the Legislative Council until illness forced his removal in 1832. John Macarthur died and was buried at 'Camden Park' in 1834.[ref:ADB 2]
    Elizabeth Macarthur (1766-1850) married John Macarthur in 1788. She established her home at Elizabeth Farm at Parramatta where she brought up her family. After her husband's departure from the colony in 1809 Elizabeth Macarthur was responsible for Elizabeth Farm, for Camden Park and for the care of the valuable merino flock. She successfully managed the family and business responsibilities until John Macarthur returned to Sydney in 1817. Her first two children were born in England: a daughter who did not survive the journey to Sydney, and Edward (b.1789) who arrived at Sydney with his parents. A further four sons and three daughters were born at Sydney, James (1793-1794), John (1794-1831), James (1798-1867), William (1800-1882), Elizabeth (1792-1842), Mary (b.1795), and Emmeline (b.1808).[ref:ADB 2]
    James Macarthur (1798-1867), landowner, pastoralist and parliamentarian, was born at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta, son of John and Elizabeth Macarthur. He married Emily, nee Stone, in 1838, by whom he had one daughter, Elizabeth (1840-1911). Actively involved in politics for most of his life he was elected a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly for the seat of West Division of Camden (1856-1857) and a member of the Legislative Council (1866-1867).[ref:ADB 2]
    Sir William Macarthur (1800-1882), landowner, pastoralist and parliamentarian, was born at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta, son of John and Elizabeth Macarthur. He was closely involved with his brother James in the management and expansion of the family land holdings and sheep breeding. He was an appointed member of the NSW Legislative Council (1864-1882). Sir William Macarthur died unmarried leaving his estate to his niece Elizabeth. [ref:ADB 5]
    Elizabeth Macarthur (1840-1911), daughter of James Macarthur and his wife Emily, married Arthur Alexander Walton Onslow (1833-1882) in 1867. They lived at 'Camden Park'. Arthur Onslow was elected member of the NSW Legislative Assembly for the seat of Camden (1869-1880) and was an appointed member of the NSW Legislative Assembly (1880-1882). Arthur Onslow died in 1882 and in 1892 Elizabeth changed her name to Macarthur-Onslow.[ref:ADB 5]
  • Scope and Content
    SERIES 01
    John Macarthur correspondence, biography, accounts and legal papers, 1800-1930

    SERIES 02
    Elizabeth Macarthur journal, correspondence and accounts, 1789-1849, with Macarthur family history, ca. 1860-1931, and John Macarthur Junior correspondence, 1810-1831

    SERIES 03
    Sir Edward Macarthur correspondence and other papers, 1808-1882

    SERIES 04
    James Macarthur correspondence and other papers, 1815-1873

    SERIES 05 PART 01
    Sir William Macarthur correspondence, 1817-1886, with letters respecting the Camden Park gardens, 1892-1902

    SERIES 05 PART 02
    Sir William Macarthur correspondence and other papers, 1831-1881

    SERIES 05 PART 03
    Sir William Macarthur correspondence and other papers, ca. 1815-1882

    SERIES 06
    Emily Macarthur correspondence, 1838-1879, Macarthur-Onslow correspondence 1846-1929, and other correspondence and papers, 1815-1894

    SERIES 07
    Macarthur family business records, 1803-1936

    SERIES 08
    Lady Sarah Macarthur letters, 1862-1890, Emmeline de Falbe letters and recollections, 1860-1909, and Dr James Bowman papers, 1829-1855

    SERIES 09
    Camden Park and Elizabeth Farm records, 1880-1903

    SERIES 10
    Reports relating to roads and education in the Camden district, with Camden District Council minutes and papers relating to public affairs, 1824-1896

    SERIES 11
    Macarthur family miscellaneous papers including Ludwig Leichhardt letters, and documents relating to the Church of England and Pyrmont Estate, 181-?-1910

    SERIES 12
    John Macarthur muster rolls, pay lists and correspondence of the New South Wales Corps, 1789-1823

    SERIES 13
    Macarthur family accounts, legal papers and miscellaneous plans, 1792-1930
  • General note

    This collection includes pictorial material at Macarthur family - pictorial collection, ca. 1746, 1801-1860, 1819-1889 (PXD 188; R 349; MIN 229; MIN 230; MIN 231)

    This collection was listed in 2005 as part of the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in NSW 1856-2006 Project.

    A Guide to the first collection (74 pp) is avaliable in the Mitchell Library Reading Room (A 3004/2: microfilm CY 4829). The Guide includes indices to selected volumes.

    The papers were catalogued and 38 volumes fully indexed by Monica Flower of the Mitchell Library in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her annotations indicate that the papers were sorted by G. H. Gifford about 1930 at Camden Park; some letters are dated by Gifford.

    "George Gifford [was] the "First Assistant Librarian" in charge of the Reference Library, whose services dated from 1877 ... G. H. Gifford retired in February 1924 after forty-nine years service ... He would serve his old Library a further ten years, preparing newspaper index cards for the Mitchell Library." -- William Herbert Ifould and the development of library services in New South Wales, 1912-1942 : a dissertation submitted to the School of Information, Library and Archive Studies, University of New South Wales in candidacy for the degree of Doctor of philosophy / by David John Jones (1993). Accessed at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_COMASTER/2013/D19894/a7456.pdf , 10/10/2014
    Digital order no:a4817001
  • Creator/Author/Artist
  • Subject
  • Exhibited in

    Politics & Power: Bligh's Sydney Rebellion 1808 - State Library of New South Wales (21 January - 27 April, 2008)
    The Governor: Lachlan Macquarie, 1810 to 1821 - State Library of New South Wales (July 2010 - October 2010). Applies to: A 2903/Item 4, Item 6
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