About the Macarthur Family
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. He was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council in 1824 and again to the reformed Legislative Council in 1829. John Macarthur died and was buried at 'Camden Park' in 1834.
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 absence from the colony between 1809 and 1817. Elizabeth Macarthur was responsible for Elizabeth Farm, for Camden Park and for the care of the valuable merino flock. Her first two children were born in England: a daughter who did not survive 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).
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).
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.
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.
The Macarthur Family Papers ( First collection) includes 13 series. To view details of the entire collections refer to the collections record.
A Guide to the collection is available in the Mitchell Library Reading Room (A 3004/2).
SERIES 01 John Macarthur correspondence, biography, accounts and legal papers, 1800-1930
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
The Macarthur Family Papers were presented to the Library by Col. J. W. Macarthur-Onslow and Miss R. S. Macarthur-Onslow in 1940.