MACARTHUR, Sir Edward (1789-1872)


MACARTHUR, Sir Edward (1789-1872)
lieutenant-general
eldest son of John Macarthur (q.v.), and his wife Elizabeth, was born at Bath, England, in 1789. He arrived at Sydney with his parents in 1790 and returned to England to be educated in 1799. He came to Australia again at the beginning of 1807, and apparently took part with his father in the deposition of Bligh, as Bligh, in his dispatch to Viscount Castlereagh of 30 April 1808, requested that "two of the rebels Charles Grimes and Edward Macarthur who have gone home in the Dart may be secured, in order to be tried in due time". On Macarthur's arrival in England he entered the army as an ensign in the 60th regiment, and in the following year was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He fought with distinction in the peninsular war and in France and in 1820 became a captain. In 1824 he paid a visit of 10 months to Australia, and after his return to England was for some years secretary to the lord chamberlain. In 1826 he was promoted to the rank of major and in 1837 he was on the staff in Ireland. He evidently retained his interest in Australia, as on 3 July 1839 he addressed a long communication to the Right Hon. H. Labouchère, suggesting that regular lines of steamers should be established in Australia to trade between the various ports. This was referred to the governor, Sir George Gipps (q.v.), who in May 1840 replied that government aid was unnecessary, as a large company had been formed to establish a line of steamers of which James Macarthur (q.v. [under entry for John Macarthur]) was chairman. In August 1840 he made a protest against the regulations that persons desiring to take up land in the Port Phillip district should have to proceed to Melbourne where all charts of land were kept for public inspection. He was made a lieutenant-colonel in 1841 and afterwards went to New South Wales as deputy adjutant general. He became colonel in 1854, and was appointed commander-in-chief of H.M. forces in Australia in 1855. On 1 January 1856, after the death of Sir Charles Hotham (q.v.), he became lieutenant-governor of Victoria for 12 months. He was created a K.C.B. in 1862, returned to London, and died there on 4 January 1872. He had married in 1862 Sarah, daughter of Lieut.-colonel Neill, who survived him without issue.
Burke's Colonial Gentry; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. VI and XX; S. Macarthur Onslow, Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden; H. G. Turner, A History of the Colony of Victoria, vol. II.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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