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Biographical entry Macarthur, William (1800 - 1882)

December 1800
Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
29 October 1882
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Horticulturalist and Sheepbreeder


William Macarthur was a horticulturalist and agriculturalist with a keen interest in botany. He studied in England from 1809 to 1817, then returned to Australia where he worked for thirty years worked at improving the family property, at the end of which he had won awards for his wines and brandies. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1849 to 1855, and then was appointed Commissioner for the upcoming Paris Exhibition. He joined the committee of the Australian Museum in 1836 and was a Trustee from 1853. He was the first vice-president of the Acclimatisation Society of New South Wales 1860-.



1849 - 1855
Career position - Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
1855 - 1856
Career position - Commissioner for the Paris Exhibition
Award - Received Knighthood from Queen Victoria
Award - Decorated with the Legion of Honour by the French Emperor
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus macarthurii Deane & Maiden was named in his honour. Macarthur had collected syntype material for the Paris Exhibition

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • William Macarthur - Records, 1817 - 1884, A2933-53; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Atkinson, Alan, 'Sir William Macarthur, 1800-1882', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004. Details

Journal Articles

  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Australian Botanists - (a) General, (b) New South Wales', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. xlii, 1908, pp. 60-132. Details
  • Russell, H.C., 'Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales, 1778-1860', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. 1, 1888, pp. 45-94. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Hall, Norman, Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material, CSIRO, Melbourne, 1978, 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J.