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John Macarthurc 1850

by Unknown artist

This portrait of John Macarthur was most likely painted years after his death, and is a copy of a miniature probably made while he was in exile in the 1810s. He had been ordered to return to England to explain his role in the overthrow of Governor Bligh in 1808.

Lieutenant John Macarthur arrived in Sydney in 1790. He was made commandant of the NSW Corps. After acquiring significant land grants around Parramatta, he resigned his commission in the early 1800s to concentrate on his pastoral interests. He and his wife Elizabeth were significant contributors to the establishment of the Australian wool industry.

Although Macarthur’s many critics noted his comparatively humble social background, this portrait portrays him as an established gentleman.