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In 1797, John Macarthur imported a small flock of merino sheep (3 rams and 5 ewes) from the Cape of Good Hope with the intention of producing fine fleeced sheep at 'Elizabeth Farm', his property in Parramatta. On Macarthur's return to England in 1801, he took with him samples of the fine woollen fleece shorn from the flocks he had cross bred from these first merinos. Showing the wool samples to key figures in the English wool industry caused much excitement, leading to the publishing of the statement given by Macarthur to Lord Hobart outlining the progress of his sheep breeding enterprise in NSW.