John Macarthur Research Paper

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John Macarthur (1767?-1834), soldier, industrialist and pastoralist, was registered on 3 September 1767 at Stoke Damerel, near Plymouth, England, one of three known children of two expatriate Scots, Alexander Macarthur and his wife Catherine (d.1777), who lived in the parish of St Andrew in Devonport. Alexander Macarthur was a mercer and draper in Plymouth, whose business was inherited by his eldest son, James. It was this background that later gave John Macarthur's enemies in New South Wales the excuse to make fun of him as 'Jack Boddice', a staymaker's apprentice. However, by 1782 enough influence had been secured to acquire an ensign's commission in Fish's Corps for john at only 15. This corps, specially proposed for the American war, was still being assembled in England when the war ended. When it was disbanded in 1783 Macarthur, on half-pay, retired to a farm at Holsworthy in Devon. There he remained in rural shelter for almost five years, endeavouring unsuccessfully to attain military placement and in his discouragement toying with the idea of turning to law, for which he displayed an amateur but spirited talent all his life. He returned to full pay in April 1788 as an ensign in the 68th Regiment (later Durham Light Infantry) stationed at Gibraltar since…show more content…
When the New South Wales Corps sailed with the Second Fleet Macarthur was accompanied in the Neptune by Elizabeth and their first child Edward. After a disagreement that ended in a duel with the first master of the ship and another disagreement with his successor, Macarthur transferred his family to the Scarborough before the fleet reached the Cape of Good Hope. There he contracted a critical illness which, though he made an unexpected recovery, was to leave recurring symptoms throughout his

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