John Macarthur

Portrait of John Macarthur
On This Day

12 Feb 1793 - John Macarthur granted land at Parramatta

On 12 February 1793 John Macarthur was granted 100 acres of land at Parramatta by Acting Governor Francis Grose. Macarthur was the first man to clear and cultivate 50 acres

Watercolour of trellised verandah and house from garden.

A taste for the ornate

Traces of long-lost decorative features at Elizabeth Farm provide insights into changing fashions in 19th‑century architecture and design

Joseph Lycett, 'The residence of John McArthur Esq. near Parramatta, New South Wales'. Aquatint. Published London, John Souter, 1825. Elizabeth Farm collection, Museums of History New South Wales.
Museum stories

A turbulent past

With its deep, shady verandahs and elegant symmetry, Elizabeth Farm is an iconic early colonial bungalow

Fanlight, timber, circa 1836

Architectural remnants from The Vineyard - Subiaco

The Vineyard at Rydalmere NSW (later known as Subiaco), designed by architect John Verge for Hannibal Hawkins Macarthur and completed in 1836, is almost universally described by architectural historians as one of Sydney’s finest colonial homes

painting of the factories or hongs south-west of the city walls of Canton (Guangzhou) which were a means by which the Chinese imperial government sought to regulate contact with the western nations eager to trade to China

Eastern influences on colonial dining

Two intricately painted and monogrammed china plates that were once part of a large dessert service made for the table of John and Elizabeth Macarthur, are testimony to an adventurous spirit in early colonial Sydney

Elizabeth Farm house - front verandah

Elizabeth Farm - The Old and The New

This film was digitised as part of a special project to preserve 'at risk' audio-visual archives

View of lowslung colonial era house across gravel and lawn, house framed by trees.

Growing up on Elizabeth Farm

The Macarthur children of Elizabeth Farm had fields, gardens and muddy riverbanks to explore

James Watsford, coachman for the Macarthurs

From convicted horse thief to trusted coachman for the Macarthurs, and finally coach proprietor, the story of James Watsford shows that with a little luck and the right connections some convicts were able to turn their fortunes around

Convict Sydney

John Macarthur - Ambitious, volatile, self-confident

John Macarthur is well remembered as an ambitious and ruthless soldier who forged a powerful colonial farming dynasty