||Elizabeth Macarthur (1766-1850)
Elizabeth Macarthur arrived in Sydney with the Second Fleet in June 1790 along
with her husband John, and their infant son. She found a struggling colony in
which to make her home. Her husband was to become one of the most
controversial figures in Australia’s history, yet Elizabeth was highly
spoken of and respected by all.
She was a role model for all Australian mothers, with her activities including
She raised 4 sons and 3 daughters, and was a warm and caring mother. All 4
sons became valuable contributors to the developing colony.
She managed 3 large properties totalling 9600 acres during the frequent and
twice prolonged absences of her husband. This involved caring for over 4000
head of sheep. Her skills contributed greatly to the development of
Australia’s wool industry.
She supervised the work of up to 90 convicts.
She built and maintained a strong, peaceful, cultured family
life regardless of the harsh Australian environment and the upheavals brought
into her home by her infamous husband.
She remained a loyal and devoted wife to her husband and often wrote of her
tender feelings for him.
Last, but by no means least, she was a role model of Christian character,
drawing on her relationship with God for her strength, praying for health and
patience, thanking God for His generous dealings with the family, and always
showing gratitude, joy and Godly character.
That’s quite an example to live up to!! But not only to mothers! Despite
his faults, John Macarthur loved his wife and respected her work. Her
children and grandchildren also honoured her. When Elizabeth Macarthur died in
1850, her granddaughter wrote of her great respect for her Grandmother, and in
particular for the Christian spirit shown by her in spite of very difficult
So, in God’s divine plan, behind every great mum there should be a
husband who acknowledges and supports her, and children who honour her, as
well as a great God supplying all she needs. There is a challenge in that for
all of us.
If you would like to read about more great Australians, contact Margot Ogilvie
and order a copy of her book, Another Great Australian.|
You can write to P.O. Box 120, Victor Harbor, S.A. 5211 or
| || PHOTOS: State Library of NSW|