Elizabeth Macarthur, Free Settler "Neptune" "Scarborough" 1790

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Elizabeth Macarthur, Free Settler "Neptune" "Scarborough" 1790's Geni Profile

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Elizabeth Macarthur (Veale), Free Settler "Neptune" "Scarborough" 1790

Birthplace: Bridge Rule, Devon, Judgeworthy, England (United Kingdom)
Death: February 09, 1850 (83)
Clovelly, Watson's Bay, Australia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Richard Veale and Grace Veale
Wife of John Shapcote Macarthur, Free Settler "Neptune" "Scarborough" 1790
Mother of Sir Edward Macarthur; James Macarthur; John Macarthur; Elizabeth Macarthur; Mary Isabella Bowman and 3 others

Managed by: Timothy Glyndwr Owen Stevenson
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Macarthur, Free Settler "Neptune" "Scarborough" 1790


John and Elizabeth Macarthur were married in Devonshire in England in 1788. John, the son of a mercer and draper (a seller of fabric and sewing materials) was one of fourteen children. He first joined the army in 1782 at 15 years of age but was retired the next year as the American War of Independence had ended, and with it, England's need for so many soldiers.

In 1788, John Macarthur married Elizabeth Veale in Devonshire and re-joined a regiment that was based in Gibraltar. In 1789 he moved to the New South Wales Corps as a lieutenant, for service in the new colony on the other side of the world.

On June 28 1790, John and Elizabeth Macarthur arrived in Port Jackson with their infant son Edward. Their hard work and struggle over the next 50 years would make a large contribution to shaping the character of the then-fledgling colony of Australia – a contribution that can still be seen today.

The journey to Australia with the second fleet ships Neptune and Scarborough, with hundreds of convicts, was harsh for the family. During the voyage Elizabeth gave premature birth to their second child, who died soon after. She also nursed her husband through a serious illness while on board.

Upon their arrival and until December 1792, Governor Phillip was in charge of the struggling colony. John Macarthur, an ambitious and argumentative man, did not get along with Phillip and created a stir in NSW society with his many quarrels with the Governor.

It wasn't until Major Francis Grose arrived as Commanding Officer of the New South Wales Corps in February 1792 that the Macarthurs' fortunes changed.

Grose indulged many of the officers of the Corps and Macarthur was no exception. Under Grose he was appointed paymaster for the colony and stationed in Parramatta, a half day's journey west of Port Jackson. Soon he was promoted again to Inspector of Public Works.

In 1793, Macarthur received a grant of 100 acres of land near Parramatta from the Governor and began work clearing and farming it, using convict labour. As a reward for improving the land, he was given another one hundred acres. In November 1793 the Macarthur family moved to the farm house they had built, called Elizabeth Farm, with their expanding family.

Not long after the family settled on the farm, Elizabeth wrote to her friends and relatives in England, describing it:

Our Farm, which contains from four to five hundred Acres, is bounded on three sides by water. This is particularly convenient. We have at this time, about one hundred and twenty Acres in Wheat, all in a promising state. Our Gardens, with Fruit and Vegetables are extensive and produce abundantly It is now Spring & the Eye is delighted with a most beautiful variegated Landscape. Almonds, Apricots, Pear and Apple Trees are in full bloom.

In 1796, John Macarthur bought his first merino sheep from a flock of Spanish merino sheep reared in South Africa. At the time, sheep were used for both their meat and their wool and the quality of the fleece from the breeds already imported to Australia was very poor. Other farmers in the region also bought merino sheep in 1796, but they cross-bred their merinos with other breeds, which resulted in coarse wool of a low quality.


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Elizabeth Macarthur, Free Settler "Neptune" "Scarborough" 1790's Timeline

August 14, 1766
Bridge Rule, Devon, Judgeworthy, England
March 16, 1789
Bath, England
December 15, 1798
Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia