Collection RS39 - Rev. Archibald Macarthur Papers

Index to RS39

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Rev. Archibald Macarthur Papers


  • 1836-1858 (Creation)

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15 files

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Biographical history

In December 1821, when the secessionist United Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh received a request from Scottish Presbyterians in Van Diemen's Land for a minister, Macarthur volunteered, and was ordained on 22 January 1822 as a missionary minister in Dr John Jamieson's Secession Chapel, Nicholson Street, Edinburgh. Macarthur arrived in the "Skelton" at Hobart Town in December 1822, the first Presbyterian minister in Australia. Macarthur was active in the Hobart community; he also established the Van Diemen's Land Missionary Society and was associated with the Temperance, the Infant School and the Auxiliary Bible Societies. For more information see:

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Biographical history

Walker arrived in Hobart Town on September 1822 aboard the "Heroine". By his own account he was 'penniless and unfriended'. Within a month he was appointed superintendent of the government flour-mill on the Hobart Town Rivulet. Next year he received a grant of 200 acres (81 ha) and in 1824 built a mill at Richmond. Thanks to convict labour he had five prosperous years, increased his capital to £2000 and received a maximum land grant of 2560 acres (1036 ha). Moving to Launceston in 1830, he built a mill at the foot of the Cataract Hill. Back in Hobart he bought the government flour-mill together with its attached residence in Barrack Street and opened a brewery. By adding a steam-engine he greatly increased his milling business and extended his activities to commerce, whaling, shipping and insurance. He became a local director of the Bank of Australasia and of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land. He also helped to form the Derwent Bank and as managing director had to act as its liquidator in 1850. He was also commissioned to wind up the Tasmanian interests of Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur. As his assets increased Walker acquired the estates of Belmont and Shawfield on the River Ouse and Clarendon on the Derwent where he opened another flour-mill. For more information see:

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Royal Society by Mrs C. N. Atkins, 1944

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Papers of the executors of Rev. Archibald Macarthur a Presbyterian minister who returned to England in 1836 leaving his affairs and three of his children, Mary, Henry William and John, in the care of trustees and guardians, namely John Walker, Henry Hopkins and John Geiss. The eldest son, Archibald, accompanied him to England where he apparently died before his father, who died in January 1847. Macarthur's will, made in 1836, left his property to be divided between his surviving children on reaching the age of 21. The guardians were named as executors and trustees. Collection consists of legal papers including appointment of trustees, will & property trusts also included are some miscellaneous papers of John Walker of John Walker & Son, Barrack Street, Hobart, manufacturers of fine flour.

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This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE May2020




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