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William Macarthur (1800-1882)

William Macarthur, the youngest son of John and Elizabeth Macarthur, was born at Elizabeth Farm at Parramatta. He was a horticulturalist and an agriculturalist and had an international profile. He was less interested in politics than his brother James and devoted his energies to developing the Camden Park and other estates. He worked with James in wool production and farming. William had many international connections and swapped plant specimens with other horticulturalists around the world. He planned the beautiful gardens at Camden and became a skilled plant breeder. He sat in the NSW Legislative Council from 1849-1855.


He was made the NSW Commissioner to the Paris International Exhibition in 1855. He was decorated with the Legion of Honour by the French Emperor and in 1856 he was knighted by Queen Victoria for his services. He was on the committees of the Agricultural Society, the Australian Museum and Sydney Botanic Gardens, and a member of the Senate of the University of Sydney.


After James’ death in 1867 the management of the Camden Park estates fell to William. He never married and his estate passed to his niece Elizabeth following his death in 1882. To this day the house, the library and garden still show many the mark of William’s decisions and work.

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