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John Arthur Macartney (1834–1917)

John Macartney, n.d.

John Macartney, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 July 1917

The death last month of Mr. J. A. Macartney at Brisbane at the ripe age of 84 removes a very notable and highly esteemed figure from pastoral circles.

Coming to Australia in 1848 with his father, the late Dean of Melbourne, he completed his education in that city. He spent some little time in a solicitor's office, and ultimately entered pastoral pursuits. In 1857 Mr. Macartney went to Brisbane, and from there travelled over the greater portion of Queensland taking up blocks of country, as well as an area of 10,000 square miles in the Northern Territory, and was identified, as owner or part owner, with a number of valuable properties in various parts of Queensland. A pioneer every inch of him, and possessed of the fine qualities which have characterised those courageous men who have led the way into the virgin pastoral country of Australia. 

Like all other pioneers he had to face and battle with big problems, problems that have now been solved, but in those days they loomed big, and only those stout-hearted men of Mr. Macartney's stamp could wrestle with them. That he did so with considerable success may be seen from the fine properties he built up.

Thorough, conscientious, and courageous, he lived his life in the discharge of those duties which his big interests created. But the day of reverse arrived. Droughts came and mercilessly destroyed his stock, as they have done in hundreds of other cases, and will, alas, continue to do, and Mr. Macartney at the age of sixty-two was practically ruined, but without the least hesitation he pulled himself together and set out upon another strenuous journey towards the attainment of a living from pastoral pursuits, fighting his way up until he was able to pay off all his debts. He owned at various times Waverley Station, Diamantina Lakes, and other properties in Queensland.

Mr. Macartney, who was a cousin of Sir William Ellison-Macartney, formerly Governor of Tasmania, married a grand-daughter of Sir Thomas Dunlop, Bart., of Ayrshire. She predeceased him some years ago. 

He leaves two sons and four daughters, one of the sons being Major H. D. K. Macartney.

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Citation details

'Macartney, John Arthur (1834–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 3 March 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

John Macartney, n.d.

John Macartney, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 July 1917

Life Summary [details]


5 April, 1834
Creagh, Cork, Ireland


10 July, 1917 (aged 83)
Cleveland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.