Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 34.djvu/410

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in London, in York Place, Portman Square, but afterwards he settled down at Hayfield in Hampshire, where he died 29 July 1840. He left a widow and, apparently, one daughter, Mrs. Conway (Nicolas, Desp. and Letters of Lord Nelson, vol. i. 2nd ed. pp. v, xxi).

[The Memorial of John McArthur, 9 Nov. 1807, in the Public Record Office (Promiscuous, M. 4); Irving's Book of Scotsmen, p. 319; Gent. Mag. 1840 pt. ii. p. 436; Navy Lists; Catalogues of the Libraries of the British Museum and of the Royal United Service Institution.]

J. K. L.

McARTHUR, Sir WILLIAM (1809–1887), lord mayor of London, fifth child of John McArthur and Sarah Finlay, was born at Malin, in the barony of Innishowen, co. Donegal, on 6 July 1809. His father was a Wesleyan minister for upwards of thirty years; he retired to Miltown cottage, Ardstraw, co. Tyrone, in 1818, and died in 1840. William McArthur attended for some years a school at Stranorlar, co. Donegal, kept by one McGranahan, where Isaac Butt [q. v.] was a fellow-pupil. In July 1821 he was apprenticed to Hugh Copeland, a woollen draper at Enniskillen, and in 1825 removed to Lurgan, where for 45l. per annum he kept accounts and travelled for William Johnstone, a manufacturing tobacconist and spirit merchant. While at Lurgan he wrote verses for a local newspaper, the ‘Impartial Reporter.’ In 1830 he was for a short time an assistant to Thomas Steele, a Dublin woollendraper, and in 1831, with Joseph Cather, he started in the same trade in Londonderry on his own account. This partnership was dissolved in 1835, and McArthur continued the business alone. In 1841 he became member of the town council. In the same year his brother, Mr. Alexander McArthur, went to Australia for his health; William sent goods to him from England, and he commenced business as an export merchant in Sydney. After the discovery of gold the business rapidly grew, branches were opened in various parts of Australia, and the McArthurs became wealthy. The headquarters of the firm were transferred by William McArthur from Londonderry to London, and in 1857 he himself settled at 1 Gwydyr Houses, Brixton.

In July 1865 McArthur unsuccessfully contested Pontefract in the liberal interest. In November 1868 he was elected junior member for Lambeth, and continued to represent that constituency until the dissolution in 1885. At the ensuing general election he stood for West Newington and was defeated; in 1886 he became a liberal unionist. On questions of colonial policy he inclined to a more avowedly imperial policy than the liberal party ordinarily approved. In early life his views were moderately conservative, and he was in general sympathy with the policy of Lord Carnarvon, colonial secretary under Mr. Disraeli (1874–7). He was the leader of the movement in favour of the annexation of Fiji, and met with strenuous opposition from Mr. Gladstone. In 1878–9 he made a tour round the world, and was warmly welcomed in Australia. Apart from colonial affairs McArthur mainly devoted his attention in the House of Commons to educational or Irish questions. On 6 May 1869 he spoke in support of the Maynooth grant, and in 1869–70 was member of a Wesleyan committee on the Education Act.

McArthur was chosen sheriff of London on 24 June 1867, an alderman on 3 Sept. 1872, a master of the Spectacle Makers' Company on 6 Oct. 1875, and lord mayor of London on 29 Sept. 1880. Throughout his mayoralty he showed an active interest in colonial matters and in religious enterprises. He was one of the founders of the London Chamber of Commerce in 1881. On 17 Nov. 1882 he was made K.C.M.G. After his mayoralty he lived at 79 Holland Park. In 1886 he travelled to Palestine and elsewhere. He died suddenly while on the Underground Railway on 16 Nov. 1887. He was buried in Norwood cemetery. A zealous Wesleyan throughout his life, he left some 150,000l. to various charitable institutions, chiefly connected with the Wesleyan denomination. A portrait is in possession of his brother, Mr. Alexander McArthur.

McArthur married, 5 Sept. 1843, Marianne, only child of Archibald McElwaine of Coleraine. She died 13 April 1889.

[Life by McCullagh; Times, 17, 18, and 22 Nov. 1887.]

W. A. J. A.

MACARTNEY, GEORGE (d. 1730), general. [See Maccartney.]

MACARTNEY, GEORGE, Earl Macartney (1737–1806), diplomatist and colonial governor, born in Ireland on 14 May 1737, was only son of George Macartney of Lissanoure, co. Antrim, who married in 1732 Elizabeth, youngest daughter of the Rev. John Winder, prebendary of Kilrain and vicar of Carmony. At the age of thirteen George matriculated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated M.A. in 1759. He entered as a student at the Middle Temple, but not seeking a call to the bar, he travelled for some time on the continent. He made the acquaintance of Stephen Fox, elder brother of Charles James Fox, and acquired the lasting friendship of the Holland family. On his