| As a lieutenant in the 39th Regiment he took part in Wellington's campaigns of 1812-14 and was present at Vittoria, the Pyrenees and the battles in southern France. After brief service in Canada he joined the army of occupation in France.
While visiting New South Wales on business in 1824 Macarthur was impressed by the dispersion of the garrison from Moreton Bay to Hobart Town in the face of runaway convicts
and 'hostile tribes'. In 1825 he placed detailed proposals before the Colonial Office for a
citizen military force but the plan was rejected by Governor Darling in 1827. Macarthur competently represented Australian interests in London. After serving as secretary in the Lord Chamberlain's Office in 1843-46 he was on the military staff in
In 1851 he was posted to Sydney as deputy adjutant-general. Promoted colonel in 1854, he moved with the headquarters to Melbourne. He accompanied the commander-in-chief,
Major General Sir Robert Nickle, to Eureka on 5 December. They talked freely with the miners and as a result of their investigations Nickle advised that martial law be withdrawn.
After Nickle died in May 1855 and Governor Hotham in December, Macarthur took over command of the forces and became
administrator of the colony. He inherited a confused political situation and was coolly received by the press. However, his impartiality and his willingness to leave things to his ministers helped him, and when he handed over to Sir Henry Barkly on 23 December 1856 he had won the esteem of parliament and the people of Melbourne.
He was described as if not a brilliant statesman, an industrious, kind-hearted, Christian gentleman. In 1858 Macarthur chaired a royal commission on the defences of the colony. In 1860 he returned to England and was appointed K.C.B. in 1862. Promoted
lieut-general in 1866, he died childless in London on 4 January 1872.
A. J. HILL [5:122-31