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McArthur Bequest

Medal - Eight Hours Day,1884 AD

Image: Medal - Eight Hours Day,1884 AD

Source: Museum Victoria

George McArthur (1842-1903) was born in Linlithgow, Scotland, in 1842 and migrated to Australia in 1852 with his parents and three siblings. His father established a bakery in Maldon, a town in the central Victorian goldfields, and George ran the business in the 1870s and 1880s. He also travelled widely, travelling around the world in his 20s, and again in the 1880s. He amassed a large collection of early printed books, documents, coins and tokens and other artefacts.

In 1903, shortly before his death, McArthur revised his will to bequeath his books to the University of Melbourne and coins and other artefacts to the Trustees of the Public Library, Gallery and Museum. The artefacts bequest included 1357 coins, 575 tokens, 894 medals, 303 badges, 201 ethnographic items. 41 guns and weapons, and other miscellaneous items.

References:

Mary Lugton. (1985). The Library of a Victorian Pioneer, George McArthur, 1842-1903: an Exhibition of Books from his Bequest to the University of Melbourne. Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

The Baker of Maldon. (2003). A Baillieu Library exhibition, curated by Ian Morrison. University of Melbourne.

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