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Dictionary of World Biography
*Truman sacked him (April 1951) for challenging a
direction to limit the fighting. MacArthur was given
a hero’s welcome when he returned to the US for the
first time since 1937, but an attempt to launch him
politically received little support and he withdrew
into retirement. In 1952 he supported Robert
AÂ *Taft for the Republican presidential nomination.
An impressive and dominating personality combined
with longsighted strategic perception and a mastery
of the military art place him among history’s greatest
commanders.
Clayton James, D., The Years of MacArthur. 3 vols.
1970.
Macarthur, John (1767–1834). Australian pioneer,
born near Plymouth. He joined the army and in 1789
was posted to the New South Wales Corps, arriving
in Sydney with his wife Elizabeth MacArthur (née
Veale) (1766–1850) in June 1790. Ambitious, with a
flair for publicity and making enemies, he remained
in the army but became a landowner at Elizabeth
Farm, Parramatta and Camden Park. By breeding
merino sheep for wool rather than meat he pioneered
the industry that became an Australian mainstay. He
clashed with successive governors of New South Wales,
and was active in the Rum Rebellion (January 1808),
which overthrew William *Bligh. He was in England
1809–17 and his wife managed his sheep flocks with
great success. Macarthur became an ultra-conservative
in the Legislative Council 1825–32.
Ellis, M. H., John Macarthur. 1955.
Macartney, 1st Earl, George Macartney (1737–
1806). Anglo-Irish diplomat and administrator.
Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he became envoy
to St Petersburg 1765–67, Governor of the Caribee
Islands 1775–79, of Madras 1780–86 and the Cape
of Good Hope 1796–98. He led an important but
unsuccessful mission to China 1792–94, during the
reign of *Qianlong.
Peyrefitte, A. The Collision of Two Civilisations. 1992.
Macaulay, Dame Rose (1881–1958). English
novelist. She first won success with Potterism (1920).
Among the best known of her many novels are Orphan
Island (1924) and, almost at the end of her life, The
Towers of Trebizond (1956) for which she was awarded
the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her astringent
and ironic style was much admired. In 1958 she was
made a DBE.
Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron
(1800–1859). English historian, poet and politician.
A precocious child with a prodigious memory, he
abandoned law for literature and politics soon after
leaving Cambridge. His essays began to appear in
the Edinburgh Review in 1825. Their pretext was
always a recently published book but in reality they
were Macaulay’s own assessments of the subject. First
collected in 1843 they give a magnificent impression
528
of brilliance sustained over nearly 20 years, those on
*Chatham and *Clive are among the best, that on
Warren *Hastings among the most unfair. As a Whig
MP 1830–34, 1839–47 and 1852–56, Macaulay
displayed his talent in parliament in oratory rather
than debate. He went to India (1834) as legal adviser
to the supreme council and there he wrote a famous
‘minute’ on education and played the leading part in
drawing up a new criminal code. On his return he was
Secretary for War 1839–41 and Paymaster General
1846–47. His History of England from the Accession of
James II (5 vols, 1848–61, incomplete) was passionate
advocacy written from the Whig perspective, with
great narrative skill but flawed by an incapacity to
understand other points of view.
Millgate, J., Macaulay. 1973.
Macbeth (c.1005–1057). King of Scots 1040–57.
Son of the Mórmaer (sub-king) of Moray, he married
Gruoch, granddaughter of Kenneth III. He killed
*Duncan I, seized his throne and ruled until defeated
and killed in battle by Duncan’s son *Malcolm III.
His reign seems to have been relatively prosperous.
He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Rome (1050).
*Shakespeare’s tragedy is based on the account in
*Holinshed’s Chronicle but the characters are largely
fictional.
MacBride, Sean (1904–1988). Irish politician and
lawyer, born in Paris. His father, John MacBride
(1868–1916), was executed by the British after the
Easter rising and his mother Maud Gonne (1866–
1953), an actor and patriot, was the lover of *Yeats.
AÂ journalist, active in the Irish Republican Army
(IRA), he became its commander in chief 1936, and
from 1937 was a senior barrister. He served in the
Irish Dail 1947–57 and was Minister for External
Affairs 1948–51. He helped to found Amnesty
International (1961), became its chairman 1961–75,
worked for UN and UNESCO and won the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1974.
Maccabaeus, Mattathias (d.c.166 BCE). Jewish
Hasmonean ruler. The first members of his dynasty
were known as the Maccabees. Mattathias was a Jewish
priest who led the revolt against King *Antiochus IV
of Syria. It is said that after rejecting all promises
made to him to induce him to abandon his faith he
himself killed the first Jew to approach the heathen
altar. This was the signal for rebellion. Mattathias
gathered an increasing number of followers in the
wilderness whence they raided the towns and villages,
attacked Syrians and reconverted Jews. After his death
his son Judas (Judah) Maccabaeus (d.160 BCE)
took command, reconquered Jerusalem and purified
the temple (165–164). He made an alliance with the
Romans but was killed in battle (160). His brother
Jonathan (d.142 BCE), who became high priest,
was treacherously executed by the Syrians. Another
brother, Simon (d.135 BCE), who also gained Roman
recognition and support, completely re-established
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