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Sir Samuel McCaughey: Ulster Australian Irrigator, Breeder & Benefactor

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 03, 1987


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By James Thompson

"One of the most striking examples of that pioneering spirit which has been the mark of many an Ulsterman down through the ages is to be found in the life of Sir Samuel McCaughey.

McCaughey, who possessed all the fine pioneering qualities in abundance, gave them generously to Australia, his adopted country.

He was a true nation-builder, one of the makers of Australia, and one of the greatest forces in the development of the sheep-breeding and wool-producing industry of the country.

It was largely due to his experiments (undertaken regardless of cost) and sound judgement that the average yield of wool from a single sheep was increased from about five to nine pounds, and much superior wool too, during his lifetime.

His work in irrigation, and in opening up the outback, added to his princely benefactions, increase the great debt that Australia owes to him."

This article looks at Sir Samuel McCaughey and his pioneering work in sheep-breeding and irrigation in Australia.