Australian ‘sheep king’
1835 – 1919
Samuel McCaughey was born near Ballymena, County Antrim, and emigrated to Australia in 1856. He became manager of a sheep station in Victoria after a two-year apprenticeship. By 1860, with two partners, he had built up a famous marino stud farm in New South Wales. After this he bought other stations and introduced methods to improve the yield and quality of wool. He was the first to adopt irrigation and to improve the breed of sheep. At one point he had one million sheep to shear. He became the wealthiest man in the state and was known as the ‘Sheep King’. He served as a member of the Legislative Assembly for twenty years until 1919 and was knighted in 1905. He gave twenty war planes to the government in the First World War, and £2,000,000 for charitable and educational purposes.
Location of plaques: Cloughwater Road, Tullynewey, Ballymena