Arthur, Margaret (Xavieria) (1674?–1743), abbess of the Benedictine convent at Ypres, was a daughter of Francis Arthur (d. 1712) and his wife Margaret (née Macnamara) (d. 1710). The Arthurs and Macnamaras were catholic patrician families from Limerick and Clare whose politics were typically Jacobite. Francis Arthur, no doubt having gone into exile on the Continent, died in Paris. Margaret Arthur, a protégée of James II's (qv) second wife, Mary of Modena, who had her educated at the Ursuline convent at St Germain, entered the Benedictine house at Ghent in Flanders. On 9 December 1700 she was professed a nun at the order's house at Ypres, taking the religious name Xavieria. From 1703 until 1723 she was prioress there, and from 1723 until her death (at the age of 68) on 5 March 1743 (N.S.) she was abbess. Life was austere. Abbess Arthur remained a firm Jacobite. In December 1741 she wrote to the Old Pretender telling him that she prayed ‘that this ensuing year may be the happy one of your majesty's and royal family's restoration’. One of her sisters, Catherine, married James Creagh, a nephew of a catholic archbishop of Dublin, Peter Creagh (qv); another, Mary, married a Captain O'Dea of Clare's regiment in the French service.
E. W. Beck, ‘The Irish abbey in Ypres’, Irish Ecclesiastical Rec., 3rd ser., xii (1891), 810; Patrick Nolan, The Irish dames of Ypres (1908), 209–11, 254–61, 422, 518, appendices E and F, portrait