Site Name Chimney Pots
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Djabwurrung or Nundadjali
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -37.381,142.238,0
Date Between 1 Jun 1839 and 30 Nov 1839
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 60
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 60 F; Probable :M F; Possible: M F; Wounded:M F
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Attacker Category Settler
Attacker Details George, James, John and William Whyte, and three stockmen, Daniel Turner, Benjamin Wardle and William Gillespie.
Motive Reprisal within 24 hours for taking sheep
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used
Narrative On July 6, 1860, the following account was published in the Gippsland Guardian.'I remember down in the Port[land] District, when the four Parks [Whytes] and three other men, I was one of them, shot sixty-nine one afternoon. The devils had stolen about 100 sheep and driven them away to the ranges. When they got them there they broke their legs to prevent them escaping, and were killing them and eating them at their leisure ... We all mounted horses and armed with rifles set off in hot pursuit. It was early morning when we started, and about the middle of the day we came up with the black rascals, and a rare chase we had of it. The ranges were so rocky that we had to dismount and follow them on foot, and after two or three hours chase we got them beautiful- right between a crossfire, a steep rock on one side they could not climb, and rifles on each of the other. Well, we peppered them pretty, they stood up firm and stiff to be shot and dropped them one by one. We were expecting to cook the lot of them, when Mr George [Whyte], ..fired a shot too high and sent a bullet through one of his brothers face, ... we all knocked off firing and ran to him. In an instant the blacks were off, and we were too much engaged over Tom Park [Whyte] to think of following them ... We counted sixty-nine victims, including some half dozen or so that were not quite dead, but these we put out of their misery with the butt-end. The blacks carried off a few wounded ones but as we fired at the body we pretty well spoilt them all as we hit. 'Gippsland historian Peter D. Gardner has conducted a major investigation into this massacre. He considers that the Ngarum Ngarum balug or the Palug clans in the Dundas areas and or the Takallut balug, the Waitburuer gundigj and or the Yaninborer clans in the Victoria Range took the sheep not long after four of the Whyte brothers arrived in the Melville Forest area with many thousands of sheep in the winter of 1839 and before they took up the Konongwootong run in early 1840. They were accompanied by several stockmen including Daniel Turner, Benjamin Wardle, William Gillespie, Thomas Shilton and William Fox. Gardner considers that either Turner or Wardle or Gillespie later wrote the account in the Gippsland Guardian. He considers that within 24-30 hours of the sheep being taken, four of the Whyte brothers, George, William, John and James, and Turner, Benjamin and Wardle and three other stockmen set off in mounted pursuit. 'They came up with them at mid-day and then set off after their quarry on foot over rocky ground. After some considerable time the pursuit party came on the Aborigines who were either resting or had stopped in what they considered was a safe location.' However they were hemmed in on both sides and because they had not encountered rifles before, it was some time before they realised how lethal they were. Gardner considers that the massacre is at the Chimney Pots in the Grampians or close by.
Sources Gippsland Guardian, July 6 -, 1860; Gardner 2010: 1-7. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating **