Site Name Bank Head Farm
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Oyster Bay
Colony VDL
Present State/Territory TAS
Police District Pittwater
Latitude -42.735
Longitude 147.589
Date 9 Dec 1826
Attack Time dawn
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 14
Victims Killed Notes Killed: M 14 unspecified, F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: M F; 10 captured, including their leader, Kickerterpoller.
Attackers Colonisers: Foot soldiers
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes Killed: M F; Wounded: M F
Transport Foot
Motive Opportunity
Weapons Used Firearms
Narrative When a mob of Oyster Bay people led by Black Tom (Kickerterpoller) were seen in the Pittwater area on 9 December 1826, the district constable, Alexander Laing, four soldiers of the 40th regiment and some stock-keepers, killed 14 of them and captured ten others, including their leader, Kickerterpoller. The capture of Kickerterpoller and the nine others was reported by magistrate James Gordon to the Colonial Secretary in Hobart later that day and in two Hobart newspapers a week later. However neither Gordon nor the newspapers acknowledged the massacre. Yet Kickerterpoller who was wanted for murder, was released on 9 January 1827 along with his 9 compatriots. A coverup had taken place. In March 1830, chief district constable Gilbert Robertson was the first to mention the massacre in evidence to the Aborigines Committee and stated that: 'The Richmond Police in 1827, killed fourteen of the natives, who had got upon a hill, and threw stones upon them. The police expended all their ammunition, and then charged with a bayonet.' In 1948, local historian Roy Bridges provided more information: 'Black Tom and his force of natives, after a succession of outrages through the Richmond Police District and beyond, were chased by Chief District Constable Lang (sic) and his men up the Sorell Valley, overtaken and destroyed near the head-waters of the rivulet.' In 2010 another local historian Robert Cox reconstructed the events leading to the massacre and the aftermath.
Sources TAHO CSO 1/331:194-5; CTTA December 15, 1826 - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2449083; HTG December 16, 1826; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/679629 BPP 1831: 49; Bridges 1948:69; Cox 2010: 181-201. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***