Site Name Cape Grim, VDL Co, Nw Tasmania (2)
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group North West
Colony VDL
Present State/Territory TAS
Police District VDL Co
Latitude -40.697
Longitude 144.688
Date 10 Feb 1828
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 30
Victims Killed Notes Killed: M 30 unspecified, F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: M F
Attackers Colonisers: Shepherds
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes Killed: M F; Wounded: M F
Transport Foot
Motive Opportunity
Weapons Used Firearms, muskets, blades, bayonets
Narrative Four shepherds employed by the VDL Co, Charles Chamberlain, John Weavis, William Gunshannon and Richard Nicholson, crept up on a group of Aborigines hunting and shot 30 dead and then threw their bodies to the rocks below. The incident was reported by a VDL Company officer, Alexander Goldie to Lieutenant-governor Arthur in Hobart in November 1829. Arthur then ordered his agent, G.A. Robinson to investigate the incident during his visit to the area between June and September 1830. Robinson interviewed two of the four perpetrators who confirmed the number killed and the location of the incident but said that only one woman had been shot. He then interviewed an Aboriginal woman witness, who confirmed the number killed but insisted that many of the victims were women. However, Edward Curr, the superintendent of the VDL Company, in a despatch to his superiors in London on October 7 1830, reported that only six Aborigines were killed and several wounded and then revised down the number killed to three.
Sources TAHO CSO 1/333: 116-117; Plomley 1966: 175, 181; TAHO VDL 5/1:104-5. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***