Site NameBarfold Station, Coliban River, Campaspe Plains
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Place Name
Language Group, Nation or PeopleDjadjawurrung or Ngurai-illamwurrung
Present State/TerritoryVIC
Colony/State/Territory at the timePPD
Police DistrictMelbourne
Date9 Jun 1838
Attack TimeEvening
VictimsAboriginal or Torres Strait Islander People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed7
Victims Killed Notes
Attacker DescriptionsSettler(s), Stockmen/Drover(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Spear(s)
NarrativeJohn Coppock, W.H. Yaldwin’s overseer at Barfold Station, on the Coliban River, said in a sworn statement, that on 9 June 1838 about 50 Aboriginal people had stolen sheep from Dr Bowman's and Mr Yaldwyn’s runs (Coppock cited in Cannon and Macfarlane, 1982, pp 336-337). Coppock led a party of eight white men from both stations in search of the Aboriginal camp and the sheep. When they reached the camp ‘a shot was fired’ and the Aboriginal men 'immediately manned their spears and gave another shout and instantly began throwing them at us. These spears dropped by us and passed as we were obliged to shelter ourselves behind trees.' ‘We fired upon the blacks and there was a regular engagement for about three-quarters of an hour, when we rushed up to the fires to take possession of the place. When we got to the fires the blacks had deserted them, but we saw them about one or two hundred yards off still in possession of the sheep. It was at this time quite dark and we were afraid to make any further attempt to take the sheep. We therefore went home.' ‘At the place where the blacks stood during the engagement we found seven or eight blacks dead’ (Coppock cited in Cannon & Macfarlane 1982a, p 337). When Coppock and six stockmen returned to the camp the next day, they 'found the bodies of the blacks who had been killed had been put upon the fire and were partly consumed' (Cannon & Macfarlane, 1982A, p 338). However, since Aboriginal people did not dispose of bodies in this way, it can only be assumed that Coppock and his party put them 'upon the fire'.
SourcesCannon & Macfarlane, 1982, pp 336-340; See also: Clark ID 1995, p 98. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***