Site NameMustons Station
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupDjabwurrung or Gai wurrung
Present State/TerritoryVIC
Colony/State/Territory at the timePPD
Police DistrictGeelong
DateBetween 1 Jun 1840 and 30 Jun 1840
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed8
Victims Killed NotesKilled: M 7 + at least 1 child F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: many
Attacker DescriptionsSettler(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed NotesKilled:M F;Wounded:M F
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Spear(s)
NarrativeAccording to Ian Clark, 'In either April or May 1840, Mustons station near Mount Rouse, and leased by Peter Aylward and Augustine Barton', was alleged to have been 'attacked' by 300 Aboriginal people who took a number of Aylward's sheep to the other side of the Serra Range. 'In June, Aylward took his revenge in an act of reprisal in which seven Aborigines were killed and many others wounded‘ (Clark 1995, p. 66). RW Knowles, Robert Martin's overseer at Mount Sturgeon station, was a perpetrator in the massacre as was Robert Tulloh from nearby Bochara Station at the junction of the Wannon River and Grangeburn Creek. On 27 June 1841, Tulloh told Chief Protector GA Robinson that he was one of eight horsemen in the party (which not only included Aylward and Knowles, but also stockman George Robinson (Robinson cited in Clark 1998b, p. 284). Historian Jan Critchett (1990) examined the depositions each of the men gave on different days on different properties to produce this account: they ‘... came across a large party of Aborigines.' 'Aylward estimated the Aborigines to number nearly 300, Knowles [or Knolles] more than 150, Tulloh about 500.’ ‘The Europeans, on horseback, fired on them and then retreated’; the Aborigines turned and pursued' them. 'As soon as the three men had reloaded their guns, they charged again with the Aborigines fleeing before them. The "engagement" lasted a quarter of an hour' (p. 124). Aylward reported that "there must have been a great many wounded, and several killed ... saw two or three dead bodies". Knowles reported: “Some of the Natives must have been wounded, but I saw none dead” (Aylward and Knowles cited in Critchett, 1990, pp. 124-5). The overestimation of the number of Aboriginal people the white men attacked and the underestimation of the number they killed, is typical of reports of frontier encounters.
SourcesClark ID 1995, p 66; Clark ID 1998b, pp 284, 305; Critchett 1990, pp 124-125. See also: Christie, 1979, pp 61-62. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***