Site NameTarrone Station
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupKoornkopanoot or Bi:gwurrung
Present State/TerritoryVIC
Colony/State/Territory at the timePPD
Police DistrictPortland
DateBetween 1 Feb 1842 and 28 Feb 1842
Attack TimeDawn
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed6
Victims Killed NotesKilled: M 6 F; Probable: M F; Possible: M2 to 3 shot at F; Wounded: M F
Attacker DescriptionsSettler(s)
Attackers Killed1
Attackers Killed NotesKilled:M 1 Robertson F; Wounded: M Robertson F
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Musket(s), Shotgun(s), Spear(s), Arsenic
NarrativeAccording to Ian Clark (1995, pp 43-44): 'In October 1842, Dr John Watton, medical officer who had charge of the Mt Rouse protectorate station, investigated a case of alleged poisoning at James Kilgour's station’ at Tarrone, 19 kilometres north of Port Fairy. Three Aboriginal men, three women and three children died from poisoning. Watton reported to Chief Protector GA Robinson, that 'it appears that the then overseer, Mr Robinson had sent away into the bush to some natives ... a quantity of what was supposed to be flour. Of this they partook, and were immediately seized with burning pains in the stomach, vomiting, sinking of the abdomen and intense thirst (which are the symptoms usually produced by arsenic); on the following morning three men, three women and three children were dead.' (Watton cited in Clark, 1995, p 44). ‘The bodies were burned, and Watton could not find any white witnesses. Despite the fact that Watton established that [overseer] Robinson had received a large quantity of arsenic just before the incident, there was not enough proof to convict Robinson or his associates.’ (Clark, 1995, p 44). ‘On March 17, 1843, Superintendent La Trobe informed the Colonial Secretary in Sydney of the reported poisoning at Kilgour's station, noting that attempts to discover the responsible parties had proved ineffective’ (La Trobe cited in Clark 1995, pp 44-45). GA Robinson recorded in his diary on 29 August 1842 that Kilgour lost his licence for reporting false information concerning the Aborigines (Clark, 1998c, p 89).
SourcesClark ID, 1995, pp 43-55; Clark, 1998c, p 89. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating**