Site Name Mt Napier
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Wulluwurrung or Djabwurrung or Gai wurrung
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District Portland
Latitude -37.892
Longitude 142.06
Date Between 1 Jul 1847 and 31 Jul 1847
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 30
Victims Killed Notes Killed: M 2 or as many as 30 people F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: unspecified
Attackers Colonisers: Settler, stockmen
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms, pistols,
Narrative According to Clark, following the killing of a shepherd named Edwards at Allen’s station near Mt Napier in July 1847, an armed party of colonists went out on a reprisal mission. They came across a group camped at Cole’s outstation, some of whom were alleged to have been wearing clothing that belonged to Edwards. The party called on them ‘to surrender and then fired, purportedly in self-defence. As a consequence, at least two Aborigines were shot’ (Clark 1995, p. 82) and others were wounded. Dr John Watton, the medical officer in charge of Mt Rouse Aboriginal station said that the party “acted under a magistrate’s warrant and they say they fired in self-defence” (Robinson cited in Clark 1995, p.82). However, when historian James Bonwick visited the station about a decade later, he found that ‘John Cox [Cole] organized a hunting party, including an Aboriginal man, Souwester, [and] though few in number, mustered in rifles and pistols about fifty shots’ (Bonwick, 1870b, pp. 70-1). According to historian Jan Critchett (1990, p. 125), ‘the unsuspecting Aborigines were interrupted at their breakfast and more than thirty are said to have been thus laid low’.
Sources Bonwick 1870b; Critchett 1990; Clark 1995. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating **