Site NameBuckingham Downs, Selwyn Ranges (1)
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupYalarrnga
Present State/TerritoryQLD
Colony/State/Territory at the timeQLD
Police DistrictBurke River, Boulia
Latitude-22.538
Longitude140.253
DateBetween 1 Feb 1879 and 28 Feb 1879
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed20
Victims Killed Notes
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsNative Police, Settler(s), Stockmen/Drover(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedSnider(s), Repeating Rifle(s)
NarrativeBetween 12 and 21 January 1879, a large group of Yalarrnga a Pita warriors who were conducting major ceremonies at Wonomo Waterhole, killed stockman Bernard Molvo and three other stockmen at Wonomo Waterhole on Sulieman Creek. In reprisal Sub-Inspector Ernest Eglington led a detachment of native police, as well as 'a white vigilante group' (Bottoms, 2013 p162) of settlers including Alexander Kennedy and Robert Currie from Buckingham Downs Station, William Paterson from Goodwood Station in at least five reprisal massacres of the Yalarrnga and Pitta Pitta people in February 1879. The massacre sites included Buckingham Downs; Sulieman Creek; Goodwood Station; Monastery Creek: and The Monument. It is estimated by the Yalarrnga descendants of the massacre survivors that more than 100 men, women and children were killed. This would suggest that about 20 Aboriginal people were killed at each of the five sites.
SourcesBrisbane Courier, March 5, p. 3, 1879, 'Murders in the Far West" ; Evening News, March 10, 1879, "Massacres by Queensland Blacks" ; Morning Bulletin, March, 1, 1879, "Blackall" ; Queenslander, January 8, 1921, "Sketcher. Early Days in North-West Queensland" ; Townsville Daily Bulletin, June 29, 1917 , January 27, 1931, August 16, 1948 ; Fysh, 1961: 94-6; Bottoms, 2013, p 162-4; Davidson et. al., 2020, p 1-16. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***