Site Name The 'Sperwer' massacre, Prince of Wales Is.Torres Strait
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group
Colony QLD
Present State/Territory QLD
Police District
Latitude -10.625
Longitude 142.167
Date Between 1 Jun 1869 and 30 Jun 1869
Attack Time day
Victims Colonisers
Victims Killed 17
Victims Killed Notes MWC
Attackers Aboriginal People
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes
Weapons Used spears, waddies
Narrative The brig 'Sperwer' founded on a reef off Prince of Wales Island in June 1869. The 14 Javanese crew members came on shore at Prince of Wales Island to collect wood and fish for food. The master, Captain Gascoigne and possibly his wife and child and the 14 crew were killed by the Aboriginal people on Prince of Wales Island. The bodies of the master and the woman and her child were found 2 months later, along with the bodies of the 14 crew members. There is no first hand account of exactly what happened.
Sources SMH December 3, 1869: 5; Inquirer and Commercial News, (Perth WA), January 5, 1870: 3 (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating **