Site Name Eastern Tiers
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Oyster Bay / Big River
Colony VDL
Present State/Territory TAS
Police District Oatlands
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -42.120,147.837,0
Date Between 1 Jul 1828 and 30 Jul 1828
Attack Time Night
Aboriginal People Killed 17
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 17 unspecified, F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: M F
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M F; Wounded: M F
Attacker Category Military / Police
Attacker Details A party of soldiers of the 40th Regiment and some constables, possibly Constable Danvers.
Motive Unknown
Type Of Motive Opportunity
Weapons Used Muskets with bayonets
Notes
Narrative A settler, Robert Ayrton wrote to the Aborigines Committee on March 1, 1830 about an incident against the Aborigines that took place in the Eastern Tiers in July 1828. “On this occasion not less than sixteen of them were massacred and gathered into heaps and buried.” Two weeks later he repeated his claim in a deposition at the Launceston Police Office: “A party of soldiers of the 40th Regiment and some constables went in quest of the Aborigines. On the return of the party (to Oatlands) I heard many of them boast, that they had killed sixteen of the natives, one man in particular boasted that he had run his bayonet through two of them, and that they gathered them into a heap and burned their bodies. I think that Constable Danvers stationed at Oatlands was one of the number, the soldiers do not recollect this.” The two guides were never questioned about this incident. By March 1830 the 40th Regiment were preparing to depart for India. This incident does not appear to have been a reprisal killing.
Sources TAHO CSO 1/320: 152-4;TAHO CSO 1/330:109.
Corroboration Rating **