Site Name Laycock Falls (Liffey Falls)
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group North Sorell [Pallittore North]
Colony VDL
Present State/Territory TAS
Police District Launceston
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -41.686,146.777,0
Date 24 Jun 1827
Attack Time Morning
Aboriginal People Killed 30
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 30-60 people; in second incident about 60 people, F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: M F
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 1
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 1 - William Knight, overseer, F; Wounded: M F
Attacker Category Military / Stockmen
Attacker Details Aborigines killed a stock-keeper of William Field; reprisal by Shiner's party [Thomas Baker, James Cubit, fireld constable Thomas Williams, William Shiners and James Lingen]; later Aborigines killed two shepherds intiating another reprisal by Shiner's par
Motive Revenge for killing a stock-keeper
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Muskets, bayonets, pistols
Notes
Narrative Following the Aboriginal killing of William Knight, overseer at T.C. Simpson’s stock-hut at Dairy Plains, a party of six men, including Corporal William Shiner, surrounded an Aboriginal camp and attacked in the early morning and allegedly killed about 30-60 Aborigines. Two different accounts of reprisal killings appeared in the same issue of the Colonial Times. The first account stated that: “The Military instantly pursued the blacks – brought home numerous trophies, such as spears, waddies, tomahawks, muskets, blankets – killed upwards of 30 dogs, and as the report says, nearly as many natives, but this is not a positive fact.” The second account stated that: “The people over the second Western Tier have killed an immense quantity of blacks this last week, in consequence of their having murdered Mr Simpson’s stock-keeper, they were surrounded whilst sitting around their fires when the soldiers and others fired at them about 30 yards distant. They report there must have been about 60 of them killed and wounded.” The official report of this incident however, said that “between twenty and thirty of their dogs” were killed and one Aboriginal “possibly wounded.” When the government agent, G.A. Robinson, travelled through the area in September 1830, a stockkeeper told him that William Knight was known to “kill Aborigines for sport.” Regional historian Shayne Breen believes that the accounts in the Colonial Times, relate to two separate incidents.
Sources TAHO CSO 1/316, 15-37; CT, July 6, 1827 - https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/679329; Breen 2005: Ryan 2008: 492-3.
Corroboration Rating ***