Site Name Mustons
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Djabwurrung or Gai wurrung
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -37.876,142.337,0
Date Between 1 Jun 1840 and 30 Jun 1840
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 8
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 7 + at least 1 child F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: many
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Attacker Category A party of settlers
Attacker Details Peter Aylward, Robert Tulloh, George Robinson, R.W. Knowles, plus four other men.
Motive Reprisal for stock theft
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms / spears
Notes Aboriginal people stole sheep
Narrative In either April or May 1840, Peter Aylward's and Augustine Barton's station near Mount Rouse was alleged to have been attacked by 300 Aborigines and a number of Aylward's sheep were taken to the other side of the Serra Range. In June, Aylward took his revenge in an act of reprisal in which seven Aborigines were killed, and many others were wounded. R.W. Knowles, Robert Martin's overseer at Mount Sturgeon station witnessed the massacre as did Robert Tulloh, who held a run at Bochara Station at the junction of the Wannon River and Grangeburn Creek. On 27 June 1841, Tulloh told Chief Protector G.A. Robinson that he was one of eight horsemen in the party. Historian Jan Critchett examined the depositions each of the men gave on different days on different properties to produce this account: ..."they came across a large party of Aborigines. Aylward estimated the Aborigines to number nearly 300, Knowles [or Knolles] more than 150, and Tulloh about 500. The Europeans, on horseback, fired on them and then retreated; the Aborigines followed them; as soon as the three men had reloaded their guns, they charged again with the Aborigines fleeing before them. The 'engagement' lasted a quarter of an hour. Aylward reported that 'there must have been a great many wounded, and several killed ... saw two or three dead bodies'; Knowles reported: 'Some of the Natives must have been wounded, but I saw none dead.'
Sources Clark ID 1995: 66; Clark ID 1998b: 284; Critchett 2003: 56-7.
Corroboration Rating ***