Site Name Tarrone (2)
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Bi:gwurrung or Koornkopanoot
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -38.215,142.228,0
Date Between 1 Oct 1842 and 31 Oct 1842
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 9
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M3 F3 + 3 children; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: several
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M F; Wounded: M F
Attacker Category Overseer
Attacker Details An overseer known as Robertson (sometimes written as Robinson) employed by Kilgour.
Motive to remove Aborigines from station
Type Of Motive Dispersal
Weapons Used Flour laced with Arsenic
Notes Dead bodies burned.
Narrative In October 1842, Dr John Watton, medical officer who had charge of Mt Rouse protectorate station, investigated a case of alleged poisoning at Kilgour's station at Tarrone which three Aboriginal men, three women and three children had died. In correspondence with G.A. Robinson, Watton reported that it appears that the then overseer, Mr Robinson [sic], had sent away into the bush to some natives ... a quantity of what was supposed to be flour. Of this they partook, and were immediately seized with burning pains in the stomach, vomiting, sinking of the abdomen and intense thirst (which are the symptoms usually produced by arsenic); on the following morning three men, three women and three children were dead. According to Watton, the bodies were burned, and he could not find any white witnesses. Despite the fact that Watton established that Robinson had received a large quantity of arsenic just before the incident, there was not enough proof to convict Robinson or his associates. On March 17, 1843, Supt. La Trobe informed the Colonial Secretary in Sydney of the reported poisoning at Kilgour's station, noting that attempts to discover the responsible parties had proved ineffective. The poisonings continued. When visiting the Port Fairy district in April 1843, Chief Protector G.A. Robinson was informed by a colonist named Hamilton that he had seen six Aborigines at a swamp near Tarrone station. They told Hamilton they were unable to walk after they had eaten poisoned damper given to them by some white men. In the company of Lt. Robert Chamberlain, G.A. Robinson visited the Aboriginal campsite at Tarrone, where they found several people unable to walk from having eaten poisoned damper.
Sources Clark ID 1995:43-5
Corroboration Rating **