Site Name Mt Napier
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Wulluwurrung or Djabwurrung or Gai wurrung
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -37.892,142.060,0
Date Between 1 Jul 1847 and 31 Jul 1847
Attack Time Morning
Aboriginal People Killed 30
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 2 or as many as 30 people F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: unspecified
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Attacker Category Settlers including an Aborigine, Souwester.
Attacker Details An armed party of colonists including an Aborigine, Souwester.
Motive
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms and pistols
Notes In response for the killing of a shepherd named Edwards.
Narrative Following the killing of a shepherd named Edwards at Allen’s station near Mt Napier, an armed party of colonists went out in search of the Aborigines. They came across a group of Aborigines camped at Coles’ outstation, some of whom were alleged to have been wearing clothing that belonged to Edwards. The party called on them to surrender and then fired, purportedly in self-defence. As a consequence, at least two Aborigines were shot and others were wounded. The medical officer in charge of Mt Rouse Aboriginal reserve said that the party “acted under a magistrate’s warrant and they say they fired in self-defence”. According to James Bonwick who visited the station about a decade later, John Cox organized a hunting party, including an Aborigine, Souwester, “though few in number, mustered in rifles and pistols about fifty shots”. The unsuspecting Aborigines were interrupted at their breakfast. “More than thirty are said to have been thus laid low.”
Sources Bonwick 1970: 70-1; Critchett 1990: 125; Clark ID 1995: 82.
Corroboration Rating **