Site Name Wonnerup 'Minninup'
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Wardandi Noongar
Colony SRC
Present State/Territory WA
Police District Busselton - South West region
Latitude -33.62
Longitude 115.4
Date Between 27 Feb 1841 and 10 Mar 1841
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 7
Victims Killed Notes 7-15
Attackers Colonisers
Attackers Killed 1
Attackers Killed Notes John Layman
Transport
Motive
Weapons Used Muskets, Swords, Bayonets
Narrative The events leading to the massacre(s) began early February, 1841. Some Noongars were employed in threshing wheat on the farm of Molloy’s neighbour George Layman, and some Noongar women were employed in the house. A dispute arose over payment (in damper) and Noongar man Gayware approached Layman. Layman grabbed Gayware by the beard and shook him, Gayware speared him and Layman struggled inside and died. On the 6 February 1841 Magistrate John Molloy and John Bussell raised a party of settlers and workers and ‘soldiers’, which pursued and surrounded the Noongars, killing seven, and then subsequently pursued a larger body of Noongar north towards Bunbury where many more were killed around ‘Lake Mininup’. (Wonnerup, Layman’s property, is a few kilometres north of present-day Busselton and Minninup another 15 km or so up the coast.) In 1897 the historian Warren Bert Kimberly wrote up this event as a massacre which took place at Lake Minninup near Wonnerup as 'one of the most bloodthirsty deeds ever committed by Englishmen'. [Kimberly 1897: 116]
Sources Perth Gazette, 13 March 1841: 3 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/642768; Kimberly 1897: 116; White, 2017: 2-13. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***