Site Name La Grange
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Yawru, Karajarri
Colony WA
Present State/Territory WA
Police District La Grange Bay - West Kimberley
Latitude -18.684
Longitude 121.777
Date Between 4 Apr 1865 and 6 Apr 1865
Attack Time
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 15
Victims Killed Notes 15-30
Attackers Colonisers: Settlers, Aboriginal trackers
Attackers Killed 3
Attackers Killed Notes Frederick Kennedy Panter, aged 28, James Richard Harding, aged 25, William Henry Goldwyer aged 34.
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Carbines, Pistols
Narrative In 1865 Frederick Kennedy Panter, aged 28, James Richard Harding, aged 25, William Henry Goldwyer, aged 34, set off from Roebuck Bay to explore the La Grange coastal area. They did not return from the trip and the local colonists suspected they had been killed by local Yawru Karajarri people. Noted explorer Maitland Brown led an expedition to search for the men. In April 1865 they found them speared and clubbed to death. The expedition party including David Franciso and Lockier Burges launched a punitive expedition with one member George Leake stating ‘it is our bounden duty to ascertain how and where they have fallen: and if by violence, avenge them.' Brown wrote that in avenging the death that if anyone resists them they would be ‘exterminated.’ On 6 April 1865 the party engaged a local group and killed up to 20 people.[Scates, passim] Large monument erected in Fremantle Park to Goldwye, Painter and Harding. In the early 2000s, the monument was altered to acknowledge the Aboriginal people in the reprisal massacre. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-29/explorers-monument-added-to-not-torn-down-or-vandalised/8853224.
Sources Scates 1989: 21-31; Forrest 1996:15-16. Australian News for Home Readers, 25 August 1865:1 & 9. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***