Site NameMonastery Creek, Selwyn Ranges (4)
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupYakarrnga, Pitta Pitas
Present State/TerritoryQLD
Colony/State/Territory at the timeQLD
Police DistrictBurke River, Boulia
Latitude-21.696
Longitude140.034
DateBetween 1 Feb 1879 and 28 Feb 1879
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed20
Victims Killed Notes
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsNative Police, Settler(s), Stockmen/Drover(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedSnider(s), Repeating Rifle(s), Machete(s)
NarrativeFollowing the killing of stockman Bernard Molvo and three other stockmen by Yalarrnga and Pitta Pitta warriors at Wonomo Waterhole on Sulieman Creek between 12 and 21 January 1879, a detachment of native police led by Sub Inspector Edward Eglinton and assisted by settlers Alexander Kennedy, Robert Currie, William Paterson and Frederick Margetts and some stockmen, set out in early February 1879 in search of the alleged perpetrators. (Townsville Daily Bulletin, June 29, 1917, p 2; January 27, 1931, p 4) They carried out five reprisal massacres of men, women and children from the Yalarrnga and Pitta Pitta at five different sites. Monastery Creek is the 4th site. It is estimated that 100 Aboriginal people were killed overall, indicating that about 20 were killed at each site. The reprisal massacres were reported in the press and in settler memoirs( Fysh 1961) and by interviews with Aboriginal descendants (Davidson et al 2020) .
SourcesMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton), March 1, 1879, "Blackall [From our Correspondent]"; Brisbane Courier, March 5, 1879, "Murders in the Far West"; The Queenslander, January 15, 1921, "Sketcher. Early Days in North-West Queensland" ; Townsville Daily Bulletin, June 29, 1917, p 2; January 27, 1931; August 16, 1948<Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***