Site NameWenlock, Batavia area (Wenlock)
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupKaanjui
Present State/TerritoryQLD
Colony/State/Territory at the timeQLD
Police DistrictCooktown
Date11 Jun 1889
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed20
Victims Killed NotesMWC
Attacker DescriptionsNative Police, Settler(s), Stockmen/Drover(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
Weapons UsedSnider(s)
NarrativeFollowing the killing of Edmund Watson at Pine Tree station on the Upper Archer River on Cape York by Kaanjui warriors in early May 1889, Sub-Inspector Frederick Urquhart was despatched to the nearby Mein Telegraph station where he formed a party of at least 40 armed men comprising three detachments of native police, the brother of Edmund Watson and stockmen from every cattle station in the area with the purpose of giving 'the blacks a lesson'. (Vogan 1890, p137) According to Timothy Bottoms, in early June the party went to Merluna Station for rations, left there on 9 June and on 11 June 'came up with them on Batavia (Wenlock) River... dispersed them and recovered telegraph wire, iron pins and insulators in their camp.' (Bottoms 2013, p 124). This is the first of the five killings the party carried out over a week in the region. It is estimated that at least 20 Kaanjui were killed at each camp.
SourcesVogan, 1890, p137; Loos 1982, p 61; Bottoms 2013, p 124. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating**