Free Settler or Felon

Horse Patrols and the Mounted Police

Hunter Valley 1825 - 1826


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Horse Patrols were the forerunners of the Mounted Police. They were established in the Hunter Valley and at Bathurst when Sir Thomas Brisbane was Governor in response to Bushrangers who terrorised the districts in 1825.

[1]
Horse Patrol
Most prominent of the bushrangers in the Hunter Valley at the time was a gang who came to be known as Jacob's Irish Brigade or Jacob's Mob. Consisting of disgruntled and brutalized runaway convicts, the gang made lightning attacks on various farms in the lower Hunter including those of James Reid, Vicars JacobStandish Lawrence Harris, David MaziereJames McClymont, Lieutenant William Hicks, William Evans, Dr. Henry Radford and James McGillivray. They began their rampage in August 1825 and after a bloody battle were captured by (foot) soldiers at Sparke's farm, Hexham in October 1825.

Soon after this it was reported that Lieut. Thomas Evernden, Commander of the horse patrol recently established in Sydney, embarked on the Amity bound for Newcastle with 30 soldiers in order to quell further bushranging in the district.

The horse patrols consisted of soldiers who were initially sent from Newcastle by Commandant Francis Allman; they were under the Superintendence of a Magistrate and to be provisioned by Settlers at various farms and estates up the valley.

The horse patrol wore the same military dress as the Governor's Body Guard of Cavalry [2]

Governor Sir Ralph Darling arrived in the colony on the Katherine Stewart Forbes in December 1825. Thomas de la Condamine of the 57th regiment (mentioned in correspondence below) was about twenty-eight years of age and employed as aide-de-camp when he arrived with Governor Darling on the Katherine Stewart Forbes. He served as Military Secretary in 1826 and was one of the small and trusted band of government staff officers [4]

In the 1820s as settlers and their convict servants moved further into outlying districts, land was cleared and sheep runs established resulting in traditional food sources of native tribes becoming scarce. Inevitably this led to clashes as natives assumed they had a right to take stock for food and settlers and their men protected land granted by government and stock purchased by themselves.

As an aside, spare a thought for the convict shepherds and stockmen who populated the farms and estates in these early days. Many were from the cities - London, Manchester, York, Dublin, Cork etc. They had no rural experience and probably few encounters with natives before they reached the Hunter Valley. Many could not read; much of their knowledge came by word of mouth; dark tales of horrifying death at the hands of natives, perhaps whispered to frighten newcomers on the voyage out. Despite their inexperience and reluctance, on arrival many thousands were assigned to settlers who sent them to the far reaches of the Valley and beyond to tend sheep and cattle. They lived an isolated life surrounded by danger. Throughout the records of the Magistrate's Bench Books are details of harsh punishments meted out to shepherds who had the misfortune to lose sheep while on watch. William Cordery, assigned to James Glennie was sentenced to 50 lashes for losing a sheep in 1833; a common punishment for this offence.

A description of a prisoner under sentence of 50 lashes was included in Parliamentary Papers in 1833 -

Blood flowed at the fourth lash; the convict cried out at the 18th, and continued crying for a few succeeding lashes; his skin was considerably torn, and blood flowed during the whole of the punishment. This man groaned much, and prayed while suffering his sentence, and afterwards declared seriously that he 'would never come again.' I am of opinion that he was sufficiently punished at the 25th lash; and I felt convinced that he suffered so severely as to become, henceforth, more careful in subjecting himself to the infliction of punishment

Little wonder that shepherds might go to great lengths to prevent sheep from being stolen.

In the Hunter Valley in 1826 focus of the Horse Patrols altered from capturing bushrangers to apprehending natives who had carried out attacks on farms, the most serious being a murder of a shepherd at Ravensworth, the estate belonging to James Bowman.

At Newcastle in February 1826 Lieut. Nathaniel Lowe was despatched by Captain Allman to Wallis Plains with a detachment of Mounted Police to ride in pursuit of the perpetrators of the Ravensworth murder, however in June 1826 -

Lieut. Lowe returned to Newcastle from the Upper District, having in vain tried to make any apprehensions. A Serjeant and four privates of Lieut. Lowe's Detachment were left at Wallis Plains to patrol and report to him any further unrest. [5]

By June 1826 marauding bands of natives had made attacks on several out-lying farms and stations in the Hunter, notably at Craytonshaw, the farm of James Greig; and on a house belonging to Robert Lethbridge's estate Bridgman near Falbrook occupied by Richard Alcorn. Settlers and their convict servants were killed or wounded in these and other skirmishes. This resulted in pressure on government to protect the white population.
Location of Ravensworth
Also in June it was privately reported to government that settlers in the vicinity of Illalaung (Morpeth) were under threat from native attack. Headquarters in Sydney were quick to contact Captain Allman at Newcastle to give authority to use Mounted Police and whatever force necessary to preserve the life of settlers.

This instruction underlines the disconnect between the Government in Sydney and the reality of soldiers, settlers and natives in the out-lying districts; and also the colonial inexperience of Governor Darling and Thomas de la Condamine compared to the likes of Captain Allman a Peninsular war veteran who had been in the colony for eight years and could offer a more circumspect assessment. The authorities were immediately informed by Captain Allman that the region in conflict in the vicinity of the Bowman estate (Ravensworth) where a shepherd had been killed, was at least 50 miles from the estate of Lieut. Close at Illalaung and that the native tribe in the Illalaung district were perfectly peaceful and not known to ever travel so far.

After the attacks at the Bridgman estate and at Falbrook the Attorney-General Saxe Bannister supported declaring a state of Martial Law, however Governor Darling rejected this proposal, suspecting that outrages by natives were not unprovoked. He did however order additional Mounted military troopers to be dispatched from Newcastle and Sydney to deal with the so-called disturbances. On 7th September the Officers received orders via Lieut. de la Condamine on behalf of government to repress the hostile incursion of the Native Inhabitants, and to punish the outrages, which have been recently committed; to which effect, you will oppose force by force, and repel those aggressions without waiting further Orders. It is desirable that you should proceed with promptness, and act with decision, as the most likely means of intimidating these people and putting an end to their further violence.[6]

On receipt of these instructions dated 7th and 8th September Captain Foley of the Mounted Police immediately proceeded with 20 men to the Hunter. On his arrival at Mr. Glennie's estate (Dulwich), Captain Foley found the Detachment of a Corporal and six, despatched on Captain Allman's requisition, who, as well as the party under his own immediate orders, had been anticipated by Mr. Robert Scott of Glendon. Robert Scott together with some of his people and some volunteers, with three soldiers of the Mounted Police, pursued the perpetrators of the murders at Mr. Lethbridge's farm the second day after the outrage; they succeeded by the aid of one of his own Blacks in coming up with them at a distance of twenty miles or more from the scene of the murder.

According to The Australian, there was a fearful battle when sixteen musquet-armed troopers, settlers and assigned convicts killed about eighteen spear-wielding warriors. Two, a man and a woman were captured; three others who were captured being just boys, were released. [7]

Captain Foley ordered a small detachment of the Mounted Police to remain in the region under Serjeant Lewis Moore, a very active and intelligent non-commissioned Officer, and well acquainted with the Country, and the only soldier, who has had influence sufficient with the Natives to induce one of them to accompany him in pursuit of his fellows. I have given him instructions to use every means to secure the surviving men of the Tribe, known to be implicated in the late affair

In a later enquiry Sergeant Moore gave details of the subsequent treatment of those natives they had managed to capture....about the 12th of August, his Party apprehended several Blacks, who had been named to him, and who were taken about to the different places, where Depredations had been committed, and identified. In marching these Prisoners down the country, three Blacks broke the ropes, with which they were secured, and fled. Examinant and party did all they could to persuade them to return; but they continued their flight; under these circumstances the party were obliged to fire on them, when the three runaways were shot; from being mounted, the party were unable to pursue the Blacks, who ran into the Brushes. There were, at the time other Prisoners in charge, and having Lieutenant Low's order to secure the Blacks when they were taken, he had nothing Left for it but to order them to be shot. Examinant conceived he would be severely punished, if he had permitted the Blacks to escape. Answers to questions from the Bench. - Two out of the three Blacks were shot in one day, and the other on a different day

Later, under examination, Lieut. Nathaniel Lowe explained how it was that the escaping aborigines had been shot:

Examinant gave directions to his party that, if ever they fell in with any of them, who they knew to have committed any act of atrocity, that they must secure them, and, if they attempted to escape by freeing themselves from the ropes, with which they were secured, to fire ; this being the only means, pursued by both Civil and Military Officers, who had charge of felons.

The escape of some Felons from the Military at Wallis Plains, not long since, rendered the caution necessary, as the soldiers concerned were most severely punished. When Examinant was at Bathurst in command of a Detachment there, a similar circumstance took place. If these soldiers had permitted the Blacks, the subject of the present enquiry, to escape. Examinant would have felt it his duty to have brought them to trial. Under such impressions, Examinant reported everything that occurred from time to time. It was in obedience to these orders that three Natives were reported to Examinant as being shot. Examinant. therefore, considered the Soldiers had only done their duty.

The Mounted troopers left in the region were based with Ensign Robertson at Wallis Plains and while they were probably provisioned by the up-country settlers they may not have stayed on any of the estates while out in the field. On one occasion Robert Scott even declined to have the Officer's party accommodated at Glendon stating there were insufficient facilities. The troops may have bivouacked in their own camps when it suited them.

In October 1826 Governor Darling gave instructions that the soldiers were ordered not to act offensively against the Natives under present circumstances, but to protect the Establishments and repel them, should they make incursions and disturb the Country. [8]


The Reports and Testimonials below are from the Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol vii., pp. 608 - 628

Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Allman

Sir, Government House,
21st June, 1826.
Information has reached the Lieut't General through a private channel that the Natives in the neighbourhood of Illalanny (Illalaung) have killed two shepherds on Dr. Bowman's property, and committed other depredations. His Excellency desires that you will immediately put yourself in communication with Mr. Close and the Magistracy of the District, and that you will render its inhabitants every assistance necessary for the protection of their property and the preservation of their lives. The Detachment of Mounted Police will at once be the most efficient and most convenient body of Troops to engage in this service. The Lieut. General desires that you will report upon the proceedings in this disturbed District by every occasion that presents itself, until order and tranquillity is restored.
I have, &c, T. de la Condamine, Actg. Mil. Secy.

Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Allman.

Sir,
Government House,
23d June, 1826.
With reference to your letter of the 20th Instant, addressed to the Colonial Secretary, the Lieut. General desires me to request that you will place a few more men at the disposal of Lieut. Low, should you consider the late proceedings of the Natives to require it. Lieut. Low's Detachment will shortly be reinforced from Head Quarters by men now drilling for the purpose.
I have, etc, T. de la Condamine, Actg. Mil. Secy

Captain Allman to Lieutenant de la Condamine.

Sir, Commandant's Office, Newcastle,
27 June, 1826.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated the 21st Instant, conveying to me the information of its having been reported to the Lieut't General thro' a private channel that the Natives in the neighbourhood of Illalanny(Illalaung) had killed two shepherds on Dr. Bowman's property and committed other depredations. Altho' I have not as yet received an answer from Mr. Close to my communication on the subject, yet I feel it my duty not report - to delay undeceiving the Lieut. General, as far as I am able, as to the accusation brought against the tribes in that neighbourhood ; the murder of Dr. Bowman's shepherd was committed at a distance of nearly fifty miles from Illalanny; and, independent of this fact, the Natives to my own personal knowledge, as well as what I have heard of their general character, are very inoffensive and are never known to wander so far; under all these impressions, I think that there exists no foundation whatever for the report made of them in this instance. It will be seen by the depositions, forwarded to the Attorney General, that the unfortunate man, who met his death, was murdered by one of the natives, who was in the habit of frequently visiting his hut, assisting him in plaiting straw, etc. The report of two men being killed, I am happy to state is not true. I beg further to inform you that I am in constant communication with Mr. Ogilvie, the resident Magistrate of the disturbed District, as also Mr. Close and the other Magistrates, and that I shall not fail from time to time rendering to them every means of protection in my power.

Lieut't Low has returned from the Upper District, having in vain tried to apprehend the perpetrators of the late murder. He has left a Serjeant and four privates of his Detachment to patrol and report to him anything extraordinary, as a constant Communication is kept up between this Office and the patrol. Assistance can be rendered, if necessary, from these precautions and the zeal and attention of Lieut. Low.

I anticipate the future quietness of the District, to insure which no effort shall be wanting on my part; and I shall not fail to report upon the proceedings by every occasion, that presents itself, until tranquility is restored. As many of the horses belonging to the Mounted Police, at present doing duty here, are very old, their efficiency on active service cannot long be calculated on; it will, therefore, be most desirable that the reinforcement, about to be sent, may be furnished with a younger and better description of chargers.
I have, &c,
F. Allman, Commandant.

Captain Allman to Lieutenant de la Condamine.

Commandant's Office, Newcastle,
Sir,
27th June, 1826.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 23rd Inst - requesting, by order of the Lieut. General, that I should place a few more men at the disposal of Lieut. Low, should I consider the late proceedings of the Natives to require it. Having seen that Officer since his return from the upper parts of this District, I am of opinion, from what he stated, that at present it will not be necessary to send any of the Detachment of Infantry on that service; but a reinforcement of the Mounted Police, with some good efficient horses, will be very desirable.
I have, &c, F. Allman,
Commandant.


Captain Allman to Lieutenant de la Condamine.

Commandant's Office, Newcastle,
Sir,
18th July, 1826.
I have the honor to report to you for the information of the Lieut. General that no acts of violence have been committed by the Aborigines in this District for some weeks past; and, from the persevering exertions of Lieut. Low and his Detachment, there is every reason to hope for permanent tranquility.

Having made an offer of assistance from the Troops, stationed in this Town, to William Ogilvie, Esqr., the resident Magistrate in the District beyond Patrick's Plains, I am happy to say this Gentleman did not think that at present any part of the Infantry were required.
I have, &c., F. Allman,
Commandant.

Colonial Secretary McLeay to Captain Allman.

Sir,
Colonial Secretary's Office,
28th August, 1826.
With reference to your Communication of the 18th Inst., addressed to the Acting Military Secretary, reporting that three Native Blacks had been shot by the Mounted Police, under the command of Lieut. Low, I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to request that you will, in conjunction with Messrs. Close, Webber, and Scott, assemble and enquire into the circumstances of the killing of the Natives, alluded to, so that Government may be enabled to determine whether it will be necessary to institute any proceedings in consequence; but you are not to proceed in the investigation, unless Lieut. Low be present. If he should have left the District, directions will be given for his immediate return.
I have, &c, Alexr. McLeay.

Deposition of John Woodbury

John Woodbury, Hindustan, assigned servant to Mr. Thomas Cullen of Pitt Town, Sworn, States -

That I am at Hunter's River looking after Cattle, belonging to my Master. That the Cattle are on Captain Lethbridge's farm, and I reside there also. That yesterday I came home about 12 o'clock, and found about 14 or 15 Blacks had just arrived. They were all armed. There was no one at home at that time, except Mrs. Allcorn (the overseer's wife) and a little boy. This boy was sent for two men who were working near the house; a Black followed the boy to see which way he went. The two men came with the boy and the Black with them. Mrs. Allcorn desired me to give the Natives some Kangaroo to keep them quiet, which I did ; and they roasted it at the fire and eat it. They then wanted Bread and Maize, and we told them we had not any.

A few only came into the house; the others were at a fire they had made to roast the Kangaroo. The Natives stayed about the place without offering any violence either in word or deed, until about 4 o'clock when the overseer (Richard) Allcorn came home. We then consulted together, and thought it would be dangerous to allow so many armed Blacks to remain about the place, and accordingly ordered them to go away to the Bush, and not to remain about the Hut ; this was told to two or three, who were in the Hut with us at the time. (What made us more anxious to get the Natives away was that there were three among them, who had been concerned in robbing James Chilcott's hut, hut some time before.)

The Natives, who we desired to go away, immediately cried out to the others, who began to talk loudly among themselves ; and the little boy who was looking out of the door, cried out the Blacks were coming. We rushed to the inner room where the arms were; and the Natives instantly surrounded the house (there were neither doors nor shutters to the hut) ; and just as I got a musket and turned round to the window, I saw several spears pointing in; and, before I could shoulder the musket, a spear struck me in the hand, and I was forced to drop the musket with the weight of the spear and pulled it out. The woman and little boy and baby got under the bed. Henry Cottle, who stood at the bottom of the bed, received a spear in the left breast and fell down dead. Just as I recovered my Musket, one of the men (Morty Kernan) cried out he was a dead man, dropped his musket, and grasped the side of the door, and leant his shoulder against the door post with his head in the outer room. Morty was with the gun at the door, pointing at the window, when he received the spear. I fired through the window, and loaded as far as I could with powder only, for the shot was in the outer room near the fireplace, and we did not dare go into that room, on account of the two doors and the window, which were all manned by Blacks. Their spears seem to have been exhausted by this time, for they now began to throw stones ; one of which struck Morty on the back of the head, as he leant on the door post, and he fell dead. I cannot exactly say that it was a stone that struck Morty ; it may have been a club, for I heard two heavy blows very quickly after each other, when I saw him fall.

Richard Allcorn was not wounded at this time that I saw; he asked me for a Bayonet, we had fixed on a short pole, and he kept thrusting at the Blacks, as they thrust at him with their long spears; at last a blow with something or other broke the bayonet ; all this time I kept firing blank powder at them. Allcorn then seized a cloaths Box, and put against the window ; but the Blacks soon broke the box to pieces, and he was forced to drop it, when he received a blow on the back of the head with a large stone, and he fell senseless. I was now left alone and kept guarding the window, and the door with the Musket. Through the slabs, I saw several Natives making off with blankets and a bed from the men's hut. which was close by the one, where we were in ; a short time after this, all the others left me and made away in the direction the others had gone with the booty and did not return. I went outside and fired off two shots to alarm Chilcott's men ; but they did not come until the little boy went for them. Soon after the Blacks had gone, Allcorn got up and was quite bewildered and talked nonsense. I know some of the Natives. Ball, Murray, Togy : - These three Men were concerned in robbing Chilcot's Hut; Brandy and a lad, who was once taken by the Soldiers and let go again at Mr. Glennie's farm ; And a man, who kept one of his eyes almost closed ; and another short stiff fellow, whom I should know well. The others I don't recollect particularly.
John Woodbury. x his mark. Sworn before me this 29th day of August, 1826. Robert Scott, J. P.

Richard Allcorn is in too weak a state to give evidence; and Mrs. Allcorn seems to have but a confused idea of what passed. She is still much agitated. Robt. Scott, J. P.


Colonial Secretary McLeay to Captain Allman.

Sir, Colonial Secretary's Office,
6th September, 1826.
With reference to my Letter of the 28th Ult. requesting that you would, in conjunction with the other Magistrates, therein named, investigate the circumstances attending the killing of three Native blacks by the Mounted Police, I am directed by the Governor to desire that the investigation may take place at the residence of Mr. Scott as being a more centrical situation than Newcastle. This arrangement has been notified to that Magistrate and also to Lieutenant Low.
I have, etc, Alexr. McLeay.


Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Allman

Sir,
Government House, 7th September, 1826.
I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 30th August, with its enclosures, representing the disturbed state of the District; and I am directed to inform you that orders have, in consequence, been sent to the Officer, commanding the Detachment at Newcastle, to repel those aggressions, and to put an end to the violence of the Native Inhabitants.
I have, &c, T. de la Condamine, Actg. Military Secy.


Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Foley

Sir,
Government House, 7th September, 1826.
It has been reported to the Lieut. General commanding that the District of Newcastle is much disturbed by the conduct of the Natives, who are said to have assembled in considerable numbers, and to have murdered two men, the servants of Mr. Lethbridge. I am in consequence instructed to desire that Military immediately proceed, leaving the subaltern of your detachment at Newcastle, with 20 or 25 men in addition to those already detached by Captain Allman, in order to repress the hostile incursion of the Native Inhabitants, and to punish the outrages, which have been recently committed; to which effect, you will oppose force by force, and repel those aggressions without waiting further Orders. It is desirable that you should proceed with promptness, and act with decision, as the most likely means of intimidating these people and putting an end to their further violence.

The Detachment of Mounted Police will be under your orders; and you will be pleased to communicate with the Magistrates of the District, from whom you will receive every support and information. His Excellency desires that you will report for his information by every opportunity.

I have, &c, T. de la Condamine, Actg. Mil. Secy.
P.S. - You will consider this as superseding any Order on this subject, which you may have received through the Major of Brigade. - T. de la C.

Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Foley

Sir,
Government House, 8th September, 1826.
I am directed by the Lieut. General to state, in reference to a letter of last night, that it is understood that eleven of the Natives can be identified as the persons, who committed the outrages at Mr. Lethbridge's. You will, therefore, endeavour to ascertain this fact; and, if it prove correct, the Lt. General desires you will make use of any of the Natives, whom you may be enabled to employ, in communicating with those, who are assembled, and call on them immediately to deliver up the murderers, making it the condition of General Pardon to the others, who must further be required immediately to disperse. If this be refused, you will take such steps, as may appear most likely on the spot, to seize the eleven men alluded to, and disperse the general Body by force of arms.

The Lt. General has desired me further to point out to you the advantage, which will result from your Detachment being accompanied by some trusty intelligent Natives; and he desires you will accordingly avail yourself of their services.
I have, &c, T. de la Condamine, Actg. Mil. Secy.
P.S. - It is understood that one of the Natives, who is now in Jail at Newcastle, and was taken up as having been concerned in the outrages, which took place some time since, may be rendered instrumental in communicating with the Natives. You will apply to Captain Allman accordingly. T. de la C


James Glennie

Deposition of James Glennie, Esqre. Sworn,
Deponent states that he was on his farm when the Mounted Police came there in pursuit of some Blacks. Four were secured, and one got into a tree. This tree was fallen, when he came to the ground and he was secured. Deponent then went with the party to Chilcott's, where they were said to have robbed the hut, and to have attempted to get a musket from a man. The Men recognised the whole party, as having been concerned, one of them more particularly, who had stolen a cake of bread and attempted to get a musket from one of the men by force. This Black Cato was one of those afterwards shot. From Chilcott's. the party with Deponent went to Captain Lethbridge's to see if any Outrage had been committed by them there ; but there had not.

In going to Chilcott's, Cato refused to cross the Brook, when the Soldiers were obliged to use the flats of their swords to urge him on. The Soldiers were nearly half an hour endeavouring to secure him. It took four men to hold him. The party, after being at Captain Lethbridge's, went towards Deponent's farm, where Deponent left them. Soon after this. Deponent heard the report of a pistol, three of the Blacks, from their being Boys, were afterwards released, although they had been identified at Chilcott's.
James Glennie.
Sworn before us at Glendon. this 13th of September, 1826. F. Allman, J. P. Robt. Scott, J.P. E. O. Close, J.P.


John Larnach

Deposition of Mr. John Larnach Sworn.
This Deponent was with the Mounted Police, about the middle of last month, when they were escorting a Black, who had volunteered to show them where the other Depredators were. This Black was lashed by a Picket cord to one of the horse men, who, when they arrived at a very thick scrub, would go on one side of a tree, when the horseman went on the other, which pulled them both up. This was repeated three or four times, when they arrived at the above Brush, where some fencers had been speared. The Black seemed quite uneasy and seemed well aware of the spearing. The blood was apparent in several places on sheets of bark. The Black pointed to one place, then in another, as the direction where the Natives were.

Deponent observed the Black about ten yards from the Soldiers endeavouring to escape, when he was fired at and killed, and left there. Had the Soldiers permitted him to have gone a little further, he would have escaped altogether. All this took place, whilst the party were looking over the spot, where the fencers had been speared. The Black seemed to be well aware of the spearing; and the impression in Deponent's mind was that he was a party concerned. This Black had been identified as one of the spearers at Dr. Bowman's. This Black was a very singularly formed man, and the soldiers had taken him from the description, that was given by the Fencers, before he was brought to Dr. Bowman's to be identified. The body of this Black was hung up by the Men on the Farm as a terror to the other Blacks. John Larnach.
Sworn before us at Glendon. this 13th day of September, 1826. F. Allman. J. P. Robt. Scott, J.P. K. C. Close, J.P.

Lieut. Nathaniel Lowe

Examination of Lieut. Nathaniel Low of the 40th Regiment. This Examinant states that he lately commanded the Detachment of the Mounted Police, stationed in the Hunter's River District. That, owing to a number of Murders and Depredations being committed by the Blacks. Examinant gave directions to his party that, if ever they fell in with any of them, who they knew to have committed any act of atrocity, that they must secure them, and, if they attempted to escape by freeing themselves from the ropes, with which they were secured, to fire ; this being the only means, pursued by both Civil and Military Officers, who had charge of felons.

The escape of some Felons from the Military at Wallis Plains, not long since, rendered the caution necessary, as the soldiers concerned were most severely punished. When Examinant was at Bathurst in command of a Detachment there, a similar circumstance took place. If these soldiers had permitted the Blacks, the subject of the present enquiry, to escape. Examinant would have felt it his duty to have brought them to trial. Under such impressions, Examinant reported everything that occurred from time to time. It was in obedience to these orders that three Natives were reported to Examinant as being shot. Examinant. therefore, considered the Soldiers had only done their duty.
Taken before us, this 13th day of September, 1826.
F. Allman. J.P. Robt. Scott, J.P. E. C. Close, J.P.

Sergeant Lewis Moore

Examination of Sergeant Lewis Moore. Mounted Police.
This Examinant states that, about the 12th of August, his Party apprehended several Blacks, who had been named to him, and who were taken about to the different places, where Depredations had been committed, and identified. In marching these Prisoners down the country, three Blacks broke the ropes, with which they were secured, and fled. Examinant and party did all they could to persuade them to return; but they continued their flight; under these circumstances the party were obliged to fire on them, when the three runaways were shot; from being mounted, the party were unable to pursue the Blacks, who ran into the Brushes. There were, at the time other Prisoners in charge, and having Lieutenant Low's order to secure the Blacks when they were taken, he had nothing Left for it but to order them to be shot. Examinant conceived he would be severely punished, if he had permitted the Blacks to escape. Answers to questions from the Bench. - Two out of the three Blacks were shot in one day, and the other on a different day. All three of these Natives were shot in making their escape; and if the body of a Native is hanging in the Forest, the Mounted Police did not do it. Taken before us. this 13th of September, 1826. F. Allman. J.P. Robt. Scott, J.P. E. C. Close, J.P. Glendon

Private George Castles

Examination of George Castles, private in the Mounted Police.
Examinant was present, when some Natives were escorted down the River. They were tied ; they afterwards freed themselves ; they were called on to come back several times, and then they were fired on ; there were other prisoners in charge, and these men could not have been kept without endangering the security of the other prisoners. Had they not been shot, they would have escaped into the thick Brush, where the party could not have followed them. The three Blacks were shot at different places, and in situations where the Cavalry could not follow them. On being questioned by the Bench, Examinant denies that the Party shot any man except in the act of escaping, and knows nothing of a Black being hung.
Taken before us, on this 13th day of September, 1826. F. Allman. J.P. Robt. Scott, J.P. E. C. Close, J.P. Glendon

Corporal George Castles, occupation soldier/ labourer. Enlisted in 57th regiment. He joined the Mounted Police on 1 February 1826 and was discharged in Sydney December 1831. (Australia's Redcoat Settlers)

Private John Lee

Examination of John Lee, private in the Mounted Police.
Examinant was with Serjeant Moore escorting Blacks that they had taken about the Middle of August. When one of them endeavoured to escape, he was shot. Two others under similar circumstances were also shot. Examinant denies the common report that one of these Blacks was hanged by the party, and knows nothing of such a circumstance. Repeats that the Blacks were shot, after having freed themselves from the cords, endeavouring to escape. The whole of these men were called to come back before they were fired at.
Taken before us, this 13th of September, 1826. F Allman, J.P. Robt. Scott, J.P., E. C. Close, J.P.

Private James Fielding

Examination of James Fielding, private in the Mounted Police. Examinant states that he was with Sergnt. Moore escorting Blacks. Three of the Blacks were shot endeavouring to escape. They were as well secured as the Cords they had would allow. They freed themselves by biting them in two. None of these Blacks were shot except in the act of escaping. When they ran away, every effort was made to cause them to return, before they were fired at. Examinant knows nothing about hanging a man : is aware of a report that a black man was hanged, but it was not done by their party. The body of one of the Blacks, shot by the escort, might have been afterwards hung up, but Examinant is not aware when it was done.
Taken before us, this 13th of September, 1826. F. Allman. J. P. Robt. Scott, J. P. E. C. Close, J.P.
Historical Records of Australia Series 1 Vol vii p. 608


Captain Allman to Colonial Secretary McLeay.

Sir,
Commandant's Office, Newcastle,
15 Sept., 1826.
In obedience to the Commands of His Excellency, conveyed to me in your letter of the 28th alto., and subsequently in your Communication of the 6th instant, ordering me, in conjunction with Messrs. Scott, Close, and Webber, to assemble at the former Magistrate's Residence to enquire into the killing of three black Natives, who were shot by the Mounted Police, under the Command of Lieutenant Low, as reported by me to the Acting Military Secretary under date the 18th Ultimo, I have the honor to inform you that, on the 13th instant, I proceeded with Mr. Close to Mr. Scott's, and, in conjunction with those Magistrates (Mr. Webber being unavoidably absent), entered on the Examination.

By the accompanying proceedings, you will perceive that each individual present, when the occurrence took place, were examined; the Magistrates thought it right to take Mr. Larnach's deposition on oath, as also Mr. Glennie's; these were the only individuals, exclusively of the Military concerned, that could he found to afford any information.
I have, &c, F. Allman,
Commandant.

Captain Foley to Lieutenant de la Condamine

Sir,
Newcastle, 22nd Septr., 1826.
I beg leave to acquaint you, for the information of the Lt. General, that, on the receipt of the instructions, conveyed to me in your letters of the 7th and 8th Inst., I proceeded with 20 men to the scene of the late outrages upon the Hunter. On my arrival at Mr. Glennie's estate, I found the Detachment of a Corporal and six, despatched on Captain Allman's requisition, who, as well as the party under my own immediate orders, had been anticipated by the activity of Mr. Robert Scott of Glendon, who, with some of his people and some volunteers, with three soldiers of the Mounted Police, pursued the murderers, the second day after the outrage at Mr. Lethbridge's farm, and succeeded by the aid of one of his own Blacks in coming up with them at a distance of twenty miles or more from the scene of the murder.

Two of the most active in the attack of Mr. Lethbridge's people were shot; and, from the report of their women, several others were wounded. In the affair, one of the pursuing party was speared through the cheek, and one of the Police narrowly escaped being speared through the head. The remainder of the Tribe has fled far into the Interior, and for several days, previous to my coming up, no appearance of their return to the vicinity had been observed.

Considerable difficulties presenting themselves in rationing the Detachment, I considered its detention there unnecessary, and ordered it back to Newcastle, having stationed seven men in the district, divided between Mr. Bowman's, Mr. James Glennie's, and a Mr. James Chilcott's farms, the latter but half a mile distant from Mr. Lethbridge's farm, with a small detachment of the Mounted Police under Serjeant Moore, a very active and intelligent non-commissioned Officer, and well acquainted with the Country, and the only soldier, who has had influence sufficient with the Natives to induce one of them to accompany him in pursuit of his fellows. I have given him instructions to use every means to secure the surviving men of the Tribe, known to be implicated in the late affair.

With five more, I proceeded to Mr. Ogilvie's, having forwarded five to the Estate of Mr. MacQueen. I have ascertained from Mr. Ogilvie that the assemblage of Natives some time since at his place arose altogether from his constable and a soldier of Police having got among the Blacks in disguise, under pretence of searching for bushrangers, and seizing one of them, named Jerry, under the supposition of his being the Jerry of another Tribe, who is believed to be the murderer of Mr. Forbes' stockman; but, having found their mistake, he was liberated; yet his tribe assembled at Mr. Ogilvie's with an intention of taking vengeance on the constable and soldier for what, they deemed, an act of bad faith and hostility; and, had they been present at the time, it is likely they would have destroyed them.

They are still in the neighbourhood but perfectly quiet; and Mr. Ogilvie does not entertain any apprehensions of their future hostility. He willingly retains the Detachment I brought ; and two of them will be stationed within a short distance on Captain Pike's Estate on the other side of the river, and can be communicated with, if necessary, in half an hour. From this mode of distribution, which they will immediately become acquainted with, it is hoped their knowledge of the Troops being within call, whom they particularly dread, will tend much to prevent any treacherous aggressions, as they will be aware that the means of punishing the Offenders is at hand.

With respect to stationing an officer and party at or in the vicinity of Mr. Scott's, I beg to state that it is the general opinion of the Magistrates, I have consulted, that they are more usefully placed in small Detachments in the disturbed District, and that the Station of Mr. Robertson at Wallis Plains is quite sufficient for all purposes of speedy communication; nor is there the means of accommodating an Officer's party in any part of the country about Mr. Scott, nor even at his place, without great inconvenience. I beg the Lieut. General's further instructions on this head. In endeavouring to open a communication with the Natives, it was deemed prudent to make use of the Native (named Dennis), who was detained in Jail at Newcastle; and he was taken by Captain Allman and Mr. Ogilvie as far as Mr. Scott's. It was conceived best to let him go, uncontrolled by any military party, of which he seemed much in dread. He promised, however, to join us at Mr. James Glennie's, and lead us into the Bush, which he did not perform; and, whether he will carry the instructions given him to the Tribes is yet uncertain, Mr. Ogilvie being the only Settler, who does not doubt his good. He belongs to the tribe, who frequent that Gentleman's district.

It is generally believed that the Natives will not be prevailed on by any threats or promises of pardon to deliver up the guilty individuals, and that stratagem or force must eventually be resorted to; on their re-appearing, this may be effected.

It may be necessary to observe that all those acts of outrage have been committed without an exception by Natives who are domesticated on the very Estates, where they have occurred, and not by the incursions of unknown or wild tribes; every one of these is perfectly and intimately known by names, they have received amongst the Settlers, near whom they have dwelt. I beg also to observe the great difficulty a military party ever finds in inducing any Native to accompany it on these excursions after their fellows; none of Mr. Scott's Blacks will accompany any one but himself; and there is but one Black that Serjeant Moore of the Mounted Police has been able by presents to accompany him on one or two occasions; and I would venture to suggest the propriety of some blankets and slops, in request among the Natives, being placed at the disposal of Mr. Robertson for the purpose of attaching guides to his and other Military parties, that may require them.

The Native, above alluded to, was gained to Serjeant Moore's service in a moment of necessity by giving him one of his own blankets. From the Mounted Police, I have received the most effective support in everything, that could forward the service, on which I have been employed; and, to his judicious distribution of his detachment, I mainly attribute the quickness, with which Mr. Scott was enabled to pursue the retreating Blacks into their haunts. I returned to Newcastle late yesterday; and, finding the packet detained by contrary winds, I avail myself of this first opportunity of reporting for the Lt. General's information the perfect tranquility of the country from Wallis's Plains to Mr. Ogilvie's, a distance of nearly eighty miles.
I have, etc, J. M. Foley, Captain, Buffs.


Messrs. Scott and Macleod to Colonial Secretary McLeay

Sir,
Sydney, 3rd October, 1826.
Report in compliance with His Excellency the Governor's request to draw up a brief account of the hostilities, at present existing between the Europeans and the Aborigines in the Upper Districts of Hunter's River, we subjoin the following report for His Excellency's information; and we regret that this report cannot be so satisfactory, as could be wished, as many of the incidents related are from hearsay alone.

It is our opinion that the first cause of ill blood originated in a communication between the Mudgee Natives and those on Hunter's River. The Mudgee Blacks, it may be recollected, were one of those Tribes concerned in the outrages in the Bathurst Districts. During the time that the Mudgee Natives remained, several acts of aggression were committed, such as food and clothes being forcibly obtained from some of the lone Stock Stations, for instance Mr. Onus's station at Wollumbi Brook.

The next symptoms of hostility were at Mr. Little's and Mr. Intyre's farms, where the Natives stole the maize, and the proprietors defended it. On one occasion, the natives were pursued by Mr. John Mclntyre from the Maize field, when they took up a strong position and rolled down rocks and stones, which forced Mr. Mclntyre and party to retreat. Then followed several petty robberies on single individuals, while travelling the long and lonely road from Dr. Bowman's upwards, such as stripping them of their cloathes and provisions; and Mr. Mclntyre's dray was robbed by the Natives, although one of the two men in charge had a blunderbuss. Mr. Robert Greig (cousin of settler James Greig) and his shepherd, soon after were murdered without any apparent cause, unless Mr. Greig's known aversion to having the Natives about him might have excited their hatred. The same Tribe, who committed this murder, fearful of our vengeance, removed, together with the Wallumbi Natives, into the Mountains; and there again they were guilty of another atrocity by murdering one man and dreadfully lacerating another, whose name is Robinson. This happened at Mrs. Laycock's Station at Bootty. Robinson is at present somewhere in the neighbourhood of Windsor.

When the report of this Murder reached Windsor, a party of the Military were sent from thence in pursuit of the Blacks, whom they fell in with and fired upon: but whether any deaths occurred we cannot state. In consequence of all these acts of violence, a party of Military were sent up from Newcastle to the disturbed Districts. Several Natives, who were known, and others, who were suspected to have been concerned in the murders and robberies, were apprehended; some of whom got away unperceived, and others were fired upon, while running away, but no shots took effect.

The mounted Police now arrived, and were called into active operation, in consequence of an attack by the Natives on Mr. John Forbes's Station, when one of his men was speared in the shoulder. About this time, Billy, who was identified as one of those concerned in this outrage, was apprehended by the Mounted Police, and lodged in Newcastle Gaol, where he still remains.

Shortly after this Dr. Bowman's Stockman was attacked, and stript quite naked in the Bush; and a day or two after the same Gentleman's Watchman was murdered in his hut about 3 o'clock of the day, while the other men were absent with their flocks; and again, a few days after that, the same Natives went to James Chilcott's Farm, and attempted by force to plunder the house; one of the Natives, named Cato, had a struggle with Chilcott for a gun, when a general engagement took place, and the Natives were beaten off without the loss of any lives, the white people only firing at their legs. Two of Dr. Bowman's Fencers were attacked, while at work in the Bush, by a Body of Blacks ; and, altho' they escaped with their lives, they were severely wounded; one of whom is now in Newcastle Hospital with seven spear wounds and dangerously ill.

After this, the party of Mounted Police were reinforced and succeeded in taking one of the Natives, who murdered Dr. Bowman's Watchman, who was shot. Shortly after, several more Natives were taken by the Police, three of whom were shot, as stated in a report to His Excellency by three Magistrates of Hunter's River. About the same time, two more Blacks, suspected of being concerned in the murders at Mr. Greig's and at Booty, were apprehended and lodged in Newcastle Gaol; one of those has since been liberated.

The House of Mr. Ogilvie, during his absence, was attacked by a large body of Blacks, whose principal object, it would appear, was to get two men, who had on a former occasion detained a Black by the name of Jerry, having mistaken him for another of the same name, who was one of the murderers at Dr. Bowman's, and who was liberated the next morning when the error was discovered. These men, however, were not to be found; and, in consequence of Mrs. Ogilvie's judicious and spirited conduct, the Natives retired without doing any further harm than stealing a quantity of maize from the House, where it was stored.

Then followed a daring and most shocking attack on Mr. Lethbridge's Farm, when the Hut was suddenly surrounded, and two men killed and one wounded, before they had time to defend themselves; and the fourth man was severely wounded, while defending the Hut, after the others had fallen, his wife and two children having been sheltered under the bed during the attack. The Natives succeeded in plundering the Huts adjacent, and retired in consequence of one of the Shepherds having ran towards Mr. Glennie's for the Military. As per depositions taken on the spot and formerly forwarded to His Excellency - On the alarm being given at Mr. Glennie's, the Mounted Police went in pursuit, but did not find the Natives. Two days after this, a party was formed consisting of a Magistrate, five Military and four Europeans, and four friendly Native Blacks, who came up with the murderers on the morning of the third day, when a skirmish took place and one European was speared in the face, and it is supposed that two of the murderers were killed, and some more wounded, as reported by a Black woman, who was taken prisoner.

Subsequently to this, another attack was made upon five Fencers in the employ of Dr. Bowman's, who, while at work, were alarmed by their dog barking, when they immediately seized their arms and fired upon the Blacks, and it is supposed wounded one. This is the last act of violence, we have heard of. It will be necessary to add that the disturbances are confined to the Upper districts of Hunter's River, principally occupied by three Tribes, whose numbers we should suppose to exceed five hundred. These circumstances have all occurred within the last ten months. We have, &c, Robert Scott, J.P. Alex. Macleod, J.P.


Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Foley

Sir, Government House,
3rd October, 1826.
I have the honor to acknowledge your Letter of the 22nd September, and, in reply, am directed to inform you that it is ensign Robertson.

The Lieut General's desire that the soldiers, who are stationed with the settlers, may be ordered not to act offensively against the Natives under present circumstances, but to protect the Establishments and repel them, should they make incursions and disturb the Country. His Excellency approves the arrangements you have made for the protection of the Settlers; but he requests that the Soldiers may be withdrawn, as soon as the apprehension of a renewal of attack on the part of the Natives is removed. The Lieut't General requests that you will continue to report from time to time, and that you will inform him whether Dennis, the Native, has returned.

Instructions have been given to the Deputy Commissary General to send some blankets and slop clothing to Ensign Robertson to reward the Natives, who afforded their assistance; and it will be very desirable to encourage the most intelligent and faithful among them to remain with the Mounted Police, and to accompany them on all occasions that they may be useful.
I have, etc, T. de la Condamine, Actg. Mil. Secy.


Depositions of Messrs. Robert Scott and James Glennie

1826. 6 Oct. 30th August, 1826.
I went to the Station belonging to Capt Lethbridge to examine the bodies of Henry Cottle, servant to Capt. Lethbridge, and Morty Kernan, also assigned to Capt. Lethbridge. I found them lying exactly in the way described by John Woodbury. Henry Cottle was killed by a spear, which passed through the fleshy part of his left arm. and entered his body a little (about one inch) under his arm pit; he had no other wound. Morty Kernan had a spear wound in his left side about four or live inches under the arm pit, and a very severe and extensive fracture on the back of the head, the blood issuing from his nose, ears and mouth. Broken spears were lying about in every direction; and I was shown two stones, which had been thrown into the Hut by the Natives. I also saw the shattered Box.

Mr. James Glennie accompanied me in the above investigation. The Burial Service was read over the two men, and interred as decently as circumstances would admit. The attack, so far as Capt. Lethbridge's people were concerned, was quite unprovoked. This same Tribe is a distinct one from those, which have hitherto been committing the outrages so often repeated, and are the same, who robbed and used some violence to the people at James Chilcott's House, which is only a quarter of a mile from Capt. Lethbridge's; for which one of the Blacks concerned have been shot. Robt. Scott, J.P.

Governor Darling to Earl Bathurst

My Lord,
Government House, 6th October, 1826.
As the particulars of some outrages, which have been committed by the Natives in the District of Hunter's River, may from the want of the necessary information be misrepresented, I have in consequence obtained from Messrs. Scott and McLeod, Magistrates of that District, a Report of the Proceedings, as they occurred, and have the honor to transmit here with a copy thereof, judging that Your Lordship would wish to be in possession of authentic information of the several events.

It appears that, on hearing of the Proceedings at Mr. Lethbridge's farm, Mr. Scott, who is a very active Magistrate, immediately repaired to the spot; and I do myself the honor to enclose for your Lordship's information copies of the depositions, which were taken on that occasion. As soon as I was informed of these events, I directed Captain Foley, the officer in the immediate command of the Military at Newcastle, to proceed with a detachment for the protection of the Settlers. But the Natives had disappeared before the protection arrival of the Troops; and Captain Foley, having communicated with the Magistrates, as he was directed, returned to Newcastle, leaving a few men for the security of the more distant Farms.

I beg to refer your Lordship in order that your Lordship may be satisfied that no exertions have been spared on any occasion to afford the necessary protection to the Settlers, I further beg to refer your Lordship to the accompanying enclosures, of which relate to a former occurrence, when one of Dr. Bowman's men was killed by the Natives.

I have only to add that no apprehension can be entertained as a body, though their treacherous proceedings render it necessary for the stockmen and others, employed on the remote Farms, to watch them closely, it being stated in Captain Foley's letter of the 22nd of last Month, which is enclosed, that the Murders have invariably been perpetrated by the Natives, domesticated on the Establishments of the Settlers. The outrages, which they have been guilty of, deserve the severest chastisement; and it may be mercy in the end to check by decisive measures the disposition, which they have manifested on the late occasion.

But I fear the conduct of the Natives has not been altogether unprovoked; and, being strict observers of the Law of retaliation, I am informed that they never fail to exact blood for blood. Mr. Bannister, the Attorney General, who though extremely sensitive on the subject of the Natives, has repeatedly urged the necessity of proclaiming Martial Law. The idea, however, appeared too extravagant to be entertained for a moment. Martial Law could not be necessary to put down a few naked Savages; nor am I aware, if mercy to these people be his object, that the means which he proposed would have insured the end he had in view.

It may be satisfactory to your Lordship to be informed that the whole of the proceedings at Hunter's River have been communicated to the Executive Council, and that an enquiry has been directed into the circumstance, stated in the Report of the Magistrates, of a Native having been shot, when in custody. The result will be duly communicated to Your Lordship.
I have, etc, Ra. Darling.

Governor Darling to Earl Bathurst

My Lord,
Government House,
6th October, 1826.
I have the honor to acquaint your Lordship, in reference Reported to my Dispatch of this date, No. 7.), communicating the particulars of certain outrages, which had been committed in the District of Hunter's River, that a report having reached me that a Native, who was apprehended by the Mounted Police, as having been concerned in the proceedings above alluded to, had been shot, while in custody; I immediately gave orders that the matter should be investigated by the Magistrates of the District. This order, after some delay occasioned by the absence of Lieutenant Lowe, the Officer commanding the Mounted Police, was acted on; and the accompanying Report was received; but, as the Native in question was not one of the three mentioned in this Report, it appeared advisable to bring the subject of his death under the consideration of the Executive consideration Council, together with the other events, which had taken place. The Council, which met yesterday for the purpose, agreed with me in opinion that the order for an enquiry into the circumstances of the death of the Native, alluded to, should be repeated; and the necessary communication will immediately be made to the Magistrates. It is my intention, as soon as their report has been received, to bring it forward with the other cases detailed in the Enclosure, herewith transmitted, so that the Council may have an opportunity of judging of the whole proceeding. There can be no doubt of the criminality of the Natives, who have been concerned in the recent outrages; but, though prompt measures in dealing with such people may be the most efficacious, still it is impossible to subscribe to the massacre of prisoners in cold blood as a measure of justifiable policy. I trust, however, that the Report will prove to be unfounded, and I shall not fail to put your Lordship in possession of the result by the first opportunity.
I have, &c, Ra. Darling.


Further Notes and Links

1). The Executive Authority has at length been prevailed upon by remonstrance, entreaty, and persuasion to order some efficient regulations of the Police of the Colony. The augmentation of the Constabulary generally, is an improvement of great consequence. The numerous burglaries nightly committed are not likely to occur so often, as we learn that a regular Patrole, headed by a proper Conductor, will constantly parade the streets during the night. The time too of the Constables is expected to be more efficiently employed by a recent order confining them to the exclusive performance of office duties. but we have most of all to congratulate the Up country Settlers on the formation of a Horse Patrole, as a security against the depredations of runaways. If this Patrole be property superintendent by the Magistrates who are about to be appointed, we have every reason to believe that bushranging pursuits will soon draw to a close. They have been a great drawback to the prosperity of the industrious farmer - their effects have been much more widely injurious to the general prospects of the Country than our representations have every shews; the good conduct therefore of the men forming the Patrole, and the active zeal of the Magistracy, will be productive of very extensive benefit to the public and merit the sincere thanks of the Settlers. - The Australians 15 September 1825

2). Information has just reached us, that the Aboriginal Natives have lately become very troublesome in the district of Patrick Plains. About a fortnight ago a party of them plundered the Huts of Mr. George Forbes and Captain John Pike, and speared a government servant of the former, wounding him in the back. This man is recovering. The resident Magistrate William Ogilvie proceeded in company with a friendly native in quest of the hostile tribe, and succeeded in obtaining a conference with them, and prevailed on them after a time, to restore a considerable part of some property which they had stolen - The Australian 17 June 1826


3). Further particulars have been communicated to us of the fight with the blacks in the district of Hunter River. It appears that as soon as it was made known that the black fellows had committed the outrage on Mr. Lethbridge's farm, three of the Mounted Police, accompanied by Mr. Scott and some prisoners and some friendly natives, set out in quest of them. Having continued the pursuit for some time, they at length discovered their tract, and afterwards lost it, but on the following day they were fortunate enough to fall in with it again, and by the light of fires which the hostile tribes kindled towards evening, the precise spot they occupied was soon ascertained. Two men, one a white man, and the other a black, were sent forward to reconnoitre their position etc and as they came suddenly upon them they were descried by the party of blacks, who immediately set up the cry 'kill white man'. Upon this the two being each provided with a musket (the blacks are good shots, we are informed), fired among them, and then retired behind trees to re-load. At this moment a spear was hurled which struck the native black on one side of the face, pierced his cheek, and protruded through the opposite cheek having passed curiously enough through a hollow in the mouth occasioned by the loss of a tooth. The remainder of the pursuers hearing the firing, hastened to the spot, and as the whole of them amounting probably to about sixteen were furnished with muskets, they discharged these among the sable enemy. A hot conflict followed, the natives maintaining their ground and making the most dexterous use of their spears. At last they were obliged to yield, betake themselves to flight, leaving behind them about eighteen of their comrades who were number with the dead. A man and his gin were taken prisoners. The attacking party sustained no loss of lives. We do not learn that the Aboriginals have deemed it prudent to renew their hostilities or their annoyances. ....Mr. Scott is a Magistrate, and all that took place, we have no doubt, was managed under his control and direction. Investigation, therefore we think if investigation be necessary or if further information be required, than that which is furnished by the party who very opportunely and very properly went in pursuit of the depredators, should be conducted by persons higher in authority than Justices of the Peace....The Australian 23 September 1826


4). Corporal James Fielding, occupation soldier/baker. Enlisted in the 17th Regiment 19 October 1815. He arrived with the Buffs who provided the Guard on the convict ship Phoenix in 1826. He enlisted with the Mounted Police on 1 October 1825 and was discharged August 1838. He served with 28th regiment until pensioned out on 31 May 1839. (Australia's Redcoat Settlers)


5). Corporal George Castles, occupation soldier/ labourer. Enlisted in 57th regiment. He joined the Mounted Police on 1 February 1826 and was discharged in Sydney December 1831. (Australia's Redcoat Settlers)


6). Lieut. Thomas Evernden was born c 1788. He enlisted in the 57th regiment and arrived in the colony on the Royal Charlotte in April 1825. He joined the Mounted Police on 24 December 1825 and was discharged on 1 October 1827. He died 15 September 1839 at Kelso, NSW


7). Captain J.M. Foley of the 4th regt. (or Buffs) arrived in Australia on the Hibernia in April 1824. He was stationed at Newcastle in May 1826 until January 1827 when he returned to Sydney. He departed with the Buffs on the Woodford bound for Madras via Hobart in February 1827


8). Lieut. Nathaniel Lowe - 40th regt Mounted Police. Arrived in the colony in command of the Guard on the convict ship Albion in 1823. He arrived with a detachment of the Mounted Police at Wallis Plains in February 1826. In 1827 after a controversial court case, he was found not guilty of the murder of aborigine Jackey Jackey. He married Elizabeth Abbott at Launceston in 1828. Nathaniel Lowe died in Canada in 1875.

9) Sergeant Lewis Moore


10) Private John Lee arrived in the colony in 1823. He later received a 100 acre land grant and in the 1840s held the license for the Blue Bell Inn in East Maitland

11). The uniform of the Governor's Body Guard was changed in early 1826 to one of blue, elegantly turned up with yellow which was said to set the men off to great advantage and create a most imposing appearance [3]. The uniform of the Horse Patrol may have changed at the same time.


References

[1] Colonial Secretary's Correspondence. Special Bundles. 1825 Sep 7 Public Notice re establishment of for suppressing bushrangers (Reel 6039; 4/424 p.401)

[2] Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser 8 October 1825

[3] Sydney Gazette 15 February 1826. The Horse Patrol may also have received new uniforms at this time.

[4] Australian Dictionary of Biography

[5] Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, vol. vii., Captain Allman to Lieutenant de la Condamine. Newcastle, 27 June, 1826.

[6] Historical Records of Australia Series 1 vol. vii. Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Foley Sir, Government House, 7th September, 1826.

[7] The Australian 23 September 1826

[8] Historical Records of Australia., Series 1, vol. vii., Lieutenant de la Condamine to Captain Foley Sir, Government House, 3rd October, 1826.

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