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Wiradjuri Nation: Massacres cont., P.6

wiradjuri cave bylongAboriginal cave, Bylong

Bathurst 1822

On William Lee’s farm 10kms north east of Bathurst, A convict shepherd was killed by Wiradjuri on the farm.


March 1824

Michael Cowiefrom Mickel Cowie (Click for Mickel's page)

The Green Family History[2] . Written by Queen Peggy’s G Granddaughter Madge Cowie, nee Green in 1965 Madge recounts her father (Peggy’s grandson) telling of the Dabee Massacre at Brymair in the Capertee Valley.

“We were driving to Cudgegong & few miles out of Rylstone, on the right hand side of the road he pointed to a spot and said” That is where old King Jimmy Lambert last of the Dabee Tribe is buried. If we could look at him, we would find a bullet in his leg which he got when he was in his teens.” The tribe at that time” he said, were camped in the Brymair Valley, near Rylstone, two shepherds had built a hut & yards & were minding a flock of sheep for some of the landholders. They coaxed a young Lubra into the hut & kept her there for days; she escaped to her people & the men went down, killed the shepherds, burnt the hut, & were eating the sheep for some time before a man came down to bring provisions to the shepherds. When he saw what had happened he hurried to tell his master or masters – Enraged at the loss of their men & property, they sent a detachment of soldiers down to punish the natives.

The Redcoats caught them unprepared: the blacks ordered their women & children to climb into the trees on the flat & they ran up the mountainside to the cover of rocks and trees. The soldiers knew better than to follow them into somewhere unknown to them & well known to the natives. Young Jimmy was shot in the leg as he ran up the mountain. The soldiers, balked of their revenge, turned back across the flat & shot down every woman & child hiding in the trees. Among them the young lubra, raped by the shepherds.”

Without their women they would soon die out. I have never heard mention of any native women other than (Queen Peggy who must have escaped into the bush) & her two daughters, my Grandmother, Rose & her sister Auntie (Jane ?) Rodgers. I don’t remember Auntie’s Christian name she was always known as Auntie. Peggy at this the time of the killing ‘ must have been a very young girl & the only one left to mate, later, with Jimmy. Her daughters were half-white & were probably born to her before her marriage to Jimmy.

By my reckoning the Dabee massacre occurred during the period of Marshal Law declared by Governor Brisbane in 1824

March 1824

Kelso on the potato field on the banks of the Macquarie River, where a farmer showed Windradyne, leader of the Wiradjuri people how to cook potatoes.  The Wiradjuri people returned next day for more, believing the land, and therefore the potatoes, were theirs.  There is no record of how many tribesmen, women and children were killed on that day, but Windradyne escaped.
Arsenic cooked in dampers was also used to kill Wiradjuri people at this time.

May 24, 1824

Warren Gunyah station, Wattle Flat, Mr Lyndall’s farm. Two stock keepers killed and another speared by Wiradjuri men, discovered by William Lee and George Cheshire.
Also on that day at Bathurst, Wiradjuri attacked and burnt a small hut and killed sheep and three shepherds - John Donnelly, Joseph Ross and David Brown - at the Windurndale Riverlet near Bells Falls at Milalah-Murrah, where Samuel Terry built his homestead on a Wiradjuri sacred site where initiation ceremonies were performed, despite protests from the Wiradjuri people. Mr Tindell also lost three servants and had sheep destroyed and huts burned to the ground. A retaliation party set out and William Lawson Jnr recorded they ‘fell in with a horde of their women and dispatched them in return for the men’.


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wiradjuri windradyne grave

Windradyne’s grave on the Suttor property at Sofala.