Crown Lands Commissioners In Moreton Bay (1842-1859)
Dr Margaret Shield, Visiting Fellow 2017/2018

Christopher Rolleston Letter undated



Already, I am sorry to say, fatal collisions have taken place between the blacks and whites in that direction.

In one instance, at a station lately formed by Mr Bligh in Frederick’s Creek, on the eastern borders of Fitzroy Downs, an attack was made by the natives, wherein one white man was killed. Mr Bligh himself badly speared and a considerable number of sheep taken and destroyed; the station has since been deserted by Mr Bligh for fear of further damage.

Another instance occurred at Mr Isaac’s, the most remote licensed run in this district, and nearest to Mr Bligh’s, which was attended with loss of life to one shepherd, and such great injuries to another from spear wound, that he is not expected to recover, besides the loss of a large flock of sheep.

This attack, which appears to have been a very daring one, and made by great numbers of the natives, was only defeated by shooting down all the ringleaders amongst them. Severe retaliation, I believe, was also exercised upon the blacks in their flight.

A third instance happened at the station of Captain Banney in the same neighbourhood; no loss of life fortunately attended this attack, but the whites were driven from the station, and the stores and everything upon it were pillaged and destroyed.

These reports have only just been made to me, and I am about to start to make inquiries into the circumstances.

I must not omit to mention, that it would be necessary to increase my establishment by two extra men and two horses, to enable me to perform the duties of so extended a district.

I must apologise for the length at which this letter has arrived, the subject seemed to me an important one, and I hope that the way in which it is brought under his Excellency’s notice will not be considered uncalled for or obtrusive.

The Hon. The Colonial Secretary etc.

I have etc.

(Signed) Christopher Rolleston


(Papers relative to Crown Lands in the Australian Colonies, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London, 1854,   p. 43)