Mapping Frontier Conflict in South-East Queensland – OLD
Dr Ray Kerkhove, Harry Gentle Visiting Fellow 2016/2017

Rosewood Scrub 1843-1848


Figure 1: a still-intact hillside at the former Rosewood Scrub, showing the dense thickets

Rosewood Scrub covered a large area. As this map indicates, it held many camping grounds, ceremonial grounds and other sites. It had a tangled wall of brigalow so marked that it was often drawn on local maps. As access was so difficult and many Europeans became lost travelling through here, it remained a favoured bastion for resistance for the next five years (until 1848) and even saw use as a hideout many decades later, until German farmers began the arduous task of clearing it to raise dairy farms.

From 1843 to 1846, Multuggerah continued his attacks on drays and travellers from this site – also extending to the Downs. Rosewood Homestead (now Glenore Grove) was repeatedly held in siege, which according to one report resulted in settlers building a makeshift ‘fort’ here that they took turns manning.


Figure 2: 1840s blockhouse. This is probably similar to the appearance of the soldiers’ ‘fort’ at Helidon

In 1846, Multuggerah brought some 500 warriors and almost starved out the Rosewood Homestead occupants.  The settlers were relieved by accidental visitors. The combined party later stormed Multuggerah’s camp, killing him and many others. In the next years (1846-1848), other leaders such as Jackey Jackey, Uncle Marney and possibly King Billy seem to have operated from here.

Immediately after the Battle of One Tree Hill, Lands Commissioner Simpson established a soldier’s barracks or fort near Postman’s Ridge to guard the road up the Downs. This ‘fort’ seems to have been moved a couple of times. It was manned with anything from 3 to 13 soldiers from the 99th Regiment. Travellers and drays camped along the creek by this checkpoint. From here, they had to wait for a soldier to escort their convoy up through the pass. The fort was disbanded in June 1846. There was also purportedly a barricaded building at Rosewood Homestead (now Glenore Grove) with similar defensive purpose, built and manned by settlers.


Figure 3: 1840s dray, similar to the dray camp that once flourished by the 99th detachment’s ‘fort’


Figure 4: reconstruction of soldier accompanying a dray up the pass