The Battle of Richmond Hill
West - 1795
The Battle of Richmond Hill takes place between large numbers of Darug and troopers. A memorial garden is later established at the St John of God Hospital, 177 Grose Vale Road, North Richmond.The battle is fought between the Darug people and the New South Wales Corps which also included several armed settlers. It is considered to be the first recorded battle between Aboriginals and settlers.
The settlers have arrived in Pitt Town Bottoms to help overcome the desperate need for good farming land and food in the new colony. A large group of Aboriginal people at the Hawkesbury attack settlers. The Reverend F. Palmer writes, ‘The natives of the Hawkesbury lived on the wild yams on the banks. Cultivation has rooted out these, and poverty compelled them to steal Indian corn to support nature. The unfeeling settlers resented this by unparalleled severities’. (quoted, M. Martin, On Darug Land. An Aboriginal Perspective, 1988, p. 42) Acting Governor Patterson reports that the Aboriginal hostility is so great that he may have to abandon a settlement on the Hawkesbury River. He has now 60 soldiers guarding the area. Historical Records of Australia (HRA), Series 1, p. 499.