A stockade is built

A stockade is built at Woodford Bay, Lane Cove, by soldiers to protect convict grass-cutters and timber-getters from Aboriginal attack. Pemulwuy, a feared Koori warrior and leader, is said to have led attacks on it.

Bennelong escapes from Governor Phillip’s house.

Willermarin, a Koori man visiting from the north, spears Governor Phillip at Manly Cove. Phillip has taken up the invitation of Bennelong to attend a whale feast. Phillip is the victim of an attack and is speared in the shoulder, staggers back to his longboat while his soldiers disperse the Aboriginal people. Phillip does not order retribution and Bennelong is later welcomed back into Phillip’s confidence.

A small band of Bennelong’s clan stays at the governor’s expense and is rationed from his stores. It appears that an informal truce has begun.

Phillip notes “the weather now being very dry, the natives were employed in burning the grass on the north shore opposite Sydney, in order to catch rats and other animals, whilst the woman were employed in fishing: this is their constant practice in dry weather.”

  • Aboriginal families together, fishing on Sydney Harbour. Courtesy Manly Museum and Gallery

Pemulwuy, a Koori from near Parramatta, fights the invasion by the English through attacks upon the settlement. His group commits many raids killing or wounding 17 people. Pemulwuy spears Governor Phillip’s game keeper John McIntire who dies from his wounds. Governor Phillip orders a punitive party to bring back six Aboriginal people dead or alive, and even issues bags for the heads. Phillip is under much pressure from the famous English naturalist Joseph Banks to obtain Aboriginal skulls promised to other scientists.