1810c Bonrabare (“Little Dick”) is born in the Brisbane Waters region. (Blair, 2003, 57)

Boxal (“Jago”) is born in the Brisbane Waters District. (Blair, 2003, p45)


Kendagah or Kendaja (English name “Little Jack”) is born in Brisbane Waters District. (Colonial Secretary Blanket Distributions 1833-43, in Blair, 2003, p45)

Governor Macquarie establishes the five “Macquarie Towns” along the Hawkesbury river: Windsor, Richmond, Castlereach, Wilberforce and Pitt Town.

Governor Macquarie makes his first land grant on the Central Coast to William Nash, ex-marine of the First Fleet. He uses this as an “overnighter” or adverse weather station for shipping trade. (Blair, 2000, p11).

Governor Macquarie grants allotments to a small number of convict settlers at Wallis Plains. Aboriginal people begin to settle around timber felling and distribution stations. This includes “The Camp” between East and West Maitland, at “Old Banks” further to the north on the Paterson River, and at Seaham on the Williams River.


Governor Lachlan Macquarie inspects the Newcastle settlement. The following year a few people are allowed to farm at Paterson’s Plains on the Paterson River.

Carbon (“Hobby”) is born in Brisbane Waters region. (Blair, 2003, p64)

(Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement, Lieut Thomas Skottowe (73rd Regiment) compiles an illustrated manuscript with convict artist Richard Browne. This is the first comprehensive effort in the colony. It records Aboriginal names in Browne’s handwriting and language. Browne later concentrates almost exclusively on portraits of Aboriginal people. Around 1820, Browne paints full-length and head-and-shoulder portraits, including those of Awabakal chief Burigon (or Burgon and “Long Jack”), Magill (or “John McGill” and later Biraban), and tribal “chiefs” Cobbawn Wogi and Coola-benn, and Coola-benn’s wife Wambla. (Ellis, Treasures of Newcastle from the Macquarie Era, 2013, p2-3)


Surveyor William Lawson is navigator for Blaxland’s expedition across the Blue Mountains. He builds on James Burns’ experience, ranging across the ridges like Aboriginal people. When Lawson comes into “Forest Land”, he finds “several Camps of Native Hutts”. Blaxland observes the European trail that comes up to these empty huts from the junction of the Grose and lower Nepean Rivers. It is possible that the people that occupied the nearby rock shelters at the foot of McCann’s Ridge were the same Aboriginal men that members of Louis de Freycinet’s expedition sketch six years later. (Ford 87) (see 1819)


1814c Second commandant of Newcastle, Lieut Thomas Thompson (46th Regiment) arrives. (Ellis, p3).

Bubbya (“Quart Pot”) is born in the Brisbane Waters region (Blair, 2003, 62).

“Emu” is born in the Brisbane Waters region (Blair, 2003, 67-68)

William Cox builds a new road over Blaxland’s route. Two members of the Richmond “tribe” come along and do some hunting for them. Coley (Colebee) also from Richmond and “Joe” from Mulgoa also travel past later that same day. Cox also from Clarendon at Richmond enters writes: “blacksmith made eight pikes for self-defence against the natives”. He probably viewed familiar Aborigines as a sort of insurance against attack by unfamiliar clans. The road to Bathurst becomes a through route for Aborigine (Ford p105-6).

Customary travel rites undergo change when Governor Macquarie begins to invite numerous tribes to Parramatta for an annual feast. This is especially so when the “Bathurst Tribe” arrives with their resistance leader Windradyne (“Saturday”). Different Aboriginal clans travel with increasing licence along new colonial routes across foreign country even when there is a history of ill-will between groups. (Ford p111).

The Parramatta school for Aborigines supports a policy of assimilation. Governor Macquarie establishes the Native Institution at Parramatta. It takes some pupils from the “Female Orphan School”. Girls formerly removed from The Branch Natives are transferred to the new Parramatta Native Institution. Hawkesbury Darkinjung children are among the founding students at the Institution. At least three are children of ‘Branch natives’. Others were brought in from surrounding groups including the northern Blue Mountains. Six year old Maria from Richmond Hill is educated there. Maria remains at the Institution until she is 14 and later marries Dicky, a young Aboriginal boy who has also been fostered by the white community. Dicky dies tragically shortly afterwards. (Census 1828, Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association, ACRA, Ford p145-48, 361)


The Wesleyan Missionary Society established its third Mission in Australia, after Africa in 1811 and Asia in 1814 (Colwell, 31). In response to appeals for missionaries from pious laymen and officials living in Sydney, the Society despatched Samuel Leigh to NSW. One appeal identified Sydney town as the principal station for missionary labour, then Parramatta and lastly Windsor and the Hawkesbury country (Colwell p38). On his arrival that year, Leigh visited Windsor, Portland Head, Ebenezer and Wilberforce in Hawkesbury country (Colwell 47). He preached in the cornshed at Portland Head. Presbyterians had already erected a building for a church and school-house named “Ebenezer”. (Colwell 71).

1815c Bumba (“Bumea”) is born in the North Richmond region. (Brook, 1st edit, 57)


Governor Macquarie instructs his engineer, Captain J M Gill to make“gorgets or breast plates with chains for native chiefs”. This includes one to be inscribed “Branch Jack" Chief of the Hawkesbury Upper Branch Native Tribe” (Colo River). Under Macquarie some senior Aborigines are designated “king” rather than merely “chief”. (Ford p76)

Governor Macquarie’s administration grants land to Aboriginal people who are prepared to “reform” and become farmers on much the same basis as convicts. (1816 Proclamation to the Aborigines).

Six year old Tommy and his older sister Betty Cox from the Hawkesbury together with ten year old Milbah and a slightly older Betty Fulton (from The Cowpastures) plus two abscondees are admitted to the Parramatta Native Institution. Betty Fulton and Milbah are captured during the Appin Massacre. Governor Macquarie had put in an order for 6 girls and 12 boys between four to six years to populate his Native Institution from survivors of the ‘punitive expedition’. Betty Cox is 2 years older than Maria and comes from Sackville (Portland Head Rock). After leaving school, Betty marries an Aboriginal man of a different tribal group: Woorrerwuda (“Johnny”) on Eastern Creek. Many Cox children marry men with links to Branch Natives. In keeping with the Institution’s assimilation aims, one authority reports:

“Three girls who have been several years in the School have been married to native young men. To each of which has been given ten acres of Land with a Hut and some common domestic articles. They also have a Cow each”. Their land became the “infant settlement” at “the black town” on Richmond Road, later renamed Plumpton. (Jack Brook, in Ford p151)

To deal with hostility around the Hawkesbury, Governor Macquarie issues a Proclamation forbidding Aborigines to carry offensive weapons within proximity of white settlement and sets out terms for their permanent settlement, travel passes and education. The same year, Macquarie outlaws an Aborigine called “Myles” who can be “shot on sight”. His second Proclamation of 4 May 1816 identifies and outlaws nine other “natives”. They are all reputedly “well known to be the principal and most violent instigators of the late murders”: Murrah, Myles, Wallah (Warren), Carbone Jack (Kurringy), Narrang Jack, Bunduck, Kongate, Woottan, Rachel and Yallaman. (SRO NSW, University of Macquarie, Ford p129)

Captain Schaw leads a punitive expedition to the Hawkesbury. Bidgee Bidgee and Harry, Nurragingy and Colebee, act as guides. As their reward, the latter two receive land grants on the Richmond Road, which become “the Black Town”. Nurragingy (“Creek Jemmy”) remained farming for many years on his land grant, he raises many cattle. He visits towns and lives at South Creek’s “Black’s camp” (Ford 234-5).

Captain James Wallis arrives as third Commandant in Newcastle two months after he commanded his 46th Regiment against Aboriginals near Airds and Appin and received the thanks of Governor Lachlan Macquarie for his “zealous exertions and strict attention to the fulfilling of the instructions”.

During his two-year term in Newcastle, the penal settlement undergoes extensive development and resource extraction. As well as an ascendant colonial administrator, Wallis is an amateur artist. He uses his new camera lucida when hunting and exploring, often in the company of local Aboriginal leaders, especially Chief Burigon (“Long Jack”):

“poor Jack the black savage ministering to my pleasures, fishing, kangaroo hunting, guiding me thro’ trackless forests with more kindly feelings than I do many of my own colour, kindred & nation.” (James Wallis, Memoir c1835, SLNSW, quoted in Ellis, 4).

Wallis recruits convict artist Joseph Lycett. Under his direction, Lycett produces watercolour views not only of lush, fertile and available lands along the Hunter River. He also captures on canvas the lives of Aboriginal people living around the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens areas. Some views depict conflict with Europeans, notably “Aborigines with Spears Attacking Europeans in a Rowing Boat”. This shows that sailors are met with a hostile response from local Aborigines who shower them with spears. The seriousness of the attack is shown by a hat belonging to a sailor floating on the water with a spear through it. A large number of warriors hurling their spears makes clear that they intend to repulse the Europeans from the mouth of the Hunter River (Hoorn, The Lycett Album, 1990, 3-8).

Lycett’s view of Sugar Loaf Mountain seemingly depicts Commandant Wallis, his hunting dogs and the “King of Newcastle” returning home after a day of exploring. (Ellis, Treasures of Newcastle, 5)

During Govenor Macquarie’s second official visit to Newcastle, Burigon and his clan perform for him a night-time ceremonial corroboree. Lycett’s “Corroboree at Newcastle” may depict or have been inspired by this event. After Macquarie’s return to Sydney, he is “in Raptures” over all he has seen. The pencil sketch of “Ba La Watam Ba of the Coal River” (Hunter River) once belonged to Governor Macquarie. It no doubt depicts an important man with tribal scarification. It was probably acquired by Macquarie as a souvenir of one of his many tours of inspection at this expanding settlement. (Ellis, 9, SLNSW).

Macquarie reports to Earl Bathurst that the military measures he had taken had the required effect. The “black Natives [are] living now peaceably and quietly in every part of the colony, unmolested by the white inhabitants” (Ford p129).


While travelling in the bush far from any European dwelling near the Hawkesbury River, Wesleyan missionary, Leigh, observes a tribe of natives coming upon him. As he passes through them on horseback they “bow in silence”. He records that he has travelled “through troops of savages in safety. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Colwell p75)

1817c Pondo (“Leg-o-me”) is born in the Wyong region. (Blair, 2003, 74)

Near Portland Head (Wisemans Ferry), Methodist missionary Walter Lawry meets the chief of “a tribe of blacks”, but the woman take their children and run off. Lawry writes: “I inquired why the childen were carried off; they replied that many of them had been taken away by men in black clothes, and put to school at Parramatta, and they feared I was come on that errand” (Colwell, Illustrated History of Methodism, 1904: 170-71). W468.

Solomon Wiseman moves to Lower Portland Head around 1817. He establishes a punt to ferry travellers across the Hawkesbury River. In time this becomes an essential node in the new road linking Sydney with the new estates of the Hunter Valley. (Karskens, 134).

During the first known recorded attempt to forge a second route to Bathurst through the Hawkesbury-Hunter ranges, convict William Parr takes a short cut via an Aboriginal pathway above the Colo River to reach the Putty district. He recognises Old Beeny, the “Chief of Mellon” and passes through many fires burning on ridgelines. He blames this obstructive behaviour on the Mellon natives behind and the Hawkesbury natives ahead:

“we saw a number of Natives this day generally about the skirts of the flames. I sent one of my men to them in the hopes of getting some information…but on hailing about twelve…all the notice they took of him was coo-ee”.

While the “natives” are somewhat friendly, they seem too busy exploiting fire to harvest game. (Parr 1817 Journal, Ford 118)

Under Macquarie’s leadership (1810-1822) the colony including the Hawkesbury district flourishes. There are several efforts to find a a route through to the Hunter Valley from the Hawkesbury. Land surveyors, William Parr and Benjamin Singleton made an attempt in 1817. Singleton again in 1818, but it is John Howe accompanied by local Aboriginal guide, Myles, and Singleton who find a route through in 1819. Their quicker route became the stock route. (Nichols p14) Parr, Singleton and Myles almost reach the Hunter Valley. They travel from Windsor along the eastern edge of Wollemi Range, despite Aboriginal people lighting bushfires in front of them to try to turn them back. They see Mt Wareng and Mt Yengo, two ancient peaks sacred to Aboriginal people. This early exploration indicates that the same clan group occupies the lands reaching from the Hawkesbury to Hunter Rivers. (Ford p77)


25 April to 14 May. Ben Singleton is reared among Aborigines at Richmond Hill and finds that friendship towards The Branch natives enables him to cross the Hawkesbury/Hunter ranges. Accompanied by Bantagran, a young English-speaking Aboriginal man from Windsor, they set out from Singleton’s Mill to forge a second access through the rugged Blue Mountains to Bathurst. Bantagran not only saves the lives of party members but opens an invaluable dialogue between Singleton and elders of Hunter Valley tribesmen. They cross the Colo River and spend a night on a steep height where Bantagran finds a spring. By Bantagran’s steady guidance, they follow a high ridge along the Mellong Range. Determined to strike west for Bathurst, Singleton’s party find they can not avoid travelling northward. They come to a mountain which Bantagran calls Koori Koodji. While camping for the night they hear sounds of voices and sticks breaking. Boulders crash towards their fire. They take up positions guns cocked, uncertain of their enemies. Bantagran looks after himself. They spend a tense night. Next day after rounding Koorie Koodji, they find another huge mountain, Koorie Att-ai, blocking their westward path. They fall in with more than 200 intensely curious Aboriginal people dressed in possum skin cloaks against the night’s cold rain. Singleton allows Bantagran to take over.

“I know these people now”, Bantagran says. “They are Wonj-arua people. This is not my country. We just left Darkinang country. But I speak the language”. He steps forward and begins to speak to the men who have spears with them. But for Bantagran, they might be dead. Two men reply and Bantagran then brings five clan leaders to Singleton: one speaks some English. He is introduced as Mu:pi (“Mawby” in Singleton’s original account). He confirms really wild country lies westward. Mu:Pi points dramatically north-east: “Better land that way. Over there you find a river. West country, that is no good”. He advises the river is two days away, and so wide that they cannot swim “across’im. We do not drink from ‘im”. Singleton is excited to hear it is tidal surrounded by good land. Singleton abandons the idea of crossing the mountains in view of what Mu:pi reports. A dash to this large river seems risky. They return to Wheeny Creek Mill and Singleton reports to Governor Macquarie. Bantagran is thus the first Aboriginal to describe the river to a local landholder, John Howe who subsequently organises two official trips to find it. He includes Bantagran in the first and Singleton in the second. They find the river flats on 17 March 1820, and so the site of a new town, Singleton, is (St) Patrick’s Plains. (Horner, Bantagran and the Hunter River).

There are eight 8 farms along the Paterson tributary to the Hunter River. Convict John Tucker is permitted to farm the land from 1814. The first land grant follows in the early 1820s. A township is proclaimed in 1833 and Paterson becomes an important river port and agricultural centre.

Yellowmundy remains in the Portland Head Rock area and is “upgraded to old king” (Walter Lawry 1818, Ford 73-74).

Rev Lawry observes second southern branch natives preparing spears for a ceremonial battle between neighbouring teams of the same tribal group. He tries to convert some of them to Christianity so they will “go to heaven if they die”. This includes “The old King, Yellowmonday”. They laugh at him and walk away. (Colwell, 170-71; Ford p39)

The Branch Natives gather in large numbers and bestow a leadership role to a senior women. A “native corroboree” is held at full moon. Several tribes or clans meet by previous consent. They dance all night, feast and celebrate rites peculiar to themselves. They assemble in numbers of one to two hundred. An “old woman, daubed with pipe clay, performs the part of leader…all their movements are guided by her.” (Colwell, 172

The Wesleyan Committee’s attention is directed towards the “civilisation and Christianisation” of such Aborigines. It resolves to appoint a Missionary to labour exclusively among the natives. Their choice falls on Rev William Walker. (Colwell, p172)

1818c Boio (“Long Dick”) and Wallongryoong (Molly Morgan) are born in Brisbane Waters. (Blair, 2003, p45, 55)

Governor Macquarie decrees that a settlement be established at Wallis Plains (Maitland). (Wollombi Valley Progress Association WVPA, p91)

Benjamin Singleton marks a land route from Sydney to Newcastle (University of Newcastle timeline)

Governor Lachlan Macquarie makes the second of three tours of Newcastle. He meets "Burigan, King of the Newcastle native tribe" and 40 men, women and children. They entertain him with a short "Carauberee". The Governor orders "them to be treated with some grog and an allowance of maize". (University of Newcastle timeline)

An Aboriginal boy named Wallace is taken from Newcastle by Captain James Wallis and is placed in the Parramatta Native Institution under the care of Elizabeth Shelley. He is eight years of age. The number of children at the Native Institution now swells to nineteen pupils. Wallace is named after Captain Wallis of the 46th Regiment who had commanded the grenadiers against Aboriginal people (Gundungurra) in 1816. Following his “zealous exertions” in the punitive expedition, he is appointed by Governor Macquarie to relieve Lieutenant Thompson as Commandant at Newcastle. Wallis is promoted to Major as a reward for carrying out reprisals and the Appin Massacre. The Wallis Plains and Wallis Creek are named after Wallis near Newcastle. (Brook and Kohen, “The Parramatta Native Institution and the Black Town” p77)


Another Aboriginal boy from Newcastle is placed at the Native Institution. His name is Jemmy (James as in James Wallis?). He is just three years of age. He makes friends with little Henry who is two years of age and from Kissing Point besides the Parramatta river. In the same year, three more children are admitted to the Institute: Nanny, Sukey and Maria (Byrnes?) alias Margaret. At this time, Aboriginal people are gathering near the marketplace of Parramatta. Sometimes 300 or more come together to receive food and grog at the festival. Their bodies are painted red and white and festooned with white feathers.

Convict Henry Langton receives 75 lashes at Newcastle for "Cutting a black native with a knife."

John Howe marks a route from Windsor to the Hunter River near Jerrys Plains (Singleton).

1819c [Harry] Brown is born. He becomes a notable Aborigine at Rev Threlkeld’s mission on Lake Macquarie and accompanies Leichhardt on his first and second expeditions. (Gunson, ADB Biraban)

1819c Billy Murphy (King “Yellow Billy”) of Segenoe is born. (Brayshaw, Gundy, 235)

Farmer and chief constable at Windsor, John Howe and his party reach the Hunter River near Jerry’s Plains (Singleton). The following year, Howe’s finds a route between Windsor and Wallis Plains (Maitland). (WVPA, 91).

French navigator and surveyor, Louis De Freycinet visits Port Jackson and Governor Macquarie arranges for William Lawson to escort expedition members over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. Artist Alphonse Pellion sketches and names five men and women he reputedly saw on the banks of the lower Nepean River.

Branch Aboriginal, Jack Richmond crews on the ship Glory from Jonathan Griffithy’s property at Richmond Hill. (Ford 76)

Around twenty Aboriginal children participate in school examinations at the Native Institution in Parramatta. An Aboriginal girl -- reputedly Maria – “bore away the chief Prize”. (Sydney Gazette 17 April 1819, p2-3).

Land entrepreneur, Charles Throsby, sets off to cross to Bathurst south of the Blue Mountains. He takes with him Hamilton Hume’s Aboriginal friend Duall and an Aboriginal guide from Wollondilly River. (Ford p107)