The Characters


One of the most interesting aspects of the Myall Creek Massacre which distinguishes it from many of the other massacres that took place across the Australian frontier was the fact the many of the Aborigines were well known to various white people, one of whom took part in the massacre.

The key people involved in what took place at Myall Creek on 10th June 1838 and its aftermath are:

At Myall Creek Station

George Anderson – from London. Transported for life in 1833 at the age of 19 for robbing his master. Early in 1838 his master Henry Dangar had him flogged (100 lashes) for leaving his post. He was then sent to Myall Creek station where he was the hut keeper, a lower position than a stockman. Had a relationship with a young Aboriginal woman, named Ipeta. He refused to take part in the massacre. He was crucial in the arrest and identification of the perpetrators and was the key witness at the trials.

Charles Kilmeister – from Bristol. Transported for life in 1833 at the age of 18 for house breaking. Stockman who invited the Weraerai to the Myall Creek Station when they were camped at McIntyre’s station by offering them protection. Urged William Hobbs to let the Weraerai stay on the station. Joined Fleming’s gang when they rode into the Myall Creek Station. Was involved in the massacre. Arrested, tried and hanged.

William Hobbs – from Somerset. A twenty six year old free settler. Superintendent of Henery Dangar’s various stations in the district. Usually resident at Myall Creek but was away when the Weraerai arrived and again when they were massacred. Got on well with the Weraerai and was horrified when he heard of the massacre and when he was shown the bodies on returning to the station. Provided important evidence to Day’s inquiry and at the two trials.

Andrew Burrowes – from County Sligo, Ireland. Transported for life at the age of twenty two in 1835 for highway robbery.  A stockman who often travelled around the other stations with Hobbs. Was absent from Myall Creek station when the massacre occurred. Gave some evidence at the trials.

Davey (Yintayintin) – young Aboriginal stockman from the Peel River district who worked on the Myall Creek station. Some reports suggest he witnessed the massacre but he was unable to give evidence at the trials as he was not a Christian. Took Hobbs to the massacre site where the bodies were.

Billy (Kuimunga) – young Aboriginal stockman. Davey’s younger brother who also worked on the Myall Creek station.

The Weraerai

Daddy – tribal elder. Very old grey haired. Described by William Hobbs as “the doctor of the tribe” and “the largest man” he had ever seen in his life. Killrd in the massacre.

King Sandy – tribal elder. Wore a distinctive brass breast plate. Survived the massacre due to his absence to do some bark cutting at another station. (Foster’s station)

Old Joey – tribal elder. Wore a tartan cap. Killed in the massacre.

Ipeta – young married Aboriginal woman. Had a relationship with George Anderson. Killed in the massacre.

Sandy – Young Aboriginal man. Fate unknown. May have been killed in the massacre or may have been absent with King Sandy.

Martha – Young Aboriginal woman. Sandy’s wife. Fate unknown. Probably killed in the massacre but may have been the sole survivor of those led away to the massacre site on the ridge.

Charley – son of Sandy and Martha. About six years old.  Outgoing, friendly.  A favourite of William Hobbs. Spoke some English. Killed in the massacre.

John and Jimmy (later Munro) – young Aboriginal brothers. Survived the massacre by hiding in Myall Creek when Fleming’s gang rode into their camp at Myall Creek.

The Perpetrators

John Fleming – Son of a wealthy squatter, who managed his family’s properties in the district. The only free man involved in the massacre and the leader of the gang. The only one who escaped Edward Day’s investigation and the subsequent prosecution.

John Russell – Convict with ticket of leave. Head stockman at Bell’s station. Strong powerfully built. One of the leaders of the gang.

James Lamb – reportedly rode with Major Nunn during his campaign against the Aborigines of the district in early 1838. Did not face the second trial and thereby escaped being hanged. Often carried hand cuffs

John Blake – The only married man amongst the gang. Only identified through his association with the Aboriginal woman the gang spared from the massacre and took around with them for the next couple of days. Did not face the second trial and thereby escaped being hanged. Several years later, he was crippled in a riding accident and later committed suicide by slashing his own throat.

William Hawkins, Edward Foley, John (Black) Johnstone, George Palliser, James Oates (Hall’s Jemmy), Charles Telluse and James Parry.

The Squatters

Henry Dangar – wealthy landholder. Myall Creek station was just one of his extensive landholdings. The convicts on Myall Creek station were “assigned” to him.

Robert Scott – wealthy landowner and powerful businessman. Part owner of the Sydney Herald. Known as “Count Bobby”.

In Sydney

Governor Sir George Gipps – Whig appointed Governor who had only arrived in the colony earlier in 1838.

John Plunkett – the Attorney General who supported Gipps and led the prosecution of the perpetrators.

The Investigator

Edward Denny Day – Police Magistrate from Muswellbrook who investigated the massacre and arrested eleven of the twelve perpetrators. Only John Fleming, the only free settler, escaped him.

Supreme Court

Justice Dowling – Judge at the first trial.

Justice Burton – Judge at the second trial. Sentenced the seven, who were found guilty, to hang.