Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 3-079 (Raw)

3-079 (Raw)

Item metadata
addressee author,male,Bell, Edward,un
Narrative Discourse
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Public Written
Bride, 1898
Document metadata

3-079-raw.txt — 31 KB

File contents

I arrived in Sydney from London in the latter end of September 1839. The weather was very hot, the glare very great, the dust abominable. I knew no one, and I was glad to get out of it without loss of time. I had read the treatises on sheep and cattle in the "Library of Useful Knowledge," and had endeavoured to gain some information respecting colonial life from Major Mitchell's "Travels in Australia," Mr. Waugh's "Three Years' Experience," and Dr. Lang's "New South Wales," all which works I had industriously perused on the voyage. Beyond this, my general information regarding live stock was limited to a confused knowledge of sheep by their distinctive titles of rams, wethers, and ewes; and a vague idea of cattle as heifers, cows, bulls, and oxen, and as beasts that had horns, and made a great bellowing; but I am not sure that I could have distinguished any of either description of animal on view. I had, however, acting under the advice of certain prudent relatives in England, fully determined on entering on pastoral pursuits, or what I found was called in the colony "going into stock," and had armed myself with letters of introduction to several gentlemen, who had emigrated a short time before me, with similar views. [283] Amongst these was one from Mr. Alex. Hunter, of Edinburgh, whom I had met in London, to Messrs. Watson and Hunter, who had sailed shortly before me, and who were amply supplied with means to form large stations.
I had an indistinct idea that Port Phillip was to be the field of their operations, and a much more indefinite one of how I was to get there. Some inquiries, however, in Sydney brought me the gratifying intelligence that Mr. Watson was himself in the Sydney district at the time, though out of town at that moment; and I was further informed he was on the point of starting with an expedition for Port Phillip, in which I made up my mind to join, if possible. I accordingly purchased a horse off a Sydney dealer as a preliminary step; and, in five days from my landing, had made all the necessary arrangements with Mr. Watson for my forming one of his party. We left Sydney, I think, on the 3rd of October, and travelled by easy stages till we reached Sutton Forest, where we overtook Mr. Alick Hunter, who had gone on before with the drays and horse-stock. From this place we went on to Lake George, on the other side of which a property had been purchased for the sole purposes of procuring some assigned servants, of whom we had twenty in the expedition. In this neighbourhood I bought about 300 head of cattle, and made an agreement with Mr. Watson to run them with his stock, giving him half the increase for two years, and the benefit of my services during that time. I recollect nothing particular about the country we passed through, except that the bush was very thick, and that I was always afraid of losing myself if I left the road, or was out of sight of my companions for a moment. [284] We had, also, about 400 head of cattle bought from a Mrs. Barton, at Berrima, with which we fortunately got a stockman "given in," named "Little Sam," which, considering our intense "greenness," and the uselessness of most of the convict servants, who were just "turned out of Government," was of great consequence. Paddy's River, Yass, and other well-known localities were passed, and we eventually encamped on the Tumut, where some 600 more cattle (with a run) had been purchased, which, to add to our trouble, had the character of being the wildest brutes in the colony.
Here our party divided. Mr. Alick Hunter, Mr. Tulloh, and the Honourable Gilbert Kennedy went on to Melbourne with the horses. Mr. Watson returned to Sydney to wind up some incomplete arrangements, whilst I remained with the cattle at the Tumut, where we formed a station on the Gilmore Creek.
Here I added to my fortunes 100 picked heifers, which were strongly recommended by the vendor, Mr. Shelley, and also by Mr. Watson, whose interested motives in advising the purchase of female stock I was too "gullible" to see through at the time. My position at the Tuznut, with my twenty "Government men," about 1,200 head of cattle, and about 30 horses, in a country with which I was totally unacquainted, may, perhaps, be conceived, but is difficult to describe. I was very much afraid of losing my cattle, and therefore tried to keep them within sight, counting them regularly every day, which, considering that more than half were broken into the run, was an absurdity which nothing but experience convinced me of; for when we wished to remove them, about six weeks after, it was found to be impossible, with our insufficient help, to drive them off the run, and we consequently formed a permanent station at Gilmore Creek, a tributary of the Tumut, where we left the cattle till the next year. The vast herds which were travelling from the Sydney district, and the probability of the Melbourne markets being overstocked, coupled with the difficulties of the road from the flooded state of the rivers, confirmed us in this decision. [285]
My troubles as a squatter commenced very early in my career. The great scarcity of flour during the summer of 1839 was felt all over the colony, but in no part more so than in the interior, where it was selling at £60 a ton. Even at Government House in Sydney, it was said that Lady Gipps was restricted in her supplies for pastry. For some weeks our food at the Tumut was confined to beef and milk, and a little rice; but the incessant grumbling of the men at last induced me to send a cart to Yass for flour. The Tumut was flooded at the time, but I had seen a horseman cross, and ventured over myself at the same place. A hurdle was lashed on the dray, on which the bedding of the two men who were to accompany it was placed, and, with three horses harnessed to it, it went boldly into the stream after me. The leading horse, about half-way across, turned down the stream, and in a moment the cart was afloat, and soon capsized, drowning the two other horses and nearly drowning the two men on the hurdle. The one was a fine swimmer, and swam out to the leading horse, and eventually released him from his harness; the other clung to a log, and was hauled ashore by a rope about ten minutes afterwards. A few days after this, the river having partially subsided, and the grumbling continuing unabated, a second attempt was made, but at another crossing-place, and with only one horse. The same occurrence took place again, except that the horse swam for a quarter of a mile down the river with the cart after him, and was not drowned till a log turned the cart over and rendered him helpless - the driver, who remained till then on his seat on the hurdle up to his neck in water, calling out to me "he was done like a dinner." Three hundred pounds worth of horse-flesh went in these adventures. I then bought a team of bullocks, and eventually procured a ton of flour from Yass, which lasted the party till it reached Melbourne. An overseer was then engaged, and the cattle delivered into his care, and on the 24th December Mr. Watson and I started in a tandem for Port Phillip. [286] Near the Murray we broke both shafts, and had to take to our saddles, leaving the remains of the gig and several valuables (amongst others my writing case and journals) at an out-station hut of Mr. Cockburn's, to be sent on by the drays. Of course, I never saw any part of them again. On arriving at the Murray, we overtook several expeditions which were waiting for a favourable opportunity to cross.
There were said to be 10,000 head of cattle on its banks, in various "mobs." Messrs. Bolden had crossed several hundreds that day, and at night we camped with their party. On the Ovens we overtook others. The natives had attacked some parties in this neighbourhood during the previous summer, and the places were pointed out to us where Faithful's men were murdered, and where Snodgrass had had a "stand-up fight with the blacks." My own experience of the natives at this time led me to suppose they were a very inoffensive race; for all I had seen had been the Bogong blacks, on the Tumut, who came down in the summer from the ranges, sleek and lazy from the grub or fly of that name which infests that part of the country. I think they were the handsomest natives I have ever seen; at all events they were the best conditioned. On the Ovens, however, we saw none. A party of mounted police was stationed at the Broken River, who entertained us, as they appeared to do all travellers, for a consideration.
The country was all, so far, settled, although we saw no signs of it, either by meeting with human habitations or with sheep or cattle. If the country was stocked, the stock fed off the road, but we heard the names of Barber, Mitchell, Fowler, W. A. Brodribb, Faithful, Mackay, Docker, Binney, Speed, and Anderson, as occupants of the various runs through which we passed. At Templeton's, at the Seven Creeks, Mr. Watson left me to go up to the Devil's River, which he and Mr. Hunter had occupied during the previous spring. I remained for a few days at Ballowra, a station Mr. Hunter had formed on Templeton's Creek, about three miles above him, but which was about being abandoned for the better country of the Devil's River and Mount Battery. [287] I accordingly proceeded alone to the "Settlement," as the City of Melbourne was in those days called, stopping at Hughes's, Hamilton's at the Sugar Loaf, and at a Mr. George's at Kinlochewe, and eventually reached Keior, where Messrs. Watson and Hunter had their head quarters at the time. There were no particular charms in Melbourne in those days beyond the champagne lunches which always accompanied the sales by auction, and of which I partook with others, though I never bought any land. One cannot help reflecting on the narrow escape from making a fortune which daily fell in one's way, when we look at the properties which were to be had for a few pounds at the time, now bringing in thousands per annum. However, I was never destined to this, and I soon returned to the bush, and devoted myself to learning my trade as a squatter. A serious illness which attacked me at Mount Battery, however, threw impediments in my way. I was confined to my bed with bilious fever for several weeks, and on my recovery went back to Melbourne, from whence, by the advice of the medical men, I went by sea to Sydney. A few weeks' nursing at Parramatta restored me to health, and in May I returned to Melbourne in the Cumberland, chartered by Mr. Dutton. I was then about proceeding in her to Valparaiso to buy horses, and had secured my passage, when the news of a bad sale of South American horse-stock in Sydney deterred us from entering into the speculation, and I went back again with Mr. Hunter to Sydney to make further purchases of horses and cattle, taking some £16,000 with us for the purpose. After a few days' delay, I accompanied Mr. Terence Murray to his station near Queanbeyan, to attend a large sale in which he was interested, and to purchase cattle if I thought it advisable. Failing in getting what I liked (for I had by this time become a judge of stock), I went on to the Tumut, to collect our leavings of the previous year, where I was shortly after joined by Mr. Hunter and his cousins, with more cattle and horses. [288] We had altogether about 2,000 head and about 70 horses, with which we again started for Port Philip, and after many losses and crosses, eventually formed our main cattle station on the upper part of the Broken River, about four miles above the station at present in the occupation of Mr. John Moore. From the Broken River to the Devil's River, crossing the Mount Battery plains, a distance of about 20 miles, the whole country was claimed and stocked by Messrs. Watson and Hunter. Messrs. Stevens and Thomson' were camped upon the Broken River, about three miles above the cattle station, but only remained till they had shorn their sheep, when they moved towards the westward.
During the winter that I remained at the Devil's River, I was a witness of the fatal effects of catarrh in sheep. The climate was very severe, the frosts and fogs frequently lasting all day. The sheep could not be let out of the yards on many days till noon. How the disease came into that neighbourhood (if it is really contagious) I do not know, but if any climate could produce it I am sure that of the Devil's River in 1840 was quite trying enough. I have seen as many as 500 sheep dead at the yards in a single night. There were some settlers who had come with a few sheep above us on the Devil's River. I think their names were McFarlane and Mitchell; their loss was more severe than Messrs. Watson and Hunter's. We used to fancy that the river was affected by their throwing the carcasses into the stream, though this is not probable, as they were 16 or 20 miles above us, and the river was a considerable one.
During this year I formed one of a party, consisting of Mr. Alick Hunter, Mr. Archibald Jamieson, an overseer, and a blackfellow named "Pigeon" (who was afterwards drowned at the wreck of the Salthouse), that started to find a road into Gippsland for stock, which Strzelecki's discovery had just opened as a field for Port Philip enterprise. We ascended what we took for a leading range to the south-west of Mount Buller, but found ourselves in a most difficult succession of gullies, in which we struggled for eighteen days, and eventually camped on the head waters of the La Trobe. [289] My horse had met with an accident in falling down a steep bank, and I remained with Pigeon at our camp on the river while my companions went on to see what they could of the new country. In three days they returned, having reached a rich plain and fine herbage, I conclude, part of the run afterwards occupied by Mr. Reeve. On our return we got upon a leading range in right good earnest, which in two days took us back to the head of the Goulburn; but the descent was considered too steep for stock, and the idea of bringing a herd by that route was abandoned.
Mr. Tyers afterwards tried to follow on our returning tracks, but lost his horses, and gave up the attempt to reach Gippsland from that entrance, and I am not aware that it has yet been considered practicable.
The time was now drawing near when my agreement with Mr. Watson was about expiring, and I was most anxious for it, as I found that cattle in halves was not a profitable speculation to the proprietor. An attempt had been made to muster the whole herd in March, but it proved ineffectual, and it was not till October that I eventually got delivery of my stock. I now made an agreement with Mr. Riley, of the Wannon, to put my cattle on his run, he undertaking to hand his heifer station over to me if we did not continue to keep our cattle together; and early in November 1841, I left the Devil's River, and drove my herd to Melbourne, where I sold all the butchers would buy, and, after providing myself with a dray and stores, started for the west with the remainder, somewhere about 300 head. We passed by Lal Lal, Buninyong, Baillie's, and Mount Emu, which country was all occupied right and left of us, and crossed the plains to Lake Boloke, which was the only vacant spot I saw. Wyselaski was at the crossing place of the Hopkins, where his station now is. [290]
Dr. Martin, under the guidance of Mr. James Manning, who had sold his cattle with the condition that he was to find a run for them, had occupied Mount Sturgeon, the station being at the time under the charge of Mr. Knowles. Beyond him, to the west on the Wannon, was Mr. Barnett, now Chirnside's, and next to him was Mr. Riley, where my head quarters were for twelve months. During this time I saw a good deal of the surrounding country. At the Grange, a police magistrate, Mr. French, was establishing himself; and in the month of June of the same year I had the honour of being appointed a magistrate, and assisted him regularly on the bench. Mr. Riley's station had been occupied by a Mr. Gibson (whose wife was famous for some extraordinary journeys she made to Melbourne, accompanied by a single male attendant), was abandoned by him, and afterwards taken up by a Mr. Norris, who suffered so severely from depredations committed by the blacks that he had also given it up. The natives had, however, by all accounts, been taught some severe lessons, and had learnt to be better behaved; but they were still what was usually termed in the bush "very troublesome." We had in the meantime occupied Englefield, on the Glenelg, as our heifer station, and had erected the necessary improvements there; but we found that the natives continually intimidated the men, and whilst absent from the hut had occasionally stolen their rations, and it was eventually determined to give up the heifer-tailing scheme, and the station was abandoned. Dr. Edward Barker, who had come into that neighbourhood on my recommendation, immediately occupied it. A few months' residence there, and a partnership which he had in the meantime formed with Mr. Riley, induced him to sell it back to me for the value of the improvements - £50, and in the summer of 1842 I again took possession of it. My cattle had, in the meantime, discovered other country for themselves on the head of Bryant's Creek, but the arrival of Mr. Cadden, previously an overseer of Mr. John Hunter Patterson's, with sheep and cattle, soon dislodged them. [291]
Mr. Archdale next came in between me and the Wannon with sheep and cattle of Mr. Hyde, of the Green Hills, near Bacchus Marsh, and eventually, under the orders of Captain Fyans, the Crown Commissioner, I was hemmed in within very moderate bounds.
The jealousy with which we heard of the arrival of any one in our neighbourhood, notwithstanding the vast tracts of land that we each laid claim to, was one of the remarkable features of our early settlement. I recollect my stockkeeper coming in one evening with a story of a dray-track across the Congbool Plains, as it was called, about eight miles to the southward, and some coffee spilt along it, and soon after finding we had a neighbour in a Mr. Mather, a carpenter from Melbourne with a few sheep, who was soon after killed by the falling of a tree near his hut. He was known in consequence, as the "coffee merchant" till his death. There was no one at this time above me on the Glenelg; and the stringy-bark ranges came in upon the river so determinedly for many miles that we imagined, for a long time, there was no available country in that direction; but Mr. Cadden soon after discovered a small creek running into the river, which would serve his purpose as a washing place for his sheep, in the event of the water in Bryant's Creek failing, which was considered more than probable. He soon, however, deserted the out-station he formed there, which was then taken possession of by Messrs. Farquhart and Glendinning, where they formed their head-station. It is now held by Mr. Mackintosh. Above him, again, Mr. D. C. Simson occupied both sides of the river, immediately under the Victoria range, and adjoining what is now Mr. Rose's station in the Grampians. This was not till 1843, in which year also Mr. Charles Sherratt, who had come from a station of Messrs. Heape and Grice's at Mount Alexander, arrived on the opposite side of the river to me, and occupied the frontage to it for many miles. He politely came to my hut and asked me what I claimed, and took what I did not want. Below me, Mr. Desailly was in possession of the station now held by Mr. Armytage, having occupied it with sheep from Van Diemen's Land for Sir John Owen. [292] About this time, however, the station got into Chancery, and in 1842 was managed by Mr. George Farbairn, who now has the adjoining stations of Mather and Affleck, the latter having been admitted by me on to a part of my run during the winter of this year (as they were old servants of my friends the Hunters) on the express condition that they should return the station to me when the weather would allow them to look for another. They, however, sold it in spite of me to my neighbours for £50.
Below Desailly, Ricketts (who had been removed from the Buntingdale Mission Station on the Barwon on its occupation by the natives) had in 1841 taken up the stations now held by Mr. Blair, as well as those occupied, on the opposite side of the Glenelg, by Mr. Thomas Hamilton of Koot Narin, and Mr. Donaldson of Longlands, now Messrs. Whittaker's. Mr. Norris, whose compulsory abandonment of the Wannon I have mentioned, came next on the river, taking up both sides, with sheep belonging to Mr. Thomas Winter, of Van Diemen's Land. This station, comprising the Pigeon Ponds and Chetwynd country, was subsequently sold to Messrs. Kerr and Swanston, and is now divided into two runs, occupied by Messrs Willis and Swanston and Messrs. Stawell and Ellis. Mr. Gibson, who had first occupied Mr. Riley's station on the Wannon, came next on the river. Very little of the country which had not frontage to the main rivers was considered available at this time. It was not till 1844 that Mr. John Airey sent a party, consisting of a Mr. Mann and his overseer, with about 3,000 sheep, to look for country in my neighbourhood.
I had an indistinct notion, from various cattle hunts in that direction, that there must be plenty of good country to the northwest of me across the river, and advised them accordingly, and they returned to my station in a week, having discovered the Mount Talbot country, which, if they had occupied all they could at the time, would have been one of the finest runs in the whole colony. [293] The want of water was for a long time considered its only deficiency, though it is now covered with many immense lakes, several of which are from 12 to 14 feet deep. In the summer of this year several others passed to the westward, and the "new country," as it was called, was occupied by Wallace, Hops, Bates, Ballantyne, McLeod, &c.
The collisions with the blacks, which I had heard of on almost every station after my arrival in the Western District, if they took place at all, were kept very quiet.
There were certain hangers-on at stations (Tulloh at the Grange, for instance) who boasted of such encounters; but it was generally believed that those who talked most knew least of such scenes. Their aggressions, however, whether avenged or not, were not infrequent. I had a horse which till his death would never go near a tree, my stock-keeper having been attacked by the blacks from behind one. On another occasion the blacks were seen driving my cattle through a swamp, and holding on by their tails, and spearing them as they went. [...]
I recollect a cow being brought into the stockyard stuck all over with spears, like a porcupine. We extracted them, and she lived and fattened, and was eventually sold fat in Melbourne. On my first settlement at Englefield, in tracking cattle I came upon a place where the blacks had within a few days camped some stolen sheep in bough-yards, and where the torn fleeces and broken legs and joints, since gnawed by wild dogs, told a tale of wasteful destruction. It was scarcely to be wondered at that the settlers took the law into their own hands on such occasions. Whether it was fear or a better acquaintance with us which worked upon them, it is difficult to say; but about 1843-4 we heard no more of sheep-stealing in the neighbourhood, and the blacks, who had always fought very shy of my station - where "Cranky Jem," my hut-keeper, had the reputation of being a good rifle shot, which was clearly proved by the holes in all the trees round, where bullets had been cut out - commenced to come about, and offer to strip bark and make themselves useful. [294] They are not generally very much wanted on a cattle station, and I seldom encouraged their advances. Later, in 1845, I had a black boy named "Bill," from the Mount Rouse tribe, who remained with me for about eighteen months, when the summer amusements of his relatives and companions proved an irresistible temptation for him, and he bolted. I could, however, place implicit confidence in him, and found him most obedient and docile, and a great deal more cleanly in his person than most of the white men with whom he lived. On one occasion I had taken him to Geelong to bring back some cattle. My stock-keeper was drowned at Fyans' Ford, and the cattle remained in the sole charge of Bill for a couple of days, until assistance was sent to him. He watched them night and day, and did not lose one. I have heard that he has since returned to the present proprietors of my station, and is still a useful member of society.
In the summer of 1842 I returned with a stock-keeper to the Devil's River to collect the leavings of my herd. At Lake Repose, near Mount Sturgeon, I came upon Major Mitchell's tracks, and followed the marks left by his heavy boat-carriage across the Hopkins Plains to the Fiery Creek, where I found my friends, Messrs. Stevens and Thomson, shearing their sheep under a tarpaulin, and, passing through the runs of the Campbells and Donald & Hamilton, slept in a shepherd's watch-box on Mr. Irvine's run at the Amphitheatre. This was my first visit to the district for which I am now Commissioner. The Wimmera at this time was not occupied below Clarke's. Mr. Lynott had taken up what was afterwards "Decameron" for Dr. Imlay. Irvine had crept in above him on the river and between him and Messrs. Donald & Hamilton, disputing right and left. In 1842 Decameron was sold to Mr. James Allan Cameron, late of the 13th Light Dragoons, for £1,500, who lately sold it to Mr. Charles Williamson for £30,000. Below Clarke's, which was managed by Messrs. Pettett and Francis (the latter was killed by one of his own men), with sheep from Dowling Forest, originally brought from Van Diemen's Land, there was no head station, though Blow, who originally occupied the Allanvale country for Mr. Sinclair, of Van Diemen's Land, laid claim to what was subsequently sold to Dr. Blundell and Mrs. Greene. [295] The latter run was bought for £500, and sold lately to Mr. McMillan for £17,000.
Briggs (from whom Briggs' Bluff at the Grampians derives its name) came next on the river, having out-stations near where the Four Posts Inn or Glenorchy now is. The lower part of the river was next taken up by Darlot in 1843, and after him, what he had passed through as valueless was occupied by Messrs. Taylor and McPherson, who have since divided two of the finest runs in the district. Back from the river, on the McKenzie Creek, Messrs. Brodie and Cruikshank took up about this time the Wonwondah Station, now Messrs. Splatt and Pynsent's. Below Mr. Darlot, Major Firebrace took up the Vectis Station on the river, disputing part of it with the Messrs. Wilson, who ultimately squeezed in between him and Mr. Darlot, about three miles below the present township of Horsham; and Messrs. Bailie and Hamilton took possession of Major Firebrace's leavings again lower down the river. Ellerman came in about twenty miles below Firebrace, holding his present run for Darlot, and Steiglitz first took up the beautiful country at Lake Hindmarsh, which is now divided between the Beichers and Atkinsons, &c.
The northern part of the Wimmera district, including the mallee runs, were not thought of till later. Grant, who took up the Mount Arapiles country, was the first who found out their value in 1844, and disposed of his interest in the present Mount Elgin station to Major Firebrace. The Murray, Avoca, Avon, and Richardson runs were all of later discovery.
In 1845 I exchanged the Englefield run for one near Mount Rouse, to which we gave the name of "The Green Hills." The country about me had been all along settled, excepting a small patch to the south-west of me, into which a Mr. Gibb managed to squeeze himself. [296] But the days of the early settlement of the colony may be said to have been over before this period.
Devil's RIVER.
This country, lying to the north of the tipper Goulburn River district, and extending to the head of the Broken River, was first occupied in September 1839, by Messrs. Watson and Hunter, who, in February 1840, formed their head station upon the Devil's River, at a place called by the natives "Wappang." The original discoverers of this country were Mr. John Hunter, of the above firm, and Mr. Campbell, of Otter, who entered it from the Big Hill, near which, at the head of the Seven Creeks (Templeton's station), Mr. Hunter had a station called "Balowra." They could see from the top of the Big Hill range the open country of Mount Battery, backed by Mount Buller and the line of Australian Alps.
They eventually found the Devil's River, so called from hearing a black's "corrobboree" upon its banks the night that they first camped upon it, but their first station was at Mount Battery. The whole of the country occupied now by Messrs. Goodman, and Locke, and Malcolm, and the head station at "Wappang," which is now in the occupation of a working overseer named John Bon, who landed from an emigrant ship in 1841 without a rap, were comprised within Messrs. Watson and Hunter's original station, besides their cattle station on the Broken River, which extended to and took in Mr. Moore's present station of "Barjang," afterwards the Arundells' homestead.
In 1841 I had a license for a small station upon the south side of the Devil's River, below Mr. Waugh's station (the author of "Three Years' Experience in Australia," a pamphlet which gulled half England and Scotland in 1839 and 1840) called Mimamiluke, but I gave it up, in the month of November of that year, to Mr. Alick Hunter, who afterwards sold it to a Mr. Serjeantson. [297]
My first visit to this country was in January 1840, when the whole of this country was in Messrs. Watson and Hunter's hands.
This station was formed by me and Mr. James Riley in November 1841, as a heifer-station. There was at the time no settler higher up the Glenelg, and we laid claim to the country which now is divided between Mr. Lewis (late Cadden), Stirling and Fairbairn - formerly Mather (a carpenter from Melbourne, who was killed in 1843 by a falling tree), and Mackintosh. It had been previously temporarily occupied by a Mr. Norton, but the blacks had killed so many of his sheep, he was glad to desert it.
In 1842 I gave up my claim to "Englefield," and it was occupied by Dr. Barker, who sold it back to me for £50 towards the end of that year. In 1843 Mr. Cadden came with sheep, and Mr. Commissioner Fyans allowed him to take a large portion of my country from me, which I disputed till 1844, when we settled the affair amicably. In the same year I allowed Messrs. Affleck, who had been old servants of Messrs. Watson and Hunter's, to occupy the lower part of Mather's Creek, and in 1846 they tried to claim my whole run, but eventually sold the run I had lent them to Messrs. Stirling and Fairbairn for £50, having first tried to do me all the injury they could.
The natives were very troublesome till 1844. My cattle were frequently found with spears in them, and once the blacks were chased by my stock-keeper when they were hunting the cattle through a swamp. I never, however, heard of any collision with the natives on that station.
In February 1846 I exchanged this run with Mr. Robert Clerk, for one called The Green Hills, near Mount Rouse. It is now occupied by Mrs. Greene, of Woodlands. [298]
The original station of "Mumumberick," of which the Green Hills formed a part, was taken up in 1840 by Mr. Matthew Gibb, for Captain Swanston. It was afterwards, about 1843, sold to Mr. Robert Clerk, with whom I made an exchange for Englefield, on the Glenelg River, in 1846. Mr. John Coy, who occupied Mount Rouse, and Mr. Henry Best, who occupied Burchett's run, and Messrs. Kemp, who occupied what was afterwards Cheyne's Station, on Muston's Creek, were the original neighbours to this run.