The letters of Henry Howard Meyrick

Aboriginal Massacres 'Australia'
Background image: 'Dispersing' in the Rainforest, in Black Police: A Story of Modern Australia by AJ Vogan 1889
"... The blacks are very quiet here now, poor wretches. No wild beast of the forest was ever hunted down with such unsparing perseverance as they are. Men, women and children are shot whenever they can be met with ...

I have protested against it at every station I have been in Gippsland, in the strongest language, but these things are kept very secret as the penalty would certainly be hanging.

... For myself, if I caught a black actually killing my sheep, I would shoot him with as little remorse as I would a wild dog, but no consideration on earth would induce me to ride into a camp and fire on them indiscriminately, as is the custom whenever the smoke is seen. They [the Aborigines] will very shortly be extinct. It is impossible to say how many have been shot, but I am convinced that not less than *450 have been murdered altogether..."

Gippsland squatter Henry Meyrick
wrote in a letter home to his relatives in England in 30th April, 1846.

*Although the numbers slaughtered in this region and beyond will never been accurately known, we do know that the 450 mentioned here was a significant under-estimation.

From the publication:
'Gippsland Settlers and the Kurnai Dead' by Patrick Morgan

The letters of Henry Howard Meyrick May 1840 - November 1841 and January 1845 - April 1847
Sent from Westernport and Gippsland in Victoria to his mother, brother and sister in England detailing his life as an aspiring squatter.
Transcribed and introduced by Jeremy Hales and Marion Le Cheminant
Bib ID 1569454
Description [Maffra, Vic.]: JJB Publishing, [1997].
Book 46 pages, maps and facsims. (30 cm)

Details: National Library of Australia

Life in the bush (1840-1847)
A memoir of Henry Howard Meyrick / by F.J. Meyrick; with a foreword by Sir William Campion
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Bib ID 153769 Format: Book
Author: Meyrick, F. J. (Frederick James)
Description London; Melbourne: Nelson, 1939.
xvi, 268 p. : ill., maps, ports. (21 cm)
Details: National Library of Australia

List of Gippsland massacres

Compiled from letters and diaries:

(This list is out of date and there is now further details on massacres and massacre sites uncovered by researchers since this list was compiled around 2010)
Year Location Documented details
1840 Nuntin unknown number killed by Angus McMillan's men
1840 Boney Point "Angus McMillan and his men took a heavy toll of Aboriginal lives"
1841 Butchers Creek 30-35 shot by Angus McMillan's men
1841 Maffra unknown number shot by Angus McMillan's men
1842 Skull Creek unknown number killed
1842 Bruthen Creek "hundreds killed"
1843 Warrigal Creek between 80 and 200 shot by Angus McMillan and his men
1844 Maffra unknown number killed
1846 South Gippsland 14 killed
1846 Snowy River 8 killed by Captain Dana and the Aboriginal Police
1846-47 Central Gippsland 50 or more shot by armed party hunting for a white woman supposedly held by Aborigines; no such woman was ever found.
1850 East Gippsland 15-20 killed
1850 Murrindal 16 poisoned
1850 Brodribb River 15-20 killed