Some Known Frontier Conflicts in Tasmania

This proclamation to the Aborigines of Van Diemen’s Land was actually from Governor Arthur, not Davey. The proclamation was supposed to promote harmony between colonists and Aboriginal people, but was ineffectual. Conflicts developed to such an extent that Martial Law was declared.


Some main sources for information about conflicts in Tasmania and their locations in this list include publications such as:

The Aboriginal Tasmanians, Lyndall Ryan, Allen & Unwin, 1996

The Australian Frontier Wars 1788–1838, John Connor, University of New South Wales Press, 2002

Baptised in Blood: the shocking secret history of Sorell, Wellington Bridge Press, north Hobart, Tasmania, 2010

Black War: the Extermination of the Tasmanian Aborigines, Clive Turnbull, FW Chesire, Sydney, 1948

The Black War: Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania, Nicholas Clements, Queensland University Press, 2014

Fate of a Free People: the classic account of the Tasmanian Wars, Henry Reynolds, Penguin, 1995 and 2004

A History of Tasmania, Henry Reynolds, Cambridge University Press, 2012

The Killing at Risdon Cove, WF Refsahuge, Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2016

Tasmanian Aborigines–A history since 1803, Lyndall Ryan, Allen & Unwin, 2012

Van Diemen’s Land: An Aboriginal History, Murray Johnson and Ian McFarlane, New South Publishing, 2015

‘Van Diemen’s Land, 1826–1831’ in The Australian Frontier Wars 1788–1838, John Connor, University of New South Wales Press, 2002, pp. 84–101

The Vandemonian War: The secret history of Britain’s Tasmanian invasion, Nick Brodie, Hardie Grant Books, 2017

For more references see the Bibliography, Books and Journal Articles.

To see a map of conflicts that happened in Tasmania, please follow this link. All coordinates are approximate. This map is still being developed and may not fully reflect the places in the following list because of name changes and difficulty confirming some locations.

Many thanks to readers who email information about colonial frontier conflict sites. Locations will be added to the list below as new information is found and time permits. If you know of incidents that occurred, but are not included in the list below and wish to contact the author of this website, please use the form on the Contact page.

WARNING: Viewing this list may be offensive and upsetting to some readers as it contains placenames and sites where killings took place duing the frontier period in Tasmania.

 

Date


Location


7 March 1772


Frederick Hendrick Bay, now Marion Bay, East of Dunalley; and North Bay, TAS


2 January 1804


Port Dalrymple near modern-day Hobart, TAS


5 February 1804


River Derwent, TAS


3 May 1804


Risdon Cove on Risdon Creek off River Derwent, TAS


November 1804


Tamar River (Kanamaluka), (River Tamar), TAS


1804–1806


Tamar River (Kanamaluka), (River Tamar), TAS


1805–1806


River Derwent, Hobart, TAS


2 March 1807


River Derwent, TAS


19 April 1807


Hobart, TAS, on the eastern shore


1807–1808


Tasmania, southern interior 


1809


Tasmania, northern and southern interior


1810


Southern Tasmania


29 January 1810


Blackman's Bay, south of Kingston, TAS


1813


Tasmania, southern interior


November 1815


Oyster Bay, east coast, TAS


8 November 1815


Morgan's property on Scantling's Plains (York Plains), TAS


1817


Hobart, TAS


August 1817


New Norfolk, TAS


1817–1818


York Plains; Pittwater (Sorell), TAS


1818


Near Hobart, TAS


November 1818


Great Swanport (Swansea), east coast, TAS


28 November 1818


10 kms north-east of Triabunna on Grindstone Bay, TAS


13 March 1819


Near Hobart, TAS


13 March 1819


River Plenty (Plenty River), (tributary of Derwent south of) New Norfolk, TAS


18 March 1819


Tea Tree Brush, Eastern Tiers, TAS


20 March 1819


Oyster Bay, TAS


April 1819


Tea Tree Brush, Eastern Tiers, TAS


10 April 1819


George Town (eastern bank of Tamar River mouth), northern TAS


17 April 1819


Junction of Isis and Macquarie Rivers, TAS


18 July 1822


Reiby's farm near George Town, TAS


30 November 1822


Tasmania, the Interior


1823


James Hobbs's farm, Eastern Marshes, TAS


15 Nov 1823


Sally Peak, 10 kms from Bushy Plains, East Coast near Grindstone Bay, TAS


1824


Sorell Plains (now Hamilton), 20 kms north-west of Hobart, TAS


26 March 1824


Mrs Collins' farm, Blue Hills, headwaters, Coal River, north-east of Hobart, TAS


10 June 1824


Jericho, 10 kms south of Oatlands, TAS


16 June 1824


Oaks's farm, Murderers Plain, TAS


15 June 1824


Triffet's farm, Big River (Ouse River), TAS


23 July 1824


Meredith's farm, at Swanport (Swansea), 20 kms north-east of Triabunna, TAS


10 December 1824


Cape Portland (Lumaranatana), 55 kms north-east of Scottsdale, TAS


25 February 1825


Hobart Town Gaol, TAS


13 March 1825


Jonathan Kinsey's farm, Tooms Lake, Upper Macquarie River, TAS


April 1825


Hobbs' farm, McGills Marsh, TAS


September 1825


Green Water Ponds (Kempton), TAS


September 1825


Tasmania, the Interior


December 1825


Dairy Plains, Meander River, TAS


1826


Clarendon, 25 kms south-east of Launceston, TAS


1826


Hobart Town Gaol, TAS


January 1826


Burn, Pitcairn and McCarthy's farm, Clyde River, 10 km east of Bothwell, TAS


14 March 1826 or 1827


Great Swanport (Swansea), east coast, TAS


1826


Penny Royal Creek (now Liffey River) and Macquarie River south of Launceston, TAS


April 1826


Paddy Hart's farm, Oyster Bay, TAS


29 April 1826


Browning and Smith's farm near Bridgewater, TAS


12 September 1826


Mrs Mary Smith's farm, Pipers Lagoon, 40 kms north-north-east of Launceston, TAS


13 September 1826


Hobart, TAS


23 September 1826


Northern Tasmania


10 October 1826


Nicholson and Allardyce's farm on the Clyde River, 25 kms east of Oatlands, TAS


3 November 1826


Thompson and Pitcairn's farm, Hermitage, Shannon River, TAS


7 November 1826


Simpson's farm, Penny Royal Creek (now Liffey River), south of Launceston, TAS


7 November 1826


L. Gilles's farm, Elizabeth River near Campbell Town, TAS


11 November 1826


George Taylor's farm, Millers Bluff (north-west of Lake Sorell), TAS


21 November 1826


John Riseley's farm, Cockatoo Valley near Bothwell, TAS


22 November 1826


Downie's farm about three miles (c. 4.8 kms) from Allenvale, TAS


29 November 1826


Tasmania wide. Magistrates authorised to use force against Aborigines following alleged killing of 18 colonists. Press considers notice a declaration of war.


19 December 1826


Thomas Faro's farm, near Pipers Lagoon, TAS


After 19 Dec 1826


Mrs Smith's farm (location not given), TAS


December 1826–April 1828


Tasmania


December 1826


Paterson's Plains (St Leonards) near Launceston, TAS


9 December 1826


Bank Hill Farm, headwaters of Sorell Rivulet, Pittwater, TAS


March 1827?


Bull's Grant on Middle Plain, Meander River, TAS


Late January 1827


Central Plateau, border of Settled Districts, TAS


1 February 1827


Talbot's farm, St Paul's Plains (Avoca), 50 kms north-east of Campbell Town, TAS


6 February 1827


Dunedin, (New Norfolk?), Norfolk Plains (Longford) south of Shannon Point, TAS


21 February 1827


Eastern Midland Plain, TAS


23 February 1827


Grant's station, Launceston district, TAS


March 1827


Great Swanport (Swansea), near Oyster Bay, TAS


March 1827


Great Swanport (Swansea), near Oyster Bay, TAS


12 April 1827


Mount Augustus, near Campbell Town, TAS


12 April 1827


Rear of David Murray's farm, Elizabeth River, Eastern Midlands, TAS


Early May 1827


Great Swanport (Swansea), near Oyster Bay, TAS


May 1827


TC Simpson's farm, Mersey River south of Latrobe, TAS


May 1827


Sally Peak, 10 kms from Bushy Plains on border of Prossers Plains, TAS


24 May 1827


William Brumby's farm, Lake River, 10 km south of Poatina, TAS


12 June 1827


Dairy Plains, TAS


23 June 1827


TC Simpson's station, Quamby Bluff/Laycock Falls (Liffey Falls), near Deloraine, TAS


23 to 30 June 1827


Meander River, TAS


After 23 June 1827


Laycock Falls (Liffey Falls) at base of Quamby Bluff, south-east of Deloraine, TAS


After 23 June 1827


Quamby Bluff, Western Marshes, TAS


After 23 June 1827


Quamby Brook, TAS


After 23 June 1827


Quamby Bluff, TAS


After 23 June 1827


Western Marshes area, TAS


Late June 1827


Blackman('s) River, TAS


29 June 1827


Herbert Chapman's farm, Glenmore (Long Swamp), 5 kms south of Westbury, TAS


End of June 1827


Field's Station, Quamby Bluff/Laycock Falls, TAS


1 July 1827


Widowson's farm, Quamby Bluff/Laycock Falls (Liffey Falls), TAS


1 July 1827


Walker's farm, Quamby Bluff/Laycock Falls (Liffey Falls), TAS


1 Sept 1827–30 March 1828


Tasmania, Settled Districts 


12 September 1827


GC Clark's farm, Launceston, TAS


October 1827


Green Ponds (Kempton), 10 kms south-east of Bothwell, TAS


24 October 1827


Presnell's farm, St Peter's Pass near Oatlands, TAS


27 October 1827


Andrew Birrell's station, Tamar River, 22 kms south of Launceston, TAS


November 1827


Western Marshes, TAS


10 November 1827


Littleton's and Bryan's stations, Western River, at Glenmore (Long Swamp), TAS


10 November 1827


Lawrence's farm, Lake River, 10 kms south-east of Poatina, TAS


17 November 1827


Eastern Marshes, TAS


17 November 1827


Amos's farm, Oyster Bay, TAS


20 November 1827


Settled Districts, TAS


About 22 November 1827


Meander River, TAS


About 22 November 1827


Western Lagoon near Brumby Creek, TAS


22 November 1827


Richard Dry's farm, Western River, TAS


24 November 1827


Guilder's farm, Black Wall, West Tamar River near Launceston, TAS


24 November 1827


A Thompson's farm, West Tamar River 5 miles (c. 8 kms) from Launceston, TAS


December 1827


Junction of Brumby Creek and Lake River, TAS


December 1827


Cape Grim, north-west Tasmania


December 1827


Dairy Plains on road from Launceston to Circular Head, TAS


December 1827


Ritchie's Hut, Meander River, TAS


December 1827


Sorell Valley headwaters, TAS


15 December 1827


Eastern Midland Plain, TAS


16 December 1827


South Esk River 4 miles (c. 6.4 kms) from Launceston, TAS


1828


James Triffet's station, Bothwell district, TAS


1828


Kemp's station, Lake Sorell, north-west of Oatlands, TAS


January 1828


Cape Grim, north-west Tasmania


February 1828


Bagdad, 15 kms north of Bridgewater, TAS


9 February 1828


Cape Grim, north-west Tasmania


16 February 1828


On the road at Constitution Hill, 20 kms north of Bridgewater, TAS


March 1828


Macquarie River, Eastern Midland Plain, TAS


4 March 1828


Miles Opening, on the Aboriginal road between Bothwell and Jericho, TAS


4 March 1828


John Franks's farm at Quoin Hill, 20 kms north of Bridgewater, TAS


5 March 1828


Report of attack at Jordan Lagoon, TAS


13 March 1828


Staynes and Troy's station, Elizabeth River near Campbell Town, TAS


15 March 1828


Home's (Holmes's?) station, 26 kms south of Campbell Town near Ross, TAS


19 March 1828


Bullock Hunting Ground, Tamar River, TAS


20 March 1828


Hill's farm, 26 kms south of Campbell Town near Ross, TAS


20–24 March 1828


Prensell's farm, at Black Brush or Ross Bridge, south of Campbell Town, TAS


30 March 1828


Robertson's farm, Elizabeth River near Campbell Town, TAS


April 1828


Elizabeth River, Eastern Tiers, TAS


11 April 1828


Giles Cotterell's farm, Macquarie River near Cressy, TAS


15 April 1828


Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) officially divided into Settled and Unsettled Districts


July 1828


Eastern Tiers, TAS


27 July 1828


Coulston's station, Dilston, East Tamar River, 15 kms n-w of Launceston, TAS


July–October 1828


Oatlands area, TAS


27 August 1828


George Kemp's farm, Lake Sorell, TAS


September 1828


Burghley [Park?], TAS


6 September 1828


Wilkinson's farm, Swanport (Little Swanport), 20 kms north of Triabunna, TAS


12 September 1828


Kitty's Corner, TAS


21 September 1828


John Stacey's farm, Birchall's Bottom, Sorell, 20 kms north-east of Hobart, TAS


October 1828


James Triffet's station, Bothwell district, TAS


9 October 1828


Patrick Gough's farm, Big Lagoon, Oatlands, TAS


20 October 1828


Green Ponds (Kempton), TAS


20 October 1828


Thomas "Landford's" farm, Green Ponds (Kempton) north of Oatlands, TAS


25 October 1828


Captain Glover's farm, Second Sandspit, Maria Island, TAS


29 October 1828


Gordon's farm, Bream Creek near Carlton, 20 kms east-south east of Sorell, TAS


1 November 1828


Martial Law Proclaimed in Settled Districts, Tasmania


November 1828


Ritchies' farm, Western River, TAS


9–10 November 1828


Jerusalem (Colebrook), 20 kms north of Sorell, TAS


1 December 1828


Adam Woods' farm, Magills Marsh (McGills Marsh), Eastern Marshes, TAS


4 December 1828


Earls's farm, Woodlands Lagoon, Eastern Marshes, TAS


6 December 1828


Tooms Lake, source of the Macquarie River, mountains Eastern Tasmania, TAS


7 December 1828


Cowie farm, Break O'Day Plains, 10 kms south-west of St Marys, TAS


7 December 1828


Talbot's farm, Break O'Day Plains, 10 kms south-west of St Marys, TAS


13 December 1828


Michael and Henry Jones's farm, Sideling Hill, Black Marsh, TAS


27 December 1828


Meredith farm, Swanport, 20 kms north-east of Triabunna, TAS


13 December 1828


Sugar Loaf Hill, Black Marsh, TAS


1829


Clyde River (River Clyde) near Den Hill, TAS


1829


Regent Plains (Regents Plain), TAS


1829


David Williams's farm (location not given), TAS


January 1829


Break O'Day Plains, TAS


January 1829


St Paul's River, south of Bothwell, TAS


January 1829


South of Bothwell, TAS


16–30 January 1839


Meredith Allen's farm, Swanport, 20 kms north-east of Triabunna, TAS; Lyne, TAS


17 January 1829


Bothwell, TAS


January–March 1829


East coast Tasmania


18 February 1829


Pleasant Hills near Beaconsfield, western side Tamar River, TAS


February/March 1829


Cruttenden's farm, Carlton, 10 kms south-east of Sorell, TAS


March 1829


Richmond, Coal River, TAS


12 March 1829


McGee's station, Piper River, 20 kms east of Georgetown, TAS


13–17 March 1829


North Esk River near Launceston, TAS


March 1829


Cataract Gorge, 15 minutes' walk from the centre of Launceston, TAS


28 March 1829


Jones and Ouse Rivers, TAS


4 April 1829


Major Gray's farm, St Paul's Plains, 30 kms north-west of Campbell Town, TAS


2 May 1829


White Marsh, Bushy Plains near Pittwater, TAS


13 May 1829


Mary Smith's farm, St Paul's Plains, 30 kms north-west of Campbell Town, TAS


10 June 1829


South Esk River, about 3 miles (c. 4.8 kms) from Kearney's grant, TAS


June 1829


Pittwater, TAS


6–7 June 1829


R Dodge's farm, Carlton, 10 kms south-east of Sorell, TAS


12 June 1829


Downs's station, Pittwater, TAS


9–14 August 1829


Jerusalem (Colebrook) and Coal River north of Sorell, TAS


10 August 1829


Brown Mount, Kangaroo River, 20 kms north of Sorell, TAS


21 August 1829


Van Diemen's Land (VDL) Co., Emu Bay (Burnie), TAS


23 August 1829


Dodge's Station, Carlton, 10 kms south of Sorell, TAS


25 August 1829


Harte's station, Little Swanport, 20 kms south of Triabunna, TAS


1 September 1829


East of Ben Lomond, TAS


9 September 1829


Espie's farm, Bashan Plains, c. 90 kms north-northwest of Hobart, TAS


14 September 1829 


Bayles' or Bailey's farm, Macquarie River, 20 kms north-east of Oatlands, TAS


18 September 1829


Thomas Coffin's station, Sorell, TAS


October 1829


Clyde and Ouse Rivers, TAS


October 1829


Stokell's farm, Brown Mount, Jerusalem (Colebrook), TAS


7 October 1829


Jamison's and Triffet's farm, Maguires Marsh, Ouse River, TAS


1 November 1829


Nicholas Newport's farm, Lower Clyde, TAS


1 November 1829


Dixon's farm, Green Valley, TAS


6 November 1829


Lieutenant Fry's farm, Deep Gully, New Norfolk, TAS


Before 1830


Major Grey's farm, Avoca, 50 kms south-east of Launceston, TAS


Before 1830


Captain Wood's station, The Lakes, 45 kms north-west of Bothwell, TAS


Before 1830


Haasts's station, Great Twaid Port (Great Swanport? -- Swansea?), TAS


1830


Talbot's farm, Break O'Day, 10 kms from St Marys, TAS


February 1830


Clyde/Ouse Rivers, TAS


9 February 1830


F Bell's farm, Black Marsh, Ouse River, TAS


11 February 1830


Great Jordan Lagoon, TAS


11 February 1830


Reed's farm, Clyde, near Bothwell, TAS


17 February 1830


Poole's farm, Green Ponds (Kempton), TAS


21 February 1830


Plaistowe's farm, Constitution Hill, 20 kms north of Bridgewater, TAS


March 1830


Nairne's farm, Jerusalem (Colebrook), TAS


10 March 1830


Clyde River (River Clyde), TAS


14–20 March 1830


W Gee's farm, Pipers River, 20 kms north of Launceston, TAS


18 April 1830


ML Smith's farm, Whiteford Hills, Meander River, 20 kms south of Oatlands, TAS


21 April 1830


Nairne's farm, Coal River, Jerusalem (Colebrook), 54 kms from Hobart, TAS


23 April 1830


Addey's farm, Little Swanport River, 20 kms south of Triabunna, TAS


23 May 1830


D Lord's farm, Sam the Butcher Marsh, Eastern Marshes near Campbell Town, TAS


June 1830


Olding's farm, Prossers Plains, 20 kms south-west of Triabunna, TAS


10 June 1830


Captain Wood's farm, south of Regents Plain, Lake River and Cressy, TAS


4 August 1830


Howell's farm, Shannon, south of Great Lake, TAS


22–27 August 1830


Clyde River (River), TAS


22–27 August 1830


James Hooper's farm, Black Marsh, TAS


8 September 1830


Meredith's farm, Boomer Creek, Oyster Bay, TAS


10 September 1830


Swan Bay, West Tamar River, north of Launceston, TAS


21 September 1830


Thomas Gee's farm, Pipers River, 20 kms north of Launceston, TAS


24 September 1830


Major Gray's farm, Blackman's Corners, north-east of Campbell Town, TAS


30 September 1830


George Scott's farm, Mt Morrison station, Macquarie River, TAS


1 October 1830


The Black Line: Martial Law extended across Tasmania


7 October–30 November 1830


Settled Districts of Tasmania


16 October 1830


Stacey's farm, Sorell, 20 kms north of Hobart, TAS


17 October 1830


Gilder's farm, Stoney Creek, Tamar River, north-west of Launceston, TAS


22–28 October 1830


Butler's station, Retreat/Westbury, 10 kms north-northwest of Lillydale, TAS


16 November 1830


Captain Wright's farm, north bank of the south Esk River, north of Fingal, TAS


1831


Launceston, TAS


27–29 January 1831


Patrick McCasker's farm, Dairy Plains, Southern Tier Retreat, TAS


20 March 1831


WE Lawrence's farm, Lake River, 10 kms east of Poatina, TAS


9 May 1831


Kemp's Station, Lake Sorell, 25 kms north-west of Oatlands, TAS


5–6 June 1831


Evans' and Bell's farm, Native Hut Creek, Ouse River, TAS


31 August 1831


BB Thomas's farm North Down (Northdown), 10 kms east of Devonport, TAS


December 1830–February 1835


Conflicts over the whole of Tasmania


© Compiled by Jane Morrison 2015, 2016