The Story of Boio (Long Dick) (c1818 – post-1842)

The Story of Boio (Long Dick) (c1818 – post-1842) Born in around 1818, Boio (Long Dick) was a Darkinjung man from Brisbane Water. He was tried with Jack Jones, Abraham and Gibber Paddy on 11 May 1835 in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He had been sent to Sydney Gaol on 2 February 1835 to await trial for his part in robberies at Wyong and Newcastle during 1834. Boio – who is estimated to have been about 17 years old at the time of these robberies – appeared before Judge Dowling and a Military jury:

“Long Dick, Jack Jones, Abraham, and Gibber Paddy, all Aboriginal Natives, belonging to Brisbane Water, stood indicted for stealing a quantity of property, value P50, the goods of Alfred William Jacques, and William Ross [Rust], on the 25th of October, 1834” (Decisions of the Superior Courts of NSW, in Blair, 2003, 55).

The same four men were indicted for “putting in bodily fear” Jacques and Rust. All pleaded not guilty. Despite their denials, the jury in this case found all those tried guilty. All were sentenced to death recorded on 14 May 1835. It is not certain what happened to Potory-Minbee (Jack Jones), Abraham or Gibber Paddy after the trial, but it is certain that some of the young men returned to their country. Boil, Nimbo and Jago were among those present on 5 June 1837 when the Return of Aboriginal Natives at Brisbane Water was taken. Boil remained at Brisbane Water for many years. He is listed as receiving blankets at the annual distribution in 1838, 1841 and 1842. It seems he had not married during these years (Blair, 2003, 55).

“Long Dick” invites John Mann, surveyor to attend a grand corroboree on Wyong Creek at Tuggerah Lake in honour of the visiting Wollombi “tribe” (Ford p79) “Long Dick” is an “influential native” of the Broken Bay tribe and tells his guest that the coastal people “joined the Wollombi tribe who were their staunch friends and allies”. (J.F. Mann, 1842 reprinted in, “Brisbane Water 95 years ago: Wollombi Tribe and Gosford Blacks”, The Gosford Times, 5 Nov 1936, p16; in Ford 346). Mann describes some of the night’s events: “Long Dick” arranged “that I should join my companions at Ourimbah…Creek under the guidance of a black named Emu and his wife Mary Ann…We then followed the creek to its junction with the lake, shooting many ducks enroute…The lake abounded with fish of all sorts…several points of land which extended into the lake were black with ducks and water fowl; they were in the thousands [with] countless pelicans. Well laden with spoil, we arrived at the blackfellow’s camp shortly before dusk, and were agreeably surprised to find that by the forethought of Long Dick, a separate encampment had been prepared for us. It was built of sheets of bark, tent shape, and lined with dry grass; a log to sit on, and wood for a fire…Dick now took possession of us and relieved Emu of his responsibility…A bark canoe, paddled by a very old, grey headed man, now silently approached and drew up close to our camp. The canoe was so laden with fish of all sorts as to be but a few inches above water. The old man, by name ‘Jew Fish’ at once commenced to throw the fish on shore…Dick…selected some of the best for our use and undertook to act as cook. Some few opossums, bandicoots, snakes and iguanas and other items had been secured by these people during the day; so with the addition of fish and…eggs we had found in the swan nests, there was a bountiful supply of food…some of the young fellows were special wits and were listened to attentively. Mimicry they excelled in, and it was just as well that none of the individuals personated were present to recognise their peculiarities in the hands of the blacks”. (John F Mann, letter to Colonial Secretary, 1842, courtesy Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).