Mary Anne Bugg works on a sheep station near Mudgee and she meets Frederick Ward, a ticket of leave man. She becomes his common law wife. He is sentenced to Cockatoo Prison for horse stealing. Mary Ann is said to have left Mudgee to take a job as a maid in Balmain and aided Frederick in his escape across the shark infested Parramatta river. They escape on horse back with Fred Britten and become a bush ranging gang in the Stroud area. Mary Ann is supported by her Aboriginal relations. Frederick assumes the title of Captain Thunderbolt.

1860c Lewis and Sarah Lewis are well known in Berowra Creek. Locals are still remininiscing a century later about an “old Charlie (German) who told his “old Biddy” (black Aboriginal wife) to “sit in the bow of the boat” so he could “look on [her] beautiful face”. (Marjorie Crossland, quoted in Ford, 2012, p7).

Christening at Norahville. Edward Hargraves who builds Norahville at Norah Head is friendly to visiting Aborigines from the ranges and local Aborigines on the coast. “King Bonney, an immense black, the chieftain of the tribe from the Hunter River, attends all tribal gatherings and calls at the Noraville homestead. He has an almost insuperable distaste for clothes and his appearances causes some embarrassment to residents. He is invited to attend a gathering in the Noraville drawing room for the baptism of a son born to Molly and Margaret. He promises faithfully to wear a discarded suit of clothes given to him by E.H Hargraves but arrives wearing only the waistcoat. Hargraves identifies “the mother ‘Queen’ Margaret and the father ‘King’ Molly (‘Ned’ on the coast), to whom he had given a breastplate”. (Swancott in Ford p79). [Brisbane Water/Gosford Letter Books 1835-74] (Historian, Charles Swancott in Ford p79).

Rev Alfred Glennie describes the christening: “baptised a little aboriginal infant. Son of “Ned” and “Margaret”. It was a fine little boy of about 7 months old. - - Some 2 or 3 blacks attended to witness the ceremony, & seemed very much interested in it”. (Rev Alfred Glennie Journals 1858-1861 in Ford p79)

1860-1890 New reserves are created in response to high demand from Aboriginal people for land. The majority are located in areas chosen by Aboriginal people. Most of these new reserves (27 out of 32 created after 1860) are the result of Aborigines demands for reoccupation of their land. For example, Aboriginal people had always spent time at La Perouse, travelling up from the south coast for the fish. In the Upper Hunter Valley, this leads to the establishment of Aboriginal people on reserves at Caroona and St Clair. (Cathleen Inkpin, "Making Their Gospel Known p36)


The Wollombi tribe is skilled at gathering wild honey and as a result of bartering with them, Edward Hargraves from Norahville supplies more than a ton a year to Dixson’s tobacco factory. (Newcastle & Hunter Society, vol 1, no. 2, dec 1972, courtesy of Carl Hoipo).

King Tom of Dunmore, Maitland is captured on film by an unknown studio photographer. He is sitting cross-legged, wearing a breast plate and holding a boomerang. King Tom involves himself in local community life and is well known and respected for donating a pair of wild ducks valued at five shillings to a Patriotic Fund for widows and orphans of men killed in the Crimean War and taking part in the funeral procession of local farmer, David Dickinson. King Tom is an Aboriginal warrior who is often seen about the Maitland district wearing his brass breast plate. (Maitland Mercury, 25 August 1877)


Aboriginal people use the Singleton town common (“Redbournebe Hill” and Redbourneberry Bridge) as an Aboriginal camp in 1862. The Walter family reside here from at least 1889 until 1909/10 when they return to St Clair because their children are excluded from the public school. (Lucas, 37)


“Yellow Billy” (William White), bushranger from Yango, commences his career in the Wollombi area. He presumably attained his name due to his mixed descent. “Half-caste” “Yellow Billy” is caught and sentenced to two years gaol for stealing a horse from the Wollombi lockup and forcibly opening the Court House and robbing it of cash. After his release, he commits numerous robberies in the district from Singleton, to Putty and Cessnock where he bails up the Wollombi mail. A first-rate horseman from Howe’s Valley and sporting of a carbine, petty criminal “Yellow Billy” gives the police much trouble to capture. Worn down by fatige from years on the run and after causing police much embarrassment, “Yellow Billy” is captured in 1867. At around twenty-five years of age, “Billy” is sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. (Maitland Mercury articles spanning 1863-1867, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).

Between 1863 and 1927, Aboriginal people from Dartbrook and Page migrate to Rev Dr White’s property at St Clair, near Singleton. A church and school are established on the property. (Lucas, 38)


60 Aborigines collect blankets at Paterson in the Hunter Valley. (Maitland Mercury, 6 June 1867 from Paterson News, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).


Ned Carlo” is working at Robert Carter’s homestead “Rose Vale” near Belltrees. (Lucas, 37)

Mary Ann Bugg is gaoled at East Maitland Gaol for stealing cloth. Mary Ann Bugg; who becomes well known as the wife of one of Australia’s longest surviving bushrangers, Captain Thunderbolt; was born on the Australian Agricultural Company’s property near Gloucester on 7 May 1834. She is the daughter of a Worimi/Birpai woman with the English name of Charlotte and an ex-convict shepherd, James Brigg. Along with her younger brother John, Mary Ann is taken to Sydney in 1839, to be “civilised” at the Orphan School. In Sydney she receives an education necessary for her to work as a domestic servant In March 1866, in an effort to capture Thunderbolt the troopers arrest Mary Ann, along with her two elder children and baby. The two older children are taken away from her and, with the baby, she is brought before the bench.

Mary Ann is charged with being an “an idle and disorderly person and a companion of reputed thieves, having no visible means of support or fixed place of residence”, and sentenced to six months imprisonment at East Maitland gaol. There is immediate controversy in the Legislative Assembly over this “perversion of justice”. The governor intervenes and Mary Ann is released after serving only a short part of her sentence. (Jansen, 1996: 6) This incident leads to legal reforms to ensure that such perversions of justice did not occur again.. (Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association, ACRA)

Alfred Parsons is born in Blacktown Road.

1866 to early 1880s Tom Twopenny, the famous cricketer, lives and works on Lilburndale at Sackville. During this time, he is also said to be for a period a gateman on a station in the Molong area. (Brook, 1st edit, 56-57)


14 or 15 Aborigines collect blankets at Paterson in the Hunter Valley. This is a considerable reduction on the 60 Aborigines who did so three years ago. A notice in the local newspaper observed: “A few years more, and the Aboriginals will be amongst the things of the past”. (Maitland Mercury, 6 June 1867 from Paterson News, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).

Aboriginal cricket team. English cricketer, Charles Lawrence, runs the Pier Hotel, Manly (1865-1867). He visits and stays in NSW in 1862 to coach teams in Sydney. In April 1867 he joins an Aboriginal team, which he takes on the first cricket tour to England where they play 47 matches over six months. The team not only plays fine cricket, but also demonstrates athletic feats: high jump, somersaulting, running backwards and throwing cricket balls or bats over distances. The highlight is the team’s performance of a mock battle, hurling spears at an opponent who imbly dodges them. Most of the team comes from Edenthorpe in Victoria (MacLeod, Pictorial History: Manly, 20).

Tom Twopenny the cricketer. Twopenny is selected in the first Australian cricket team (all Aboriginal) and the first to tour England. He sails out of Sydney aboard the “Parramatta” with the Australian Aboriginal XI on 8 February 1868, arriving in London on 13 May. There are only two players from NSW, both late inclusions in the team, Twopenny and Charlie Dumas. The remainder are Victorians. Twopenny is the surprise bowling find of the tour. Playing against East Hampshire he secures 9 wickets for 9 runs by his eleventh over. Twopenny also plays against the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s in London. When there is conflict on the field the whole team walk off the pitch. At Southampton he clean bowls nine opponents for 17 runs in 21 overs. Twopenny is a droll character noted for always arriving late at railway stations on the tour, usually “with only one leg in his pants”. Back in Australia in 1870, he plays at the Melbourne Cricket Ground representing NSW against Victoria in an inter-colonial match. A journalist once wrote that Twopenny is “one of the finest looking and most intelligent” Aboriginal people he has ever met. (Mulvaney’s Cricket Walkabout 72-129 in Brook, 1st edit, 56-57; Nichols p6-7; Macleod, Pictorial History, Manly, p20.).

Aboriginal Cricket Team at Maitland. On 5 March, 1867 the Maitland Mercury reports on a cricket match between a white Maitland representative team and the Koori cricket team from Victoria. The match is played in front of 3000 spectators. The Koori team tours England in 1868, and becomes the first Australian Cricket Team to do so. Its record in England is 14 wins, 14 losses and 19 draws from 47 matches. One of the stars of that team is Johnny Cuzens, whose traditional name is Yellanach: “ this tiny man (5 feet 1 inch or 155cm) is Johnny Mullagh, the star of the famous Aboriginal cricket team. He plays 46 of the 47 matches; scores 1364 runs for an 18.94 average; and takes 113 wickets for an 11.38 average. Dr W.G. Grace praises the “all round form” of Cuzens and Mullagh. In 1866 Cuzens plays for Victoria against Tasmania (Tatz et al: 1996; Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association, ACRA)

Aboriginal protest in Upper Hunter Valley. Aboriginal people refuse to vacate their camp site on the village reserve in Gundy when settlers choose it as the spot on which to build St Matthews Church. The church people make use of their knowledge of Aboriginal customs. They arrange to have the body of a recently deceased Aboriginal person brought into the camp from higher up the Page River. The Gundy clan leave at once, forming a new camp to the near north. (Brayshaw, On Revisiting Gundy, 2005, 232.

1867c “King Jacky and Queen Biddy” near Gundy. Aboriginal people are living on Elmswood holding at Nectarbank (now known as Nalalban) just over the river, north of Gundy village. This is one of the tribal meeting places from where Aboriginal people periodically visit Dartbrook and the Page and Isis Rivers. “King Jacky and Queen Biddy” live there over the years. Others are trusted servants and good stockmen: Boodle, Jimmy Crimp, Teddy Adams, Walter Sergeant, and Tom and Walter Clarke. (Brayshaw, On revisiting Gundy, 233).


John Luke Barber marries another Aboriginal woman, Eliza Cox. They have a son John Edward Barber (born 1868) who is drowned and buried at the Church of England Cemetery Sackville in 1913. John Markim and Alfred Barber are witnesses. (Brook, 1st edit, 47).

40 or 50 Aborigines come in for their “annual gift” of blankets at Maitland in the Hunter Valley. One “black lady” comes in for her blanket mounted on a very good horse with side-saddle, lady’s riding skirt. A local newspaper observes an “unusual number of children amongst whom [was] a perfect white child which at first [the correspondent] could scarcely believe belonged to our native [A]borigines. (Maitland Mercury, 21 May 1868, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).


“The Blacks” of Maitland district assemble at the Court House for the annual “gift of a blanket”. The blankets are withheld for over a month during mid-winter and cause “considerable murmurings” among the local Aboriginal population (no numbers stated). (Maitland Mercury, 13 July 1869, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).