Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Vic Carriage, the youngest daughter of Ethel Brown (nee Governor), has revealed that the family were living in Brookvale and Manly Vale on Sydney's Northern Beaches in the late 1920s.This is where I live!
Talk about six degrees of separation ...
What is now Manly Golf Course on Warringah Road used to be market gardens and the Browns may have been working there.
Vic went to school at Brookvale.
Ethel's mother, Julia Usher Page (nee Moore) remarried at Manly in 1922 to Charles Matthews.
This may have been why her eldest daughter Ethel and family moved to the area.
Frank and Ethel Brown and their 10 children led a very nomadic lifestyle during their marriage.
They lived at Milton, Pebbly Beach, Ulladulla, Kiola on the South Coast, Kempsey on the North Coast, Erina on the Central Coast, and Annandale as well as the Manly area in Sydney.
[Source: Coastal Custodians, Vol2 Is7 Feb 2005]

Saturday, March 24, 2012


As a member of the Mawbey family, I unreservedly forgive Jimmy Governor, his wife Ethel and others who participated in the murder of my great grandmother and three of her children.I believe that Jimmy was provoked by Mrs Mawbey's offensive behaviour towards Ethel and himself.
This mistreatment, on top of all the other putdowns by white people that Jimmy had experienced, was the last straw that broke the camel's back.
He expressed remorse for his actions, and believed God would forgive him.
Requesit in pace.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


There were many Yarnolds in the Manning River area, around the towns of Taree and Wingham.
The father of the family mentioned in the newspaper articles below was William (Billy) Yarnold.
Four of his younger children are mentioned - Daniel, 17, Bella, Mary and an unnamed small boy - plus four older ones - Albert James, Charles and two other brothers.
Harbouring felons was an offence and carried a gaol sentence.
This would have been a valid reason for denying giving the Governor brothers any assistance, other than bits of bread.
Earlier, Jimmy Governor and his brother Joe had been harboured by an Aboriginal couple, Charlie Wade and his wife.
Jimmy later admitted to giving Mrs Wade one pound for her assistance.
Coincidentally, Billy Yarnold also had one pound in his possession after being visited by the Governor brothers, and allegedly giving them flour, which he denied.
Then after expressing fear about being in the presence of the Governors, a group of four of Yarnold's sons suddenly turn up on horseback, wanting guns and ammunition from the local townsfolk to go and hunt for the outlaws.
Earlier it had been claimed that the Yarnolds did not have any good horses when accused of giving some to the Governors.
It appears that while Jimmy and Joe both had rifles when they turned up at the Yarnold camp, and held up a neighbouring white settler, they did not have any ammunition.
Did the guns and ammunition given to the Yarnold's end up in the Governors' hands?


Aboriginal fugitive, Malcolm Naden, was captured by police last night in a house at Gloucester.
He was bitten on the shin by a police dog and had to go to the Maning Base Hospital at Taree for stitches.
Photos show Naden as a folorn figure, as was Jimmy Governor when he was placed on a steamer at Taree bound for Sydney for his incarceration, trial and hanging 112 years ago.
Both had their legs shackled in irons.
A later news report on TEN said the police search for Naden had been costing the Australian taxpayer $330,000 a day, and that the all up figure was $10 million!
The pursuit of Jimmy Governor over the much shorter three month period also cost the taxpayer a huge amount of money.
Naden is being transferred to Goulburn gaol where, coincidentally, Jimmy's youngest brother, Roy Governor, was incarcerated early last century.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sarah Mawbey
Yesterday I was very moved when I found some photos of members of the Mawbey family, published soon after the murders, I have never seen before.
John Mawbey
They appeared in the Australian Town and Country Journal on Saturday 4 August 1900 - 16 days after the murders by Jimmy Governor and others.
Sarah Mawbey had her skull fractured to the extent that her brain was protruding.
The weapon used was either a tomahawk or a native club.
Her son Percy, 15, had his neck almost severed by a tomahawk.
The two girls, Grace and Hilda, had their skulls bashed in by clubs.
Elsie Clark was bashed but survived, permanently deaf.

Motherless Mawbey boys
Garnett, 4 (left) with Cecil James, 7 (right)
with possibly Sydney, 13 (centre)
[not 'John' as in original caption]

Elsie Clarke
[Sarah Mawbey's youngest sister]

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The North Eastern Ensign, Benalla (Victoria), Friday 1 February 1901Amongst those who witnessed the hanging of Jimmy Governor was Mr [George Snr] Mawbey, father of the boy [George Jnr] who crouched under the bed on the night of the massacre. ' After the execution Mr Mawbey remarked to the press representative present : "Now I am satisfied; I would never have been satisfied unless I saw this; but I would have preferred to have hanged him myself."
[Source: NLA 70778481]

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bathurst Free Press & Mining Journal, Wednesday 10 October 1900
AN AMBUSH THAT FAILED. Wingham, Tuesday Afternoon,
As soon as word of the robbery of Hanney's house was brought toWingham, a party was made up to give the Bop[b]in people warning, and to arrange ambushes for the Governors in that quarter ...
Very little definite news could be obtained of the movements of the blacks, although there is enough to satisfy the townspeople that they are making towards the Hastings.
On Friday, it seems, they called at an aboriginals' camp, lying between the Little Dingo and Black Flat, and asked the half-caste Yarnold which was the nearest town, and asked how far it was to the Macleay. They got some bread at the camp and left.
The next news came of the   sticking up of Mr. Pat Hanney's house at Little Dingo on Saturday morning. Mr. Hanney has supplied the follow ing particulars of the unwelcome visit to his place : — At about eight o'clock on Saturday morning, he was at a [place] tacking out skins, about thirty yards from the house.
His wife went up to him, saying ' What would you do if the Breelong blacks came along now?'
At that very moment, his little boy said, ' There they are now,' and, looking up, Hanney saw himself covered by two rifles.
One of the blacks was behind a tree about twenty-five yards away, with his rifle leaning against it.
The other was about a yard from the tree.
One of the outlaws, the shortest, cried, ' Surrender,' to which Hanney assented.
They asked how far it was to an empty house at the back.
Hanney asked them what they wanted, when he was told to take his family and ' get,' which he did, and never saw any more of them.
The nearest house to Hanney's was three hundred yards away, but he was sent in an opposite direction. The blacks took from the house a rifle, a pair of pants, and rations.
They spilt a lot of flour about the house, and walked in it, and ransacked the place.
Before they left Hanney they asked if he had a late paper, which he had not.
They went away in the direction they came.
Mr Hanney said both the men looked clean, and well fed and strong, and not untidily dressed.
They appeared to have a three weeks' growth of beard.
The tracks were run to the creek, and then lost on Monday.
... About 1 o'clock on Monday afternoon, Albert James and Charles Yarnold, with two other brothers, came into town post-haste for rifles, asserting that there were indications that the fugitives were making along the range running up Koilabakh Creek, towards the Lansdowne.
They gave very little information, but got rifles and ammunition, and galloped on again as quickly as possible.
As a verification of the probability that the blacks went this way, a report was brought into town that some children living at the head of Cedar Park Creok had seen them passing that way.
It is no distance through Gibson's Brush, or higher up the Dingo Creek, from Peter Pompey, aoross the Catabunda, and thence on to the range, upon which it is supposed the Yarnold brothers saw them.
In view of the reticence of the Yarnolds, nothing is as yet certain, but if they have broken off that way, the police are again many miles in their rear.
Later. — Young Yarnold was in town today, and reported that Yarnold brothers' party followed tracks, supposed to be those of the blacks, onto Thornton's Creek, Koilabakh.
Tracks of bare feet were seen in the mud at the creek, and the bushes were brokon about the spot.
The party followed the tracks till dark, and this morning early started off to head them in the direction indicated by the tracks.
[Source: NLA 63879700]
The Advertiser, Adelaide, Thursday 25 October 1900
RETURN TO DINGO CREEK. Sydney, October 24.
The following particulars have been obtained from the wife of Barraby, the half-caste, relating to the visit of the Breelong blacks to Yarnold's camp, Charity Creek, on Friday.
The preceding day they had robbed Mr. Hanney's house.
The two Governors came to Yarnold's camp just before sundown.
Jimmy Governor had on old trousers an old shirt with torn sleeves and a vest. He had a white hankerchief with red spots tied round his head in lieu of a hat.
Joe was dressed in old torn trousers, a vest, and shirt, with an old felt hat.
Each carried a Winchester repeating rifle, and a little hand bag with ammuntion strapped round his shoulders.
This was all they carried.
There were at the camp Dan, son of Yarnold, Mary and Bella, his two daughters, and a little boy.
The father was at a camp three miles away from the Charity Creek camp.
The boy Dan, who is 17 years of age, was sitting at a fire when the Governors walked into camp.
They were all frightened.
Jimmy asked Dan if he knew who they were.
Dan said '"Yes."
Jimmy asked if any police had been there, and was answered in the nega tive.
Jimmy told him that there were lots of police after them, and asked what kind of rifle his father was using. The boy told him a 22 Remington.
Jimmy said— "I thought if your father was using a 32 I might get some caps off him.
He then asked Dan to give him some tucker.
The reply was that he could only give him a bit of bread, as they
had no tea or sugar. He said that would do. Jimmy then said—"Come on, Joe we will eat it down at the creek here. We will make the whites sit up for it." They then walked away. Mrs Barraby says it is absolutely untrue that the Governors gave Yamold's father or children any money whatever.
Billy Yarnold had a £1 note, but got it from one of the local store keepers for skins sold.
The report that Yarnold lent the Governors horses to get away after robbing Mr. Hanney is, she states, equally untrue.
As a matter of fact, Yarnold had no horses fit to carry them.
A report also that Yarnold gave them flour on a recent visit was entirely without foundation.
Yarnold had a boy sick at the camp, and never left him long enough for it to be possible to carry flour to the Governors.
It is asserted that Yarnold deserted the old camp after the first visit of the Governors, fearing their return. Mrs. Barraby is nearly white, is aged 23, and is very intelligent.
A hut belonging to Mr. Penfold at Manchester Flat, on the Barrington River, was broken into and robbed some time yesterday is supposed by the black outlaws.  
A telegram from Taree states that the outlaws have made it back from the Hastings as evidently things were getting far too hot for them there.
They are again around Dingo Creek, on the Upper Manning, where excellent cover is afforded them, and food is not too scarce.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Modern-day Aboriginal outlaw, Malcolm Naden, has stolen an automatic rifle and amunition from a home at Gloucester, and is now being pursued by bounty hunters.
Here is a newspaper report about Jimmy and Joe Governor when they were in a similar position at the nearby area of Nowendoc in October 1900.
The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, Saturday 27 October 1900
THE wife of Barrabry, the half-caste, who is nearly white, and is a prepossing and intelligent young man of 33 years, gives the following particulars relating to the visit of the Breelong blacks to Yarnold's camp, at Charity Creek:
"On the Friday preceeding the day they robbed Hanney's camp, the two Governors came to the camp just before sundown.
Jimmy Governor had on very old trousers, with a handkerchief with red dots on it, tied round his head, an old shirt with a sleeve hanging out of it, and waistcoat.
Joe Governor was dressd in trousers, vest, and shirt and felt hat.
His pants were ripped from the thigh nearly to the bottom.
Each carried a 3.2 Winchester rifle, and both of them had handbags, in which they carried ammunition, strapped round their shoulders.
This was all they carried.
There were at the camp Dan Yarnold, son of W.Yarnold, Mary and Bella Yarnold, daughters, and a little boy.
The father was at Barraby's Camp, about three miles away from the Charity Creek Camp.
The boy Dan, 17 years of age, was sitting down at the fire when the Governors walked up.
They were all frightened.
Jimmy asked Dan if he knew who they were.
Dan said 'Yes.'
He asked, ' Did  any police come here?' and was told ' No.'  
Jimmy told him there were a lot of police after them, and asked him what kind of a rifle his father was using. The boy told him a 2.2 Remington.
Jimmy said, ' I thought if your father was using a 3.2, I would get some caps off him.'
He then asked Dan if he would give him some tucker, and the reply was that he could only give a bit of bread; he had no tea and sugar.
He said that would do.
Jimmy then said,' Come on, Joe; we will eat it down at the creek here.
We will make the white ---- sit up for it.'
He then walked straight away.
Mrs. Barraby says it is absolutely untrue, as alleged, that the Governors gave the Yarnold's father or children any money whatever.
Mr.Yarnold had a note, but he got this from one of the local storekeepers (Mr. Garlick) for skins sold, and the report that the Yarnolds lent the Governors horses to get away after robbing Hanney's, is equally untrue. She stated also that that the rumour current that Yarnold carried flour to them on the occasion of the last visit has no foundation either.
Yarnold has a sick boy in his camp, and he has has not left him for more than an hour at a time, which would not be a sufficient length of time to go and leave the flour where it is alleged it was left.
Mrs. Barraby says it is terrible thing for them, the false statements that are being made, and she is anxious they should be contradicted.
Word having been received at Walcha on Thursday that the Governors were near Cooplacurripa, near the Hastings Range, at the head of the Nowendoc River, Superintendent Garvin left for that place last night.
It is believed that the outlaws were informed of the police movements, and beat a hurried retreat.
[Source: NLA 72411136]