A note on Sources

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Yellomundi’s Lagoon

The following passages include what is probably the first reference to what is now called Yarramundi Lagoon, which suggests that Yellomundee, who we first met in 1791 was living in the area. The nearby Yarramundi Falls, which were largely washed away in the 1867 flood confirm the connection with the man. “A quantity of very fine eels was last week caught by the natives in the Lagoon of Yarramundy, at Hawkesbury, some weighing from 12 to 14lbs.”99 The catching of eels in April was traditional, as the eels had fattened themselves up and were beginning their long run into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. That the catch was reported, points to Aboriginal people being engaged in some sort of trade with settlers.
It is curious that it is the Sydney Gazette spelling of Yellomundi’s name that persists today. There are a number of spellings from the Nineteenth Century that clearly refer to the man that Phillip met in 1791.In drawing the boundaries of the Richmond Hill Common in August 1804 Governor King used “Yellow Munday’s Lagoon” as one boundary.100 Governor Macquarie referred to the place as “Yellow-Mundie-Lagoon” in December 1810.101 There is a reference to “Yellow Munday’s Lagoon” in 1848.102 It is probably the only place in the Hawkesbury where Aboriginal ownership was so recognised. Cooramill made two suggestions regarding the name, which clearly demonstrate the vagaries of oral history. The first obviously refers to the man while the second is quite fanciful unless the horse got drowned at both Yarramundi Falls and Yarramundi Lagoon, “I have been told by some that it was so-named after an aboriginal who used to camp on the banks: by others that it was through a horse being drowned there, and yarra was the blacks’ name for horse.”103
Yellomundi was probably camped at his lagoon for a number of years. It is likely that his daughter Maria was born there around 1807-1808.104 The death certificate of Maria’s daughter, Mary Ann Ward, who died in 1885 at Blacktown, recorded Mary Ann’s birth place was Liverpool. Alongside that the word “Aboriginal” had apparently been crossed out. The certificate recorded her mother’s name as Maria Lutteral.105 I think there are good reasons for not leaping to the conclusion that her father was a Lutterell. Firstly it was not uncommon for Aboriginal birth/marriage/death certificates to bear the names of settler familes they were associated with in some way, for instance ,a certificate of an Aboriginal women born at the “Blacktown” (on Blacktown Road, Freemans Reach) lists the local minister as her father. Secondly I do not think Edward Lutterell spent much time on his Hobartville estate. Lutterell arrived on the Experiment in August 1804 and received his 400 acre Hobartville land grant on the 11th of August 1804.106 He was probably still in Sydney in October 1804 when his son deserted the Experiment and his daughter eloped with the captain of the Experiment.107 It appears from his letters that he was an unhappy farmer in 1804 and the first part of 1805.108 In June 1805 he replaced the assistant surgeon John Savage at Parramatta.109 Governor Bligh appointed him surgeon to the Porpoise, probably in 1807, a post that he held until November 1808.110 He was then unemployed for three months until being reappointed to the position of Acting Colonial Surgeon in February 1809.111 In June 1813 Governor Macquarie reported that Lutterell was still employed at Paramatta.112 was appointed Recorded nearly eighty years after her birth, I am of the opinion that the name Lutteral in this instance linked her birthplace to Hobartville, to the Richmond Bottoms and to Yellomundi’s Lagoon. There is a possibility that Maria’s biological father was not Aboriginal. In 1838 Mrs. Shelley gave evidence regarding the native Institution which she ran for eight years following the death of her husband in 1815. In her evidence she said: “Most of the girls have turned out very bad, but there is one exception in a half-caste girl, who was married to a white man, and was very industrious, taking up needlework, &c. I have not, however, heard of her for two years.” 113 It is likely that she was referring to Maria. Mrs. Shelley’s evidence must be placed in the context of Maria’s 1831 memorial in which she identified herself as “Maria Lock, an Aboriginal Native of New South Wales”who was placed in the Native Institution “by her father the Chief of the Richmond Tribes”.114

7th April 1805

Attacks by native dogs on the animals on settler farms can be seen as evidence of the shattering of traditional Aboriginal lifestyles. The latest research shows that dingoes avoid farms when pack structure is intact. If their owners were killed and their dogs turned out, then attacks on farms were likely.
A native dog, whose depredations on a farm near the above settlement we before took notice of, returned again on Sunday evening to clear away the remaining flock on hand; but being discovered and pursued, was obliged to content himself for the present with a couple of fine geese.’115
In March 1805, between Prospect and Parramatta, Goguey was ritually speared by Bennelong and Nanberry for killing an unknown person. That Goguey was going to the Hawkesbury for another ritual spearing indicates that traditional life was active on the Hawkesbury. Some weeks later Goguey recovered enough to go to the Hawkesbury. Despite the wording of the article he was not going to take part in a colonial murder trial but to participate in another ritual punishment.
However, while Goguey may have participated in a ritual spearing on the Hawkesbury, he almost certainly enlisted the support of Hawkesbury warriors to defend his lands as a fortnight later warriors from the Hawkesbury were involved in attacks on Macarthur’s farms in Goguey’s homelands.
With a degree of astonishment we learn that the native, Goguey, whose mischance it was to receive a spear in the back, in which position it immoveably remained for upwards of three weeks, is sufficiently recovered to proceed to Hawkesbury to assist in the trial of an offender upon divers charges of very unjustifiable homicide. The spear was extracted last Sunday morning; and maugre116 the unseemly aperture it left behind, he marshalled forth with stoic composure intent upon transferring the compliment, should the fates permit so enviable a happiness to fall to his lot.’117

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