When GA Robinson met Punch on 24 Sept 1830 he was
Capt Smith's stockkeeper near Avenue Plains, maybe
about 10 km north of Elizabeth Town [?]. He is
described [see below] as:
-a TOL man
-had been a constable
-5 ft 4 in height
- He knew of every slaughter of the natives that had
occurred at the Western Marshes since it was first
-Gave Trugernanna a pair of shoes [was he a
Can anyone assist/advise on who was Punch = his real
name and details?
[nb: I have checked convicts called Punch incase it
was a real name, but none arrived [as convicts] this
early into VDL]
Also, does anyone know about the reason/story
behind the name of the place called PUNCHS TERROR =
2km sw of Dunorlan ?
My comments/queries are in [ ]
many thanks for any assistance
Friendly Mission - Journal of George Augustus
Ed: NJB Plomley
24 Sept 1830
…”Leaving Avenue Plains came to Capt. Smith’s
grant, a fine run. [Is this Malcolm Laing Smith?]
Went to the stock keeper’s hut. Desired the people
not to mention my name or the nature of my pursuit.
The man had not expected us. His name is Punch, and
he is a ticket of leave man and has been a
constable; was very civil and gave TRUGERNANNA a
pair of new shoes.
He was astonished as my being without firearms.
Informed me that Avenue Plains is where Lieut.
Robinson met Brady, the outlaw who frequented the
Western Marshes. At Stocker’s run they robbed the
hut and played card all night keeping a sentry on
watch. This man was intercepted and made to cooee
for the others; and laying concealed until they
came, they rushed upon them and made them prisoners.
The bushrangers had plenty of silverplate and was
well dressed and affected to be cheerful, but one of
them appeared dejected and wept.
Also told me that when a hut got burnt down by
accident and many things were destroyed, the men
being at a loss what story to tell, reported it to
be the natives.
The stockkeeper said he was going to Capt Moriarty
and would show me the way. The road lay through some
forest and grassy hills. Capt M is a magistrate of
the district and has a large tract of country at the
Western Plains, fine land like all these plains. He
was a Post Captain in the Royal Navy and has been
settled about nineteen months, and has built a stone
house and has ploughed land, but he appeared to be a
bad farmer. Here I was known by some of the men.
Capt M had gone to Launceston, but his lady, a young
woman with child, received me hospitably and
regretted the captain was not at home. Two soldiers
are stationed here. I saw the Hobart Town Courier of
11 and 18 September containing proclamations
respecting the natives in which all the effective
force of the colony was to go out.
Whilst I was at Capt M a man on horseback came. He
said that the Governor was expected at Westbury.
Having taken refreshment, proceeded to Stocker’s
cattle run at the Western Marshes at the foot of
Capt Smith’s stockkeeper volunteered to accompany
me all the way. He was a Londoner, in stature about
five feet four, and carried a muset as tall as
himself, a brace of large pistols and a bayonet at
his side, catrouche boxes, powders &c. He
entertained me with relating his history. He knew of
every slaughter of the natives that had occurred at
the Western Marshes since it was first
After leaving Capt M’s grant came to Mr Bull’s
grant at Middle Plains. My guide said that here
Lyons and some others on horseback, who were in
quest of cattle, fell in with a tribe of natives and
drove them into a small lagoon and shot several, and
from there they drove them to the foot of
Ritchie’s Sugarloaf and shot all the others except
an old man and a woman who begged for mercy and were
suffered to go away.
At the Long Swamp, he said, several were shot by
Murray or Murphy and two others; he said it was a
cruel thing for them in this case and they ought to
After leaving Mr Bull’s grant came to Ritchie’s
old run, which is bounded by the Western River.
Traveled east up the north bank of the river and
after crossing came to an extensive marsh called
Pumicestone Flats…. [long account of tripping over
tied grass here]
After crossing those plains, proceeded up the banks
of the Westner River, past the foot of Stocker’s
Sugarloag and shortly after arrived at Stocker’s
hut at the Western Marshes on the west side of
Quamby’s Bluff. The Western River is very pleasant
and at this part is now called the Meander. This
part of Stocker’s run that I saw was not very
good, and the hut is made of mud and is a miserable
dwelling ….. [GAR then describes meeting [who I
assume is Thomas Johnson] living in the hut with
Dalrymple Briggs and 'their' 2 children]..