Sheep and Cattle Runs of the Monaro 1848
Prior to the year 1861 when what was, and still is, popularly known as
Sir John Robertson's Act was passed the large areas of lands over which the
flocks and herds of the pioneer settlers grazed were known as "runs."
They were acquired in the first instance by the seemingly simple process of
driving stock on to them, after a recognition of their suitability for pastoral
purposes. Later they were held under license, an approximation of area and
carrying capability only being given, and again later some definite and
coordinated attempt was made by the then administration to give both security of
tenure and definition of boundaries. Extension of settlement inevitably
progressed more rapidly than survey of the areas opened up, and it would appear
that until to the end of 1842, the survey of
Manaro or as the earlier records term it, Maneroo, had not bees completed beyond
the vicinity of the Bredbo River.
On the 24th November 1842, Mr. W. H. Wright, an assistant surveyor, reporting
from Coolringdon to Assistant Surveyor Townsend, says: -
"I beg to inform you that I have completed the survey of the Bredbo
River and on the 16th instant forwarded to the Surveyor General a plan of the
He also adds that lack of equipment prevented him from carrying out certain
other instructions, and that he was about to proceed to Zazoak to complete the
Between November 1842, and November 1849 the increasing settlement on Maneroo
urgently demanded a demarcation of boundaries. Sheep and cattle were getting
mixed up, trespass actions had-been instituted in tile Supreme Court in Sydney,
and each holder was anxious to know the limits of his holding, whilst at the
same time seeking greater security of tenure.
Pursuant to an order in Council made on 9th March, 1847, it was notified in
Government Gazette No. 112, published on 30th September, 1848 that persons named
in the Gazette had demanded leases of the Runs of Crown Lands particularised in
correction with their respective names.
Caveats were called for, and it was intimated that in every case inquiry
would be made into the validity of the claims.
The Gazette indicates the claims as being for "Leases beyond the Settled
Districts in the Maneroo District."
In the publication under reference, 147 applicants are mentioned. They
for lands, not only in Maneroo, but covered areas from Michelago to Delegate,
from beyond Adaminaby and over to the Coast, and over the Snowy River to
Victoria. After the gazettal of the claims and the issue of the leases, survey
was entered upon.
On 2nd November 1849, Sir Thomas L. Mitchell, the then Surveyor-General,
addressed a letter to Mr. Thomas S. Townsend, one of his surveyors, saying:-
"I approve of your applying for more as assistance; it is a proper
course provided the 200 cases are proceeded with. But it is understood here that
the squatters will not incur the expenses
"The copies of the Act of Council and Notices have been forwarded to you.
"I have requested His Excellency the Governor's sanction to the
Musgrave as a disputed Boundary Surveyor.
"As Mr. Labart cannot he spared at present for Monaro, some other
arrangement must be made."
This letter clearly relates to arrangements made, or being made, for the
survey of squattings, and as the Gazette referred to, and a supplementary one
afterwards to be mentioned, dealt with 172 definite leases, it is more than
probable that the 200 cases were Monaro matters.
On 10th December 1850, Sir Thomas Mitchell again writes to Surveyor Townsend,
giving him instructions to make a map of the Maneroo Reserves,
Many of the words in the original letter have faded with the passage of time,
but filling in the gaps as well as possible from the context, it is evident that
on lst December, 1850, Surveyor Townsend forwarded to the Surveyor General a
plan showing the Reserves in the Squatting District of the Murrumbidgee. He was
then instructed that similar plans and descriptions of the Maneroo District,
which was then in his charge, were required. Expedition was requested, as it was
pointed out that his transmission to the Government of the Maneroo District
would complete the plans of the whole of the Southwest.
That there was some delay in connection with both boundaries and
squattings is indicated by a letter written by Richard Brooks, from Maneroo, on
24th March, 1853, to Mr. G. R. Nicholls, a solicitor, in Sydney. In the list of
claimants for leases in 1848 Mr Brooks' name appears in respect Of Runs Nos. 6
and 7, Gejizrick and Jindabyne respectively.
Mr. Brooks was seeking advice concerning trespass by his neighbour's
stock, and said:
"At the present time we have surveyors measuring the boundaries between
the different Runs in the District…"
Later he writes: -
"He's one of those contract surveyors paid by the Government at 10/- per
And again: --
"l notice by a late Act of Council the Surveyor is the person to settle
The extracts quoted from Mr. Brooks' letter are consistent with the position
set out in the letter of the Surveyor-General of 2nd November 1849.
The names of the applicants of interest to Maneroo, with the title of the run
applied for, and its then reputed carrying capacity, are set out in the Gazette
as follows: -
(Government Gazette No. 112, published on 30th September, 1848)
No Name of
Antill, H. Colden
Beard & Rolfe
2 Iron Mungy
Beard & Rolfe
Burcher, Stephen 24
(Mittagong or Bridgery was a detached portion of this run.)
Bradley, William 27
Bradley, William 28
29 L. Rock
33 Kydra (Green Gully)
(Est. of A. Jeffrey)
Crisp, Amos, jnr. 38
39 Nudrum Nadran
(or Rose Valley)
Cosgrove & York 47
Cosgrove & York 48
Davison, Simpson 50 Goodgood
(afterwards J. Kirwan)
Garnock, George 58 Mt.
Goodwin, Wm. 62
Harnett Laur'ce 64
Haslington, Ed. 68
Kirwan, James 77
Kirwan, James 78
Moore, Josh. J. 88 Numarella
Malady, Patrick 90 Peak
Mowart, Francis 91
McEvoy, James 93 Woolindibby
McGuiggan, I’n 95 Boloka
McCuiggan, Pk. 96 Stockyard
McDonald, Dug 99
O'Hara, Hugh 104
Pendergrass, J. 105 Homeo
Pendergrass, J 106 Cottage
15000 700 4000
Pendergrass, J. 107 Moonbar
Peters, Joseph 108
36000 1000 8000
Robarts. Thos. I I I Curry
16000 640 8000
Rossi, F. N.
Throsby, Chas. 115 Kybean
Rootsay, Chas, 116 Mt.
Ryrie, Stewart Jr. l18 Cootalandra
Ryrie, Stewart jr. 119 Jindabine
120 Native Dog
12 I Nimity
36 sq, m. 600
Stanton, Wm. 124
Stanton & O'Hare 125 Corrowang
Stanley, James 126 Caddygat
Turner, Walter 131 Cooma
(After W. Bradley)
Thornton, Morgan 135 Square
Warren, Gilb't 137
Wright, Chas. 138
Williams, John 139 Head of
(After J J Moore)
Wallace & Ryrie 147
26000 1500 6000
A Supplementary list of Claims was issued in Gazette No. 45 dated 6th April
1850, and the claimants were: -
(After Wallace & Ryrie)
(After Edward Weston)
152 Gingerra (Willeroo)
Cutmore. John 156
4 m.x 2 500
Grahame, Wm. 159 Dry
16000 200 4000
Grahame Wm. 160
Gorman, Jas O. 161 Numbla
Neale, J. Thos. 169
18000 1000 6000
(After Bruce Reid)
Woodhouse, E. 172 Inchbyra
In all cases the gazette spelling, both of persons and places, has been
given, and it is not very difficult to recognise the old runs and their holders
in the present-day names. The Gazettes give the boundaries not by metes and
bounds. But by reference to prominent natural features, such as rocks, rivers,
mountains or creeks, The leases are also described with reference to the
adjoining runs and run-holders, but want of space would,' in any event preclude
these being set out in detail.
Lease No. 29, granted to William Bradley for Lower Rock Flat, is interesting
by reason of the fact that the Gazette description has appended to it--
"N.B. This was originally sold for the use of an Inn; the Inn is now
down, and the land again added to the Rock Flat Run to which it originally
This is definite evidence that at some period in its history, probably some
years prior to 1848, Rock Flat, an intermediate point between Cooma and
Nimmitabel, boasted an establishment where at accommodation could he obtained.
A deduction to he made from the details given is, that even at that very
early stage in its history, a fair proportion of the settlers of Maneroo either
were actually engaged in sheep farming, or were taking up land with that
A name around which much romance clings is that of Ben Boyd, a man who,
looking into the future with eyes that saw and a mind that grasped the infinite
possibilities of a young country, had the courage to dare greatly in an attempt
to promote settlement. Establishing himself at Twofold Bay, and giving the
settlement its name of Boyd Town, he invested much of the money he brought with
him in Manaro properties. Though Ben Boyd can, perhaps, hardly be called a
settler in Maneroo, in view of the fact that he did not live there, it is
indisputable that he must be regarded as one of its effective pioneers.
In the Government Gazette firstly referred to, Ben Boyd is shown as the
prospective Lessee of the following runs: -
Mowera and Batangaby
Moyallan Downs on
A total of eleven runs - aggregating 278,000 acres carrying 7,000 cattle and
Early SelectionsOn the lst January 1862, the Crown Lands Act passed in 'the previous
year, came into force, Under it selection without survey was permitted of areas
varying from 40 to 320 acres. This legislation inevitably meant the breaking up
of the large runs held and controlled by men like Mr William Bradley, who in the
early days owned most of the best land in the Manaro. It has often been said
that one could start from near Bredbo and travel to within eight miles of
Bombala without going off Mr Bradley’s Run. It was some time before the
provisions of the Act now under discussion were thoroughly grasped, but it is
certain that it opened up opportunities to acquire and which at first were not
fully availed of, though afterwards they were utilised to their fullest extent.
It is not practicable, to trace the first selectors of those lands which were
the beginnings of large stations, but the names of those who earliest availed
themselves of the privileges conferred by the Act may be of interest.
On 7th January, 1862, application was made 'by
No. 1 - Daniel Moore, of Boloco,
for 100 acres near Boloco Creek
No. 2 - William Keigh, of Coolringdon, for 160 acres
near Slack's Creek.
No. 3 - Robert Mason, of Gungoandra, for 40 acres
on Gungoandra Creek.
No. 4 - Charles Fergus, of Wangrah,
for 40 acres on Strike-a-light Creek.
No. 5 - Thomas Brogan, of Billylingra, for 100
acres near Little Plain.
On 14th January -
No. 7 - James Devereux - 320 acres at Spring Flat Creek, part of Dangelong Run.
On 21 St January-
No. 9 - William Goodwin, of Cowra, for 100 acres at Cranky Dan's Flat.
No. 13 - Robert Goodwin.
No. 14 - George Goodwin.
No. 15 - James Hain, for 320 acres at Dairyman’s Plains.
No. 16 - George Hain, for 320 acres at Dairyman’s Plains.
No. 44 - James Litchfield of Mialla, for 320 on Jillamatong Creek.
This material is taken from 'Back to Cooma' pp28-31