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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 same."

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 Murrumbidgee.

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 comprise claimants

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 employment Mr.

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 mile…"
And again: --
"l notice by a late Act of Council the Surveyor is the person to settle disputed Runs."

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)

Applicant                No     Name of Run            Area          Cattle   Sheep    Horses
Antill, H. Colden        1      Tindreys                     15360           500      4000
Beard & Rolfe           2       Iron Mungy                84000         1000
Beard & Rolfe           3       Dog Kennel               12800           400
Barrett, William          5      Bollera                        6400            725
Brooks, Richard         6      Gejizrick                     38400          640    10000
Brooks, Richard         7      Jindabyne                   22400         1000
Blomfield, Thomas
Valentine                    8      Collamatong               35000                     10000
Bell, David               11      Spring Flat                 10240            480
Binnie, James           22      Burrangandra             4 sq.m.           189      2400          8
Burcher, Stephen      24     Bridbow                    15360             500
Bradley, Wm.           25     Dangelong                 15000                         4000
Bradley, Wm.           26     Cooma Creek.          19000             640      4000
(Mittagong or Bridgery was a detached portion of this run.)
Bradley, William       27     Myalla                       42000                       10000
Bradley, William       28     U. Rock Flat.             25000                        4000
Bradley, William       29      L. Rock Flat.              2200                           400
Brierly, Abram         30      Arable                       30000            1000    8000
Brierly, Abram         31      Murranumbla.            30000            1500
Brierly, Abram         32      Woolway                   12000              300    3000
Brown. George        33      Kydra (Green Gully)   26880             700
Bull, Joseph             34      Anembo                       5000              200    5000
(Upper Jingeree)
Bowman, Win.         35      Mowhawk                   4000              400    2000
Campbell, Robt.      36       Mount Cooper           21000                       7000
(Est. of A. Jeffrey)
Crisp, Amos, jnr.     38       Jimen Buen                 30720           1500
Clifford, Patrick       39       Nudrum Nadran         20000             800     5000
                                          (or Rose Valley)
Clifford, Patrick      40        Greenland                  15000              600
Cosgrove, John      44        Queeingallery              25600                        5000
Cassells, David      45         Island Lake                9000                          2000
Cassells, David      46         Carrott                      16000                         4000
Cosgrove & York  47         Billy Lingera              16640                         4000
Cosgrove & York  48        Adamindumee            16000              640
Curtis, Peter           49        Rock Forest                 5500              400
Davison, Simpson   50       Goodgood                   15000                        4000
Driscoll, Daniel       51       Ucumbean                      2840             500
Dawson,
Robert, Junr.          52       Gellimatong                   16000             900
Eccleston, John      53       Doodle                          10240             710
Eccles, Thomas      54       Bulgar Creek                 10000             500
Frederichs,
Burchard                55       Wambrook                   15000              320   2000
Flinn. Jeremiah        56       Numeralla                       2140             163.
(afterwards J. Kirwan)
Flinn, Jeremiah        57      Countigany                       3200             167     709
Garnock, George    58      Mt. Pleasant                     6500             600   4000
Gore, John              59      Geekle                             5120             300
Cordon, Hugh         61     Wambaguga                    20000             640
Goodwin, Wm.       62     Windy Corner                   6000             400
Harnett, Park          63     Bredbo                            30720            250   7500
(Estate of)
Harnett Laur'ce       64     Rosebrook                      15360            150    4500
Haslington, Ed.        68    Big Badger                       16000            600
Holland, Wm.         70    Mowenbah                       16000            500    2000
Hosking, John         71    Glen-bog                          32000            800
Kirwan, James        77    Cooma                             30000           500    4000
Kirwan, James        78    Countigeny                       20000                     4000
Keirle, James          80    Boloco Creek                   13000           700
Kelly, Thomas         81    Coura                              13000           300      700
Kennedy, Wm.
Francis                    82   Biggam                              14500           600   5000
Lucy, Daniel            85  Umeralla                               8000          300      600
Lunn, Daniel            87  Pawpang                            11000          500
Moore, Josh. J.        88 Numarella                           18000                     5000
Malady, Patrick       90  Peak Station                       10240          900
Mowart, Francis      91  Bolero                                28800                   10000
McEvoy, James       93  Woolindibby                       11520          640
McGuiggan, I’n       95  Boloka Creek                        8000          500
McCuiggan, Pk.      96  Stockyard Flat                       7000          600
McDonald, Dug      99   Nimitybelle                            8000          700
O'Hara, Hugh         104  Nimitybelle                           8000          640
Pendergrass, J.       105  Homeo                               25000          850
Pendergrass, J        106  Cottage Creek                    15000          700   4000
Pendergrass, J.       107  Moonbar                            24000        1000
Peters, Joseph        108  Bungarby                            36000        1000   8000
Robarts. Thos.        I I I  Curry Flat                           16000          640   8000
Robinson,
Thos.L&C.G.         112  Hugandree . .                       I3000         340
Rossi, F. N.            113  Micilago                             35000                    9000
Throsby, Chas.       115  Kybean                              20000        1000
Rootsay, Chas,       116  Mt. Pleasant                         5000          600
Ryrie, Stewart Jr.     l18  Cootalandra                          7680         330     2200
Ryrie, Stewart jr.     119  Jindabine                              3000         600     4000
Rankin, D.               120  Native Dog Flat                 12000                     4000
Scott, Wm.              12 I  Nimity Bell                        36 sq, m.      600
Stanton, Wm.          124  Nimithybale                          4000        1500
Stanton & O'Hare   125  Corrowang                         53760                     2000
Stanley, James        126  Caddygat Ck.                     12800                     4700
Sherlock Jas.          127   Gingary                                9000           400
Thomson, Joseph
George                   128  Bullumbullong                      14000         1000
Turner, Walter        131  Cooma Creek                       5000          300    2000
(After W. Bradley)
Thompson,W          I32   Biggam                               25000          640    3000
Thornton, Morgan   135  Square Range                     10240          300
Warren, Gilb't         137  Greenland                             6400          400
Wright, Chas.          138  Bobundra                           10000          400    2000
Williams, John         139  Head of Curry Flat              10240         840
Waite, John             140 Warren's Corner                    7000       2000
(After J J Moore)
Wallace & Ryrie      147 Coolringdon                         26000       1500   6000

A Supplementary list of Claims was issued in Gazette No. 45 dated 6th April 1850, and the claimants were: -
Bridle, William         149   Island Lake                       12000                   4000
(After Wallace & Ryrie)
Brooks, Rich.          150   Willis                                11520          500
(After Edward Weston)
Cooper, Wm.          152   Gingerra (Willeroo)           13440         500
Cutmore. John         156   Gerangle                           17920       4000
Fraser, John            158   Fryingpan Ck                    4 m.x 2        500
Grahame, Wm.        159   Dry Plains                         16000         200    4000
Grahame Wm.         160   Frying-pan Ck.                 9600            300   2000
Gorman, Jas O.       161   Numbla                            10000           600
Lambie, John           164   Cooma                               1280            50
Mahoney, Ter.         166    Boggy Plain                     10000          300
Maley, Austin           167   Nimmo                              7500          300
Neele, Wm.             168   Kalkite                            20000           700
Neale, J. Thos.         169   Middling Bank                 26000        1200
Tooth, John              171   Nimity Bell.                     18000        1000   6000
(After Bruce Reid)
Woodhouse, E.        172   Inchbyra                          16000          640

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 belonged."

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 purpose.

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: -

Name.                                     Area.        Cattle,       Sheep.
Mowera and Batangaby           200,000     600
Cudgee                                    50,000       600
Mafra                                      25.000                          5,000
Moyallan Downs on
Mamjellack                              20,000      1,200
Bibbenluke                              76,000       2,000
Wog Wog                               20,000          600
Boco Rock                              25,000         800
Cambalong                              60,000       1,200
Genwong                                 20.000                         4,000
Matong                                   32,000                          5,000
Bondi                                      50.000                          6,000
A total of eleven runs - aggregating 278,000 acres carrying 7,000 cattle and 20,000 sheep.

Early Selections
On 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.
28th January-
No. 15 - James Hain,   for 320 acres at Dairyman’s Plains.
No. 16 - George Hain, for 320 acres at Dairyman’s Plains.
8th April-
No. 44 - James Litchfield of Mialla, for 320 on Jillamatong Creek.

This material is taken from 'Back to Cooma' pp28-31