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Maria Monument
Maria Monument

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

The monument commemorates the passengers and crew of the Brigantine 'Maria' which was wrecked off Cape Jaffa in 1840 . It is a 2 metre high blue-grey Karataphyre quartz rock, weighing approximately five tons and quarried from natural outcrops on the Keilira property of the late Mr. Peter Vandepeer. The Maria Creek takes its name from this tragedy.

The Maria left Adelaide bound for Hobart on 7 June, 1840. About 28 June it was wrecked off the coast near Lacepede Bay but the crew and passengers managed to get to shore. It appears that the sailors began trying to take advantage of the local Aboriginal women. As a form of reprisal 25 of the 26 survivors were killed. One young girl survived and was looked after by the Ngarranjeri people until eventually handed over to Europeans.

Governor Gawler directed that not more than three members of the presumed guilty tribe, the Milmendjuri clan of the Tanganekald tribe, were to be brought to `summary justice `and executed in front of the tribe. Two were hanged at the site where the European`s bodies had been found.

Gawler`s summary justice provoked attacks from Stevenson of the Adelaide Register, who claimed the Aborigines should have had benefit of a judge and jury trial. The Colonial Office also censured Gawler.


Address:East Terrace , Apex Park , Kingston SE, 5275
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.826359
Long: 139.860787
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:28-June-1840
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1840


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 18th February, 1966
Front Inscription


The Brigantine "Maria" Bound From Port Adelaide To Hobart Was Wrecked On Margaret Brock Reef In June 1840.

Erected by the National Trust of South Australia 

In memory of the survivors who landed near this spot and set out to walk to the nearest settlement at Encounter Bay.

All were murdered by the Milmendjuri Clan of the Tanganekald Tribe of Aborigines near Lakes Albert And Alexandrina.

They were :-
Captain William E. Smith and his Wife.
Passengers Mr & Mrs Samuel Denham and family of five.
Mrs York and infant daughter.
James Strutt.
Mr & Mrs George Greenshield.
Mr & Mrs. Thomas Daniel.
Mr. A. Murray and nine members of the crew.

The two natives who instigated the massacre were executed by a Police party at Pilgari near the scene of the mass murder.

Unveiled by Hurtle Morphett Esq. M.C.
President of the National Trust of South Australia

18th February 1966

Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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