Agnes EdwardsPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by David Magee

The headstone over the grave, erected by the Australian Natives Association, commemorates Agnes Edwards (c.1873 - 1928). 

About 1890 'Black Aggie', as she was sometimes known, married Harry Edwards, a much older Muti Muti man, probably through traditional marriage arrangements. She became widely known in the district as 'Queen Aggie' after 1897 when she was introduced to the governor Lord Hopetoun at the local show.

Edwards used her people's traditional skills to earn her living. Her ability to adapt old knowledge to a new market and her appearance, enterprise and character made a lasting impact. She and Nicholls fished, netted or trapped and sold fish, freshwater crayfish and mussels, wild duck, rabbits and other game as well as eggs. She excelled, however, in creating hand-made craft articles, especially her very fashionable feather flowers.

Agnes Edwards died on 17 November 1928 at her home and was buried in Swan Hill cemetery with Church of Christ forms. She had been a popular figure in the wider community. 

A well-known aboriginal queen, the last of her line, passed away at her camp, near Swan Hill, recently. Black Aggie was generally recognised by the aborigines of the lower Riverina as their queen. She was respected by whites for her industrious nature, and was a proficient artist in the manufacture of bouquets from the feathers of native birds. During the "Back to Swan Hill Week" in 1922, when Lord and Lady Stradbroke were visiting the town, Aggie presented Lady Stradbroke with a magnificent feather bouquet as a token of loyalty to the King and Queen of the British Empire. She was 58 years of age.
Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW), 15 December 1928. 

In this Centenary year we are collecting relics of the blacks more zealously than ever. From Swan Hill we have now a pictorial record of the last queen of the Moolpa tribe Agnes Edwards — to whose memory a monument was erected by the local branch of the Australian Natives' Association.  Queen Aggie died in 1928. She was a picturesque figure. One of her accomplishments was making flowers from the feathers of parrots and other birds.
The Herald (Melbourne), 10 March, 1934. 


Address:Coronation Avenue, Swan Hill Cemetery, Swan Hill, 3585
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.355031
Long: 143.5527
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In memory of Agnes Edwards

Last Queen of Moolpa Tribe of Aboriginals.

Died Nov. 1928.

Erected by Swan Hill Branch A. N. A.

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