Grass Dukes and Shepherd Kings: Decline of the Squattocracy

For anyone interested in the history of the Darling Downs, a visit to the district today is a poignant pilgrimage. Of the houses and homesteads which once offered so much comfort and hospitality only a few have survived. Some burned down long ago. Others were abandoned and left to slowly disintegrate.

The State Library of Queensland has been adding images of the squatter’s homesteads from the Collection onto Historypin. Historypin is an online, user-generated archive of historical photos and personal recollections. Users are able to use the location and date of an image to "pin" it to the map.

More images from the collection will be added to Historypin during the exhibition, and users will be able to see how the Darling Downs have changed since the times of the squattocracy.

Contribute by uploading your own images of the Darling Downs to Historypin, or add your story of the area as a comment on the images already online.

Further reading

  • Nehemiah Bartley, Australian pioneers and reminiscences 1849-1894, Brisbane: Gordon & Gotch, 1896.
  • Opals and agates: or, scenes under the Southern Cross and the Magelhans: being memories of fifty years of Australia and Polynesia, Brisbane: Gordon and Gotch, 1892.
  • Nancy Bonnin (editor), Katie Hume on the Darling Downs: a colonial marriage (Letters of a Colonial Lady 1866-1871), Toowoomba: Darling Downs Institute Press, 1985.
  • William Coote, The History of the colony of Queensland: from its first discovery in 1770 to the close of 1866, Brisbane: F.W. Walker, 1867.
  • Rose Scott Cowen, Crossing dry creeks 1879-1919, Sydney: The Wentworth Press, 1961.
  • Oscar de Satge, Pages from the journal of a Queensland squatter, London: Hurst and Blackett, 1901.
  • David Forbes, ‘Reminiscences of the early days’, in Queensland Geographical Journal, vol. XVI no.2 1900, pp.50-62.
  • Maurice French, Travellers in a landscape: visitors’ impressions of the Darling Downs 1827-1954, Toowoomba: USQ Press, 1994.
  • J.C.H. Gill, ‘Arthur Hodgson, The Centaur who left his sheep’ in Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, vol. XIV, No.2, May 1990, pp. 41-60.
  • Thomas Hall, A Short history of the Downs blacks known as “the Blucher tribe”, Warwick: Warwick Newspaper Co., Ltd., 191[?]
  • Christopher Pemberton Hodgson, Reminiscences of Australia with hints on the squatter’s life, London: W.N. Wright, 1846.
  • Marianne North, Recollections of a happy life: being the autobiography of Marianne North, London & New York: Macmillan, 1892.
  • Henry Stuart Russell, The Genesis of Queensland, London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, 1888.
  • A.W. Stirling, The Never never land; a ride in North Queensland, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1884.
  • Nancy Tow, “Darling Downs – a garden history” in Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, vol. 18, no.8, November 2003 pp. 362-384.
  • Anthony Trollope, Australia and New Zealand, Authorized Australian Edition, Melbourne: George Robertson, 1876.
  • Herbert Millingchamp Vaughan, An Australasian wander-year, London: Martin Secker, 1914.
  • John Watts, Personal reminiscences, Allendale, Wimborne 1901.
    [Unpublished typescript, John Oxley Library ACC 5823]