“I am, Sir, &c., Tom Coward”

By Heather Burke Thomas (Tom) Coward was described as many things throughout his life: a ‘thoroughly good explorer’, an ‘experienced bushman’, ‘remarkable and interesting’, tyrannical, irascible, belligerent and domineering. He is one of the better documented NMP officers, chiefly because in his later years he seems to have told his life story to anyone who […]

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The Unwanted Arm: Westley Richards 20g Double Barrel Pinfire Carbine

By Tony Pagels This blog tells the story of a weapon purchased in 1867 specifically for the Native Mounted Police (NMP): the Westley Richards breech-loading, double-barrelled, 20 bore, Lefaucheux-action, pinfire carbine (Figure 1). This weapon possessed a number of advantages over the percussion single- and double-barrel, muzzle-loading carbines the NMP were using at the time. […]

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Archaeologist Nights: A Tale of One Thousand and One* Artefacts

By Uschi Artym *Actually, it’s a tale of 3600 artefacts, or thereabouts, and counting! I’m happy to report that, after 18 long months, the cataloguing of artefacts from the Boulia Native Mounted Police (NMP) site is almost complete. While the process has been lengthy — and at times tedious — cataloguing is arguably one of […]

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‘The Art of Cookery is in a Most Barbarous State’*: Food on the Frontier

By Heather Burke Jane Fyfe, who accompanied her husband Alexander to his large pastoral run on the Mackenzie River Central Qld in 1862, neatly summed up the state of food on the frontier when she complained in a letter to her aunt: … We have plenty of fish and game and splendid mutton but nothing […]

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Building an Online Database about the Native Mounted Police

By Lynley Wallis As 2018 draws to a close (though we do have one more Christmas themed blog post to come…) we thought it was time to let you know about another initiative of our Native Mounted Police (NMP) project: an online database that we are hoping (or planning … we’re not sure which is […]

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Masculinity and Sexuality on the Colonial Frontier

By Cherrie De Leiuen Hubert Durham was born in Wales in 1854, the son of Major Philip Francis Durham, a wealthy Englishman. In 1877 he signed on as a Sub-Lieutenant in the 1st Royal Lancashire Militia, resigning his commission in May 1882. Shortly after that he emigrated to Australia, and joined the Native Mounted Police […]

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