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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Jimmy Taylor

Born: c. 1832; Died: 1864

Ginninderra stockman and Ngunnawal elder, Jimmy Taylor (sometimes known as Jemmy), was a talented cricketer for the Ginninderra teams of the 1850s and 1860s. He was particularly skilled with the bat and in the field.

William Davis (junior) recruited Aboriginal stockmen for his Palmerville estate. He also welcomed them into the first Ginninderra cricket teams he formed. These elevens were hailed as being the best in the colony.

Jimmy's son, Johnny Taylor also played in the Ginninderra teams along with another Ngunnawal man, Bobby Hamilton. All were amongst the best cricketers in the district.

It is reported that in 1863 he and Bobby Hamilton were recruited 'black trackers' when the Boro Mail was held up by bushrangers. The police party was unsuccessful and Captain Battye tried to shift the blame for the escape of the felons onto the trackers.

Taylor was a well-respected Ngunnawal elder who took a variety of leading roles. He was said to have been proficient in bush medicine and was called upon to adjudicate in disputes. He also acted as treasurer when Indigenous people from the district joined with Braidwood Aborigines to hold a joint corroboree in Queanbeyan. Spectators from Queanbeyan and other areas were charged sixpence each and a good sum was raised by Jimmy for his people.

Taylor died unexpectedly of what was probably a heart attack in 1864 after splitting oak logs for Davis. The Queanbeyan doctor was called, but to no avail. He was buried at Spring Creek.

His son Johnny continued in his father's steps, but went on to become an even more widely renowned batsman.

Death notice

Report of the death of Jimmy Taylor at Uriarra.

This blackfellow is well known to the cricketers of Queanbeyan, Yass, Braidwood and elsewhere where he has shown his thorough mastership of that noble game. He was a favourite of the gallant and enterprising captain of the Ginninderra cricketers, William Davis Esq to whom he owed much for that gentleman's untiring exertions in making he what he was – a good cricketer whose play was admired by all true cricketers wherever he went and was a terror to the batsmen on the opposite side. Jimmy Taylor has left behind him a son, Johnny about twelve years of age who is likely to become (under careful training of Mr Davis) one of the best cricketers Australia has yet produced. (Queanbeyan Age 7.4.1864)


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