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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Johnny Taylor

Born: c. 1850; Died: 1875

Ginninderra cricketer and Ngunnawal man, Johnny Taylor played as a youth in the all-conquering Ginninderra teams of the 1860s. He was particularly skilled as a batsman. He was sometimes known as Jacky Taylor.

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.

Johnny was born and raised on Plamerville station, where his father was a drover.

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

His father died unexpectedly from likely heart failure in 1864 and at about this time Johnny left Ginninderra for Tumut, where he took a position as head stockman at Brown's Blowering station. He remained there for five years until he returned to Ginninderra.

Davis was delighted to get his star batsman back into the team. He said:

Johnny Taylor, whom our Braidwood and Yass friends will remember as a boy of fourteen playing with the Ginninderra team against them, has lately returned ... He has become ... a first rate all round player, as his score in the late contest with Queanbeyan will show, he having scored 35 runs for four hits - a feat which I think has never been excelled in the colony

Unfortunately for Ginninderra fans, Taylor was back in Tumut again after just a couple of years. Nevertheless, his exploits with the bat continued to impress spectators throughout southern NSW. One of his prodigious shots was measured as 165 yards and reported by the correspondent for the Gundagai Times.

Like his father, Johnny died prematurely. He contracted measles in 1875 and died.


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