Fire causes the horses to bolt

26th November 1822

On this day, 26th November 1822. William Lawson arrives at Allan Cunningham’s camp and is told how the horses bolted after an accidental fire frightened them. 1 2

The men had tethered the packhorses, as they thought, securely for the night, and having lighted their camp fire, were resting near it when the fire caught some dry leaves and spread to the trunk of a large tree, which soon burned rapidly. Before long it fell heavily to the ground and the crash of the smouldering branches frightened the packhorses so much that they broke loose and got free in the bush. Evidently they were not caught again, for Cunningham states in his letters that through this occurrence all his plans were defeated and he was compelled to return to Bathurst. 3

  1. Source: John Whitehead Cunningham’s Pandora’s Pass Tracking & Mapping the Explorers 1823. 2nd ed. Print. p30-31[]
  2. Source: W.G. McMinn Allan Cunningham, Botanist and Explorer. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne UP, 1970. 17. Print.[]
  3. Source: Ida Lee (Marriott) Allan Cunningham. Early Explorers in Australia, London: Methuen, 1925. Print.[]