Today, people best know Murrurundi as a small settlement just before the New England Highway leaps up the Liverpool Range. In fact, this was frontier country.
In 1829 Governor Darling attempted to control the limits of settlement by proclaiming 19 counties surrounding Sydney. Murrurundi lay on the northern edge. To go further north meant being outside the rule of law.
The move failed. Wool boomed in 1830 and settlement spread rapidly.
Those going beyond the bounds of settlement became known as squatters because they were squatting on the land without license or payment.