Ann Ruthberg

From Hotels of Ballarat
Ann Ruthberg
Born 1847
Occupation Sly grog seller
Years active 1890-1901
Home town Mount Rowan

Ann Ruthberg was a sly grog seller, near Ballarat, <1890-1901>.

History[edit | edit source]

Ann Ruthberg was born in Ireland in 1847.[1]

Ruthberg was charged with using obscene language in May 1890:

Ann Ruthberg, charged with making use of insulting words to Duncan Urquhart at Mount Rowan, was fined £1, with £2 2s costs, in default a week’s imprisonment.[2]

In August 1890 she was again in dispute with Urquhart:

A resident of Mount Rowan, named Duncan Urquhart, proceeded against a neighbor named Ann Ruthberg, at the City Police Court yesterday, for having made use of obscene language on 28th July last. The complainant also sought to have the defendant bound over to keep the peace. Mr H. S. Barrett appeared for the complainant, and Mr Wanliss for the defence. The defendant had previously been fined for a similar offence. The bench, after hearing the evidence, inflicted a fine of £5, in default two months’ imprisonment, with £4 3s 6d costs. They also ordered the defendant to be bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, in her own recognisance for £25 and one surety of £25.[3]

In August 1890 she was charged with sly grog selling:

Mrs Ann Ruthberg, of Mount Rowan, was proceeded against at the City Police Court yesterday morning, to show cause why certain liquor found on her premises should not be forfeited. The liquor, which consisted of one bottle of whisky and six bottles of hop bitters, was seized by Mr H. Yorke-Rattray, inspector of liquor and excise. The bench ordered the forfeiture of the liquor, but awarded no costs.[4]

In April 1891 there were further charges over her relationship with the Urquharts:

Cases against Ann Ruthberg, a resident of Mount Rowan, for assaulting one James Urquhart and using obscene language, were postponed until Friday next.[5]

Ruthberg was again charged with using obscene language in February 1894:

Ann Ruthberg was charged on the information of Constable Kissane, with using obscene language. The defendant, who pleaded guilty, was fined 1s with 6s costs.[6]

Ann Ruthberg was prosecuted for selling sly grog (alcohol) from unlicensed premises at Mount Rowan, north of Ballarat in 1901:

Inspector Steele proceeded against Ann Ruthberg, of Mount Rowan, for selling liquor without a license. She pleaded guilty, and Inspector Steele stated that the woman lived on the Creswick road, at Mount Rowan, and on the 16th November she sold beer to two travellers. Charles H. Molder, revenue officer, stated that on the date mentioned he called at the house, and was served with beer. Another man who was there was also served. The defendant told witness that she had applied for a license, but was refused, and she stated that the publicans along the road had complained of her doing sly grog selling, but she had -to make her living somehow. She gave them raspberry and tonic beer at first. Mrs Ruthberg made a lengthy and rambling statement, out of which the court could make nothing, and she was fined £25 in default three months. Costs £2 10s 10d.[7]

In March 1904 she was charged with using obscene language:

An elderly woman named Ann Ruthberg was charged with having used obscene language at Mount Rowan on 1st March in the hearing of William Goodie. She pleaded not guilty. Mr T. Robinson, instructed by Mr H. S. Barrett, appeared for the informant, and Mr Lazarus for defendant. The informant, William Goodie, deposed that he was a farm laborer, and resided at Mount Rowan. The defendant’s house was situated at the corner of his mother's paddock. The language complained of was used by defendant while witness was passing along the Creswick Road. George Adams gave evidence to the effect that he was with Goodie on the occasion referred to and heard the language used. The defendant flatly contradicted the evidence of the informant, and said that on the 1st March Goodie had called out to her while she was driving her cows to water. A man named Barker was in Goodie’s company, but not Adams. She had used no bad language, but had subsequently called Goodie a scamp. The bench held that the charge had been proved, and inflicted a fine of 20s, in default seven days’ imprisonment, with 23s 6d costs.[8]

In February 1905 she was back in court after another altercation with the Goodies:

A woman named Ann Ruthberg was charged with setting fire to a furze hedge at Mount Rowan to the danger of Mrs Elizabeth Goodie's property. The defendant pleaded guilty. The evidence showed that on the evening of Tuesday, 24th January, the defendant set fire to a quantity of inflammable material on the roadway, but no damage was done. The charge was altered to one of burning inflammable material on a public road, and the defendant was fined £2, on default 14 days’ imprisonment.[9]

In February 1911 she was again in court after lighting a fire which again threatened the neighbours:

PLAYING WITH FIRE. A WOMAN FINED £15. Melbourne, February 10. A widow, Annie Ruthberg, living at Mount Rowan, was charged at the Ballarat City Court today with endangering the farm properties of Donald Urquhart and Frederick Mitchell by unlawfully igniting hedge clippings on January 23. The defendant admitted that she had lighted a fire inside the boundaries of her own land, but said she did not let it out on the public road. Inspector Ryan informed the court that a fire was started at 1 o'clock in the afternoon of a blazing hot day, and when Mrs Ruthberg was remonstrated with regarding her carelessness, she replied, "Go to - and summons me " Donald Urquhart said when he spoke to the defendant, who was a neighbor, she threatened to knock him down with a stick. She also said it would be time for him to "sing out" when the fire attacked his property. The bench imposed a fine of £15, in default imprisonment for two months. A prior conviction for a similar offence was recorded against the defendant.[10]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ann Ruthberg in the Victoria, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1855, 1864-1924, Reference Description: AU7103-1902 Victoria Police Gazette 1902
  2. 1890 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 3 May, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  3. 1890 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 August, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  4. 1890 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 August, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  5. 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 April, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  6. 1894 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 February, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  7. 1901 'THE POLICE COURTS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 December, p. 5. , viewed 01 Mar 2018,
  8. 1904 'NEIGHBOURS AT VARIANCE', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 March, p. 3. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  9. 1905 'CHARGE AGAINST A WOMAN.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 February, p. 6. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  10. 1911 'PLAYING WITH FIRE.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 11 February, p. 15. , viewed 02 Jun 2019,

External links[edit | edit source]