Benjamin H. Fernald

From Hotels of Ballarat
Benjamin H. Fernald
Occupation Publican
Years active 1859-1861
Known for Pitfield Hotel
Home town Pitfield

Benjamin H. Fernald was a publican in Pitfield, Victoria, <1859-1861>.

History[edit | edit source]

Fernald was the publican of the Pitfield Hotel at Pitfield from at least October 1859.[1]

In June 1861. He was charged by the local doctor, Dr. Watkins, for allowing his pigs to wander:

Benjamin H. Fernald was charged with allowing his swine to wander on the road. Not guilty; Mr Booker for the defendant. Dr Watkins sworn, deposed-I am a justice of the peace, residing at Pitfield. I saw 14 of defendant's pigs on the road on the occasion referred to. Cross-examined-I see the pigs there every day. I know they get there of their own accord. They came from defendant's premises I swear they were not driven there by my children. I never told my children to drive them there. I may have said I would get rid of my own pigs, and then walk into those on the township, as I intended to impound them. I never laid poison for pigs; nor gave the police poison to do so, nor for any purpose. I had notice from the police to keep my pigs in and I did so; hut they would not take notice of defendant's pigs for me. They are very frequently in my garden, destroying it, in fact, nearly every day. I am not on the best of terms with the defendant, nor with the police. The Bench said there was some difficulty in the case, as part of the penalty would go to the informer, and no other witness was brought forward. Dr Watkins said, that any portion of the fine which he was entitled to should be put in the poor box. He could bring a witness if the case was postponed. Mr Booker for defendant, also wished the case postponed, that he might bring forward a witness for the defence. After some conversational remarks, Dr Watkins withdrew the case, saying he would bring another. He only wanted the pigs to be kept in. Mr Booker asked for costs, but the Bench refused to award them.[2]

At the same court hearing, Fernald was called by Dr. Watkins as a witness in a case against another local doctor, Dr. Currie.[2] This followed a very bizarre incident at the hotel.

In July 1861 Dr. Watkins again took action over the incident with Fernald's pigs. On this occasion he was attempting to charge the local policeman with perjury after evidence given at the first case. The policeman had said that the doctor's children were the ones chasing the publican's pigs:

"...I heard Constable Pickering swear, " I saw your children drive pigs of Mr Fernald on the road." That statement was false. I positively swear it was false. That the pigs were not driven there by my children. I think it would be impossible that my children could have done it without my seeing it. Was on the township on the day and hour, at the time in fact. My children were not on that part of the township or near the pigs at the time. I called the attention of Constable Pickering to the pigs being on the road. Constable Jordain was present. He could not have seen them without seeing my children if they had driven the pigs on the road. I saw the pigs come out of the yard, and watched them I until they got on the road, keeping the constable in conversation the while. The public house is flush with the road. If prisoner swore the house is ten yards from the road he swore false, and knew it..."[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1859 'CIRCUIT COURT.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 11 October, p. 2. , viewed 28 Oct 2018,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1861 'LINTON POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 29 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 28 Oct 2018,
  3. 1861 'LINTON POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 30 July, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 29 Oct 2018,

External links[edit | edit source]