Collingwood Notables Database
1815 - 1901
Fellmonger, early settler, subdivider
Jesse Fairchild lived and worked by the banks of the Yarra in Abbotsford. He arrived in Port Phillip in January 1842. Having been a fellmonger in St James Deeping in Lincolnshire, he first acquired a sheep station. However, falling prices sent him to employment at a fellmongers in Melbourne, where he eventually acquired his own business. As the town expanded, such industries could no longer be accommodated in the central area, and Fairchild moved operations to Abbotsford.
c. 1824 - 1907
Convict, colonist, businesswoman
Mary Fairchild (née Fennelly) is an example of an Irish-born convict transported in her teens to Tasmania (then called Van Diemen’s Land), who went on to make a success of her life in Victoria as the respected partner of businessman Jesse Fairchild. The couple lived in a large Yarra-side house in Abbotsford next to Jesse’s Woolthorpe fellmongering works. The 14-acre property was subdivided in the mid 1880s, but the mansion and its garden survived into the twentieth century.
John Pascoe Fawkner
Early settler, Member of Parliament, magistrate
In 1835 Fawkner arrived in Port Philip with a small group of men, and competed with Batman for the title of the ‘founding father’ of Melbourne. Unlike Batman, who died in 1839, Fawkner would live on to be an influence on the developing town and to see it grow into a thriving metropolis. He was very much a self-made man, having travelled to Tasmania with his convict parents at the age of ten, and tried a variety of careers including baker, publican and printer. His energy and involvement in many aspects of the life of Melbourne and Collingwood were legendary. He became a ‘grand old man’ of politics and a Melbourne institution.
William Guard Feild
Cooper, estate agent, councillor, Member of Parliament
Feild was a Collingwood councillor from 1879 to 1887 and again from 1890 until he resigned in June 1894. The first Australian born Collingwood mayor, he held the position in 1881-82 and was MLA for the seat of Collingwood from 1886 to 1889. He was a cooper by trade, following in his father’s footsteps. Feild Street in Clifton Hill was named in his honour, although nowadays it is misspelt, and his name may be seen on the foundation stone of Collingwood Town Hall.
Early settler, shipping agent, farmer
In the 1850s Fennell and his wife Maria, the eldest daughter of Melbourne pioneer John Batman, lived and farmed at Yarra Grange, a riverside property in what is now Abbotsford. While Fennell’s primary business was a shipping agency, at Yarra Grange the couple produced fruit and vegetable crops, and ran dairy cows. Several of their children were born on the property.
Coach builder, blacksmith, wheelwright
John Ferguson, a Scotsman, arrived in Melbourne around 1840 and worked in what was then the essential occupation of blacksmith and coachbuilder. In partnership with George Roberts, he had a city business in Bourke Street and Collingwood premises near the corner of Hoddle Street and Victoria Parade. He and his wife lived in Campbelltown Cottage in Islington Street, next door to the extensive blacksmith’s works shown on surveyor Hodgkinson’s January 1858 map. Although called a cottage, the double-fronted brick house set in garden surrounds was substantial for this area.
c. 1843 - 1899
Playwright, actor, stage director, law clerk, author
Irish-born John Finnamore arrived in Australia in 1860 as a young man of 17 and quickly established himself in the theatre world, both as an actor and the first person to write and publish an original tragedy in Victoria. Apart from a brief interlude in Colac in the late 1870s, he resided in Collingwood and district for much of his life, marrying at St Philip’s Church in Hoddle Street in 1865. His descendants by the name of Arrowsmith continued to live in Collingwood into the middle of the twentieth century.
Tanner and currier, councillor
Flockhart was a Scottish-born Protectionist industrialist. Like many like-minded men of industry, he saw the banks of the Yarra in Abbotsford as a profitable place to establish an industry that relied on a copious supply of running water. Flockhart Street Abbotsford was named in his honour.