Collingwood Notables Database
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.
Feild stood for Parliament again in 1889 but George David Langridge and William Beazley were elected. When Langridge died in 1891, Feild tried again but was beaten by John Hancock. He then changed tack and set up in business as an estate agent with an office in the same building as The George Hotel in Johnston Street. Between the economic depression and the costs associated with standing for Parliament, Field became insolvent, a salutary reminder of the difficulties for working class men with political aspirations. He gave as the reasons for his difficulties the depreciation in the value of real estate, business falling off, and pressure from creditors, as well as embezzlement by a clerk he employed during illness. In applying for a certificate of discharge, he explained the pressure from creditors. He had owned property worth £1000; his election expenses in 1890 were £300 and he lodged the title deeds of his property with a bank to secure an overdraft. In 1891 he again contested unsuccessfully and incurred expenses of £150.
Feild, like many councillors, involved himself in various aspects of Collingwood life. He was elected to the Collingwood School Board of Advice in 1882, was an honorary magistrate and was initiated into the Earl of Carnarvon Lodge in October 1884. He chaired the inaugural meeting of the Collingwood branch of the Australian Natives Association.
For many years he lived with his numerous family at Merrimu in Charlotte Street, then moved ‘up the hill’ in the early 1890s to a house at the end of Hoddle Street. (The small section of road which curved between Heidelberg Road and Queens Parade was known as Kilgour Crescent; it was re-aligned when the road overpass was constructed in the 1950s and the three houses situated there have been demolished and the sites replaced by the western carriageway of Hoddle Street.) In 1897 he moved a little further ‘up the hill’ to Rutherglen in Cunningham Street Northcote. He was staying at his son-in-law’s house when he died in 1905.
|Birth Date||Birth Place|
|23 November 1847||Cathkin, Victoria|
|Spouse Name||Date of Marriage||Children|
|Emma Johnson||1869||Emma 1869, Alfred, Edith, Hilda, Effie, Mabel (d.1881), William, Lena, May, Percy (1887-1889)|
|Home Street||Home City||Status of Building|
|26 Charlotte Street||Collingwood||Not identified|
|1 Kilgour Crescent||Clifton Hill||Demolished|
|49 Cunningham Street||Northcote||Demolished|
|Work Street||Work City||Status of Building|
|33 Johnston Street||Collingwood|
|Anglican||Freemason, Earl of Carnarvon Lodge|
|Death Date||Death Place||Cemetery|
|15 May 1905||Ivanhoe||MGC|
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