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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Photo shows cow resolving dispute
Jenny the heifer and Fred Jewell - courtesy of photographs of Cornwall
The photograph was taken by George Ellis from Bodmin
A photo on a Cornish archive containing thousands of images of the county has brought to light a bizarre story.

The story of Jenny the heifer dates from 1940, when she is credited with settling a court dispute between two Cornish farmers over who owned her.

The judge adjourned the court to a field and when the cowman called to her she came and climbed on his back.

A photo of Jenny, climbing on Fred Jewell's back, is one of thousands of historic images on the site.

'Most unusual'

Terry Knight, principal librarian at the Cornwall Centre, said: "The website contains all manner of fascinating photographs, but the story which prompted this one is possibly the most unusual."

The dispute over Jenny started when one farmer accused another of detaining the animal unlawfully.

The local paper at the time reported that His Honour Judge Scobell Armstrong, speaking at Camelford County Court, said even though Jenny was not on oath "she appeared to think she was".

"She gave her evidence in a manner as eloquent as any human witness I have ever seen in the witness box. I accept Jenny's evidence," he said.

The photograph was taken by the late George Ellis of Bodmin, whose collection of about 115,000 images is owned by the Cornwall Centre.

The centre is the home of the Cornish Studies Library, which specialises in researching and archiving the county's history.

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