« ZurückWeiter »
year, or 19s. an acre, could be obtained for it, instead of the 1,720l. Mr. Scarlett concluded by observing, that it was a too common practice with persons having estates to sell, to put in a tenant at an enormous rent, under which the sale is made at a proportionally high price, and the purchaser thus becomes a great sufferer. He must say, that the conduct of the defendant in this case was at least extremely negligent, if it did not deserve a more gross construction. Mr. Gurney called a multitude of witnesses in support of the Statement. The solicitor to the plaintiff deposed, that he employed Mr. Wiggins, the defendant, to make a survey of the estate; and in consequence of his favourable report, the plaintiff advanced the sum of 14,975l. ; 4,000l. of which was applied to pay off the previous mortgage on the estate in question, and the remainder was paid over to Mrs. Bourne for an annuity of 1,350l., upon three lives. This was in the early part of 1814; and in the following year Jones the tenant failed. Mr. John Mossop, the present tenant, deposed, that at the time of the transaction in 1814, the land was not worth more than 12s. an acre, and its utmost value at the present moment was 17s. per acre. Mr. Morgan the actuary stated, that the annuity granted to Mr. Oakes was worth 22,853l. , Mr. Sergeant Pell for the defendant submitted, that the plaintiff's loss had not arisen from the negligence of his client, but from the want of caution on the part
of the plaintiff himself and his solicitor, who ought, before they advanced so large a sum as 15,000l. on the security. of 560 acres of fen-land, already burthened with a mortgage to the amount of 7,000l. to have made more minute inquiries than they had done. George Mill stated, that he had occupied the farm in question from 1810 to 1813, at the annual rent of 1,300l. Land in Deeping Fen during that time fetched generally at the rate of from two guineas to 56s. per acre. Mr. de Brune stated, that in 1811 he was desired by Mrs. Bourne to look out for a tenant for her Deeping Fen estate. He accordingly did so, and found a gentleman who commissioned him to offer 23,000l., which sum Mrs. Bourne refused to take. Mr. Yateman, on one occasion, when speaking of Jones, represented him as a very intelligent clever man. In the latter end of 1813 and beginning of 1814 there was a great fall in the value of land. ..Mr. Settree, the solicitor, stated that in 1814 he was instructed to prepare a lease of the farm in question, between Mrs. Bourne and Mr. Jones; and at the time he believed it to be a genuine bond fide transaction. Mr. Topham, a farmer occupying 220 acres in the Deeping Fens, stated that his farm was within half a mile of the estate in question; and during 20 years occupation of it, he paid for the first 11 years 22s. an acre, but for the subsequent term 30s. an acre. Richard Jones, the tenant in possession at the period in question, stated that he took the estate of Messrs. Bourne in the spring of 1812. Remembered the defendant's coming to the farm in the latter end of April, 1814, to make his survey. He arrived between 10 and 11 in the morning, and went away again about the same hour next morning. Since then had not seen int until July last, when he was subpoenaed as a witness on this trial. During that interval he never had an
communication with the ... ant whatever. When defendant came to survey the estate, he employed himself in looking over the lands and making his calculations from the moment of his arrival until a late hour in the evening, with the exception of meal time. Defendant spoke only generally of the drainage. The height of the lands was 15 feet above the sea.—Cross-examined: witness gave the defendant all the information in his power respecting the estate, and the calculation of its value. He never received a shilling of the money paid by the plaintiff; but he admitted that Mrs. Bourne had lent him 10,000l., which was part of the very money in question. In a month afterwards he repaid her 3,363l. 15s. 6d., and with the remainder he embarked in mercantile concerns on his own account, in the Mediterranean, where he remained for 12 months. He had since remitted two cargoes to Mrs. Bourne, which he considered would cover his debt. Notwithstanding which, this lady had lately taken the benefit of the Insolvent Act. When he left the farm upon his mercantile adventures, he left Topham, one of the
other witnesses, to manage it, and gave him 190l. for that purpose. Re-examined.—He had not the least reason on earth to believe that the defendant was acquainted with the transactions between himself and Mrs. Bourne. Mr. Scarlett in reply, admitted that the defendant was wholly free, upon the evidence, from any imputation of fraud or corrupt conduct; but in point of law, he contended that he was liable to the plaintiff for the loss the latter sustained by this transaction, to the amount of 9,000l., in consequence of his (the defendant's) negligence and inattention to the interests of his employer. The Chief Justice, in summing up the case to the Jury, thought that the solicitor, upon whom observations had been made, had, according to the evidence, acted fairly and honourably towards his client, who could seek redress
Collo and Michael Hare, were placed at the bar, having been committed from Hatton-garden as convicted rogues and vagabonds, for the purpose of receiving such further imprisonment as the Court should deem it proper to inflict. Mr. Blundell, who represented the Society for the Suppression of Mendicity on this occasion, called the attention of the chairman particularly to the case of Nicholson. He stated, that this man had manifested a determination to continue the trade of begging at every hazard, and trusted, when the Court should hear the circumstances, they would award an exemplary punishment. It appeared, that on two several occasions the prisoner had been afforded an opportunity to return to Sweden, o: native country; and in the first instance, j. the medium of the consul, the passage had been actually paid; notwithstanding which, having found the trade of begging so lucrative, he escaped from the ship and returned to his former practices; and since then had been convicted no less than six times, and as frequently refused to be conveyed home. His foreign accent and artful demeanour had successfully operated on most of the persons whom he accosted, and especially females, who were glad to give him money to be rid of his importunity. The evidence having been taken, the Court ordered a further imprisonment of three months.
Francisco Collo was ordered to
be imprisoned one month, and
Michael Hare two months, in the
House of Correction. -
dell stated, that upon a solemn promise of the prisoner to proceed forthwith on his way to his parish, a sum of money had been furnished to bear his expenses on the road; but in about an hour after, he was found begging from door to door in a very different direction, and relating a very lamentable tale to excite the commiseration of the public, by which he had succeeded in a very few minutes to collect more money than an honest distressed man with a large family usually obtains from his parish as a weekly allowance; and he trusted, if the magistrates would second the exertions of the society, the public would soon be convinced of the impropriety of indiscriminate almsgiving.
Berthon and Costar v Loughman and another.—This was an action on a policy of insurance effected by Messrs. Berthon and Costar, on the ship Madre de Dios, on the 31st of January 1812, at and from Pernambuco to St. Michael, in consequence of a letter from Senor Antonio de
Vasconcellos, dated December 12, 1811. The interest was averred to be in Vasconcellos. The ‘ vessel was lost on a shoal not far from Pernambuco on September 5, 1811. The defendant pleaded that he was not liable, on which
point issue was joined.
Mr. Scarlett, for the plaintiffs, stated, that in order to the proper understanding of this case, it would be requisite that he should make a few preliminary observa192
tions on the intercourse which passed between Pernambuco and St. Michael. The latter island was celebrated for its fruit, and vessels from every nation frequented it from the month of October to the end of January, so that communication with it was not difficult during that time; but if you had any correspondent there, it was almost impossible to hear from him during the remaining period of the year. If the difficulty of communication was so great between Great Britain and St. Michael, it was clear that it would be still greater between Pernambuco and the same place, inasmuch as the trade between them would be much less considerable than that carried on between Great Britain and St. Michael. Besides, if the communication was not made direct between Pernambuco and St. Michael, it was much retarded by having to make a circuit by way of Lisbon, from whence to St. Michael no regular post or packet has ever been established. This information might render the facts of the case which he had to open to them more clear and intelligible. They were sim
ly these: Senor Antonio de
asconcellos and Senor Nicolayo de Marcio, during the year 1811, sent a vessel laden with fruit from St. Michael to Pernambuco, from which place she was to return as soon as possible. Senor Nicolayo de Marcio effected an assurance on his share of the vessel and cargo in August 1811, out and home from St. Michael to Pernambuco. In December of the same year Vasconcellos determined to do the same on the
homeward voyage from Pernambuco on his share, and in consequence wrote the plaintiffs on the 12th of that month to insure 2,000l. on the hull and 1,500l. on the cargo, on his account. This letter arrived in London in January 1812; and the policy was effected at the close of that year by a gentleman at present in the Brazils on his own private business. In April 1812, intelligence was received in London that the Madre de Dios had sailed from Pernambuco on the 3rd of September, and had been lost a few days afterwards. The underwriters immediately exclaimed— “Mr. Vasconcellos must have known that his vessel was wrecked at the time when he insured it; therefore we will resist the payment of the insurance.” But this was not the case, as it could be proved that no communication had taken place in the interval between Pernambuco and St. Michael. “Allowing that to be true,” continue the underwriters, “still Mr. Vasconcellos must have known that his vessel was out of time, and therefore ought to have communicated that circumstance to us.” But that objection was equally untenable with the former, because he would show from depositions taken on the spot, that the voyage from St. Michael to Pernambuco is not, upon an average, performed in less than 70 or 80 days; that it is usual for vessels to wait at the latter place from two to five months to obtain a cargo; and that it is not customary at the former to look upon a vessel as missing, because she does not finish her return voyage beft:
stance to the persons who underwrote the vessel ? He was confident that he should adduce such testimony as would lead them to decide both questions in his favour. On the first point he had already spoken; and as to the second he would observe, that Messrs. Berthon and Costar had communicated all the intelligence which they had regarding the ship to the underwriters, by communicating to them the letter which they had received from Vasconcellos, and which simply stated, that as he had just learned from his friend Nicolayo, that his (Nicolayo's) share in the Madre de Dios was ensured, he requested them to ensure his share in it also. The vessel was then at Pernambuco on her return to the island of St. Michael. Mr. Scarlett then put in several depositions taken at St. Michael, tending to prove that the loss of the Madre de Dios was not known there at the time when Vasconcellos wrote the letter of 12th December; that the captain of the vessel had never written more than one letter to his owners regarding the time of his return, whilst at Pernambuco; and that eight months was not more than the usual period for completing the voyage out and back again. Vol. LXI.
It was also proved, that Nicolayo de Marcio had effected his ensurance in August 1811. Mr. Marryat, for defendant, submitted, that the question which the jury had to decide was, whether a proper communication regarding the fate of the vessel had been made to the underwriters. He maintained that there had not been any such communication. First of all, the vessel was not at Pernambuco at the time of effecting the ensurance, as stated in the plaintiff's letter; then, there was no statement when she had arrived there, how long she had been there, or at what time she intended to set sail from thence on her return. Six months, he had been given to understand, was more than the average time of making the voyage between St. Michael and Pernambuco; indeed, that period was sufficient to make the same voyage from the Thames to Pernambuco and back again, which was a much greater distance. A hundred and ninetyfive days had elapsed before Mr. Vasconcellos thought of making this assurance; and then, forsooth, it was not because he thought the vessel missing, but because he had just heard that his friend Nicolayo had ensured his share. What rendered this circumstance more suspicious, was, that he was in the habit of seeing Nicolayo daily; and that he knew that a shipment was ready for him at Pernambuco : so that he must have expected the vessel to have returned, if all had been safe, before the time on which he wrote to have the policy effected. On these grounds he O maintained