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Mr. Sergeant Vaughan now moved for a rule to shew cause, why the verdict should not be set aside, and a new trial granted.
The lord chief justice (after consulting with the court for some time) said, I am clearly of opinion, that my direction to the jury was correct, and all my learned brothers fully concur with me. The company could not be brought within the meaning of the Bubble act, for one of their resolutions expressly provided that no transfer or sale of shares should be made, until an act of parliament was first obtained.
This plaintiff was inclined to become a speculator, and had he speculated in an illegal company, he most undoubtedly could not have recovered; but I cannot see that the provisions of the 6th of Geo. 1st affect this company. Nothing was to be done, no shares transferred, till the sanction of the legislature was obtained. While things were in this state, the defendant thinks proper to effect this sale. He sold "a nothing," and it was no justification for him to say, that he had previously bought that "nothing" of another party. Let him then seek redress of that party, and thus go on till we get at the original sinners. There is no pretence whatever for granting the rule.
The other judges concurred, and the rule was refused.
Liability Of DrsEcroRs Of
Harris and another v. Pcrring.
Mr. Sergeant Wilde stated the case for the plaintiffs. This was an action for work and labour done, and money had and received on account of the plaintiffs. The demand in question arose out of the insertion in the newspapers of sundry advertisements relating to certain Joint-stock Companies, of which the defendant was a director. The sum claimed was about 330/. The present plaintiffs were the executors of the late Mr. Newton, who had an establishment in London for receiving advertisements for the newspapers. Mr. Perring, the defendant, was a merchant of the city of London, well known as a man of property and undoubted respectability. He had been selected as a defendant in the present case, principally on account of the respectability of his character. The defendant was one of the directors of a Joint-stock company known by the name of the Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex Railway Company. He was likewise director of another association, denominated the Cornwall and Devonshire Tin and Mining Company. The sum duefrom theNorfolk, Suffolk, and Essex railway company for advertisements, was 243Z. 5s. lOd.; and that for the Cornwall and Devonshire mining association, 99/- 9*. 6d.
Mr. John Wood, secretary to the Cornwall and Devonshire tin and mining company, was then called and examined. He deposed, that the association was formed in April 1825, when witness was appointed secretary. He knew Mr. Phillip Perring, the present defendant;that gentleman was one of the directors of the company. I was present (continued the witness) at the first meeting of the company, and saw Mr. Perring there/ On that occasion he acted as a director. I have since seen him at several meetings of the directors acting in the same capacity, He continued to attend
and act as a director up to September last. I know that advertisements were inserted in the newspapers relative to the company, and that Messrs. Newton were employed for that purpose. As secretary, I gave orders repeatedly for the insertion of advertisements. I was authorised to do so by the directors. My authority will appear, if the minute-book of the society is examined. Those advertisements were published according to my direction, and the bills for them were furnished by Messrs. Newton. The accounts will be found among the papers of the company. The bills (now produced) were delivered. There are two or three of them; they were laid on the directors' table once or twice. Three payments were made on account of them. I can't precisely say how much was paid.
The bills for advertisements for the Cornwall and Devon company I now hold in my hand. The first account begins on the 4th of April, and ends June 7; its amount is 378/. 12*. 6d. The next is from the 8th of June to the 1st of August, and amounts to 123/. 14*. 7d. The last is from August 9 to September 11, and is for 57/- 4*. 8|rf., making a total of 559/. 11*. 9i^
Mr. George Sheldrake examined —I was secretary to the Norfolk, Sussex, and Essex railway company. IJ was appointed on the 28th September, 1825, and acted till last March. I had been clerk before. Mr. Perring attended about one and twenty of the meetings. Mr. Perring acted as a director. He did not belong to the committee of accounts. There was a committee of traffic; he acted on that. A balance sheet of the concerns of the company was made out. It was prepared by a person named Vol. LXVIII.
Wilks, in the presence of the directors. This is a copy of it; it was printed and sent round to the proprietors. I saw Newton and Co.'s bills for advertisements presented. There were three or four bills sent in while I was there. There is an account in the balance sheet for advertisements amounting to 492/. 15*. 5d. Newton and Co. were the only personsemployed to insert advertisements. 492/. was the'amount of their bills, and a balance of 292/. 15*. 5d. remained due to them, 200/. having been paid.
Mr. Sergeant Vaughan, with whom was Mr. Campbell, addressed the jury for the defence: contending that his client had nothing to do with the company in August 1825, when the debt was incurred.
Under the direction of the lord chief justice, a verdict was then entered for the plaintiff, for 99l9*. 6d., the amount of their demand in respect to the Cornwall and Devonshire Mining Company.
In another action, a verdict was taken for the plaintiffs, in respect to the Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex railway, for 49/. 9*- 7d. (the sum claimed), and in regard to the Cornwall and Devonshire Mining Company, for 57/. 4*. 8d., a total of 106/. 14*. 3d.
Libel.—Court Op King's
Buckingham v. W. J. Banks, Esq. M. P. This was an action brought by the plaintiff, who is the proprietor of the Oriental Herald, to recover from the defendant compensation in damages, for loss and injury sustained by the plaintiff in.
consequence of the defendant having published a false and scandalous libel of and concerning the plaintiff. The defendant pleaded Not Guilty, and also put upon the record several pleas justifying the several parts of the alleged libel.
The following evidence was given for the plaintiff.:
H. W. Hobhouse.—I was in the civil service of the East-India company. I think, because my writing is on it, that I received the letter now produced. I received it from the plaintiff at Trieste, in the year 1819- The letter was unsealed when I received it, in an inclosure. Before I received it I had some conversation with the defendant about it, but I do not remember the particulars. I think the defendant told me, that he had seen the plaintiff in Syria, that the plaintiff was going to publish a work —that he, the defendant, considered the plaintiff's conduct unfair towards him, that he had written a letter to the plaintiff from Thebes, and that he would send me a copy of it. He did send me the copy in a few days inclosed in the letter now produced.
The letter was here read, it was dated November the 16th, 1819, and was to the following effect:—
"Dear Sir—I have found the rough draft of the letter, which I wrote to Buckingham, when I first saw his advertisement in the Calcutta newspaper. I send it to you inclosed. There may be a few verbal alterations, since I kept no duplicate. I wish you to show it to my friend Mr.———, at Aleppo, and to Mr. and Mrs. Rich, at Bagdad. You may make what use you think proper of it; but if, on your arrival in India, you find the work withdrawn, it
will be better perhaps to be merciful to him.
"W. J. Bankes." The following libel was then put in and read:—
Letter to Mr. Buckingham,dated from Thebes, June 12, 1819-
"Mr. Buckingham—After some anecdotes respecting your conduct, which you cannot but suspect must have come, however late, to my knowledge before this time, you cannot expect that I should address you otherwise than I should the lowest of mankind. It is indeed with reluctance that I stoop to address you at all. It will require, however, no long preface to acquaint you with the object of this letter, since your own conscience will point it out to you from the moment that you shall recognise a hand writing, which must be familiar to you, since you have copied it, and are about to turn the transcript to account. You have hoped that the distance of place would befriend you —-you have hoped that I should shrink from proclaiming that I have been imposed upon. It would have been far more politic in you to have shrunk from being proclaimed the man who has imposed.
"In that advertisement, by which you announce as your own the works of another, you have at least spared me the humiliation of being named in the list of your friends. Though the motive of this is sufficiently obvious, and it furnishes in itself both a proof and an aggravation of your culpability, yet some of those who are made to appear in that list would rather, I am persuaded, that you had invaded their property as you have mine, than have subjected them to so unmerited a stigma; oneamongst the number (whom you wouldnothave dared even to allude to had he been alive) is unhappily unable to repel the imputation in his own person, I mean the late Mr. Burkhardt, whom you so imprudently cite as your bosom friend. The boast is rash and ill-timed.
"Are you not aware that copies of a letter are extant, in which he styles you a villain; in which he says that the rogue can be brought to a sense of duty only by a kick? Do you wish then to publish your own disgrace, by letting the world know how well you were known to that excellent person, who, during the two last years of his life, lost no opportunity of testifying his contempt and aversion for your character.
"Do not imagine that these sentiments were confined to the page of a single letter. Sheik Ibrahim was too open and too honourable to wish others to be deceived, as he had been for a time himself. Had his letters to me reached me sooner than they did, I should have had timely warning to beware how I trusted you, and you would never have had that opportunity which you have seized of abusing my kindness and confidence.
"It is beneath me to expostulate with you, but I will state some facts to yourself which I have already stated to others—that the journey beyond Jordan to Dgerask and Omkais was arranged, and the Arabs under engagement to conduct me thither before I ever saw you; that you introduced yourself to me by a letter, stating that you were intimate with some of my best friends, and studiously concealing from me (both then and
afterwards) that you were in any person's employ; that it was at my invitation (I being always under the supposition that you were a free agent) that you went with me, having previously agreed to take down my notes and the journal when I should wish it; that the whole expenses of that journey were upon me; that the notes and journal were in great part taken down from my mouth (especially what relates to Dgerask), with the exception of that of the two or three last days, which were written with my own hand, and afterwards copied fair by you; but above all, that the plan of the ruins at Dgerask was constructed and noted with my own hand, and that all the assistance that I derived from you, even in collecting the materials for it, was in your ascertaining for me the relative bearings of some of the buildings with my compass; that as to the plan of the theatre, you did not even know that I had made it till you saw it at Nazareth.
"It is hardly necessary to remind you that you neither copied a single inscription, nor made a single sketch on the spot, since you are, I know, incapable of the one, and your ignorance of Latin and Greek must, I should suppose, unfit you for the other; add to which you had not a.k single sheet of paper on which you could have done either, if I except a pocketbook about four inches square.
"The great ground plan was traced at a window of the convent at Nazareth (as both my servants can testify), and you have copies from my drawings at the tombs at Omkias, taken at the same time. These last are probably to furnish the vignettes and appropriate engravings which are announced.
"Surely you must laugh at the simplicity of your subscribers when you are alone, with whom you are to pass for a draughtsman, being ignorant of the very first principles of design; for an accurate copier of inscriptions, being ignorant of all the ancient languages; and for an explainer of antiquities, being incapable of even distinguishing between the architecture of the Turks and the Romans. I have said enough. It is in vain to attempt to make a man sensible of ingratitude who has been guilty of fraud.
"What I demand is, the immediate restitution of those copies from my papers, without exception, and without your retaining any duplicates of them. Let them be put into the hands of sir Evan Nepean, whom I have begged that he will do me the favour to take charge of them; and let all that portion of the work advertised that treats of a journey made at my expense, and compiled from my notes, be suppressed. I leave you otherwise to take the consequence: should you persist, the matter shall be notified in a manner that shall make your character as notorious in England and India as it is already in Egypt and Syria. You will find that you have not duped an obscure individual, who is obliged to bear it and hold his tongue. Wm. J. Bankes.
"When this letter was written, I did not know that the person to whom it is addressed was editor of the paper in which his long-winded advertisement appeared, but supposed him to be still at Bombay.
Several letters, which passed between the plaintiff and the defendant, in 1816, were put in and read, in order to shew the
terms on which the parties were, and the favourable opinions expressed by the defendant of the plaintiff. The advertisement in the Calcutta Journal, announcing the appearance of his book, was also put in and read.
John Murray.—I am a publisher in London. The manuscript now produced I received about five or six years ago; when I parted with it, I believe it was given by Mr. Clerk to Dr. Babington; this was some months after I received it.
Cross-examined.—At the time I got the manuscript back from Dr. Babington, I had not seen the letter Mr. Bankes sent to Mr. Hobhouse; Mr. Buckingham sent me two or three portfolios of drawings and engravings; can't say how many drawings; there were more than two; might be five or six; the rest consisted of old French engravings. Those produced are some of the old engravings.
Dr. Babington.—I am a physician; have travelled in the East; I became acquainted there with Mr. Buckingham in April, 1815; we travelled together in the East; in that year I saw Mr. Buckingham copy inscriptions in India; I have never seen him make drawings or sketches; I saw Mr. Buckingham in Madras, in April, 1818, where I have seen manuscript notes of his travels; I believe I have seen those now produced, but I can't say positively; the books in which the notes from which the account of Djerask was drawn up were small ones like those now produced. When I returned to this country, I went to Mr. Murray's, in order to look after Mr. Buckingham's interest. I got the manuscript now produced from Mr. Murray in the end of January or the beginning of February,