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48 HANOVER STREET.
REPORTS OF CASES
THE COURT OF SESSION, &c.
12th November 1846.
First Division.—(J.C.) No. 1.-WILLIAM ARMSTRONG, Pursuer, v. EDWARD
THOMAS BAINBRIDGE, Defender. Master and Servant-Gamekeeper-Implied Contract_Pre
sumption-Held that a person engagerl as a gamekeeper on the following terms, viz. “ £11. 55. a quarter, a house, and firing, the keep of a cow summer and winter, a suit of clothes, and a cartload of potatoes in lieu of a garden,” musi be presumed to have been hired by the year, and was not to be held as a monthly sercant, unless a special contract of different endurance were established.
In 1840, Sir James Dalrymple Hay of Park, and others, trustees of the deceased Sir John Heron Maxwell of Springkell, engaged the pursuer, William Armstrong, as gamekeeper upon the estate of Springkell, the terms and conditions of his engagement being, that he was to receive as wages and perquisites, £11. 5s. a quarter, a dwelling-house, with firing, the keep of a cow during summer and winter, a suit of clothes, and a cart-load of potatoes in lieu of a garden.
On entering upon his service, at Whitsunday 1840, accordingly, the pursuer was put in possession of a dwelling-house or cottage at Burnfoot of Springkell, where he and his family went to reside. Under this agreement the pursuer continued to act as gamekeeper on the Springkell estate, under the said trustees, till Whitsunday 1843. At that date the mansion-house of Springkell, and the game on that estate, were let by the trustees to a gentleman named Walker, The pursuer remained as gamekeeper on the estate, continued to possess his cottage, and received his perquisites as formerly, till Mr Walker's death, which happened sometime prior to Martinmas 1843, at which date he received from the trustees payment of the wages then due to him under the original agreement. Mr Bainbridge, the defender, succeeded Mr Walker as tenant of the mansion-house and game on the Springkell estate, the proper term of his entry
being Whitsunday 1844. The pursuer, however, al- leged that Mr Bainbridge actually entered into possession at Martinmas 1843; that for the half-year between that term and Whitsunday 1844, Mr Bainbridge was to pay £20, and the half-year's taxes, and wages of the
gamekeeper, &c.; that the pursuer's service was, without any new agreement, transferred to Mr Bainbridge, and that he, from that date, became Mr Bainbridge's servant, and continued to act as gamekeeper on the estate, in terms of the original contract entered into between him and the trustees.
The pursuer farther alleged that, at Whitsunday 1844, Mr Bainbridge paid him his wages as usual, and did not intimate before that term that the pursuer's service was then to end, or that he was to remove at that term from the cottage, or ground which had been set apart by the Springkell trustees for the pasturage : of his cow.
Finally, the pursuer alleged that, about a fortnight after Whitsunday 1844, Mr Bainbridge intimated to the pursuer verbally that he had no longer any occasion for the pursuer's services, and that the pursuer must give up his situation, and leave his cottage and cow's pasture at the end of a month ; that the pursuer declined to do so; and that he was thereafter ejected from his cottage under a decree pronounced by the Sheriff of Dumfries-shire in a summary application for ejection raised against him by the defender.
In these circumstances the pursuer brought an action against the defender, concluding for payment of each of the four quarters' wages from Whitsunday 1844 to Whitsunday 1845, at the rate of £45 per annum, which he alleged to be due, with the legal interest of each of these quarter's wages from the time when it fell due until paid, besides such a sum as might be deemed sufficient compensation, “ first, for the loss of the pursuer's perquisites as before specified, for the year from Whitsunday 1844 to Whitsunday 1845; and second, for the pursuer's unlawful ejection from his cottage.”
Defences were lodged by Mr Bainbridge, setting forth, inter alia, that before he took possession of the mansion-house and shooting at Springkell, it had been arranged between him and the pursuer that the latter was to remain “ in the service and in the pay of the defender on trial, upon the conditions generally expressed by the terms, 'a month's warning, or a month's wages ;' or, in other words, with a right on the part of the defender to dismiss the pursuer, by giving him notice to quit at the end of the month, or at any time, by
VOL. XIX.-No. I.