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Lampleigh proceeded to set forth the story which he had intended to tell the King himself if he had been permitted—the story of Brathwait's feud with Pat Mahune, and how Pat would have killed Brathwait if he had not killed Pat first, and the various other extenuating circumstances which he had heard proved at the trial.
“I will go," the other said again, "and bring you back word what the King says.'
He soon, however, came back and said : “His Majesty is not well enough to see me, sir.” Lampleigh did not know whether or no to believe that he had even attempted to see the King. But there seemed nothing further to be said or done, and he went sorr
orrowfully away, mounted his horse, and rode in a slow and thoughtful manner back towards London.
he had prepared himself with money before setting out, anticipating that he might be put to some expense, when he came to the royal quarters, in obtaining admission to the Presence. He was therefore able to pay for the accommodation which he had asked from the landlord and for some much-needed refreshment for himself, which he obtained and devoured while his new horse was being fed, in anticipation of an unusually hard ride. What Lampleigh hoped to do was to enter the gates of the City before dark, hear the news of the session, ascertain the whereabouts of the King, and endeavour to obtain admission to the Presence either the same night or the first thing in the morning.
When Lampleigh came out to view his new mount, be was rather disappointed. His host had provided him with a somewhat heavy-limbed white mare--more accustomed to harness than to the saddle—and not a likely looking animal for a hard ride. However, no better brute was to be had in Roiston ; so Lampleigh made the best of her, the condition of his own bay being such as to preclude the possibility of his again performing the journey this night.
As it happened, the white mare did better than anything which he expected of her, and in the end he cantered into the City just before the fall of night.
Lampleigh at once made his way to a tavern near the Guildhall to learn the latest news of the session; the prisoners it appeared had now all been tried, save two, and it was supposed that the sentences would probably be passed in the course of the morning or early afternoon of the next day. This news would not have been so disquieting had it not been for the further intelligence which he next obtained that the King was certainly not in London that night. Nor could he, despite all his endeavours, discover where in fact the King at this moment was.
He determined, therefore, to ride back to his own house-a friend, to whom he had confided his story, volunteering to lend him another horse in the morning. So he went home; and slept such a sleep as that which is accustomed to reward those who pursue violent exercise.
By the morning the problem of the King's whereabouts was solved. When he had left Roiston, His Majesty had intended to return at once to town; but feeling somewhat indisposed upon the way, he had changed his mind and, desiring to continue for a few days longer in the country, had fixed upon Newmarket. His Majesty had accordingly returned into Cambridgeshire: and this explained why Lampleigh, riding too fast to hear any of the news of the country through which he passed until he came to Roiston where the truth was not known, had failed to ascertain the real position.
Lampleigh was up betimes, feeling sure that Brathwait would be sentenced that day to be hanged; but he did not ride as hard as he had ridden on the previous day. He now felt certain that, if he could see the King at any reasonable hour, he should obtain the pardon, if it was to be obtained, in time to bring it back before Brathwait's neck could be in imminent peril.
So he rode to Roiston again, where he changed his friend's horse, a fine young black animal, which was not, however, quite up to his rider's weight, for his own sturdy bay, arranging upon a plan with the landlord for exchanging his friend's horse for the white mare within a few days ; the white mare had not been fit to-day for so long a journey.
Mounted once more upon his favourite steed Lampleigh pursued his way to Newington; it was after noon when he passed through the University town of Cambridge, where he learned of a certainty from a group of students, just outside Trinity College, the principal buildings of which were, at this date (1615) just about completed—that the King was certainly at Newmarket, and was expected within a few days to visit Cambridge, as it is known that he actually did during the course of this year when Trinity College, properly so called, for the first time held a royal visitor.
Lampleigh was relieved to hear this intelligence, as he feared that there might again be some mistake about the facts. Bearing eastward, therefore, he rode on again to Newmarket.
The King was there. So Anthony Lampleigh at once went to a tavern and made such changes in his personal appearance as were suitable for one about to seek the honour of admission to the presence.
Then he presented himself at the house where the King was lodging; and gave his name and business to one of the attendants, mentioning his position in the city of London, and the offices which he had held. Now he had expected of course, some difficulty in obtaining admission to the Presence : a favour which was not granted as of course at all to a man of his degree. But the answer which he received upon his first application, was worse than any. thing which he had anticipated. The King was so indisposed this morning that he had not risen from his couch. The orders were that His Majesty could see no one this morning; and a Minister of State had been refused admission to the presence.
mpl asked to see His Majesty's secretary, and he was granted this indulgence, after bestowing a suitable gratuity upon each of the attendants who barred the passage. The secretary received him with that gracious air which seems to manifest a readiness to do anything or everything his interlocutor desires, which is characteristic of persons of his class.
But he said, “I am sorry, sir, His Majesty is quite unfit to see anyone to-day.” Will His Majesty see you ?” said Lampleigh. “He may or he may not,” replied the secretary. “ Seek admission, I pray you,” said Lampleigh, who was determined not to be easily foiled in his effort to save poor Brathwait now that he had come so far. “Seek admission, and tell him my petition. It is an affair of life and death.” I will not seek to see His Majesty myself. Only tell His Majesty the affair, and give me your good offices on this poor man's behalf.” When Lampleigh used the words “ life and death,” he thought he detected a slight ironical smile passing over the secretary's face, but he was grave when he replied : “I will go and see what can be done in the matter."
Meanwhile the Session at the Guildhall had come to an end, and the prisoners were sentenced. But Braithwait was not sentenced to death. The law of manslaughter and of the penalty incarred by committing that crime was well understood by the inmates of the gaol. Manslaughter like murder was in those days punishable with death; the only difference was that manslaughter was clergyable and murder was not; this practically meant that persons who had a right to “benefit of clergy" escaped in the case of manslaughter with little or no punishment. Who, then, had a right to this mysterious privilege ? Originally only the clergy, but by the time of which we write the privilege had been extended to all persons who could read. But for those who could not read the law had no mercy. The prisoner found guilty of manslaughter, equally with the prisoner found guilty of murder, until much later times than those of which we write--in fact, until the time of Queen Anne-suffered the punishment of death unless he was able to read! The late Sir James Fitzjames Stephen shows clearly in his “History of the Criminal Law" that this was so.
Could Brathwait read? Anthony Lampleigh thought that he certainly could not. He had never learned such an accomplishment in the days of his village life, and it was not likely that he had since acquired it. Bratha wait himself thought that he could not read, for, though he had with a shopmate of his, in the less depraved days of his first coming to town, learned a few of his letters, and, happening by chance to pick up a scrap of printed paper in the precincts of the gaol, he had, with the assista ance of a friendly thief, made the greater part of the letters out. The authorities who administered the law of those days were at times a little less cruel than the law itself, and were satisfied with a very constructive kind of knowledge how to read. Reading without tears it certainly was not, but the prisoner sometimes just saved his neck by it. In later days a certain verse of a penitential psalm was always used for the reading-lesson-culled, therefore, the “neck verse a fiction of the law by way of clemency, because, of course, the prisoners learned the verse by heart. Be this how it may, Brathwait did as the others, who, upon being called upon to say why the court should not give them judgment accord. ing to law, fell upon their knees and "prayed their clergy.' Whereupon the judgment of the court was, “Legunt, uruntur et deliberantur they read, they are branded on their thumbs, and liberated.”
And when Lampleigh returned to London he found that Brathwait was free. It was not till two days afterwards that he saw him, for business occapied him meanwhile. Brathwait said, “I thank you for all you did for me," when he had heard his kind friend's tale. “I was like to be hanged, indeed, if it had not been for an accident. I will give you a hundred pounds for your trouble.” And he proceeded to explain that, since his liberation, a young woman who had some money of her own had promised to be his wife, and they were to keep a tavern together. “I shall have the money to pay you soon,” he said. “ Thank Heaven the rope is off my neck."
But he did not pay the hundred pounds, though in the course of the year Lampleigh sorely needed it. His expeditions to Roiston and to Newmarket had been very expensive. The business he had left behind at home had also been a great loss to him. His position did not allow him to forego this money, which Brathwait clearly ought to have paid to him, especially as he had promised to do so. Brathwait could now afford the money; and Lampleigh felt entitled to insist upon his doing so. But the man Brathwait was an angrateful scoundrel, who very quickly began to spend his money upon riotous living, and as soon as he had recovered from the shock of terror which his being so nearly hanged had caused him to feel, he quickly forgot what he owed to the man who tried so hard to save his life.
In the Michaelmas Term 1615, Anthony Lampleigh," says Sir William Hobart, “ brought an assumpsit against Thomas Brathwait, and declared that whereas the defendant had feloniously slain Patrick Mahune, the defendant, after the said felony done, instantly required the plaintiff to labour and to do his endeavour to obtain his pardon from the King; whereupon the plaintiff, upon the same request, did by all the means he could, and many days labour, do his endeavour to obtain the King's pardon for the said felony, viz., in riding and journeying at his own charges from London to Roiston, when the King was there, and to London back, and so to and from Newmarket, to obtain pardon for the defendant for the said felony; afterwards, in consideration of the premises, the said defendant did promise the plaintiff to give him £100.”
A hundred pounds was a larger sum in those days than it is to-day. Brathwait determined to brazen it out, and pleaded non assumpsit, said that the consideration was past, and that it did not appear that Lampleigh did anything towards obtaining the pardon, but riding up and down and nothing done when he came there.
But the Court found in favour of Lampleigh and awarded him a hundred pounds damages. The defendant Brathwait moved in arrest of judgmert,
CRIMINAL LAW AND THE JURIS
DICTION OF MAGISTRATES.
but the Court decided in Lampleigh's favour, holding that the promise was made, and the consideration of the promise was executed, “and note,” they said, “ that it was neither required nor promised to obtain the pardon, but to do his endeavour to obtain it; the one was his end and the other his office. Now, then, he hath laid expressly in general that be did his endeavour to obtain it, viz., in equitando, &c., to obtain :" and Brathwait had to pay that one hundred pounds to Lampleigh in the end.
Legal Propositions.-(1.) Where the consideration of a promise is executed, unless there has been an antecedent request, no action is maintainable upon the promise ; for a request must be alleged and proved if put in issue, or, in the words of the old law, "a mere voluntary courtesy will not uphold an assumpsit, but a courtesy moved by a previous request will." (2.) Labour, though unsuccessful, is a good consideration. See Smith's Leading Cases (10th edit.) at pp. 139-166, where the cases bearing upon the doctrines of Lampleigh v. Brathwait are considered. Refer also on the first point to Paule v. Gunn, 4 B. N. C. 448, and cf. Pollock on Contracts (6th edit.) p. 13. On the second point see Bullen and Leake's Pleadings (3rd edit.) p. 40.
Note.-Lord Eldon, in Norman v. Cole (3 Esp. 253), held that assumpsit would not lie to recover back money deposited foz the purpose of being paid to a person for his interest in soliciting a pardon for a person under sentence of death. Pollock, C.B. seems to approve this in Egerton v. Brownlow (4 H. L. C. 148). Willes, J. remarks in another case, seems to be contrary to the opinion of Hobart, C.J., in Lampleigh v. Brathwait.” See Elliott v. Richardson (22 L. T. Rep. 858).
QUARTER SESSIONS. Bath, Friday, April 2
King's Lynn, Thursday, April 15 Bedford, Tuesday, April 6
Kingston-upon-Hull, Thursday, April 1 Berwick-upon-Tweed, Friday, April 2 Leeds, Wednesday, April 21 Birmingham, Thursday, April 8
Leicester, Wednesday, April 7 Blackburn, Friday, April 9
Lichfield, Wednesday, April 7 Bradford, Yorks, Friday, April 9
Lincoln, Saturday, April 10, at 11 Bridgnorth. Wednesday, April 21
Liverpool, Thursday, April 8 Brighton, Monday, April 12
Manchester, Wednesday, April 7 Bristol, Friday, April 9. at 10.30
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Friday, April 9 Bury St. Edmunds, Friday, April 23 Norwich, Wednesday, April 14 Cambridge, Monday, April 5, at lu Oswestry, Friday, April 9 Carlisle, Wednesday, April 7
Plymouth, Thursday, April 8 Chester, Friday, Anril 2
Portsmouth, Friday, April 9 Chichester, Tuesday, April 13
Rochester, Monday, April 26 Colchester, Thursday, April 15, at 11 Salisbury, Monday, March 29 Croydon, Thursday, April 8
Scarborough, Friday, April 23, at 10.15 Deal, Wednesday, April 21
Sheffield, Thursday, April 8 Derby, Thursday, April 8, at 10.30
Shrewsbury, Monday, April 5 Devizes, Monday, April 5
Southampton, Thursday, April 8 Devonport, Friday, April 9
Sonth Molton, Monday, April 5 Doncaster, Tuesday, March 30
Swansea, Wednesday, March 31, at 10 Exeter, Monday, April 5
Thetford, Tuesday, April 6 Faversham, Monday, April 5
Wenlock, Thursday, April 8 Grimsby, Tuesday, April 13
Winchester, Wednesday, April 7, at 11.30 Hanley, Friday, April 9
Worcester, Thursday, April 8.
Yeır Books of the Reign of King Edward the Third: Year XVI.
(First Part). Edited and translated by LUKE OWEN PIKE,
Barrister-at-Law. London : Eyre and Spottiswoode. This volume is an instance of the increased activity in the sphere of historical and legal research, which competent authority tells us is much to be desiderated. Great pains have evidently been bestowed upon it; indeed, if any exception could possibly be taken, it would rhaps be that there is almost unnecessary elaboration, especially in the inserting of variæ lectiones in the Norman-French. In 1343, which is the date of this Year-book, Jehan Froissart was writing his rondeaux, and, it is submitted, the law French of the Year-book might be made to correspond more closely to Froissart's, and it should surely be unnecessary to insert variæ lectiones. Again, the French text of the Year-book is printed without accent or apostrophe, and it is certain Froissart employed both. But all students of legal history will be glad to pay a tribute to the editor for his great accuracy, and especially for the long and lucid introduction. In 1343 there was going on the great movement towards national unity and the overthrow of the mesne lords, especially ecclesiastical mesne lords, that was crowned with more or less success at the middle of the next century. It was by means of charters that people sought to attain their end, and the most important case in this volume is the unsuccessful attempt of the burgesses of Wells to maintain their charter. Unlike the burgesses of Barnstaple, they did not claim ancient rights from Saxon kings, but from that hardly constitutional sovereign King John. All the incidents of the case are admirably brought together by Mr. Pike.
SITTINGS OF THE COURTS.
FOR THE WEEK ENDING SATURDAY, APRIL 3. Ampthill, Friday, at 10
Liverpool, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Ashton-under-Lyne,* Thursday
and Thursday, at 10; Friday (Bky and Attleborough, Friday, at 11
Adin.), at 11 Axminster, Wednesday, at 11
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Wednesday, Thursday, Huu Friday, Birkenhead, * Friday, at 10
&t 10 Birmingham, Monday, Tuesday, Wednes- Margate, Thursday, at 10
day, Thursday, and Friday, at 10 Market Bosworth, * Monday, at 12 Bishop's Castle," Tbursday, at 10
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Shoreditch, Thursday Cheadle,* Saturday, at 10
Skipton,* Wednesday, at 9.45 Cheltenham, Friday
Southampton, Wednesday (Reg., Bky), Chester, Thursday
at 11 Chesterfield, Friday, at 9.80
South Shields, Thursday, at 10 Chipping Sodbury, Saturday, at 10 Southwark, Monday, Tuesday, and Thurs. Cirencester, Thursday
day, at 10.30 Clerkenwell, Monday, Tuesday, Wednes- Stafford,* Thursday, at 9.30 day, Thursday, and Friday
Stockport,* Friday Cockermouth, Friday, at 9.30
Stockton-on-Tees, * Friday, at 9.30 Crewkerne, Friday, at 10
Sunderland, Thursday (Reg., Bky) Denbigh, Tuesday
Tenbury, Saturday, at 10 Dewsbury, Tuesday (Reg.. Bky), at 10 Thame, Wednesday, at 11 Durham, Tuesday (Reg., Bky)
Thornbury, Saturday Goole, * Tuesday
Friday, at 10 Greenwich, Friday, at 10.30
Wakefield, Thursday (Reg., Bky), at 11 Hartlepool, Friday, at 9.30
Warrington,* Thursday Henley-on-Thames, Thursday
Wellington (Salop), * Friday, at 10 Holmirth, Wednesday, at 10
Westminste:, Monday, Tuesday, WednosHoniton, Monday, at 11
day, Thursday, and Friday
Wolsingham, Saturday, at II
Yeovil, Thursday, at 10. • Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.
BOOKS RECEIVED. Cecil's Pseudo-Philosophy. University Press Limited, 16, Jobn-street, Bedford-row, W.C. Price 10s.
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Brown's English Doctrine of Consideration in Contract. William Hodge and Co., Glasgow. Price 18.
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Ashburner's Treatise on Mortgages. William Clowes and Sons Limited, 27, Fleet-street.
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LIGHT-RIGHT TO GRANT-DEROGATION-BUILDING
ON ADJOINING LAND–CONVEYANCING ACT 1881
(44 & 45 VICT. C. 41), Sect. 6, SUB-Sects. 2 AND 4. At the Northampton County Court on the 27th Jan., before his Honour Judge Snagge, Brawn v. Rivett was decided. This was an action whereby the plaintiff sought to recover damages for obstruction of certain light of a dwelling-house, erected on land of which he had become the owner, under an agreement for purchase, followed by a conveyance of which he was the assignee; the assignor, bis predecessor in title, having erected the dwelling-house at his own expense between the date of the agreement for sale to him and the date of the actual conveyance. The facts are fully set ont in the judgment.
C. E. Becke (solicitor), for the plaintiff, cited Robinson v. Gray, per Wickens, V.C. (27 L. T. Rep. 648); Bayle v. Icke (64 L. T. Rap. 789), per Kekewich, J.; Bannington v. Alley (35 Ch. Div. 317); Tebay v. Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company (24 Ch. Div. 562).
Ryland Adkins (barrister), for the defendant, cited Wood v. Saunders
(44 L. J. 520, Ch.); Birmingham, Dudley, and District Bank v. Ross (38 Ch. Div. 295,.
His HONOUR.-In this action Thomas Brawn, of Myrtle-cottage, Kingsthorpe, sues Walter Rivett, of Earl-street, Northampton, a builder, and seeks to recover the sum of £60 damages. The plaintiff alleges that he is owner of a house situated in Lincoln-street, Kingsthorpe, and that the defendant has erected a building which diminishes the light coming into that house, and otherwise interferes with the plaintiff's rights in connection with the windows. He claims £50 damages, but the amount of damages is not for consideration at the present moment, because it is arranged that the question of right should be first determined, and the amount of damages afterwards ascertained by arbitration or otherwise. What I have to determine is, first, what are the plaintiff's rights in connection with his windows which he alleges were interfered with ? and, secondly, have they been interfered with at all so as to entitle the plaintiff to recover damages ? The facts are simple, and are practically undisputed. It seems that, on the 6th Feb. 1886, a contract was entered into between Lady Robinson, who was the owner of some land divided into lots for building, and a man named Colley. Culley became owner of three plots of the land under certain conditions of sale, with plan annexed. I have those conditions before me, and the contract of sale is also in evidence. The conditions of sale mention “Seven acres of land to be sold by private contract, in lots, as set out in the annexed plan.” According to the plan, lots sold to Culley are marked 62, 63, and 64. The lot No. 65 appears by the plan to be an end lot, and was not sold to him. The map has also marked on it the words “ Building land” On the 8th May 1886 Culley assigned all his interest under this contract to a man named George Bex. Bex proceeded to build on his three plots of land. There is no stipulation whatever that I can find in the contract between Culley and Lady Robinson as to the nature, or size, height, or arrangement of the buildings which should be erected on plots 62, 63, and 64, the subject of his purchase, and therefore I must assume that Bex was at liberty to erect (subject of course to the Building Acts, and everything else of that nature) at his own free will, according to designs of his own choosing and his own architect. And Bex accordingly did proceed to erect a house upon this land. Meanwhile, the conveyance was prepared from Lady Robinson to Bex. It bears date the 20th May 1886. By the time that conveyance was ready for execution the buildings in course of erection by Bex had reached this stage : certain windows were in the buildings that he chose to erect, the roof was on, and the building was in a very forward state of progress. Then occur these operative words in the conveyance : “ All these three plots of land," describing them and referring to them as lots 62, 63, and 64, together with the messuages or tenements now being erected by the said George Bex upon the said plots of land.” That is to a certain extent a conveyance of these tenements, messuages, or buildings. It is certainly a recognition of the fact that the buildings were on the land at the time of the conveyance of the land, and we have in evidence that the windows were in and the roof on, for it is not disputed that that was the state of the buildings at the time of the conveyance. The buildings were completed, and the adjoining lot, No. 65, remained unoccupied, an open space of ground, for something like ten years. No doubt the enjoyment of light over that space of ground was an amenity which attached itself, accidentally if you like at first, to the building or house which Bex thought fit to erect on plot 64. Next there is an assignment by Bex to the plaintiff Brawn, dated July 1886. Bex assigned all he had to Brawn, and Brawn stands in the place of Bex. Whatever rights Bex had Brawn has. That is not disputed. Thus matters went on for ten years, until in 1896 the defendant Rivett pur. chased plot No. 65, which was conveyed to him no doubt by a similar conveyance; we have no evidence, but there is no question about that. He bought lot 65, and forthwith proceeded to erect a house on the plot after a fashion and plan and construction differing materially from the plan of the building and the construction of the building erected by Bex upon the adjoining lot, No. 64. I have before me the ground plan of the building, as erected by Rivett on plot 65, and it seems that Rivett took advantage of all the area of the land comprised in that lot and built the end walls to bis house, certainly on the west side, close up to the boundary. The wall that separates lot 64 from 65 is twenty feet high. It is not denied that by his so doing the windows which looked south and east of the house erected by Bex were to a certain extent interfered with. They are not ancient lights. The matter is not complicated by any consideration of that kind. The light was interfered with to a certain extent; I have no evidence as to the exact extent, though no doubt it was considerably interfered with. It was in evidence before me, given by Mr. Ingman, the Local Board surveyor, that Rivett's arrangement of his building was not an arrangement unusual upon the estate generally, but in cross-examination Mr. Ingman admitted that it was exceptional in this particular street, Lincoln-street. Those are the facts, and I do not think that there are any other facts in the case that are material. What I have to determine is, whether Brawn's right to light in his windows is interfered with by the building erected by Rivett, to an extent and in a manner entitling him to come to this court for redress and damages. The first question is, What rights had, or what rights has Brawn derived from Bex, the person to whom the plot of land was originally conveyed? I turn to the original agreement to see if there is expressed in it any grant of rights of light, because, if there is, there is an end of the case. But I cannot find in the agreement or in the conveyance from Lady Robinson to Bex, in express terms, the conveyance of rights of light. So the plaintiff here is obliged to fall back upon the terms of the Conveyancing Act of 1881, s. 6, sub-sect. 2, and also sub-sect. 4, and he further relies upon the well-known and ancient maxim of law that the grantor cannot be allowed to derogate from his own grant. That is a very ancient and simple maxim : the law will not allow a man to take away with one hand the means of enjoyment of that which he has given with the other. That a grantor should not be allowed
to derogate from his own grant has been the foundation of legal argument for centuries. The plaintiff falls back upon the Conveyancing Act, and the words on which he relies are these : “A conveyance of land having houses or other buildings thereon shall be deemed to include .. lights, watercourses," and so on," appertaining or reputed to appertain to the
and so on.” Those are the words of the section on which the plaintiff relies. Then there is a proviso, “unless there is some contrary intention in the conveyance." There is no contrary intention expressed in this conveyance, so that the questions for me now are–First, whether this section of the Conveyancing Act applies ; and next, if so, whether or not the lights interfered with here are lights within the meaning of this section. Now, what were the lights or light appertaining to this house or enjoyed by this house at the time of the agreement of purchase ? At the time of the agreement the piece of ground or land adjoining forming lot 65 was open and uncovered, not built upon; therefore the light enjoyed by that house at that time was all the light that came over that unoccupied ground. But that ground was known to the grantee at the time of the contract for sale to be building ground; it was a lot of building ground marked as such, and indicated as such, and actually advertised for sale as such along with land that he himself made use of for building ground. Therefore, it was obvious to both parties at that time that lot No. 65 was a lot which would in all probability at some time or other have buildings erected upon it. It was argued that the light which the house erected by Mr. Bex on lot 64-which Mr. Bex chose to erect after his own fashion on lot 64-Was entitled for ever to the light which came over lot No. 65 as an unoccupied and unbuilt-upon piece of ground. In my opinion, it cannot have been in the contemplation of the parties at the time, the parties to this agreement, that such a right of light as that should pass. I therefore come to the conclusion that the words in the Conveyancing Act 1881 do not apply, for I am unable to hold that the words in that Act by which the conveyance of a house shall be deemed to convey the lights appertaining or reputed to appertain to that house, embrace lights such as are here claimed, and which are only an accidental and temporary amenity. That appears to me to dispose of the plaintiff's claim under the Conveyancing Act of 1881. So, finding as I do that there were no express words in the contract, and that the terms of the Conveyancing Act do not apply, I am obliged to hold that there was no express contract here, either by the terms of the contract itself or by virtue of the provisions of the Con. veyancing Act by which the right here claimed by the plaintiff was secured to him. He is therefore obliged to fall back on the implied terms of the contract. There is no doubt that he was entitled to light to his windows, entitled, in the words of Bowen, L.J., in the Birmingham and Dudley and District Banking Company v. Ross “to the amount of enjoyment of light which is supposed by the law to accompany in an ordinary case the lease or the grant of a house which is erected with window lights. Where the grantor of the house is also the owner of the premises either adjoining or neighbouring them, this presumption arises, that the grantor intends the grantee to enjoy so much light unobstructed as must under the circumstances have been assumed by both parties to be reasonably necessary for the fair and comfortable use of the premises which are the subject of the grant.” I quote Bowen, L.J.'s words because I think they put the proposition very neatly. Now, let us apply them to the facts of this case. At the time that Bex built upon this land he was presumably at perfect liberty to erect upon lot 64 almost any form of building he chose. I suppose he is at liberty at the present moment to do the same. I do not know of anything to prevent him from pulling down the present house and building in another way, building up to the boundary wall wbich he himself has against lot 65. I have only the ground plans and do not know what rights 65 may have secured. But Bex has chosen, therefore Brawn has chosen, to erect in a certain way with certain lights. He must be taken to have known that the adjoining lot 65 would be built over, and it was for him at the time to protect himself by some express term in the contract, or some express provision in Lady Robinson's conveyance to himself, which would give him protection for these particular lights. So last it comes to the simple question, Has this light here been under the circumstances obstructed to an extent which interfered with the amount of light reasonably necessary for the fair and comfortable use of the premises which he has chosen to build ? And I am obliged to find as a fact, looking at the ground plan and the evidence I have before me, that, though there is no doubt an interference to some extent, that is admitted, with this light-I have no doubt that the light is interfered with to the extent of two windows-still
am unable to find that it is interfered with to an extent which is so unreasonable as to enable Brawn to avail himself of the implied terms of the contract which he himself, or his predecessors in title, had from Lady Robinson. That being so, I am of opinion that he is not entitled to recover. I arrive at that conclusion not without some doubt, because the house was erected at the time that the actual deed of conveyance was executed. The house was actually erected and the windows were in; therefore the condition of the house and the state of the windows was at the date of the conveyance known to the grantor, Lady Robinson, as well as to Bex. At the same time it must be borne in mind that the house had been built by the grantee on a plot of vacant land which he had agreed to purchase as such, and that consequently from the date of that agreement the vendor bad parted with all equitable interest in the property conveyed. This case is governed, therefore, by the case of the Birmingham and District, &c., v. Ross (sup.), and by the evidence as to the extent to which the light is interfered with. I have not been able to arrive at a conclusion that the injury to the premises of Brawn was so great and so extensive as to enable him to avail himself of the implied term when he might have inserted an express term in the conveyance and thus protected himself. If I am wrong, no leave of appeal is necessary; I shall be glad to be put right. There must be a verdict for the defendant, and I suppose costs must follow the event.
INCORPORATED LAW SOCIETY.-SPECIAL GENERAL
“In pursuance of the resolution passed at the adjourned annual general meeting, held the 15th July 1881, to the effect that meetings of the society should be held in January and April, a Special General Meeting of the members of the society will be held in the hall of the society on Friday, the 30th April 1897. Members who desire to move resolutions should give notice of them to the secretary on or before the 7th April 1897, as it will be necessary to include them in the notice to members convening the meeting.
“By Order. E. W. WILLIAMSON, Secretary.”
“That the clauses of the Land Transfer Bill imposing compulsory registration be opposed uuless the following modifications can be obtained-(1) A definite restriction in the Bill itself of the area within which compul. sion may be applied ; (2) the (a) initiative, or (b) consent of county councils as a condition of the application of compulsory registration ; (3) the lapse of a definite experimental period before the area in which compulsion may have been applied is extended ; (4) a restriction of the power of practising in the Land Registry for reward to solicitors. A long discussion followed, in which Mr. Barlow (Nottingham), Mr. Howlett (Sussex), Mr. Atkinson (Yorkshire), Mr. Farmer (Chester and North Wales), Mr. Gregory (Liverpool), Mr. Woodhouse (Hull), Mr. Middleton (Leeds), Mr. Daniel (Bristol), and others took part, after which Mr. Gregory withdrew his resolution. Mr. Longmore's amendment was thereupon put as a substantive resolution and carried by thirteen votes to five. The hon. secretary was requested to communicate the above resolution to the council of the I.L.S.U.K.
" The remaining business on the agenda was adjourned. A vote of thanks to the chairman concluded the business of the meeting.”
UNION SOCIETY OF LONDON. THE society met at the Inner Temple Lecture-hall on Wednesday evening, the 24th inst., Mr. J. Arthur Price (president) in the chair. After the reading of the minutes and the disposal of private business, Mr. H. W. Sibley brought forward the motion on the agenda paper, viz. : “ That in the opinion of this House, a written Constitution is the sole effective guarantee of the liberty of the subject." Speakers : for the motion, Messrs. Sibley and Lyons; against, Messrs. Kinipple, Copeland, Price, Willson, and Withers. The motion was lost.
ASSOCIATED PROVINCIAL LAW SOCIETIES. The following are the minutes of the annual meeting of the above societies, held at the Law Institution, Chancery-lane, London, on Friday, the 12th inst. ; Mr. C. T. Saunders, of the Birmingham Incorporated Law Society, in the chair :
- Present, the undermentioned societies, represented as follows: The Leeds Incorporated Law Society, Mr. A. Middleton ; The Birmingham Incorporated Law Society, Mr.C.T. Saunders; The Liverpool Incorporated Law Society, Messrs. Fredk. Gregory and C. H. Morton; The Manchester Incorporated Law Association, Mr. R. W. Williamson ; The Newcastleupon-Tyne Incorporated Law Society, Mr. R. Pybus; The Yorkshire Law Society, Mr. J. T. Atkinson; The Somerset Law Society, Mr. R. Biddulph Pinchard; The Berks, Bucks, and Oxfordshire Incorporated Law Society, Messrs. D. H. Witherington and P. J. Rutland ; The Bristol Incorporated Law Society, Messrs. W. C. H. Cross and J. L. Daniell; The Wakefield Incorporated Law Society, Mr. H. Piews; The Nottingham Incorporated Law Society, Messrs. George Parr and A. Barlow ; The Chester and North Wales Incorporated Law Society, Mr. R. Farmer; The Herefordshire Incorporated Law Society, Messrs. W. J. Humfrys and J. Reginald Symonds ; The Sussex Law Society, Messrs. J. W. Howlett and G. Cheesman; The Hull Incorporated Law Society, Messrs. Herbert Woodhouse and J. Travis-Cook; The Shropshire Law Society, Mr. Rowland T. Hughes ; The Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Incorporated Law Society, Mr. G. Gurney; The Herts Law Society, Mr. C. E. Longmore; The Rochester and Chatham Law Society, Mr. G. W. Prall; Thomas Marshall, hon. secretary ; C. H. Morton, hon. assistant secretary. A letter was read from Mr. Ellett, of Cirencester, regretting his inability to be present. Letters were read from the Halifax, Sheffield, Leicester, and Sunderland Law Societies. The hon. secretary reported that the Buxton Law Society had joined the association during the year, and that the Devon and Exeter Society had retired; the number of members of the association was fifty. The subscriptions for the year were fixed at the same rate as in the previous year. The accounts were presented, and, having been audited and found correct, were passed. Mr. Thomas Marshall and Mr. C. H. Morton were re-elected as hon. secretary and assistant hon. secretary respectively.
“ COUNTY COURT RULES (MARCH) 1897.—Mr. T. Marshall (on behalf of the Leeds Law Society) moved the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr. Gregory, of Liverpool: "That the proposed new rule as to obtaining leave under sect. 74 of the County Courts Act 1888 (Order V., r. 9A, 1) will seriously interfere with legitimate commercial business, and will be found difficult to work in practice, and that the Lord Chancellor be respectfully requested to direct that the rule be reconsidered.' Mr. Marshall stated, in support of the resolution, that communications had been received from the law societies of Birmingham, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, and Bristol, pointing out various objections to the proposed rule, which might be summarised as follows: That a very large business was at present carried on by manufacturers, wholesale houses, printers, and newspaper agents with customers in every part of England ; that the conduct of their business depends in great measure on the ability of the plaintiffs to sue under the existing rules in court in which the cause of action or part of it' arises ; that the new rule requiring the plaintiff to show, in addition to this statutory requirement, and as a condition precedent to obtaining leave, 'that the balance of convenience is in favour of leave being granted,' imposes a new and serious disability on plaintiffs ; that clause (14) of the proposed rule requiring the plaintiff to deposit in court a sum sufficient to meet any allowance for the travelling expenses and attendance of defendant in court is unnecessary, having regard to the existing Order XII., r. 9, and that it will inflict hardship on plaintiffs of every class, and that, although the present rule may be occasionally abused, the cases of abuse form an insignificant percentage of the cases in which leave is granted. After some discussion, in the course of which Mr. Pybus, of Newcastle, called attention to some notorious cases of abuse which had arisen in the north of England, the resolution was unanimously carried. The hon. secretary was directed to send a copy of the resolution to the Lord Chancellor and to other persons and public bodies in bis discretion.
“ THE LAND TRANSFER BILL.- The Chairman made an introductory statement in which he explained the present position of the Bill and pointed out that several of those who had hitherto most strenuously opposed the principle of making registration compulsory were now in favour of some compromise. Mr. Gregory (Liverpool) moved the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr. Humfrys (Hereford): That the country law societies continue their opposition to the compulsory clauses of the Bill.' To that resolution Mr. Longmore (Herts) moved the following amendment, which was seconded by Mr. Barlow (Nottingham) :
THE SELDEN SOCIETY. The annual meeting of the Selden Society was held on the 24th inst., in the Council-room, Lincoln’s-inn Hall. Lord Herschell, president of the society, had intended to take the chair, but he was prevented from doing so by other duties, and accordingly Lord Davey presided. Among those present were Lords Justices Lindley and Rigby, Mr. Justice Stirling, Mr. Justice Romer, Sir Howard Elphinstone, Sir Frederick Pollock, Mr. Munton, Mr. Ingle Joyce, Mr. Cyprian Williams, Mr. William Latham, Q.C., Mr. Benjamin Lake, Mr. Pennington, Mr. W. Renshaw, Q.C., Mr. Farwell, Q.C., Mr. Buckley, Q.C., and Mr. B. Fossett Lock (hon. secretary).
The report stated that the society had continued during the past year the slow but steady increase in the number of its members which marked the preceding year. The number for 1896 was 256, as compared with 223 for 1895. Of these 189 were in the United Kingdom and the rest abroad, mainly in the United States. Volume X. of their publications, representing the issue for 1896, was somewhat delayed in its later stages, but had now been published. It was “ Select Cases in Chancery, A.D. 1364-1841," edited by Mr. W. Paley Baildon. Volume XI., for 1897, would form a second volume of “ Select Pleas in the Court of Admiralty,” edited, as the first volume, by Mr. Reginald G. Marsden. It was nearly through the press, and an early publication was confidently expected. Volume XII., for 1898, would be a volume on the Courts of Request, by Mr. I. S. Leadam. This was almost ready for the press. The council had had before them a proposal to reprint the Year-books of the reign of Edward II., which had been adjourned for fuller information. The proposal had been referred to a committee, which had the matter still under consideration. The project would in no way conflict with the plan laid down by the Government for the publication, in the Rolls Series, of year-books which had never yet been printed. The council sincerely trusted that the Rolls Series of year-books would be steadily continued, and believed that it was an undertaking which could only be carried out ander Government supervision. But the proposal before the society was different-namely, to produce a standard specimen reprint of some of those year-books already published of which the text was known to be very inaccurate and misleading. It would comprise a revised and collated text, a sufficient reference to the records to elucidate the arguments and judgments, and a careful translation. It was calculated that the Year-books of Edward II. so treated would require from seven to ten volumes, according to size. It was not proposed that the society should in any case devote the whole of its publications for a period of from seven to ten years exclusively to such work. The volumes of yearbooks might be published every second or third year, while the intervening years might still be occupied with such varied subjects as had been hitherto undertaken ; or the year-books might be published occasionally, as funds would allow, as additional volumes. The council desired to know whether such an undertaking, if practicable, would be acceptable to the members of the society.
Lord Davey moved the adoption of the report and the re-election of the following retiring members of the council :-Mr. Maxwell Lyte, Mr. Stuart Moore, Mr. Pennington, Sir Frederick Pollock, and Mr. Renshaw, Q.C. He congratulated the society on the comparative strength of its financial position. This was the tenth year of the society's existence. It had, as they knew, gone through extremely troubled times, and it was now in a much more satisfactory position than it had been. It was also to be congratulated on the way in which it had performed the duty for which it was founded-namely, illustrating and promoting the historical study of the law. Volumes of interest and great curiosity had been published in previous years, but none of the works which had hitherto been published by the society surpassed the volume of this year on “ Select Cases in Chancery,” both in historical and in legal
as Terrell, Atkinson, and Winstanley, at 33, Gracechurch-street, City. From evidence placed before the court, it appeared that the debtor left his business and home on the 17th Feb., was heard of by letter from Paris on the 20th of that month, but since then no information of his whereabouts had been obtained. The liabilities were estimated at about £20,000, and the debtor's family and connections seemed to be the chief creditors in relation to money intrusted to him for investment or to estates of which he was one of the trustees. From the report of the special manager the bills of costs outstanding appeared at £1000, and the assets were comparatively small. The special manager stated that from confidential information which had reached him it appeared that the debtor might be found to possess a pecuniary interest in a business carried on in Old Bond-street. The failure appeared to be primarily due to losses on the Stock Exchange, estimated at from £5000 to £6000. An adjudication of bankruptcy had already been made.-The proceedings resulted in the tment of Mr. Frederick Whinney, chartered accountant, of Old Jewry, E.C., as trustee of the estate, with a committee of inspection.
value. In that volume they might see the birth of our equitable jurisprudence ; they might see how it originated in the right reserved to the Sovereign, acting by his Chancellor and his council, to listen to complaints against the inefficiency of the King's Courts. “For God and for the sake of charity” was the mode in which the appeal was made, which no doubt at one time represented a real fact, although in later times it had become a common form which every draftsman introduced. They might find in that volume the rudimentary origin of our complicated law of trusts and equitable jurisdiction and glimpses of the social and domestic life of the English people in a state of society which had long passed away. One of the most interesting and curious of the appeals to be found in that volume was an appeal by persons against the wife of the treasurer of Calais. The prayer of the appeal was for an account of the ransoms of certain prisoners who had been taken in the battle of Agincourt, which had somehow or other got into the hands of the wife of the treasurer of Calais, who, he (Lord Davey) supposed, refused to account for them to the captors. Another appeal related to a rector who had erected an image in a church in such a manner as to obscure the parishioners' view of the chancel. These were matters of great interest to the historical student. A highly valued friend of his on the other side of the Atlantic-Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes, of the Supreme Massachusetts Court-was good enough to send him the other day a copy of a lecture which he had delivered to the law students in his University, and in it he made the remark that one of the great values of the study of the law was to enable one to understand the meaning of historical forms and doctrines which had become obsolete, and the mischiefs they were intended to remedy, and what it was the persons who adopted them intended to express. In that way, said the judge, they might stand in a better position to retain the underlying principle while they did away with the inadequate form, and to take care, in their legal forms, that they were not sacrificing that which was expressed in them together with the worn-out mode of expression. Lord Davey proceeded to discuss the question of the Year-books of the reign of Edward II. He thought it would be a very worthy work for that society to undertake, and he would be very glad to assist it in any way he could. It would never do, however, for a society like that to undertake work it would afterwards be obliged to drop.
Lord Justice Lindley seconded the motion.
Mr. Maitland, Sir F. Pollock, and Mr. Stuart Moore spoke of the importance of and need for the work which the society would undertake in reprinting the Year-books of Edward II., and the Chairman gave some figures as to the estimated cost of the work.
The motion was then put to the meeting, and carried unanimously.
Mr. Justice Romer proposed, and Mr. Justice Stirling seconded, a resolution proposing certain alterations in the rules as to the election of president, vice-president, and members of council, and this was also carried unanimously.
A vote of thanks was passed to the officers, and
Lord Justice Rigby proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman, which was seconded by Mr. Atkinson (president of the Yorkshire Law Society). Lord Davey responded, and the meeting then ended.
HARDWICKE SOCIETY. The usual weekly meeting was held in the Inner Temple Lecture-hall, King's Bench Walk, on Friday, the 19th March, and was confined to the transaction of private business. Amongst other alterations of the rules, a change in the hour of meeting was effected, and the president will, for the future, take the chair on Friday evenings at 7.30 p.m. On Friday, the 2nd April, Mr. A. S. Ghosh will move, “ That international bimetalism is desirable and practicable.”
THE COMPANIES ACTS. LORD Justice Lindley and Mr. Justice Romer gave evidence on Monday before the Select Cemmittee of the House of Lords which is engaged on the consideration of Lord Dudley's Bill to amend the Companies Acts. The Lord Chancellor presided. Lord Dudley was not able to be present.
In the course of his evidence Lord Justice Lindley suggested that clause 20 (Registration of Mortgages and Charges) should be extended so as to cover all mortgages and not merely those specified in this section. If the Bill remained in its present form certain very important mortgages would escape the section altogether. In connection with this matter of mortgages and charges perhaps the most important question of all was as to the extent to which floating charges and charges on uncalled capital should be allowed. The abuses to which floating charges gave rise, the iniquities perpetrated by their means, were so extreme and so obvious and worked such hardship on the unsecured creditors that he thought it worth while to suggest to the committee to consider whether it was wise to allow the creation of floating charges without check. He admitted that a restriction of the kind he proposed might affect the commercial value of debentures and might also somewhat interfere with the power of borrowing and cripple business in debentures; but, on the other hand, it would protect the unsecured creditors, whose interests were now altogether sacrificed to those of the debenture-holders. He would allow mortgages on existing property to any extent, but he would suggest that floating charges should be made to cover short losses only. It was very hard on the unsecured creditors to allow a company to trade and incur debts and then to step in with a floating charge created, perhaps, years before.
The Lord Chancellor.-Your proposition is that you would prohibit floating charges ?
Lord Justice Lindley replied that he would recommend their prohibition except for short loans. He would not allow debentures-holders to sweep up everything that was not specifically pledged to them at the time their security was created. He did not mean to attack debenture capital, but only floating charges. He thought the Bill bad been very carefully framed and thought out, and would be of very great advantage to the public. Nor did he think that business men generally would object to it, except, perhaps, as to the publication of accounts, though it was obvious that there were heaps of scamps who would. He thought the law with regard to one-man companies was in a very unsatisfactory condition, because it enabled an individual trader by indirect means to trade with limited liability. All a man had to do was to go through the farce of associating with himself six dummies who had no substantial interest in the business. He could not think that that was the intention of the Legislature.
The Lord Chancellor asked what public evil was caused by one man having a large share and six others only small shares.
Lord Justice Lindley replied that it meant that one man could trade with limited liability, the other six having no control over the business. He could understand a partnership with limited liability, but he thought that for one man to be the sole trader, in the form of a company, was dangerous.
Mr. Justice Romer said he approved of the first portion of the Bill, subject to some slight amendments. The most important point arose in connection with the clause dealing with the general duties and liabilities of directors. He doubted whether it would be advisable to extend the liability of directors, as the effect would be to drive companies abroad to be managed in this country by agencies. That would, in his opinion, have a very serious effect in the commercial world. He also thought that the clause dealing with specific requirements as to particulars in prospectuses went beyond not only what was required, but also what a director could reasonably carry out. In fact, if the clause remained in its present form no prudent person would ever become a director. He certainly would not advise anyone to run the risks to which he would be exposed under the section. Clause 14 declared that every prospectus must state the date, the parties to, and short purport of every material contract as well as every material fact known to any director or promoter who was a party to the prospectus. That was very strong and drastic, and he could not help thinking it went beyond what was required. It was also declared that in the event of non-compliance with any of the clauses any person aggrieved should be entitled to compensation from any director or promoter who was a party to the issue of the prospectus, unless it was proved that the director or promoter was ignorant of the matter not disclosed, and
UNITED LAW SOCIETY. On Monday, the 22nd inst., Mr. C. W. Williams in the chair, Mr. J. S. Green opened a debate on the motion, “That the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re Roundwood Colliery Company Limited (S. J., Feb. 6, 1897) was wrong.” Mr. Neville Tebbutt opposed ; and Messrs. P. H. Edwards, C. H. Kirby, A. H. Richardson, C. Herbert Smith, A. M. Begg, C. W. Williams, and S. E. Hubbard also took part in the debate. Mr. Green having left the house, Mr. W. J. Boycott replied on his behalf, after which the motion was put to the vote, and was carried by four votes.
PROCEEDINGS AFFECTING THE
IN Bankruptcy, on the 22nd inst., before Mr. A. H. Wildy, Official Receiver, a first meeting was held of creditors under a receiving order made against William James Winstanley, solicitor, lately carrying on business at 33, Gracechurch-street, E.C. The debtor recently absconded. Proofs to the amount of between £6000 and £8000 were tendered.-Percy Haigh, George Wallace, and H. Winstanley attended on behalf of creditors. The Official Receiver said the facts of the case as known to himself were briefly as follows :-The debtor was admitted a solicitor in 1871, and formerly carried on business at Liverpool. In 1888 he purchased the practice of Terrell and Atkinson, for which he paid £6500, of which £2000 was borrowed and was still due. Since 1888 he practised