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AT

NISI PRIUS.

COURT OF KING'S BENCH.

Sittings at Westminster, after Trinity Term, 1829.

BEFORE LORD TENTERDEN, C. J.

1829.

CLERMONT v. Tullidge.'

If

July 9th. a witness, plaintiff, in his cross-examin

called for the

ation admit

that a letter was written by him

MONEY lent. Plea-General issue. A witness, who was called for the plaintiff, stated, that he was present when a sum of 201. was advanced by the plaintiff to the defendant. This witness stated that he was in the habit of writing letters for the plaintiff; and he admitted that a letter, put into his hand, was written by him by the direction of the plaintiff, and signed by her. The defendant's counsel then put another letter into his hand, which he said was not written by him, and he stated that he did believe that it was written or signed by the plaintiff. A be allowed to second witness being called for the plaintiff,

not

Wyborn, for the defendant, wished to shew both the letters to this witness, and to ask him whether, in his belief, the two letters were not both of the same hand-writing.

Lord TENTERDEN, C. J.-I think that that question

[blocks in formation]

with the authority of the plainthat a second hand-writing;

tiff, but deny

letter is of his

the defendant's counsel will not

shew both letters to another witness, called for the plaintiff, and ask him

whether he does

not believe that the second letter

was written by

the same person who wrote the

first.

1829.

CLERMONT

v.

TULLIDGE.

cannot be put. It was formerly held, that persons conversant with hand-writing could be asked whether certain letters were genuine or not; but it has been since held, that that is not evidence.

Wyborn. I do not propose to ask whether the second letter is a genuine letter or not, but whether the witness believes that the second letter was written by the same. person who wrote the first.

Lord TENTERDEN, C. J.-I think that the question cannot be put.

Verdict for the plaintiff.-Damages, 201.

Chitty, for the plaintiff.

Wyborn, for the defendant.

[Attornies-Delmar, and Frowd & R.]

It is an established rule of evidence, that hand-writing cannot be proved by comparison of the paper in dispute with papers acknowledged to be genuine, except in cases where the antiquity of the writing makes it impossible for a witness to swear that he has seen. the party write; and, in such case, it has been held sufficient that the witness should have become acquainted with the person's mode of signing his name, by inspecting other antient writings which bear the same signature, provided those writings have been treated as authentic documents. In the case of Roe d. Brune v. Rawlins, 7 East, 282, n. (a), the writing in dispute, which was about seventy years old, was proved by comparison with the signature to a deed of settle

ment. And in the case of Morewood v. Wood, 14 East, 327, a writing, also about seventy years old, was proved by comparison with the signature to the party's will. In the case of Goodt d. Revett v. Braham, 4 T. R. 497, which was a trial at bar, an inspector of franks was allowed to give his opinion whether the paper in question was written in a natural or an imitated character; but he having stated that, in his opinion, it was not a genuine hand-writing, the Court would not allow a paper, written by a particular person, to be shewn to him, for him to state whether the instrument in dispute was written by the same person. So, in the case of Rex v. Cator, 4 Esp. 117, Mr. Baron Hotham, allowed an inspec

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