Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Now that is the plain upshot of this ingenious mixture of legal and equitable finesse. Sir W. Follett.—I understand now that my learned friend Sir Charles Wetherell does not appear for the City of London, and I did not suppose that he would ; for I think your lordships will see that the City of London have no interest in this case, and that they ought not to be made parties to it. Sir C. WETHERELL.-If you mean to say that I do not mean to appear in the motion, you have misinterpreted what I have said. Before your lordships make an order in this case I shall claim to be heard for the City of London. Sir W. FolleTT.—Whether my learned friend means to appear or not, probably he should state at this stage of the case. He says it is hard to put the City of London to hazard. If he is right in what he has said, that the City of London ought to be parties, they are under no hazard. Sir C. Wether ELL.-We are here defendants in the suit. Lord Commissioner PEPys.—Our rule is this: of course the Court can form no opinion till the case is heard, whether a party ought to be served; but if in the course of the discussion it appears that another party ought to be brought before the Court, of course the discussion is delayed till that party is brought in. Sir W. FolleTT. — Then I understand that my learned friend does not appear now. Sir C. WETHERELL.--When I have heard what you state I will tell you whether I appear. Mr. KNIGHT.-Probably it would be convenient to your lordships to ask my learned friend what parties he has served. Sir W. Follett.—My learned friend Mr. Knight appears for the Irish Society. Mr. KNIGHT.-I appear for the Irish Society; but I merely suggest, more as amicus curiae than in any other capacity, that it might be convenient to know what parties have been served, but state no objection whatever. Mr. WiGRAM.–I understood your lordship to put the point thus:–if in the progress of the argument you find that the City of London have such an interest as that this motion cannot be

-------

disposed of without their being made parties, then of course the
motion will stand over to make them parties; then if we suc-
ceed in the motion, the costs will be decided according to that
result; and if we fail in the motion, the costs will be decided
according to that result. Before we open the case now we must
know whether that party does mean to say that he appears at his
own peril; we cannot open the motion without knowing whether
the interest which they say they have is to be taken into our
account in opening, or not.
Lord Commissioner PEPYs. – I understand that Sir C.
Wetherell élects not to be a party to this motion.
Sir C. WETHERELL. — The time to elect has not yet
conne.
Sir W. Follett.—At present, I understand the only parties
before the Court are the Skinners' Company, and the Corpora-
tion of the Irish Society. Now this is a motion on the part of
the Skinners' Company, to call upon the Irish Society to pay
into the Bank, with the privity of the Accountant-General of
this Court, to be placed to the credit of this cause, the sum of
7191.4s. 6d., appearing, by the answers of the said defend-
ants, and of the defendants, John Thomas Thorpe and Henry
Schultes, to the original bill, and the printed accounts therein
referred to, as the balance in the hands of the defendants, the
Irish Society; and that the said money, when so paid in, may
be laid out in the purchase of 31. per cent. Consolidated Bank
Annuities, with the privity of the said Accountant-General, in
trust in this cause; and that a Receiver or Receivers may be
appointed of the rents and profits of the estates and premises
in the pleadings in this cause mentioned, in the possession of
the defendants, the Irish Society, with all usual directions;
and that the said defendants, the Irish Society, may be
restrained, by the injunction of this Court, from further
collecting and getting in the rents and profits of the said
estates, or any part thereof. My Lords, that is the motion, in
support of which I have the honour to appear before your
lordships; and the motion is made in a cause in which the
Skinners' Company are the plaintiffs, and the Irish Society
are the defendants, with the other Companies of the City of

London, who have a joint interest in this proceeding with the
Skinners' Company. The object of the suit is—
Sir C. WETHERell.—The City of London is also a party.
There is also John Thomas Thorpe, Alderman, a Governor of
the Society, lately dead; and I do not know whether that gap
has been filled up; probably a dead Governor must be re-
placed by a living Governor.
Sir W. Follett.—It would seem as if my learned friend
was appearing in the cause, though he said that he had dis-
appeared just now. The City of London is a defendant in
this cause, and the City of London represents the interest
which was originally in two of the Companies of London,
and now vested in the Corporation of the City of London;
therefore it was necessary in that character that they should
be made defendants to the suit.
3. The object of the bill is to have a declaration that the Com-
panies of the City of London are the parties beneficially
interested in the rents and profits of the estates now in the
hands of the Irish Society; and to have a declaration that that
Society are Trustees for those Companies. The bill also
goes on to pray an account, and for the appointment of a
Receiver; and the main question in the cause is, whether the
Companies in London are not entitled to have a declaration,
that the Irish Society are Trustees for them in the manage-
ment of this property.
Now I will state to your lordships, in the outset, that the
property in question consists of certain town lands in the
neighbourhood of the city of Londonderry, and the town of
Coleraine, in Ireland, and the profits of certain ferries and
fisheries in the county of Londonderry. It was property
which remained in the hands of the Irish Society at the time
of the original grant of King James the First, when the rest
of the property of Londonderry, held by the City Companies,
was divided equally among them. This property was considered
not to be capable of division, and remained in the hands of
the Irish Society. Your lordships are, no doubt, aware that
the City Companies hold considerable property in the county
of Londonderry; that each of the twelve Companies has

[ocr errors]

estates in that county. They all claim those estates under the same grant, and the same title, from James the First; and the property in question was granted, at the same time, by King James the First; but it not being capable of being divided among the Companies, it has remained in the hands of the Society.

Now the Irish Society, who hold this property in their hands, continued, till a very late period, to hold this property, according to their acts and declarations, as trustees for the Companies in London, and the profits were divided amongst the Companies yearly ; but of late years this property has not been managed consistently with their duties as trustees; they have set up claims which are inconsistent with that character. They have claimed to have a control over the management and disposal of this property, which is wholly inconsistent with the character in which they hold it; and they have moreover been guilty of expenditure, wasteful and extravagant, in a degree which cannot be justified in any character which they may assume to hold it. Those claims which have been set up by the Irish Society, (and theme cannot be any dispute as to the fact,) have rendered it imperative upon the City Companies to take these proceedings against them, in consequence of the extraordinary claims, which have, within the last year or two, been set up by this Society; because before we filed this bill, the Irish Society not only stated that they were not trustees of this indivisible property which was in their hands, but they actually claimed to have control, and a paramount interest over the City Companies, in the estates which have been held by the City Companies, distinct and separate for their own use, from the time of King James the First to the present moment. I do not mean to say, that in this suit they have set up any such claim; of course their counsel would tell them at once that any such claim was wild and extravagant, and they have not done it here; but I think your lordships will see, upon the statement of this case; and the evidence we shall lay before your lordships, that there is no more pretence for one of those claims than for the other; that not only the property which the City Companies hold in their own hands, but that also the property which is held by the Irish Society, is their property, subject to no control of any sort or kind; but that the Irish Society are simply trustees for the benefit of the Companies. My Lords, that is the question we shall set before your lordships. I undertake to satisfy the Court of that, by incontrovertible evidence, by the whole history of these proceedings, and by proceedings and documents of every sort on the part of the Irish Society; and I apprehend that if we satisfy the Court of that, that they are trustees for the Companies, that they have been wasting and expending improperly the funds of the Company;-and above all, when your lordships recollect that the Irish Society has no property whatever, -that there is no means whatever of getting from the Irish Society any money which they might misapply, inasmuch as they have no property whatever of any sort, kind, or description whatever, except the property which they hold in trust for those Companies, I apprehend that it will follow as a necessary consequence, that we shall be entitled to have the funds in their hands paid into this Court, and a Receiver appointed to receive the rents and profits of the estates. That is the case which we mean to present before your lordships. The history of the property is this: Your lordships are perfectly aware, as a matter of history, of the mode in which this property got into the hands of the City Companies: your lordships remember the rebellion by the Roman Catholic chieftains, in the north of Ireland, during the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth and the beginning of the reign of King James the First. Those rebellions were suppressed, and the effect of it was, that at the beginning of the reign of King James the First, the whole of the lands of six of the northern counties of Ireland were vested in the hands of the Crown, by the attainders and forfeitures consequent upon those rebellions. King James the First, instead of granting those lands out again to the rebellious chieftains, or to their families, or to any of the favourites of the Court, took that opportunity of carrying into effect the project he had entertained of colonizing the north of Ireland with the Protestants from England and Scotland:—a project which, your lordships are aware, did

« ElőzőTovább »