The Times, Saturday, Mar 07, 1829; pg. 4; col C
NORTHERN CIRCUIT. - CARLISLE, MARCH 4.
NICHOLSON V. BARTON
This was an action of trover, brought to recover the value of a bond, a
promissory note, and other property, which the defendant wrongfully detained
from the plaintiff. The plaintiff was the administrator of a sister named Ann
NICHOLSON. She had been an infirm woman, somewhat advanced in years, and had
resided with three of her sisters at Penrith. It was supposed that she possessed
considerable property, and it was known that that property was concealed in a
box, which was placed under her bed, and the key of which was constantly kept
under her pillow. About a week before her death the wife of the defendant, who
was a sister of the intestate, had, in the absence of the other sisters, removed
the old woman, with all her furniture and property, to the house of the
defendant, and kept her there until her death. The removal, it was stated,
(though the fact did not clearly appear from the evidence of the plaintiff's
witnesses), had been made against the will and consent of Ann NICHOLSON. It was
proved by a witness who had been present at the transaction, that on or about
the night of the removal, the old woman's box had been removed and opened by the
wife of the defendant, and a bond in the penalty of 480 l. conditioned for the
payment of 240 l., a promissory note of the value of 170 l., and two purses had
been taken out. The value of the purses did not distinctly appear, but it was
sworn by a grandson of the intestate, that on the morning of the day on which
she died, she had told him that the purses contained 200 l. in gold and silver;
and that she hoped no part of it would fall into the hands of the defendants.
The possession of the bond and the promissory note was proved to be in the
defendant, as it was shown that he had applied to the obligor of the bond for
the payment of the interest due upon it, and had in different negotiations
between the plaintiff and himself admitted that the note was in his possession.
General evidence was also given to show that the removal of the intestate to the
house of the defendant had been against her will and consent.
For the defendant it was attempted to be shown that the intestate had
voluntarily removed to the house of the defendant, on account of the neglect
which she had experienced from the other members of her family. It was sworn by
two of the sisters of the defendant, that the intestate had repeatedly declared
that her other sisters were Turks, and should never enjoy any part of her
property; and the same witnesses swore that a short time before her death tha
intestate had presented the defendant (as a donatio mortis causa) with the bond
and promissory note which were sought by the present action to be recovered.
Mr. Baron HULLOCK summed up the case to the jury, who immediately returned a
verdict for the plaintiff - Damages 420 l.