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COCKERMOUTH - WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 29
Before T. H. INGHAM., Judge.
Attorneys present: Messrs. J. HAYTON, Cockermouth; J. WEBSTER, and J. MASON,
John FURNELL v. Richard SKILLICORN.
This was a suit in equity, instituted by the plaintiff, a broker in
Manchester, against the defendant, who resides at Maryport. Mr. HAYTON appeared
for the plaintiff, and Mr. MASON for the defendant. The following are the
particulars of the case as set forth in the plaint:
James SKILLICORN, late of Dovenby, near Cockermouth, was in his
lifetime, and at the time of his death, seized of a customary tenement consisting of
two dwelling houses, and a garden behind or adjoining the same, situate at
Dearham, of the customary value of sixpence. He died on the 10th of September,
1843, in testate, leaving his daughter Ann SKILLICORN, and his wife Jane, then
enceinte of Jane FURNELL, the wife of the present plaintiff.
James SKILLICORN was, in his lifetime, and at his death indebted to
his solicitor, Mr. Robert BENSON, of Cockermouth, in the sum of £7 6s for law
costs and money lent, and to the Carlisle City and District Banking Company in
the sum of £60. The deed of conveyance of the dwelling houses to James
SKILLICORN, and other title deeds relating to them, were deposited by him with the
Carlisle City and District Bank as security for the payment of the loan of £60
and interest, and were in the possession of the Bank at the time of his death.
On the 12th of June, 1844, Mr. BENSON paid to the City and District
Bank the sum of £60 owing, and £4 12s 8d for interest thereon entered into
and continued in possession and receipt of the rents and profits of the houses.
On or about the 27th of July in the same year, the defendant Richard
SKILLICORN, brother to James SKILLICORN, paid to Mr. BENSON the sum of £26, and
received from him the conveyance and title deeds of the property and thereon entered
into possession and receipt of the rents and profits of the same, and has ever
since continued in possession and receipt thereof.
The plaintiff's wife, Jane, FURNELL, attained the age of 21 years on
the 10th of April, 1865, and Ann SKILLICORN, then Ann HUDSON, died on the 30th
of June, 1867, without leaving or having had any issue. Jane FURNELL
frequently applied to the defendant, and demanded of him the delivery up to her of the
deed of conveyance and other title deeds, together with the possession of the
dwelling houses, but he refused to give up the same unless he was paid the sum
of £169 9s 9d, which he alleged to be owing him for the sum of £26 paid to
Mr. BENSON, and the interest thereon, for the costs of the removal of Jane
FURNELL and Ann SKILLICORN from Cockermouth to Manchester, where he was living at
the time of their father's death, and for their maintenance for nine years.
At the time the defendant paid Mr. BENSON the sum of £26, he removed
the plaintiff's wife Jane FURNELL, and her sister Ann SKILLICORN to his house
at Manchester, and he, at the same time took with him all the household goods,
furniture, and effects of their deceased father, which were of considerable
value, and has never accounted for the same or any part thereof.
The plaintiff's wife resided with the defendant for about four years,
and Ann SKILLICORN resided with him for about six years, and during that time
they did the household work, and worked at factories, and the defendant
received the whole of their earnings. The plaintiff submitted that the services
rendered to, and the earnings received by, the defendant, more than compensated
him for the board, lodging, and maintenance of Jane FURNELL and her sister, and
that he was not entitled to the deed of conveyance and other title deeds for
moneys, if any, due to him for their board, lodging, and maintenance; that he
has long since been re-couped out of the rents and profits of the dwelling
houses the sum of £26 which he paid to Mr. Robert BENSON, and all interest
thereon; and that the plaintiff prayed that the property might be re-conveyed to
him, and that he might be put into possession of it, freed from all claims of the
Mr. HAYTON called the plaintiff's wife, Jane FURNELL, who was examined
with reference to the statement given above, and gave her evidence in a very
clear and straight forward manner. She was cross examined at some length by
Mr. MASON, but her testimony was not shaken. At the close of the
cross-examination the case was adjourned in order to enable the plaintiff to amend the Bill
by adding "heir at law of tenent on court rolls," and for accounts to be taken
and inquiries made as to what, if anything, be due to the defendant for his
equitable deposit, and for the maintenance of the wife of plaintiff or her
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