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contract for interest; nor is an engagement to pay interest to be implied from the nature of the debt; and this was a mere insulated dealing between the parties.
Slater and Another v. LE FEUVRE,
Nicholls v. LE FEUVRE.
were actions of trover, tried before Tindal, C. in Guernsey, purchased goods J., at the adjourned Sittings in London after last Hilary of the plain- Term, when the following facts appeared in evidence:tiffs, directing them to be for. The plaintiffs carried on business in London. The dewarded to him at Guernsey.
fendant was a shipping agent in Southampton. On the The goods were 7th May, 1834, one Le Couteur, of Guernsey, purchased sent by waggon of the plaintiffs several parcels of goods, which he dito Southampton-addressed, rected them to forward to Guernsey, addressed “ James "J. Le C., Guernsey, care
Le Couteur, Guernsey, care of W. S. Le Feuvre, Southof W. S. Le F.
n." Le Feuvre (the defendant) was (the defendant), Southampton." the general agent of Le Couteur at Southampton, acting The goods arrived at
in pursuance of instructions given to him by Le Couteur, Southampton on by a letter dated the 14th August, 1830, whereby the latand were taken ter directed him "to take charge of and forward all goods from the waggon office by that might arrive at Southampton for him (Le Couteur), the defendant, whether addressed to the care of him (Le Feuvre) or to general shipping agent of Le c. at that port, and who paid the carriage, and shipped them for Guernsey on the 14th. On the 15th, a letter from Le C. to the defendaut (written at the plaintiffs' request) was received by the clerk of the defendant at Southampton, reqnesting the defendant to delay the shipment of the goods ; and on the same day one of the plaintiffs arrived there for the purpose of stopping the goods—the vendee being insolvent and in prison. Arrived at Southampton, the plaintiff went with the defendant's clerk on board the vessel in which the goods were, and caused them to be re-landed and conveyed to the defendant's warehouse ; the defendant's clerk giving the plaintiff a letter wherein he engaged on the defendant's behalf to hold the goods subject to the order of the owners:—Held, that the transitus of the goods was not ended on their arrival at Southampton and being taken possession of by the defendant, so as to entitle him to treat them as the property of the vendee, and hold them in assertion of a right of lien for the general balance due to him for business done for the vendee.
that of any other agent." Shortly after the arrival of the goods at the waggon office at Southampton, viz. on the 13th May, the defendant took them away, paying the charges, and shipped them in his own name. After the goods had been sent off, Coates, one of the plaintiffs, finding that Le Couteur had made large purchases from other houses in London, that he was in a state of insolvency, and in gaol (his continuing wherein was subsequently made the ground of a fiat in bankruptcy against him), went down to Southampton, where he arrived on the 15th May; and, learning that the goods had already been shipped, went with one Boutillier, the defendant's clerk (the defendant himself being absent from Southampton), on board the vessel, and desired that the goods might be relanded. Boutillier, who it appeared was duly impowered to transact business for the defendant at the custom-house at Southampton, wrote and sent to the collector of customs a request to the following effect :
“ 15th May, 1834. “I request to be allowed to re-land twelve packages of goods shipped by me on the 13th instant, on board the Eliza, having received directions from the owner to stop the shipment for the present."
Boutillier then gave Coates a letter addressed to his employer, the defendant, to the following effect:
“Mr. Coates, of the firm of Slater & Coates, Wood Street, London, arrived here this morning per coach to stop the goods you shipped yesterday. I have caused them to be re-landed to await their instructions."
Boutillier, who was called as a witness, stated, that, on the morning of the 15th May, about an hour before Coates's arrival, he had received a letter addressed by Le Couteur to the defendant, desiring him not to ship the goods sent down to Southampton until further notice; and he also stated that it was in consequence of this letter, and not of the request of Coates, that he had procured the
0. LE FEUVRE.
goods to be re-landed. This letter was written by Le Couteur by the desire of the plaintiffs' solicitor. On the 2nd August the plaintiffs formally demanded the goods. The defendant refused to give them up, claiming a right to retain them for the general balance due to him from Le Couteur for agency business.
The facts in both cases were substantially the same, with this exception only, viz. that, in Nicholls v. Le Feuvre, the stoppage of the goods was effected by Coates without any authority from the plaintiff.
On the part of the defendant it was submitted that the transitus of the goods was at an end on their being taken possession of by the defendant at the waggon office, and consequently that the stoppage was too late. Dixon v. Baldwen, 5 East, 175, Noble v. Adams, 7 Taunt. 59, Foster v. Frampton, 9 D. & R. 108, 6 B. & C. 107, 2 C. & P. 469, and Allan v. Gripper, 2 C. & J. 218, were cited. It was further contended (in Nicholls v. Le Feuvre), that the plaintiff could not take advantage of the stoppage by Coates, which was a perfectly gratuitous and unauthorized act. For the plaintiffs it was contended that the letter of the defendant's clerk was evidence of an undertaking to hold the goods subject to their order; that the transitus would end only on the arrival of the goods at their place of ulterior destination, Guernsey; and that Nicholls might by a subsequent ratification adopt the act of Coates. His lordship left it to the jury to say whether the goods were actually stopped by Coates whilst they were in progress to their place of destination, or whether they were stopped by Boutillier under the authority of Le Couteur: telling them that, if they thought the former, they must find for the plaintiffs; if the latter, for the defendant. The jury found that the goods were stopped in transitu, and that they were received by the defendant to be held subject to the order of the plaintiffs ; and they accordingly returned a verdict for the plaintiffs in both causes in Slater v. Le
Feuvre, damages 641. 15s., and in Nicholls v. Le Feuvre, damages 2541., leave being reserved to the defendant to move to enter nonsuits.
Sir W. Follett, in Nicholls v. Le Feuvre, (and Bingham, in Slater v. Le Feuvre), in Easter Term, obtained a rule nisi to enter a nonsuit, on the grounds urged at the trial.1. The general rule is, that, where goods are in a mere 1. As to whe
ther or not the state of passage, the vendor has a right to stop them: but, transitus was if in the course of their passage they arrive at any place ended at the
of where the vendee, either by himself or an agent duly au- stoppage. thorized, has or exercises control over them, the transit is at an end. In some of the earlier cases, particularly in Hunter v. Beale, 3 T. R. 466, n., Lord Mansfield seemed to think that the goods must come to the actual corporal touch of the vendee: but, in Dixon v. Baldwen, 5 East, 194, Lord Ellenborough repudiates that extent of the doctrine. “The question,” he says, “is, whether the party to whose touch it actually comes be an agent so far representing the principal as to make the delivery to him a full, effectual, and final delivery to the principal, as contradistinguished from a delivery to a person acting virtually as a carrier or mean of conveyance to or on account of the principal in a mere course of transit towards him. In Hunter v. Beale, I cannot but consider the transit as having been once completely at an end in the first course of the goods to the innkeeper, and that they were afterwards under the immediate orders of the vendee.” In Rowe v. Pickford, 1 Mo. 526, 6 Taunt. 83, a trader in London was in the habit of purchasing goods at Manchester, and exporting them to the continent shortly after their arrival in London. The goods consigned to him remained in the waggon office of the defendants, who were carriers, until they were removed by his agent for the purpose of being shipped. It was held that, the trader having become bankrupt, bis assignees were entitled to recover goods de
1835. posited with the defendants before the bankruptcy; that
the consignor had no right to stop them in transitu; and that, as the trader had no warehouse of his own, the transitus of the goods was at an end on their arrival at the waggon office. So, in Foster v. Frampton, 6 B. & C. 107, 9 D. & R. 108, where the vendee of several hogsheads of sugar, upon receiving from a carrier notice of their arrival, took samples from them, and for his own convenience desired the carrier to let them remain in his warehouse until he should receive further directions, and, before they were removed, became bankrupt-it was held that the transitus was at an end, and that the vendor was not entitled to
“Where,” says Bayley, J., "a man orders goods to be delivered at a particular place, the transitus continues until they are delivered to the consignee at that place; but that must be understood of a delivery in the ordinary course of business; for, if the consignee, before the goods reach their ultimate destination, postpone the delivery, or do any act which is equivalent to taking actual
possession of them, the transitus is at an end." 2. As to the 2. Coates had no authority from Nicholls to stop his authority of the party by whom goods. It is said that there may be, and in this case has the stoppage was effected.
been, a subsequent recognition and ratification by Nicholls of the act of Coates. But, where the rights of third parties intervene, the authority of an agent must be existing at the time of the act done-Right d. Fisher v. Cuthell, 5 East, 491, Doe d. Mann v. Walters, 10 B. & C. 626, 5 M. & R. 357.
Bompas, Serjeant, shewed cause.-1. The goods in question had not reached their place of destination when they arrived at Southampton; the transit was from London to Guernsey. It is not true that the transitus of goods is at an end the instant the vendee has a right to interfere and exercise control over them; for, he has (except in a case of bankruptcy) such right the very moment the