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should remain doubtful, the scale sufficiency of the tender of the should descend in favour of the silver watch, with costs. executor. It was clear from the Sir John Nicholl stated the foriner will, that the deceased circumstances of the case, and the meant to give the legatee not a point in issue between the parties. watch, but a particular watch, On the one hand, it appeared that and, therefore, the legatee must the gold watch was a very valushew that his intention had chang- able one, taken by the deceased ed, and if the matter still remain- in satisfaction of a debt, and that ed doubtful, the executor would he had often tendered it for sale ; have the right of election subject but these circumstances were not to equitable restraints. The Court conclusive, as it appeared, on the could only pronounce for the le- other hand, that the deceased, gatee if it should be satisfied that after acquiring the gold watch, the gold watch was the one in constantly wore it, and only used tended. In case of doubt or lean the silver one when the gold one ing to the contrary, the executor was sent to be repaired. It was would be entitled to the prefer- sent to Oxford for that purpose in ence. They then contended, that December, 1812, and not returnit was not the deceased's intention ed until the 7th August, 1813, to give the gold watch, because when he desired his niece to take he had it not in use as an ordi care of it, and gave her particular nary watch, particularly at the directions about winding it up, making of the will, but having and it was much more likely when acquired it as property, he was he made his will so soon afterdesirous of converting it into wards, that he thought of this money, and though he wore it gold watch which he esteemed so occasionally, he constantly offered much more than the silver one. it for sale. His original intention The executor had brought forwas not to give valuable proper- ward the former will, contending ty to this nephew, but memorials that because the deceased had of regard, family remembrances, specified the silver watch in that rather than pecuniary profit, and will, that niust be the watch he this was manifest not only from meant to give when he had not so his former will, but also from the specified it; but the Court was of articles associated with the gift of opinion, that an opposite conthe watch, the gun, and manu struction was to be put upon this script book. There was no proof circumstance: he meant to give that the gold watch was the iden- the best watch he then had, having tical watch the deceased intended two inferior ones; but having to give to this nephew, and non afterwards acquired and used the constat that the declaration of his gold watch, that would rather intention to give that watch to a seem to come under the descripnephew of his might not relate to tion he then used, of “my some other nephew. The legatee watch," and that expression to had therefore failed to make out have been used in contradiction his case, and they trusted the to “my brother Luke's watch." Court would pronounce for the If he did not mean the gold watch,
he ought, and it was most likely widow's claim fully established he would have so expressed him- the facts of the two marriages, self; or the common interpreta- and also that the first wife and tion would be that it was the gold the deceased, being domiciled in one that had thus become more the kingdom of Denmark, had peculiarly his, by purchase, and entered into a contract of separaby having superseiled the silver tion, in which it was stipulated one in use : but there was, be- (amongst other things) that both sides, his declaration that he did parties should be at liberty to not mean to wear it, but to give marry again with the consent of it to his nephew : this observation the King of Denmark, which the distinctly applied to the gold laws of that country empowered watch ; the only question then him to give. An act of divorce would be, who was the nephew was accordingly obtained from intended ? and that was answered the King; and the authenticity of by the words of the bequest. this act, and its being, by the Whatever therefore might have laws of Denmark, an effectual disbeen his intention previously, it solution of the marriage contract was evident that after acquiring between parties, subjects of that the gold watch, that was the one country, was proved by the evihe meant to give to his nephew, dence of some of his Danish Mathe party now claiming. The jesty's ministers, and persons conCourt therefore pronounced for versant with the laws of that the gold watch claimed, with country. costs.
No opposition was offered; aud
Sir John Nicholl observed, that Prerogative Court, Doctors' Com the shape in which the case premons.-Ryan and others, by their sented itself imposed no necessity Guardian, v. Ryan.—This was a on the court to examine the question as to the interest of par- grounds of nullity. The divorce ties claiming a right to the letters was effectual, as a divorce a vinof administration of the effects of culo matrimonii, according to the Philip Ryan, Esq. late of the city laws of Denmark; and it was of Copenhagen, deceased.
therefore not necessary to inquire He died at Hudson's Hotel, whether the grounds of it would Covent-garden, in June 1908, be sufficient here, as it was estaleaving a widow, several children blished that the parties were doby a former marriage, and one by miciled in that country: nor was the latter, the parties in the pre- it necessary to inquire whether sent proceeding. The letters of such a divorce could invalidate a administration were claimed on marriage had in England, if set the one hand by the widow, and up in a suit between the parties on the other by the children of the themselves. The present was only former marriage, denying the a case of interest; the fact of validity of the latter one, on the marriage was apparent, and not ground of the former wife being denied; the legal presumption still living
was, therefore, in its favour. The evidence in support of the Semper præsumitur pro matrimonio,
and this presumption was con
Forbes Hunter Blair, Esq. firmed by evidence. The Court, banker, Edinburgh. therefore, must pronounce for the David Skirving, Esq. farmer, interest of the widow, and decree East Garleton. the administration to her ; but he William Calder, Esq. merchant wished it at the same time to be in Edinburgh. distinctly understood, that such a Andrew Bonar, Esq. banker in decision could afford no precedent Edinburgh. in matrimonial cases where Alexander Charles Maitland similar question might be raised. Gibson, of Cliftonhall, Esq. Decision accordingly.
Sir John Dalrymple, of Cous
land, Bart. Jury-Court, Edinburgh, Nov. 1. The Lord Advocate, in an ---The Right Hon. James, Earl of eloquent speech, which lasted Fife, against the Trustees of the above two hours, opened the case deceased James, Earl of Fife.- for the pursuer. A great number This important and extraordinary of witnesses were then examined case-viz. whether the will of the for the pursuer, which
occupied late Earl, conveying certain es the Court till-half-past ten on tates in Scotland to trustees, the Tuesday night, when they adrents of which amount to 20,0001. journed. a year, were to accumulate for On Wednesday the Court met the purpose of being invested in again a little after ten o'clock, other estates, for an indefinite when Thomas Thompson, Esq. in a period, ought to be reduced, on very able speech, which lasted upaccount of certain informalities wards of three hours, stated the when the deed was signed, and case for the defenders : the exthe alleged blindness of the late amination of the witnesses on that Earl-occupied the court since side of the question then comTuesday morning till eight o'clock menced, and did not finish till near last night. All the Judges were eleven o'clock at night, when the present every day, viz. the Lord Court again adjourned. Chief Commissioner, Lord Pit Yesterday the Court met at the milly, and Lord Gillies.
usual hour, when John Clerk, The following were the Gentle. Isq. replied in a most able and men of the Jury :
ingenious speech for the pursuer. William Dunlop, Esq. spirit The Lord Chief Commisdealer in Edinburgh.
sioner, in a most luminous manAlexander Smith, Esq. banker ner, then summoned up the whole. in Edinburgh.
The Jury, after being enclosed George Wauchope, Esq. mer for three hours, returned with chant in Leith.
their verdict, which was read by William Trotter, Esq. uphol. Sir John Dalrymple, their Chansterer in Edinburgh.
cellor. James Pillans, Esq. merchant The following are the issues in Leith.
which were appointed to be tried, Sir John Hope, of Craighall, with the verdict of the Jury there. Bart.
1%. Whether at the date of the read to him at one and the same deeds under reduction, viz. on the time, or at different times. There 7th of October, 1808, James, is no proof whether they were deEarl of Fife, deceased, was totally posited and kept in the room in blind, or was so blind as to be which they were read, during the scarcely able to distinguish be- whole period which elapsed from tween light and darkness? And the commencement of the reading whether the said Earl was at that till the name of the said Earl was time capable of reading any wri- put to them, as aforesaid, or ting, written instrument, or print- where they were deposited. ed book? And if, at that time, 3d. Whether the said Earl's he could discover whether a paper name was put to the said deeds, was written upon or not;
or any of them, by having his Find, That James Earl of Fife, hand directed to the places of signat the date of the deeds under re- ing, or led in making the subduction, viz. on the 7th of October scription ? Or if the said Earl 1808, was not totally blind, though was assisted; and if so, in what he could scarcely distinguish be manner he was assisted in making tween light and darkness. The said his subscription? Earl was at that time incapable of Find, That the said Earl put reading anywriting, writteninstru- his name to the said deeds, by ment, or printed book. He could feeling for the finger or fingers of not at that time discover whether another person on the spot for a paper was written on or not. signature, and was no otherwise
2d. Whether the said deeds were assisted than as above described. read over to the said Earl previous 4th. Whether the said Earl put, to the said Earl's name being put or attempted to put, his name to thereto; and if so, in presence of the said deeds, or any of them, at whom? And if read over to the one and the same time; or whesaid Earl, as aforesaid, whether ther any period of time interventhey were all or any of them read ed? And if there was any into him at one and the same time, terval or intervals of time between or at different times? And if at the said acts, whether the said different times, whether they were deeds, and all of them, were in deposited and kept in the room in the possession or custody of the which they were read, during the said Earl, or were in the poswhole period which elapsed from session or custody of any other the commencement of the reading person during such intervals of till the name of the said Earl was time? put to them as aforesaid, or where Find, That the said Earl put his they were deposited ?
name to the said deeds at one and Find, That the said deeds were the same time. read over previous to the said 5th. Whether the said Earl put Earl's name being put thereto, in his name to the deeds under répresence of Stewart Soutar, and duction, in presence of the two Alexander Forteith Williamson, instrumentary witnesses, or either or one or other of them. It is of them ? or did acknowledge his not proven whether they were all subscription to them, or either of
them? or at what period he made Underhill and others. This was a such acknowledgment ?
suit as to the validity of the will Find, That the said Earl put of John Johns, of Ilfracombe, in his name to the deeds under re the county of Devon, deceased. duction, in presence of one in- He died on the 20th of December, strumentary witness, viz. Alex. 1815, possessed of about 80001. Forteith Williamson : but it is not personal property, and leaving proven that the said Earl did ae two natural children, and several knowledge his subscription to cousins, his nearest relatives. He George Wilson, the other instru- left two testamentary papers. The mentary witness.
first of them, No. 1, was a regu6th. Whether the said Earl larly executed will, dated the 4th was, until the dates of the deeds of September, 1801.
By this under reduction, or at a later pe- will he inade a provision for the riod, a man remarkably attentive mother of his children, and, after to, and in the use of transacting some pecuniary legacies, gave the every sort of business connected bulk of his property to his two with his estates, and in the prac- natural children, and appointed tice and habit of executing, and in Messrs. Glencross and Birt, two fact did execute, deeds of all sorts particular friends of his, execonnected with his own affairs, by cutors; but there was written subscribing the same with his own across the back of it the words hand, and without the interven “ Cancelled, and another made tion of notaries?
out.” The paper No. 2, was the Find, Proven in the affirmative. draft of a will prepared for the de
7th. Whether the said Earl ceased from instructions, in Febtook means to ascertain that the ruary, 1805, but never executed. deeds under reduction, alleged to It gave away a greater sum in have been signed by him, were legacies than the prior will, but conform to the scrolls of deeds disposed of the residue in the prepared by his agents under his same manner between the despecial direction, and what were ceased's two children, and apthe means he took to ascertain the pointed the same executors. No.l. same?
was propounded on the part of Find, That the only means the children by Messrs. Glencross which the said Earl took to ascer- and Little, as their guardians (the tain that the deeds under reduc- executors havirg renounced), and tion were conform to the scrolls opposed by Mr. Ambrose Bowden or deeds prepared by his agents, Johns, one of the cousins, conunder his special directions, were tending for an intestacy, upon his having heard the deeds read the ground of the cancellation of over to him.
No. 1, and the non-execution of The Gentlemen of the Jury No. 2. It appeared from the eviwere allowed to go home each dence that the deceased was forinernight by consent of the parties. ly first clerk to the Commissioner
of His Majesty's dock-yard at PlyPrerogative Court, Doctors' Com mouth, and resided there with mons.-Glencross and Little, v. his mother, but was superannu