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liament why he had extended this necessary (as, indeed, he was inparticular privilege to this indi- competent) to dilate upon the vidual. It was certainly con merits of this picture: Mr. West trary to the general policy of the himself (whose time the learned law, and he could not in justice Counsel regretted he should octo the King's subjects affix the cupy, while he was engaged upon great seal to it merely because it a great work as an altar-piece to was a manufacture which other Marylebone-church) would be countries had in common with called as a witness, as well as Sir this.
Thomas Lawrence, at whose
house the Claude had been depoCourt of King's Bench, Monday, sited, and other artists of the first Dec. 9.-Special Juries.- Philip rank in this or any other country, Hill, v. Gray, Esq.—This was an who would all depose to the geaction for a breach of contract, nuineness and incomparable exin the purchase of a picture which cellence of the piece. It was the defendant had agreed to buy bought by the plaintiff at the sale from the plaintiff for the sum of of Mr. Hope's pictures : the price 1,0501.
given by him was no more than The Attorney-General ob 111l., for the learned Counsel served, that his client, the plain- had no secrets to keep. Mr. Hill tiff, was a person of the highest had drawn, as it were, a prize respectability, as he was war in the lottery: when he bought ranted in saying, from the esti- it, it might be a good or it might mation in which he was held by be a bad picture, and he took his persons of rank and character chance; having employed his skill with whom he had had transac- upon it, removed the dirt, and tions similar to that now before remedied the injuries of time, he the Court. The defendant was found that it was of greater one of those wealthy merchants value, and on that account he in which this kingdom abounded, had sold it to the defendant for who, having acquired a large for 1000 guineas. This was no unutune, devoted a portion to the sual circumstance; nobody supencouragement of the arts. He posed that the two Claudes behad been a considerable buyer of longing to Mr. Angerstein, now paintings, and through the agency prized at 8,000 guineas, had not of a Mr. Butt, a common friend been equently sold before they of the plaintiff and the defendant, came to that gentleman's hands he had entered into a contract for at an infinitely less sum. Mr. Butt, the purchase of a most beautiful the mutual friend of the parties, and valuable picture, by Claude had seen Mr. Hill's Claude, and, Loraine, which the eminent and admiring it of course, he advised venerable President of the Royal Mr. Gray to buy it, and after a Academy had pronounced not only short intercourse, in which it was genuine, but one of the finest of warranted to be a Claude, Mr. the productions of that exquisite Gray became the buyer at the master. With such an authority sum stated, and an early day was in its favour, it was wholly un- fixed for the payment. In the
mean time, however, the defen- consult his friends, and not act dant having informed some of merely upon the opinion of the his friends of his prize, one of witness. The witness saw the them hinted, that after all it defendant the next day, who might not be a genuine picture agreed to look at the Claude, and by Claude, probably without hav- asked the price, which the witing seen it, and Mr. Gray imme ness refused to name until the diately took the alarm, and re- picture had been seen: he also fused to complete his contract. declined mentioning to whom it The plaintiff was consequently belonged : but said that it might under the necessity of bringing be had cheap, as the owner was this action; and the principal much in want of money. The question was, whether this pic- defendant still pressed to be inture were or were not a Claude? formed, and the witness anUpon this point the evidence was swered in joke, “ If you think most decisive ; for, excepting that it stolen, you had better have the learned counsel could not nothing to do with it." The day prove by eye-witnesses that the following the witness understood pencil of Claude, who was born that Mr. Gray had seen it, and in 1600, had been seen employed he told him that the price was upon it, he could adduce the most 1,200 guineas : the defendant unequivocal testimony to its au- said it was a great deal of money, thenticity : the opinion of those and added, that Mr. Angerstein competent to judge was all the had given only 2000 guineas for law required.
his finest Claude: the witness Mr. James Butt deposed, that knew that that was only a mishe had seen the picture in ques.. representation, for the sake of tion for the first time at Mr. reducing the price demanded : at Hill's, and esteemed it a land- length, in about a week, the descape by Claude Loraine. The fendant offered 1000 guineas, witness very much adınired the which the witness, on his own picture; and knowing that Mr. discretion, considering the necesGray had been purchasing pic- sity of the seller, agreed to take tures, not very wisely, the wit- for ready money only; but afness, from friendship to him, terwards, he said that a week or wished to recommend a fine one a fortnight would not be of conto him. He in consequence wrote sequence. to the defendant in the begin The question being put to Mr. ning of August last, stating that Scarlett, on the other side, he he had seen a very fine Claude admitted that the defendant had that he thought would suit him, had the picture home, and had and if the defendant were dis- returned it to Sir T. Lawrence, posed to inspect it, the witness at whose house it had been would call the next day, but that placed. he might take a week to deter Cross-examined.—The witness wine on the propriety of pur- said, that he was what was comchasing The letter also re- monly called a merchant, with quested that the defendant would very little to do: he was not a
dealer in pictures : he had not he was relieved from his barrepresented to the defendant that gain. the picture belonged to Sir Felix Lord Ellenborough observed, Agar in the letter he wrote, nor that the witness appeared to have had he ever so stated in conver mistaken both his duty and the sation. Sir F. Agar had some law: knowing the existence of pictures at the plaintiff's that he the delusion, he ought to have wished to sell for 4000 guineas, removed it; and unless he did so, to raise money, but the witness the contract was founded upon had never said that this Claude circumstances of deception; if was one of them. He had never which circumstances had not exstated 10 the defendant that Sir isted, the defendant might not F. Agar was in a rage with him have offered so high a price as he for taking 1000 guineas : some proposed : not only the law, but thing has passed between the wit every principle of common honess and the defendant, which nesty required that the party made an approach to it at Boy- should not be allowed to continue dell's, where they saw
under any delusion when it could graving of this picture in the be prevented. Liber Veritatis, with the name of The Attorney-General hoped Mr. Agar at the bottom; and the that it would not be imputed to defendant having fallen into the him that he at all countenanced delusion, the witness did not the practice, because he endeathink it incumbent on him to re voured to show that the delusion move it.
could have no operation under Lord Ellenborough observed, the circumstances; the suspicion that he could imagine no reason that the picture came out of a why the name of the owner particular cabinet might induce should be withheld: in all fair a party to give a higher price, dealing there was no concealment but he submitted that here the of the kind. It was the duty of contract had been completed bethe witness, seeing the delusion, fore any thing passed which could to have endeavoured to do it be misinterpreted into a stateaway.
ment that the picture belonged to In the continuation of the the collection of Sir F. Agar. cross-examination, this point was Lord Ellenborough added, that still pressed: a letter was pro a third person making a contract duced to, and admitted by the like the present ought to take witness, in which he had men especial care that nothing was tioned the name of Mr. Agar. said or done by him to lead to After the sale, the witness never mistake. It appeared clear, that said that Mr. Gray, having bought though not directly, yet indithe picture under the misrepre. rectly, Mr. Butt had told the desentation that it belonged to Sir fendant that Sir F. Agar was the F. Agar, was therefore at liberty owner of the picture. to return it; but he had stated, The witness observed that he that if Mr Gray could satisfy him had had great difficulty in the that the picture was not a genuine business. Clauile, he would never rest till Lord Ellenborough.--There can
be no difficulty in plain sailing the witness inquired, and found and common honesty, while all is the last fact to be so : at another entanglement and delusion when conversation the defendant said we get out of the straight road. positively that the authenticity of
Mr. Scarlett.-I wish it to be the picture had been impeached, understood that it is no part of and that he would not take it, as my case to contend that this pic- it was not a Claude. This was ture is not a Claude.
his only reason for refusing to The Attorney-General.-—And a complete the purchase; and the very fine Claude; if that be not witness then used the expression, allowed, I must proceed to call that if it were no Claude he would my witnesses to show that it is ; never rest till the defendant was for the admission that it is merely relieved from his bargain. This a Claude is not satisfactory. was a week after Mr. Gray had
Mr. Scarlett. I will not say promised payment of a part of that it is not a fine Claude, but the purchase-money on an early the value of the picture is no part day, and a further day had been of my case.
named for the rest : no payment, Lord Ellenborough.--I will however, had yet been made.. take it, Mr. Attorney-general, that Lord Ellenborough.-) really your proof would go to the ex thought, and think, that the tent of showing that it is a ge cause had before arrived at its nuine picture, as far as that point termination. It appears that the can be ascertained : with regard defendant entered into a contract to some pictures, it now and then under a deception, from which happens that they can be traced the agent, the witness, did not from hand to hand, through va- relieve him, though he was aware rious families, to the original of it, and had it in his power: painter : in cases, however, where that delusion might be a material this cannot be done, the party circumstance in governing his deasserting the authenticity is only termination as to the price of the bound to make out such a simili picture; and not being removed, tude as leads competent judges it is in law a void contract. upon the subject to state that it is The Attorney General.-That genuine.
being your Lordship's opinion in The Attorney-general then pro point of law, the moment it is ceeded to re-examine his witness, intimated I am satisfied, Mr. Butt, who said that the con The plaintiff was non-suited. versation last alluded to took place at the counting-house of the defendant: this was after the price had been agreed upon, and Court of Common Pleas.-Wyatt the defendant had had the pic- v. Gore.—This an action ture sent home. A Mr. Wright brought by Charles Perkin Wyatt, had given the defendant a suspi- Esq. against Lieutenant-General cion that it was not an original Gore, governor of the province Claude, and that it was bought at of Upper Canada, for the pubMr. Hope's sale at a low price: lication of a false and malicious
LIBEL AND DEFAMATION.
libel, and for having suspend- which constituted the libel comed the plaintiff from his office as plained of in the last charge), he Surveyor-general of the crown assigned his reasons for suspendlands in that province, without ing the plaintiff; and it would be any sufficient ground, whereby proved, not only that all those he sustained considerable damage. reasons were false, but that Gen.
Mr. Sergeant Best conducted Gore knew them to be so, at the the prosecution. He said there time he assigned them. The were three grounds of complaint learned Sergeant then read exupon the record ; first, that the tracts from the pamphlet, which plaintiff, being Surveyor-general purported to be a letter from of the crown lands in the province General Gore to Lord Castlereagh, of Upper Canada, had been sus- complaining of the conduct of pended by the defendant, who certain factious and turbulent inwas Governor-general of the same dividuals, whose intentions were province, from his office, without to disturb the peace and inquilany just cause or reason: second lity of the province.
Among ly, that, after having so suspend- those individuals the plaintiff was ed the plaintiff, he wrote letters included by name, together with to the Secretary of State for the Judge Thorpe, Mr. Wilcox, and Colonial Department containing others.
others. In another part of the such representations as prevented pamphlet it set forth, that the the plaintiff from being restored plaintiff turned out of his office to his situation: and thirdly, that an old man, who had been many the defendant published against years in the service, merely bethe plaintiff a most false, scanda cause he voted for the governlous, and infamous libel. With ment (an allegation completely regard to the second charge, he false, for the individual in queswould candidly state that it must tion had solicited permission to fail, as it was not in his power to retire); and it further affirmed, support it by evidence. The let- that the plaintiff, having obtained ters which the Governor-general a grant of 1200 acres of land, wrote home to the Secretary of fixed his eye upon 200 acres near State had been applied for, but Niagara, which had been cleared the government refused to grant and cultivated by a man of the the use of them. They could not name of Young, a disbanded sertherefore be produced. Heshould, geant belonging to Butler's Rangtherefore, confine himself to the The plaintiff, supposing first and third charges, both of Young's title to the land to be dewhich he had no doubt of being fective, had set to work, and in able to prove to the satisfaction of the most oppressive and unfair the Court and the jury. It ap manner robbed the aged veteran peared that the defendant sus of his hard-earned rewards, and pended the plaintiff from his turned him out to beggary. office, and of course deprived him Young soon after died, and left a of its emoluments, without any large family in great distress. just cause or pretence. In the The case was mentioned to Gopamphlet (the publication of vernor Gore, who ordered an in