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Colonial Cases

Lee v. Griffiths, 1874

[mining law]

Lee v. Griffiths

Warden's Court, Shackle
Frampton, 23 June 1874
Source:Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 24 July 1874, pp 2-3


(Before Warden Frampton.)
In this case Griffiths applied to be put in possession of claim No. 1 north of the Union Reef, and Lee objected on the ground that the claim was not properly pegged out, and claimed to be put in possession.
Dr. Kaufmann for the objector, and Mr. Smith for the applicant.
Dr. Kaufmann stated the case, and called
Otto Peters, who stated that he went to the Union Reef on the 1st or 2nd of June. Examined the ground, and saw the claim was not properly pegged out, as the trenches were not the proper length and depth. Repegged the claim and came to the Shackle and lodged an objection against Griffiths, the applicant.
By Dr. Kaufmann-Each trench measured 2 feet 4 or 5 inches, and did not reach to the peg. The trenches were not more than 4 or 4 1/2 inches deep-they were not the same depth all along, but got shallower at the ends. Went to all the trenches, and not one of them was the required length or depth. Pegged the ground properly, and lodged an application with the Warden at the Shackle.
By Mr. Smith-First noticed Griffiths' pegs and trenches were wrong on the 3rd of June. Will swear I measured the trenches with a tape, and they were two feet four or live inches. Do not know when the trenches were cut.
(By Dr. Kaufmann-Did not know where the reef was, but was shown where No. 1 north was. Thought it was quite possible the earth may have fallen in the trenches again. Did not consider the trenches were properly cut, but mere scratches with the pick.
(Frederick Sebbes said he remembered going over the Union line of reef with Mr. Peters. They examined No. 1 north. The trenches were new, also the pegs. The pegs and trenches he saw were not six feet in all-one two feet four, and the other two feet five. The deepest part of the trench was not more than four inches deep. The trenches were nearly all alike; only saw one measured, but they appeared to be all alike. They appeared to be just as they were pegged out; he believed they had been lengthened since.
By Mr. Smith-Will not swear the trenches were any certain length. Mr. Peters measured them and I held the tape. Measured it in the middle, and it got shallower at either end.
George Niesche remembered going with Peters and Sebbes over No. 1 north, Union Reel. Examined the trenches and saw them measured. They were between two feet four and two feet five long, and about four inches deep. They were fairly measured by Peters and Sebbes. Went to the rest of the pegs; but did not measure the trenches or see them measured, but am certain that none of them were six feet long or six inches deep. Have not seen the trenches since, but had heard Mr. Griffiths say he was going to lengthen them. Thought the trenches were made by a pick, and no shovel had been used. They did not appear like proper trenches.
This was the evidence in support of the objection.
Mr. Smith submitted that no evidence had been adduced to prove that the claim had not been properly pegged out and did not see the necessity for calling any witnesses. However, at the suggestion of the Warden, he called
William Griffiths who said he remembered marking out claim No. 1 north of the Union, and would swear that each trench was if anything over three feet in length, and the required depth.
By Dr. Kaufmann-No one was with him when he pegged out, which was on the 29th of May. First cut the trenches and then put the pegs in, but did not measure them. Cut the trenches with a pick and then scraped them out with my hand; the ground was hard and stony. The two legs of the trench came up to the peg which they joined. Put some earth and stones round the pee to keep it up. Did not measure the trenches at the time I marked the claim out, but did so after, and found them from three feet to three feet two inches long. I scraped the loose earth out and measured it from the post to the end of the trench.
John Gunn heard what the last witness had said, and it was true. Helped to measure the trenches and consider they were properly made, the length and depth were measured after the loose dirt was scraped out. Adam Johns was shown the claim in dispute and he considered it was properly pegged and marked out.
Dr. Kaufmann spoke at some length, and submitted that the claim had not been properly pegged out, and his client should be put in possession.
Verdict tor Griffiths, objection not
being upheld.
Dr. Kaufmann intimated that his client intended to appeal against the
decision of the Warden's Court.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School