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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

May v Jones [1811] NSWKR 7; [1811] NSWSupC 7

tobacco - monies owed

Court of Civil Jurisdiction
Bent J.A.., 19 July 1811
Source: Court of Civil Jurisdiction Proceedings, 1788-1814, State Records N.S.W,    5/1106-110 [1]

[131] Laurence May of Hawkesbury, plaintiff and Jacob Jones of the same place, defendant

Writ to recover the sum of £21.0.0 being the value of a certain quantity of tobacco committed to the care of the said Jack by the said Laurence, as a common carrier and not delivered to the plaintiff.

Defendant denies the cause of action.

Thomas Abbott sworn, says I recollect selling to the plaintiff about the 7th January 1809 a basket of tobacco weighing 63lbs and some tea and sugar. I charged the plaintiff for the tobacco £22.1.0 sterling money. It was very dear at that time. Plaintiff has paid me for it that sum. Plaintiff in my presence delivered the tobacco and other goods to defendant to be carried by him to the Hawkesbury. Defendant was to have 12 shillings or 20 shillings for the carriage. The cart was at the door at the time.

Defendant in his defence says he was robbed of it on the road, and puts in a statement of his use which is received and filed.

The defendant does not call any witnesses.
The court herewith give judgment for the plaintiff. Damages £21.0.0, costs £1.15.4.


[1] Common carriers had few defences to actions against them for the loss of goods.

See also Sydney Gazette, 20 July 1811, 1, B. Kercher, Debt Seduction and Other Disasters: the Birth of Civil Law in Convict N.S.W., Federation Press, Annandale, 1996, 115-116, and see Biggers v. White, 1807.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University