Skip to Content

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

Lyons v Raine (1831) NSW Sel Cas (Dowling) 887; [1831] NSWSupC 16

bill of exchange - handwriting, proof of

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., Stephen and Dowling JJ, 5 February 1831[1 ]

Source: Dowling, Select Cases, Archives Office of N.S.W., 2/3466

[p. 50] [The belief of a witness as to the handwriting of another, is not sufficient to go to the Jury if the witness has never seen the other write or has never acted with the latter upon writing supposed to be his.]

Lyons v Raine

This was an action by the indorsee against the acceptor of a bill of Exchange.  At the trial before Dowling J. to prove the handwriting two or three witnesses were called who expressed their belief that the acceptance was of her handwriting but none of them had ever seen her write.  Their knowledge was derived from a comparison of this writing with other writings said to be hers.  The Judge thought this proof insufficient, and directed a nonsuit.

A motion had on a former day been made for a new trial on the ground of misdirection, but after looking to cases, and text books, the Court thought the nonsuit was right, but granted a new trial on payment of the Defendants costs.

Allan for Plaintiff  Keith for Deft.


[1 ] From its position in the Select Cases, this is the likely date of the hearing and composition of the court.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University