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

Hodges v. Chadworth [1837] NSWSupC 37

married women's legal disabilities

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling A.C.J., 27 June 1837

Source: Sydney Herald, 29 June 1837[ 1]

Tuesday. - Before the Acting Chief Justice, and a common Jury.

Hodges v. Chadworth. - This was an action brought by the plaintiff, a resident at Parramatta, to recover the sum of £170 17s. 6d., from the defendant, also residing at Parramatta, as administrator and legatee of a person named Charles Stuart.

It appeared that the plaintiff supplied the wife of the late Charles Stuart with sugar and other goods, towards keeping a small shop at Parramatta, when she was living from her husband, and, as was contended for the defendant, in a state of adultery with a man whom she has since married.  Before Stuart died, he made a will by which, on account of his wife's bad conduct, he cut her off with a shilling, and left his property, estimated to be worth about £200, to the present defendant.

His Honor told the Jury that if they considered that at the time the plaintiff supplied Mrs. Stuart with the property, he knew, or had reasonable grounds to suspect she was living in a state of adultery, they must find a verdict for the defendant. - Verdict for the defendant.  The trial lasted nearly nine hours.

Counsel for the plaintiff, the Attorney-General and Mr. Foster, for the defendant, Mr. Windeyer.


[1 ] See also Australian, 30 June 1837; Sydney Gazette, 1 July 1837; Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court,  Vol. 138-2, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3323, p. 70.  The latter stated the action to be in indebitatus assumpsit for goods sold and delivered.

See also Tyrer v. Chadworth, Australian, 30 June 1837; and see Oliver v. Terry, Dowling A.C.J., 5 June 1837, Sydney Herald, 8 June 1837:

``Oliver v. Terry - This was an action of assumpsit, brought to recover the sum of £129 12s. 8½d., for goods sold and delivered to the defendant's wife.

``Evidence of the delivery of a part of the goods to Mrs. E. Terry, and an account of the whole goods signed by her was put in.  The defence set up was, that the goods were delivered while the defendant and his wife were parted, and were extravagant.  Verdict for the plaintiff; damages, £129 12s. 8½d.

``Counsel for the plaintiff, Messrs. Foster and Windeyer; for the defendant, the Attorney-General and Mr. a'Beckett."

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University