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

Lyons v. Reynolds [1841] NSWSupC 31

promissory note - Berkeley Estate - Tuggerah - sale of land - misrepresentation

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling C.J., 9 March 1841

Source: Sydney Herald, 11 March 1841


            TUESDAY. - Before the Chief Justice, with Major Lockeyer and Mr. Dawes, Assessors.

            LYONS V. REYNOLDS. - This was an action brought by the plaintiff to recover the value of a promissory note, made on the 27th May last, payable six months after date. The consideration alleged to have been given for the note was a quantity of the land known as the Berkeley Estate, situated at Tuggerah Beach, and which had been sold at public auction by the plaintiff, for the proprietor Mr. Peek, of George-street. The defendant alleged that he was under no obligation to pay, as the land had been grossly misrepresented, not only as to its quality but also as to its locality. It having been represented that the land was covered with cedar, black-but, and blue gum, whereas according to the evidence it was merely covered with scrub. It was also shown that although the place was represented by the advertisement as being within three hours sail of Sydney, that the steamer could not reach it in less than six hours sailing from thence. And that although the advertisement represented the said Berkeley Estate as being in the immediate vicinity of the thriving township of East Gosford, there was only one house a small inn of four rooms, then in process of erection, and that the land was of the most miserable quality. After the defence had been concluded the plaintiff consented to a non-suit being entered, which was recorded. This was the first of a series of actions brought by the plaintiff against the purchasers of the Berkeley Estate, all of whom have declined honouring their bills on the ground that the plaintiff had given a mis-description of the property, not only verbally at the time of the sale, but also by the advertisements in the newspapers, and by the handbills circulated in the sale room where the auction was held.

            Before Mr. Justice Stephen, and Messrs. Johnstone and Deloitte, Assessors.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University