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

Peacock v. Mackie [1841] NSWSupC 96

civil procedure - insolvency - slavery, compensation for abolition of - imprisonment for debt

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Burton J., October 1841

Source: Sydney Herald, 2 October 1841

Mr. Poole applied to his Honor to hear this case, but his Honor, having to do some business in Chambers, declined entering upon it. Shortly after he had left the Court-room, Mr. Justice BURTON entered, and stated that he was sorry to see so many professional gentlemen present, but it was out of his power to enter on any more business that day, as he had been incessantly engaged in the business of the public since ten o'clock, and therefore those who had business would have to attend to day (Saturday). Mr. Poole informed his Honor that, he had been in attendance since ten o'clock, and if his Honor would but listen to what he had to say for a minute or two he would prevent him attending to-morrow, viz., that the insolvent (Mackie) had signed all the necessary documents but one, to enable his creditors to recover their claims from the Commissioners, of the fund out of which those who had slaves, who had been emancipated, were compensated, and that, for some reason or other, he declined to do, and hoped his Honor would not discharge him till he did sign it.

            In reply, his Honor told the insolvent that he would not discharge him till he signed the form, and that as soon as he did he would do so, and informed him that if he complied with these terms, he might come up with the other insolvants to-day, when he would be discharged, as he had heard a history of the case from Mr. Justice Stephen, and had no desire to see a person, who had a claim on the British Government for so large a sum as £6000, lying in gaol for debt.

            The insolvent expressed his willingness to sign, if all his creditors would execute the other documents, appointing Mr. Thomas Gore, with Messrs. Ramsay and Young, Trustees. These terms being agreed to, the Court adjourned till to-day.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University