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

Prior v. Anderson [1891] NSWSupC 1

breach of promise of marriage, civil procedure, change of venue, slander

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Foster J., 13 May 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 1891, p. 3

In Chambers. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Foster.)


Mr. Butterworth appeared for defendant and applied for a change of venue from Sydney to Bathurst. Mr. C.B. Stephen appeared for plaintiff to oppose the motion. The action is one for breach of promise of marriage brought by Miss J. Prior, who resides in the Western district, against John Anderson grazier, of Killongbutta station, near Bathurst, and the damages claimed are £5000. The change of venue was asked for on the grounds that Bathurst would be a more convenient place for trial for the parties and their witnesses, and also a less expensive. The plaintiff, on the other hand, desired that the hearing should take place in Sydney, as, owing to the nature of the defence, she was anxious that delayed should be avoided. Some correspondence between the parties was read, from which it appeared that defendant had informed that the plaintiff of certain rumours which had reached him affecting her character, and requested her to disprove them. He added that, if she could do so, he was perfectly willing to marry her.

His Honor thought sufficient reason had not been shown for changing the venue, and he therefore dismissed the application, with costs.

Stephen J., 9 July 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald , 10 July 1891, p. 3

No. 2 Jury Court. - (Before Mr. Justice Stephen and a jury of four.)


This action, which was won brought by Jean Prior against John Anderson, to recover damages for breach of promise of marriage, was settled on the following terms, after medical evidence had been called to prove that a serious attack of fever had cause rumours which defendant had erroneously interpreted to plaintiff's discredit:- The defendant to pay £300 damages, and that the verdict be given for that amount, with costs. 2. That defendant expresses his disbelief in any imputation against the plaintiff, and regrets that she had been the victim of a slander. 3. That the action Prior v. Elizabeth Anderson be also settled, and a discontinuance entered by plaintiff; taxed costs to date to be paid by the defendant.


Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University