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

McLellan v. Rudd [1898] NSWSupC 2

breach of promise of marriage, appeals

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Darley C.J., Stephen and Simpson JJ, 27 April 1898

Source: Sydney Morning Herald , 28 April 1898 p. 3

BANCO COURT.

APPEAL IN A BREACH OF PROMISE ACTION.

McLellan v. Rudd.

The Attorney-General (Mr. G.H. Reid), instructed by Mr. C.G.W. Croaker, appeared for the defendant, and move for a rule nisi to set aside that verdict for the plaintiff, and for a new trial. The case, which was tried at Wagga Wagga before Mr. Justice Simpson and a jury on April 1, was one brought by Mary McClellan against an old man named William Rudd to recover £1000 compensation for breach of promise of marriage. The plaintiff was a housemaid, and in her evidence she said that the defendant promised after the engagement to leave £1000 to her. She also said she undertook to become a Roman Catholic if the defendant married her; but he did not carry out his engagement. The defendant paid £10 into court as sufficient compensation to the plaintiff; but the jury found a verdict in her favour for £750. The defendant now appealed on the ground that the amount of the verdict was excessive.

The Court held that the verdict was not one which could be interfered with, as the Court could not say that the jury had been influenced by improper motives.

Rule refused.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University