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Colonial Cases

Ewart v. Bengal Insurance Company [1790]

marine insurance

Supreme Court


Source: India Gazette  (Calcutta, India), 15 February 1790, issue 483, from the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers site of the British Library

This was an Action brought against the Insurance Company on a Policy made by the Plaintiff of a Respondentia Bond, and after very learned and ingenious arguments of the Counsel on both sides, the Plaintiff was nonsuited - We cannot enter fully into the particulars, but the fact and the point upon which the decision was given, appeared to be this:

The Respondentia Bond, which was the only subject of Insurance, described a particular voyage of a Vessel called " The Jenny, to the eastward and China, with liberty to transfer the Risk to another Ship, on the same Voyage." - A transfer was accordingly alledged to have been made, from the ship Jenny to another Vessel called the Argyle, which being afterwards lost at Sea, recourse was had against the Insurers upon their Policy.

The Defence made by the Insurance Company was, that a Deviation was made from the Voyage described, and the permission given by the respondentia bond, which could only regulate and ascertain the risk undertaken by the Policy; for instead of the transfer being made on a Voyage to the Eastward and China, it was made on the coast of Coromandel, and that therefore no claim could be made against the Insurers.

The fact of the had Deviation was proved in evidence, and upon the point the Nonsuit was obtained.

The Counsel for the plaintiff were Messrs. Dunkin, Ledlie and Burroughs - Attorney Mr. Forbes.

For the Defendants, the Advocate General, and Mr. Strettel - Attorney Mr. Hickey.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School