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Colonial Cases

Crawford v. Phillips, 1888


Crawford v. Phillips

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Mowat ACJ, 26 September 1888
Source: North China Herald, 29 September 1888

Shanghai, 26th September.
Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.
  This case was one arising out of the action of the defendant, who had been engaged by the plaintiffs Ninian Crawford, David Robert Fenton Crawford, John Samuel Cox, and John William Stanford, trading as Lane, Crawford & Co., as tailor, cutter, and assistant in their establishment at Shanghai, in establishing himself as a tailor in Shanghai, which the plaintiffs held he was precluded from doing under the engagement which he signed when entering the employment of the plaintiffs.
  From the statement of the petition it appeared that the defendant, William Phillips, contracted an engagement signed in London on the 9th June, 1887, to enter their service in the capacity stated, and was also to travel for orders as they might require.  The engagement was for three years, subject to certain specified conditions, one of which was that in case the plaintiffs or the defendant desired to cancel the agreement at the end of the first year of the said term, and should give four months' notice in writing of such desire, they could do so, the plaintiffs agreeing to pay the defendant's passage provided he actually returned to England at the end of the first year.  
  It was also set forth in the petition that during the continuation and also upon the determination of the employment thereby agreed on and for ten years after such determination, he "would not nor either as an assistant or on his own account or in partnership with any other person or persons start or carry on or assist as an assistant or principal in starting or carrying on in China any business of he like or a similar kind to that which during the said term should be carried on by the plaintiffs in China," under penalty of paying the plaintiffs he sum of one thousand Pounds.

  The defendant arrived in Shanghai on or about the7th August, 1887, and thereupon entered the service of the plaintiffs in which he continued till the 7th August last when the engagement was terminated by mutual consent, and instead of proceeding to England for which the plaintiffs were prepared to make provision, and in the face of his agreement not to engage in similar business, commenced business as a tailor in the premises  17, Nanking Road, which he still carries on.
  In his answer the defendant alleged that in addition to the business of ship chandlers, outfitters, tailors, wine and spirit merchants, and general-storekeepers, the plaintiffs were general commission, shipping and forwarding agents.  He admitted the signing of the document in London on the 9th June, 1887, but said that the terms and conditions therein contained and imposed upon him were entirely contrary to law and rendered the agreement invalid.  He contended that the alleged agreement regarding the restraint, could only be upheld at the expiration of the term of three years more particularly as there was only a proviso stating that if he actually returned to England at the end of one year the plaintiffs would provide him with passage money, and the defendant further said that at the time of signing the agreement he was not aware that the plaintiffs carried on any other business except that of hosiers.  
  The defendant moreover alleged that his wages were not paid weekly, as stipulated in the agreement; that he was put to considerable trouble from time to time to get a proper settlement of his wages, and that ever since his arrival in Shanghai he has been subjected to undue interference and annoyance; that the plaintiffs wrote to him stating they requited his room on the premises in July, a month before the expiration of his first year. That on the 30th June they wrote saying "We shall not require your services in the store after today," and stating they required his room after that day, whereupon a room was provided in the Temperance Hotel where the accommodation was inadequate, and he had been called upon to pay $7.50 and $6.45 for extra accommodation and on account of refreshments.  He contended that he was entitled to carry on his business in Shanghai and set up certain claims for travelling expenses coming out, and stated that he understood the sum of 10 Pounds handed to him by Mr. N. Crawford in London and deducted by the plaintiffs, was in payment of such expenses and also a s a partial remuneration for loss of time while on the journey.
  Furthermore he contended that according to the terms of the agreement there should be written notice either side to terminate the agreement, although he admitted his conversation with Mr. Stanford about his leaving, and that no such notice had been given.
  Mr. Wainewright appeared for the plaintiffs.
  The defendant conducted his own case personally.
  Mr. Wainewright in opening the case said this was an application for an injunction, or in default damages for breach of agreement which bound the defendant, as the plaintiffs contended, not to set up business in Shanghai in the way he had done.  The defendant it appeared to him had admitted the facts, and it was a question whether he should not begin the case.  Practically he admitted the alleged agreement, though he called it a document, - His Lordship would correct him (Mr. Wainewright) if he was wrong - but he contended that it was illegal.
  His Lordship, after looking at the agreement, said it seemed to him that the defendant also contended that it could not be enforced.
  Mr. Wainewright said he took the defence to be upon the matter of law, the facts not being much in dispute.  If there was a claim for 10 Pounds which the defendant considered he ought not to have paid he had his remedy.
  The defendant said that it was illegal to try to restrain his doing business in an empire like China containing a million and a half square miles. He would first ask his Lordship to decide as to the execution of and stamps on the agreement.
  Mr. Wainewright objected, the point not having been raised in the answer.  The defendant then said that the terms of the agreement were contrary t law, but said nothing about the stamps.
  The defendant continuing said that even though the terms of the agreement were such as could be supported by, and were in accordance with English law, which he submitted they were not, - the document in itself was invalid as not being properly executed, there being nothing to show that N. Crawford and John L. Cox signed it for Lane, Crawford & Co., while to make it binding it should be, he contended, signed by all the members of the firm.  
  He further submitted that there was nothing to show that all the signatures were properly witnessed.  He argued that the covenant of payment of 1,000 Pounds should be set aside because of it not being properly stamped.  In support of his argument that the terms of the agreement were entirely contrary to law, the defendant read extracts from page 126 of a book entitled "My Lawyer." Relying upon the law as therein set forth he submitted that restraints upon trade to be valid must be reasonable and only affording a fair protection to the interests of the party in whose favour they were given, and not so large as to interfere with the interests of the public, and finally they were invalid unless made for bona fide considerations.
The defendant said that for the European population of Shanghai which he set down at about 4,000, exclusive of visitors, and for the residents of the outports who have to send to Shanghai for clothing, there were only four European tailors.  He asked his Lordship to decide whether the limit of ten years during which it was sought to deprive him of making his living throughout china was a reasonable one as to time and place, merely on account of the plaintiffs' having given him twelve months' employment, which he said virtually meant that Lane, Crawford & Co. had power, in order to satisfy their selfish purposes, to expel him from China.
  In reply to his Lordship the defendant stated that his argument was that the Empire of China was too large an area to restrain him in.
  His Lordship said he could restrict the area if he thought fit.
  The defendant, continuing, said he was given to understand in England that the plaintiffs intended to open a tailoring business in Shanghai and that he was coming out to assist them.
  His Lordship said he supposed the defendant would not come out except that he got a better salary here than in England.
  The defendant - I can prove that there are tailors in Shanghai who get more wages than I got. [The agreement stated the defendant's wages were to be 5 Pounds a week for the first year, 6 Pounds for the second, and 7 Pounds for the third.]
  His Lordship - The why did you enter into the agreement?
  The defendant - I came out here and they did not act up to my agreement.
  His Lordship - That is another point.
  The defendant - I have nothing more to say, your Lordship, except that having no lawyer in the case, I will ask your Lordship to help me with any cases which bear upon my case.
  His Lordship observed that the law as read by the defendant from "My Lawyer" was quite correct.
  The defendant said he considered the plaintiffs had broken the agreement by not paying him his wages weekly, and he even had not been able to obtain the whole of his wages monthly.
  Mr. Wainewright said it would be well, as these statements of the defendant would be published, that he should make them on oath, and give his clients an opportunity to contradict them.
  The defendant said he was ready to verify them on oath.
  His Lordship said he thought the argument of the defendant could hardly be justified because a small sum was in dispute between the parties.  He had his remedy for that, and all these minutiae were irrelevant to the case.
  The defendant said he read it all along that the agreement was at an end at the termination of the first year.
  His Lordship said the agreement stated "during the continuance and also upon the determination of the employment."  If his employment began on the 8th August Clause 7 said he could not set up business within 10 years from the end of that employment.  Clause 5 could not have the same effect which defendant gave it, for that would seem to leave it open for him to give notice at the end of the year and start business, the very thing which Clause 7 prevented.
  The defendant said he took it that Clause 5 came before Clause 7, because he never gave the plaintiffs notice in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
  The defendant, Mr. Phillips, was then sworn and said - I saw Mr. Crawford and Mr. Cox, in London with reference to my going to Shanghai.  After the agreements were concluded, but before the agreement was signed, I said to Mr. Crawford that there would be incidental expenses in connection with the journey, and I asked if my wages would commence from the day of signing the agreement.  He said it was not usual for anyone to receive salary till they arrive at Shanghai.  He then handed me 10 Pounds and asked me if that would be sufficient and, as I thought, as a partial remuneration for my loss of time, while on the journey.  I gave no receipt.  I then returned to Edinburgh, and came back to London on receipt of their letter and the agreement was signed some days later.  Now I should not have signed that agreement if I had known that that sum was to be deducted from my salary.
  Mr. Wainewright read clauses two and three of the petition showing the conditions of the hiring.
  His Lordship said the defendant could see from the agreement what it said.  If they gave him 10 Pounds the agreement did not say they should do it, but that his salary could commence on his arriving in Shanghai.
  Defendant said - I was desired to proceed by the French mail.  I had a second class ticket from Marseilles provided for me.  There are hotel expenses coming through France.  I thought that the 10 Pounds was to cover my travelling expenses through France.  Before leaving London I went to Messrs. Morrison & Co., Messrs. Lane, Crawford & Co.'s agents, and got an advance of 15 Pounds from them.  On my arrival here my salary was not paid weekly, or every calendar month.  They paid me at four weeks to the month, making forty- eight instead of fifty-two weeks to the year.  On the 31st March, I had written two letters to them over the matter.  Mr. Stanford wanted to make out that he was only one day out and asked me to look again at the calendar.  I was caused much annoyance by an employee in the same place who assumed the management of the business, travelled for orders, took measures and I had to cut out from his measurements.  I contend that I was to travel according to the agreement.  I have been paid all my salary since.
  Cross -examined - I saw a Mr. Boffy in London.  He is Messrs. Lane, Crawford & Co.'s tailor in Hongkong; I also saw Mr. Ellis, a master tailor in London.  I daresay I had some conversation with them; they did not tell me what sort of business I was going put to in China.  They knew I was a tailor.  I came out to be a cutter, a tailor; I never heard they carried on any other business, but hosiery and tailoring.  I thought I was to be their first tailor here.  I told Mr. Stanford after I came that I had not received my money in accordance with the agreement.  He said he would see to it.  As far as I am aware, I did not receive any salary till two months had elapsed after my arrival here, because of Mr. Stanford's absence in Japan.  There was then a week's balance due me.
  Mr. Wainewright read a number of entries showing that payments of the following sums had been made to the defendant - September 2nd $93.96; November 1st $252.18; his full monthly salary on the fifth of December, January, February and $85.20 for arrears on the 7th May.
  Defendant - I had a payment every month regularly except the month Mr. Stanford was away in Japan.  On the 30th June I was paid up to the 7th of August.
  His Lordship - There does not seem much arrear there.
  Cross-examination continued - There was no suggestion ever made to me by Mr. Stanford that I should get $2- a month and that the odd days should be allowed to accumulate till the end of their financial year.  The annoyance which I received from the other employee was all the annoyance I got, except the annoyance of getting my salary.
  Defendant - I objected twice to getting my salary in four-weekly payments.  I objected to the odd days accumulating.  It mattered a great deal to me, on account of the falling the exchange.
  His Lordship said he could hardly see that, as the money was paid in Sterling.
  Cross-examination resumed - The proprietor of the Temperance Hotel; told me that Stanford told him to put me in the cheapest room.
  Mr. Wainewright read a number of letters between the parties, the first dated 7th May, 1888, from, Mr. Stanford accepting defendant's resignation, the second 21st June, from the plaintiffs stating they required his room, by the 1st July, and would provide him with a passage home to England in a steamer leaving about that date; one from defendant in answer thereto, and one dated 10th July stating that if defendant broke Clause 7 of his contract, steps would be taken to enforce it.
  Cross-examined - I did not say to you that Lane, Crawfords would have to fight it, but I did say that I was coming to see you about my case.  I was only partly paid the arrears and not till I had considerable trouble.  As regards the statement that I went through France to suit my own convenience, I may say that it was a Mr. Crawford's request I did so, and I was provided with a railway ticket from Charing-cross.
  Mr. John Wm. Stanford was next sworn and deposed - I am one of the signatories to the agreement and manage the business in Shanghai.  There is a firm of Lane, Crawford & Co. in Hongkong in which the other three plaintiffs are interested; I am not myself interested in it.  The plaintiff's firm had a tailoring department in Shanghai about fourteen or fifteen years ago.  We decided to re-open that department and engaged the defendant to take charge of it.  We tried to get custom [in] that branch in Tientsin, Peking, Chefoo and all the river ports; we sent a traveller to nearly all the river and Northern ports, and it is part of my business to continue that.  The traveller takes orders for anything we sell.  We in Shanghai do not send to any of the Southern ports, which are left to the Hongkong firm, who send to Canton, Foochow, Swatow and Amoy.  
  The defendant spoke to me about leaving some time in May. He came and told me that he was not comfortable and wanted to leave at the end of the year.  He had complained to me only once before about a fellow employee.  He simply said he wished to leave and I had plenty of time to get another man out.  Upon that verbal notification, I wrote him the letter of the 7th May to which there was no reply.  He made no objection to leaving on the 7th August.  He informed me that he had a friend who wanted him to go into business here, and also a cousin who wanted him to join with him at home, and asked me if I would think over allowing him to remain in Shanghai. A few days afterwards I answered that I objected to his stopping in Shanghai, and I shortly afterwards instructed you (Mr. Wainewright) to write to him.  As regards the 10 Pounds, I charged it to his account because it had been debited to us by our agents at home, who advised me of it.  I deducted it as a matter of course.  The defendant did not object to it, and I never heard of it till it was raised in his answer.
  I think it was during the month of September I explained to him that it was very inconvenient to make him weekly payments, and also to pay him in Sterling; and I said I would pay him every four weeks and the odd days at the end of our year, the 31st March.  He did not object to that at the time, and I do not remember that he did afterwards.  The confusion about his odd days arose out of a statement which he handed to me making the days to be about forty, whilst I made them twenty-eight.  I told him to look into it again; I afterwards found that I was a day short which I allowed him.
  Mr. Grimmer came to me one morning and said that Mr. Phillips was not satisfied with his room.  I replied that it was as good a room as he had in our place.  Mr. Grimmer also said that Mr. Phillips was signing chits for liquor.
  His Lordship - In the Temperance Hotel?
  Plaintiff - Yes, and I said I would not pay for them, as I was only to pay for his board and lodging.  I consider that the defendant remaining in Shanghai and going to outports for orders would be injurious to our business.
  Cross-examined by defendant - You complained to me, and spoke about leaving at the beginning of May or the end of April.  I have not the letter from N. Crawford to his son.  You may be capable of fulfilling the duties which you are engaged to do.  I say that you may because of occasionally badly cut clothes, nut that is not that you are not able to fulfil the duties.  I consider the meaning of Clause 7 to be that you cannot start business as tailor in the Empire of China.
  His Lordship - I suppose you would not object to give him all of China except the ports? (Laughter.)
  Plaintiff - No, if we can keep the ports, we will leave him the remainder of the million and a half square miles.
  Cross-examined - I acknowledge that you repaid us 25 Pounds.  I have Mr. James Morrison's letter (produced) debiting us with the 10 Pounds.  Your letter claiming arrears was torn up.
  Defendant to his Lordship said he only claimed for 17 working days.
  Cross-examination resumed - I cannot remember the amount claimed.  After the 31st March, I paid him the full number of days in the calendar month, to save trouble.  The word "Merchant" is rather a comprehensive term in Shanghai.  Wines and refreshments are supplied to members of the firm, and I presume you took them while you were residing on the premises.   I refused to pay for more than your board and lodging at the Temperance Hotel.
  Mr. Wainewright addressing the court on behalf of the plaintiffs said that the points raised as to the validity of the agreement were contemptible.
The agreement had been signed by four persons trading as Lane, Crawford & Co., in partnership, and it was no usual for parties who signed a document on behalf of the firm to follow with a description of each.  With regard to the question of the stamps, the defendant had cited nothing to show what the stamps should be and gave no notice of his objection on that point in his answer.
  He (Mr. Wainewright) referred his Lordship generally on that question to the case decided by the late Chief Justice French in that very Court.  It was the case of Hughes' bankruptcy - in which his Lordship held that for purposes of proceedings in that court, stamps were immaterial and he decided that he would take no cognizance of them.  In reference to the defendant's contention that the signature of the plaintiffs was irregular, he contended that the agreement signed by the partners in London was a true engagement and obligatory on the firm, and Mr. Phillips had the security of all the members of the firm for his salary. It seemed to him, that the only point in the whole case was whether the restriction imposed upon the defendant was a reasonable one, whether the limit of China was too large.  As his Lordship had already indicated, when they spoke of China in such a connection as the present, they only alluded to the Treaty ports and instead of enumerating a dozen different ports they generally for the sake of brevity said China.  He submitted it was well known that Hongkong and Shanghai were the only ports in or near China where there were European tailors and certain other people for supplying foreigners with clothing. Hongkong generally supplied he southern parts of Canton, Swatow, Foochow and Amoy, while Shanghai took in the Northern pots.  It was therefore obvious that people who sent round to these ports every year made Hongkong and Shanghai the headquarters of their business, and they were entitled to prevent interference with their legitimate pursuits.  The persons interested in this suit were three of the partners in the Hongkong firm and it would no doubt be injurious to them to have a person travelling about soliciting orders in the ports.
  On the point of law involved he referred his Lordship to the case of Mullin v. May, 12 L.J. Ex. P.376, and to numerous other cases collected in Smith's Master and Servant, 4th edition, at 126 and the following pages. Then again he referred his Lordship to the case of Hall & Holtz v. West, which was decided by Sir Edmund Hornby and reported in the North China Herald of the 24th April, 1875. It was very similar to the present case, except that it was for restriction of any business whatever, and Sir Edmund Hornby granted an injunction restraining him from carrying on the business of tailor. Mr. Wainewright read the latter part of Chief Justice Hornby's judgment in the case alluded to, and said the main point in the present case was whether the agreement was a reasonable one, and if his Lordship thought it was he prayed for an injunction to prevent the defendant carrying on business in Shanghai.  He hoped he had made it clear that Mr. Phillips could not carry on his business in the ports covered by Shanghai.
  His Lordship said he was quite clear on that point, but he was not so clear about the Southern ports.
  Mr. Wainewright then briefly addressed the Court on its power to grant injunctions and mentioned that there was the alternative of damages.  But he would prefer an injunction and thought the defendant would also prefer it.
  The defendant in his reply observed that when the agreement was made with him, Lane, Crawford & Co. were not tailors, while in the case of Hall & Holtz the latter were carrying on that business when the agreement was entered into.  He argued that the employment of him by Lane, Crawford & Co. for a year was not a valuable consideration.  He asked his Lordship to bear in mind that it was a wrongful dismissal.
  His Lordship - There is no evidence of wrongful dismissal; you said you wanted to go and they allowed you.
  Judgment deferred.
North China Herald, 6 October 1888
Shanghai, 1st October, 1888
Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.
  The case came on for judgment this afternoon.
  Mr. R. E. Wainewright appeared for the plaintiffs.  Mr. Phillips defended in person.
  Hos Lordship, addressing the defendant, said - Mr. Phillips, I  hold that you have broken your agreement, and following the precedent of a recent case at home, I now ask you whether you are prepared to bring into Court the amount of damages stipulated for.
  Defendant - What is the amount of the damages?
  His Lordship - In the agreement the damages are fixed and ascertained at 1,000 Pounds.  Are you prepared to pay that sum?
  Defendant - No.
  His Lordship - The case I refer to is Jones v. Heavens, 4 Ch. Div. p. 638.  That was a case for breach of agreement like this, and the Vice=Chancellor there asked the defendant if he was ready to bring the 100 Pounds damages into Court.  Defendant's Counsel was not instructed to consent to this, and the judge proceeded with the case and granted an injunction.  I propose to do the same here.
  His Lordship then delivered his judgment as follows:-
  The question in this case arises under the 7th clause of an agreement entered into between the plaintiffs and the defendant.  By that clause the defendant (who had been engaged in England by the plaintiffs to come out to them as tailor and cutter, at a salary commencing at five pounds weekly,  with board and lodging) agreed that he would not for 10 years after the determination of the employment "either as an assistant, or om his own account, or in partnership with any other person or persons, start or carry on, or assist as an assistant or a principal in starting or carrying on, in China any business of the like or a similar kind to that now or which during the said term should be carried on by the plaintiffs in China;" and the clause went to provide that in the event of a breach by the defendant of such stipulation he would pay to the plaintiffs 1,000 Pounds "as the fixed and ascertained amount of the damage thereby sustained."
  After the employment had lasted one year, it was terminated by mutual consent.  Within a week thereafter, the defendant, though previously warned in writing by the plaintiffs' solicitor of the legal consequences to him of such a step, commenced business in this place as a tailor, and at the date of the petition was carrying on such business. The defendant admitted in his answer to breach of the contract, but pleaded and argued at the hearing that the restriction, extending, as it did, to his carrying on his trade anywhere "in China," was too large and therefore illegal.  The first question accordingly is how far such a contract will be sustained, for although the restriction may be too large to be sustained in its entirety, a partial restriction may be perfectly valid.
  The law on the subject of contracts in restraint of trade is a striking illustration of the gradual growth of the principle of non-interference by the courts with freedom of contract.  After the earliest view that they were contrary to public policy and therefore illegal, had been abandoned, they were still clogged with limitations imposed on them by the Judges, who continued to view them with disfavour.  These limitations have, however, gradually disappeared, and now such contracts, instead of being discouraged, are supported as beneficial to the public at large, because of the advantage derived by the public from the unrestricted choice of able assistants which such stipulations give to the employer. (Per Lord Wensleydale in Mallan v. May, 11 M. and W. 653.) Aster a succession of decisions all tending constantly in the direction of non-interference with such contracts, the present state of the law on the subject may be stated to be that a contract by which a man undertakes, for a consideration which he judges sufficient, to abstain from carrying on his trade within a certain area, is binding upon him unless he shows, plainly and clearly, that the restraint extends beyond what the interests of the other party cam possibly requite. (Rousillon v. Rousillon, L.R. 14. Ch. D. 351.)
   Now if his were a town in England, and the agreement sought to restrain the defendant from carrying on the trade of tailor anywhere in England, the restriction would unquestionably be held to be unreasonably large.  But the term "China" in such an agreement as the present and under the circumstances of a case like this, means of course no more than the open ports of China at which foreigners reside.  It is quite clear, then, that so far as Shanghai and such at least of the other open ports at which the plaintiffs transact business are concerned, the restriction is necessary for their protection, and is therefore valid.
  Then arises the question, what relief should the plaintiffs have against the defendant for his breach of agreement? Under the agreement itself they are entitled to judgment against him for the stipulated sum of 1,000 Pounds; but in their petition they ask, in the alternative, for an injunction against him, and at the hearing this was the form of relief they applied for.  I think they are entitled to an injunction.
  In the case of Coles v. Sims (23 L.J. Ch. 258), Lord Justice Knight Bruce was inclined to hold that the  question of whether damages or an injunction should be given, was one for the discretion of the court according to the whole instrument and the nature and circumstances of the particular case.  If, then, the matter is in my discretion, I can see very good grounds for acceding to the plaintiffs' application and granting an injunction rather than  giving judgment for the damages. But a later authority (Fox. V. Scard, 3 Beav. 327), of which I have only a note, though a full one, in Joyce on Injunctions (21st edn. , pp. 502-3), would seem to give to the plaintiffs in such cases the  option as to what remedy  they prefer - which after all would appear  to be the reasonable view, as the stipulation is for their protection.  In a still later authority (Howard v. Woodward, 34 L.J. Ch. 47), where although there was no undertaking not to practice - the case was one of a solicitor - but merely a bond for the payment of 1,000 Pounds damages if the defendant did practice, the court granted an injunction.  In the present case there is a distinct undertaking, and I accordingly grant an injunction.
  But there still remains a point to be considered, though it is probably one of very little practical importance - Ought the injunction to extend to the defendant carrying on business at the southern ports, at which it is in evidence that the plaintiffs' firm does not at present do business?  At the hearing I expressed some doubt on that point, and that doubt is confirmed by a case last year before Justice North (Baines v. Geary, L.R. 35 Ch. D. 154).  I will, in accordance with that authority, limit the injunction to Shanghai and the ports at which the plaintiffs had business dealings during the defendant's employment by them; and I will also further limit it to the business of tailor and cutter.  
  An injunction with these limitations gives, it seems to me, all the protection that in the present state of the law the plaintiffs are entitled to.
  The defendant having with his eyes open - for permission to set up business on his own account, was refused him by his employers - and in spite of express warnings, broke his agreement, the case is most clearly one for costs.
  Mr. Wainewright asked on what scale were the costs to be taxed.
  His Lordship - Judicial relief and not for recovering of money.
  Mr. Wainewright - Court fees?
  His Lordship - Yes, I meant Court fees.
  Defendant - Can I appeal from the decision here?
  His Lordship - Yes.
  Defendant - What time am I allowed in which to file a motion?
  His Lordship - A fortnight.  Then you will have to give security.  Now I have not dealt with all the points you raised in the case, but only the important ones.  You mentioned one about consideration.  I think you did do no understanding what consideration in a legal sense means. The consideration you had was your engagement.  You also spoke about the agreement and not being sufficiently stamped.  It is sufficiently stamped; a sixpenny stamp is sufficient, but it is not necessary here that agreements should be stamped at all before they can be admitted in evidence.  As for the question of signatures, it is sufficient in this action if you signed it.
  The Court then adjourned.

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