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Decisions of the Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Superior Courts

Glover v. Birchall [1827]

trespass - land title, surveying - Pittwater

Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land
Pedder C.J., 1 December 1827
Source: Hobart Town Courier, 8 December 1827 [1]

This was action of trespass in which the plaintiff claimed a piece of ground at Pittwater, which had been in possession of the defendant since the year 1813, agreeably to an original grant to A.W.H. Humphrey, esq. It appeared that the plaintiff had purchased three small farms on what is called the Iron creek, which had been granted subsequently to the other in the year 1817, and which backed on it. The plaintiff had at one time possession of the land in question by an agreement of purchase, but he failed to prove that he had ever possessed it by right of grant, and when the agreement of purchase was mutually annulled, the plaintiff himself had removed the fence to its original situation. The evidence shewed that the disputed piece of ground had been originally marked to the defendant agreeably to the description of the grant, and his Honour the Chief Justice laid it down as a principle, that grants of land were not to be regulated so much by the number of acres which they might contain, as by the natural marks and descriptions particularised in the said grants as the boundaries; and that although the defendant's farm, agreeably to the description might contain even 1000 acres instead of 400, he would still be fully entitled to the whole. The plaintiff was nonsuited.


[1] The Hobart Town Courier, 15 December 1827 commented on this decision with approval. The country was too wild to be measured by acre alone, which would allow boundaries to constantly shift, so that landed property would have no value at all.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University and the School of History and Classics, University of Tasmania