Skip to Content

Decisions of the Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Superior Courts

Stubbs v. Hudson [1829]

equity - injunction, interlocutory - passenger on ship - arbitration

Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land
Pedder C.J., 13 June 1829
Source: Colonial Times, 24 July 1829 [1]

To the Editor of the Colonial Times.

SIR, -- For the information of all those who may be commercially engaged, and others who may have arrived in the Colony strangers, and quite unprepared for legal proceedings like myself, I think it right to put you in possession of a Chancery affair which I have lately had on my hands, and pray notice the dispatch, the facility, the i[m]mediate a[t]tenion I met with from all hands in the Supre[m]e Court.
On Friday, the 12th of June, [C]aptain HUDSON, of the Orelia, thought proper to take upon himself the responsibility of transferring property in [a]ny possession on board, to another vessel, for Sydney, without any consent of mine, merely because he thought proper to enter into a charter for Swan River, and could not therefore fulful his engagement to proceed on with the vessel to Sydney.
I immediately set to work by application to the Court of Chancery on the Saturday, and by 11 o'clock on the Monday following, the order was issued to restrain the ship from going to Swan River, and to perform the engagement of her Bill of Lading to Sydney. I had no wish to injure the owners, in any advantageous intermediate charter she might make; but I was determined to bring Captain HUDSON to his senses; for I have no idea of these "blue-water wagoners" lording it over us, both by sea and land too. Accordingly I had no objection to the goods being transferred to another ship, giving me security for their safe arrival at Sydney, he paying all expenses, legal included. From one sort of trifling to another, I had not given permission for the injunction to be taken off until yesterday, wen the last smell of the grindstone brought the matter of agreement to a conclusion. And here let me remark, that the papers have lately amused the Public with accounts of the fine barque Orelia "positively to proceed, &c. &c." which information was all fudge and mere puff, unless what took place yesterday had happened, or the order of a Court of Chancery is nothing. Those who are in any doubt as to the validity of a Bill of Lading in this port, may hereafter assume safely, that protection and law is just as good and accessible here as in England. Another important fact, too, has taken place under arbitration. This same Captain HUDSON stopped his table for his Sydney passengers upon dropping anchor here, on the 8th of May, and positively refused me a breakfast on the following morning! I went to a Tavern, the Ship Inn, and the result is, that he has been obliged to pay all my expenses on shore during my stay here! ! ! This is very important, and really the Public Press is bound to work information and facts of this kind up into an arti[cle] of the strongest force of language. Delicacy is out of the question, when after a voyage of the most disagreeable and disgusting kind, if people were not to speak out, and the public good in consequence overlooked. I have had no vindictive feelings, or I could have had plenty of compensation; for, had I compelled him to have gone on to Sydney, he must have forfeited the £2,000 engagement to Swan River, and sooner than do that, £300 or £400 would have been the easier sacrifice. It was here easier to "sacrifice than obey."
I considered it a proper duty, on my part, first to punish over-bearing insolence, and I call it the duty of the Press now to give its assistance to the purport of my motives, and the general interest of every man, coming unprotected to a British Colony. All I have stated are facts. The legal assistance of Mr. Solicitor-General STEPHEN - the indefatigable exertions of Mr. Solicitor ROWLANDS - and lastly (and not least) the immediate attention of His Honor Chief Justice PEDDER, only prove what can be accomplished by the combined operations of ability, perseverance, and justic[e]; and all I shall add, is, magna est. veritus et prævailebit. - I am, Sir, yours, &c.
Every thing above stated (and more fully too) is borne out upon affidavit, and is upon record, both as regards the injunction and the arbitration. - Arbitrators, C. MCLACHLAN and T. HEWITT, Esqrs.
Hobart Town, Jul[y] 21, 1829.


[1] This case involved Richard Stubbs and William Hudson, AOT SC 62/1.

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