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removal of the plaintiff from Italy, his marriage with a Spanish lady, his attachment to the French authorities, and his acquisition of property near the village in Spain, where his Lordship had then arrived. For this libel the Duke de Sorentino brought the. present action.
The Attorney General, in opening the case, reprobated the manner in which the writers of modern travels frequently attacked the characters and conduct of persons with whom they became acquainted. In this instance there was not a syllable of truth in the assertions of Lord Blaney; and as the statement was circulated on the Continent soon after its publication, it became important to the Duke de Sorentino to give it a direct, positive, and public contradiction; such was his motive for this proceeding. As early as possible he addressed a temperate but firm letter to Lord Blaney, charging his Lordship with having entirely mistaken the individual, declaring that he had never disposed of any antiques excepting two gems, which had been sold afterwards in England for 750?. to Mr. Payne Knight, and for which he took others in exchange; that he had never been turned out of the English fleet as a French spy; on the contrary, that he had been treated with the utmost attention by Lord Nelson, at whose house at Merton he spent some time, and referring to the wounds he bore, as ample proof of his enmity to France; that the terrible imputation which made him shudder, that he had been detected in cheating at Palermo, was wholly false; and that Lord Blaney had con»
founded him with an Italian Coon?, who had been so guilty, and expelled the city in consequence, and that he could establish his iniw cence of all these offences bid to his charge, by many witnesses. The letter concluded in these word?, "1 know well the honour and the character of a Peer and an Englishman, anil I am persuaded that / risk nothing by referring to your Lordship the manner of doin? me justice, and of effacing the impression occasioned by an attack as outrageous as it M unjust." Such being the sentiments of hi* client, and being aware of the disposition of the noble defendant to make every reparation, the Attorney-General abstained from making those remarks upon the libel that, under other circumstances, he should think it well merited.
Before any witnesses were called, Mr. Scarlett, on behalf of Lord Blaney, expressed his readiness to admit all the facts necessary to entitle the plaintiff to a verdict. Lord Blaney was as sensible as the Duke of Sorentino of the injury he had done, and was, if possible, more anxious that it should be repaired. As soon as he was convinced, by the letter of the plaintiff, of the error into which he had fallen, he stopped the sale of his work, published a new and amended edition, with an advertisement stating his reasons, and doing justice to the plaintiff. As a nobleman and a soldier, Lord Blaney did not think it now unbecoming to make an apology by his Counsel, and to express his sincere regret at the unintentional mistake; it was impossible to say a single word in justification of the false assertions
assertions he had made in his work.
The Attorney-General, for hi9 elient, expressed himself satisfied with the apology, and as the object was only the vindication of character, a verdict was taken for the^plaintiff.—Damages 40s.
Burgess v. Clements.—This was an action tried before Mr. Baron Richards, at the last Oxford Assizes, by a traveller, against the landlady of the Three Cups Inn, in that city, to recover the value of three boxes of Birmingham trinkets, which the plaintiff valued at 600l. or 7001. and which were stolen from a room in the inn, while the plaintiff was there as a guest. The facts of the case were these :—The plaintiff had been in the habit of frequenting the defendant's house: there was a common traveller's room, but the plaintiff, on this occasion, wished to have a private room, for the purpose of receiving customers, who might come to purchase his wares, and asked for a particular room up stairs for this purpose. The landlady shewed him into a private room, the door of which opened into the gateway, and the windows of which could be looked into from the street: she gave him the key of the room to lock it when he went out, and advised him to bolt the door: the loss happened at night; the plaintiff had a candle in his room, but the curtains of the windows were down. When the defendant's son left him he was packing up his goods; he had been out two hours before the loss was discovered;
when he went out he was not sure that he even shut the door; the key was found in it, the defendant went into the room after the plaintiff went out, and put out the candle, which he had left burning: the defendant did not observe then whether the boxes were there. Under these circumstances the learned judge left it to the jury, that an innkeeper was prima facie responsible for the goods of his guest; but the guest might discharge him from that liability by his own conduct, and left it to them whether the present plaintiff had not done so: the Jury being of that opinion, found their verdict for the defendant.
Mr. Jervis obtained a rule nisi last term to set aside this verdict, and grant a new trial upon the authority of the 4th Resolution in Calye's case, 8 Rep. 65, which declares "an innkeeper bound in law to keep his guest's goods and chattels safe,, without any stealing or purloining ; and it is no exc^e for the innkeeper to say, that he delivered the guost the key of the chamber in which he is lodged, and that lie left the chamber door open j but he ought to keep the goods and chattels of his guest there in safety."
After some pleadings, Lord Ellenborough said, we cannot se«. any ground for impeaching the finding of the jury in this case, although the facts of the case might have been commented on more at large by the learned Judge than appears from this report, and he might have availed himself more decidedly of the rights of his own province in laying down the law. But the question is, whether the Jury have rightly exercised their province. province. An innkeeper is bound to keep the goods of his guest, hospitandi, so that no loss eveniat pro defectu hospitatoris. The Court did not mean to say that where goods are stolen, it was not prima facie evidence of defect of care on the part of the landlord; but under circumstances, the landlord might no doubt be exempt; as in this, where the plaintiffs conduct not only concurred, but induced the loss. Calye's case allows that where the guest introduces the thief, the landlord shall not be answerable. The questions in this case were, therefore, 1st, whether the plaintiff took the apartment animo hospitandi; and 2dly, whether his own conduct did not conduce to the loss. Upon the evidence it appeared that the plaintiff asked for a particular room to shew his goods; now a landlord is not bound to find his guest exhibit-rooms for the purpose of expanding his goods—he is not bound to provide shops, but convenient lodging for his guests. The Court agreed with the case in Moor, that the mere delivery of the key of a room would not dispense with the care and attention due from the landlord, and that he could not exonerate himself by merely handing over a key to his guest; but if the guest takes the key, it is a proper question for the jury, whether he has taken it animo cultodiendi, and for the purpose of exempting the landlord from his liability. Lord Coke also laid it down, that if the guest's servant, companion, or fellow-lodger rob him, the landlord is not liable; and in this case the plaintiff called strangers together for the purposes of a show, and invited
the admission of persons into the room, upon whose approach and access the landlord had no check. This was evidence of an user of the inn for purposes aliene from time hospitandi f and it was hard to-call upon the innkeeper to protect property in a room used for these purposes. It appeared that the defendant advised the plaintiff to bolt his door, for there were strangers about; and after this suspicion had been communicated to him, he was obliged to use diligence in protecting his own property; ordinarily, a guest certainly had a right to rest on the protection of his landlord 3 but after the latter's fears expressed, and admonition given, he was bound to use some degree of caution himself.—Rule discharged.
Halmanv. Whitmore.—Thiswaj an action onapolicyofi nsurence on goods on board the Venus.The vessel had been captured, and recaptured, and the salvage and charge which were incurred were sought to be recovered. The vessel belonged to a Dutch merchant of the name of Nolan, and the interest in the goods was averred to be in himAt the time the insurance was effected, the Dutch were alien enemies; but a license had been procured for the voyage by a person of the name of Bin to the following effect:—It was granted to C. Bin on behalf of different British merchants for the ship Venus to proceed with a cargo of certain specified articles to any port between the Texei and the Scheldt, bearing any colours except the French. Upon the construction of this license as to whether it covered the interest of Nolan, at the '' time
time an alien enemy, the question arose; and at the trial there was a. verdict for the plaintiff, with leave to the defendant to move to enter a nonsuit.
Mr. Parke, Mr. Scarlett, and Mr. Barnewall, for the plaintiff, stated, that the rule had been obtained on the ground that the case ofMennett v. fionhani, 15 Blast. •477, Flindt v. Crokett, 593, and I'hndt v. Scott, 525, governed this case; but since the rule was obtained, these cases had been overruled in the Exchequer chamber by the unanimous opinion of all the Judges; the Chief Baron founding the opinion which he delivered principally on the case of Usparicha v. Noble, 13 East. 332, and read Lord Ellenborough's judgment in that case as the strongest exposition of the reasons on which the Court of Exchequer founded their judgment of reversal. He said he considered it quite impossible to distinguish the case of Usparicha v. Noble from the cases then before the Court. The learned Counsel then contended, that in those cases the license was to a British subject and otlters; but in this case it was to Bin, on account of different British merchants, which was much stronger in favour of the plaintiff in this case. In those cases, no ship was particularly designated; in this the ship was pointed out by name: in those cases the license was to the Baltic generally, where theTe were some neutral ports; in this the tract of country to which the license extended was all that of an alien •nemy. It was undoubtedly law, that no alien enemy could mde
with this country, unless licensed by the Crown; but it was also true, that the Crown could exempt any alien enemy from the disabilities put upon him by a state of war. That in this case the government must have contemplated that the cargo must at some period belong to alien enemies; and it was not good policy to force the risk of conveyance to this country and from it, to lie a burthen on British subjects instead of alien enemies. They also relied on the fact, that Sir Wm. Scott had, in this very case, ordered the restoration of the ship and cargo when re-captured, on the ground that they were protected by the license. The cases of Fien v. Newham, 16 East. 197, *nd Robinson v. Touray, and Maule v. SJelwyn, were also cited.
Mr. Attorney-general and Mr. Carr, for the defendants, contended , that inasmuch as the Court of Exchequer-chamber had founded iteelf almost entirely on the case of Usparicha v. Noble, (which had been questioned in this Court, and if not denied, had at least been qualified), the reversal in that Court could only be considered in the light of a contrary opinion j and then they contended that the decision in Mennett v-. Bonham was the decision more consonant to the rules of law.-rThey did not deny that the Crown had the power to license a trade with an alien enemy, or for his benefit; but they contended, that in this case the license did not convey any such privilege to the alien enemy $ and Sir Wm. Scott had held, that unless there were express words in the license authorising
thonging the traffic to be on account of alien enemies, he considered himself bound to construe them as confined to private subjects, and not extending to alien enemies.
The Court were unanimously of opinion that the rule must be discharged. The license was not granted to any particular person; the government must have contemplated that the cargo at some . period must belong to alien enemies. All that was necessary was, that some British subjects should have a beneficial interest in the adventure; that was satisfied in this case by the plaintiff's having the advantage of being agent for the purpose of the export and import. This case might be decided without at all touching the decisions upon which a difference of opinion existed. They considered the case, in point of principle, to come within that of Robinson v. Touray. But if a British subject had not any interest in the adventure, either directly or irldlrectly, Lord LUenborough was then of opinion that the plaintiff would not have been protected by the license.
The King v. Howell and Izard.— This was an indictment against the two defendants, who are tradesmen at Brighton, for a conspiracy to injure the Brighton Old Bunk. The means to effect their purpose, as stated in the indictment, was to buy up their notes and to carry them in, demanding immediate payment; by mutilating and defacing the notes, so much that they could not be reissued, by which the stamps were
spoiled; and by writing libelloiis sentences on each of the notes, defamatory of the credit of the Bank.
Mr. Serjeant Best, tvho led the prosecution, stated, that this was one of the most malicious transactions which ever came before a jury for their cognisance. It was nothing less than a conspiracy between two persons to ruin the credit of a respectable bank, composed of a partnership of their neighbours, from motives of mo*t ill-founded private malice. The means taken to effect this purpose was stated in the indictment, first by getting and buying up all the notes of the Brighton Old Bank, and demanding payment. As soon as this was done, running about every where and getting again all they could, and sending them in for payment; and so daily continuing this practice for a length of time until they threw back upon the Bank, notes to a very serious amount. But inconvenient as this might have been to the prosecutors, it did not stop here. By an Act of Parliament, Country Bankers had a right to re-issue the same stamp for three years; but these gentlemen, in a variety of ways, so mutilated the notes tbey returned upon the bank, that the stamp was spoiled. The notes could not be re-issued, and consequently the brnkers were obli^wi to issue nevf stamps. Another mode was to write defamatory sentences on the back of others of the same notes, so that they could not be reissued witheut defaming themselves. The jury would naturally be led to inquire what could be the cause c/ all this malignity,