Dickenson v The Grand Junction Canal Company

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date02 April 1852
Date02 April 1852
CourtHigh Court of Chancery

English Reports Citation: 51 E.R. 538


The Grand Junction Canal Company

See Leech v. Schweder, 1874, L. R. 9 Ch. 468, n.; Lord Manners v. Johnson, 1875, 1 Ch. D. 680.

[260] dickenson v. the grand junction canal company. Feb. 24, April 2, 1852. [See Leech v. Schweder, 1874, L. R. 9 Ch. 468, n.; Lord Manners v. Johnson, 1875, 1 Ch. D. 680.] A contract was entered into between a canal company and the Plaintiffs, the owners of paper mills, as to the mode of enjoyment of the waters by which both were supplied. The company did acts in violation of the contract. Held, that it was no answer, upon a bill for a perpetual injunction, to say that the acts proposed would not be injurious, or even to prove that they were beneficial to the Plaintiffs ; and the Court, although no evidence was given of any actual damage done, made a decree for a perpetual injunction. Mr. Cairns, for the Plaintiffs. Mr. R. Palmer and Mr. Busk, for the Defendants. The following authorities were cited :-Blakemare v. Glamorganshire Canal Navigation Company (1 Myl. & K. 154),! The Rochdale Canal Company v. King (18 L. J. (N. S.) Q, B. 293), Matt v. The Blatkwall Railway Company (2 Ph. 632), Wood v. Sutdi/e (16 Jurist, 75), Soltau v. De Held (2 Sim. (N. S.) 133), Elmhirst v. Spencer (2 Mac. & Gor. 45), Smith v. Kenrick (7 Com. B. Rep. 515), South Shields Water Work Company v. Cookson (15 Law J. (N. S.) Ex. 315), and Acton v. Blundell (12 M. & W. 324). the master or the rolls reserved his judgment. [261] April 2. the master of the rolls [Sir John RomillyJ. This was a motion for an injunction, which, by consent of the Plaintiffs and Defendants, has been treated as the hearing of the cause, and upon which my decision is to have the effect of a decree made on the hearing of the cause upon the evidence brought before me. The object of the suit is to restrain the Defendants, the Grand Junction Canal Company, from using a well sunk by them near Tring, in Bucks, at a place called the Cow Roast Lock, to compel them to fill up this well, and to restrain them from excavating any other well, whereby the supply or flow of water in the stream called the Bulbourne may be obstructed from flowing down to the Plaintiffs' mill. The question on the motion and in the cause is substantially the same; and accordingly, and, as I think, beneficially to both parties, the arrangement above mentioned has been entered into. The Plaintiffs submit that they are entitled to the injunction they seek, both on the ground of express contract, and also on the ground of their common law right. The Defendants generally insist on their right to continue doing what they have hitherto done. A short statement of the facts is necessary to explain the view I have taken of this ease, although there is not, in my opinion, much difficulty in arriving at a ^iicial conclusion on the subject. The Bulbourne is a stream which arises in the ^Sghbourhood of Tring, proceeds by Berkhampstead to a place called Two Waters, where it joins or falls into a stream called the [262] Gade, which then proceeds by King's Langley, and falls into the Colne, some distance below Watford, and shortly above Rickmansworth. The Plaintiffs are owners of four mills, used for the purpose of manufacturing paper, in the parishes of King's Langley, Abbot's Langley, and Rickmansworth. Two of the mills, called the Apsley Mill and the Nash Mill, are situated at a short distance from each other, and shortly below the junction of the Bulbourne and the Gade, at a place called Two Waters. It is not disputed that these were ancient mills prior to the Act of 1793. In April 1793 the first Act for the 15BBAV.288. DICKENSON V. GBAND JUNCTION CANAL COMPANY 589 incorporation of what is now called the Grand Junction Canal Company passed. (33 Geo. 3, c. Ixxx.) By that Act it ia enacted, by the 35th section, that reservoirs shall be provided for the purpose of supplying the rivers Gade, Colne, and Bulbourne with as much water as shall be taken for the use of the canal, and that, before the water should be taken from the streams. The canal was completed, but the reservoirs were never made. In 1809 the Plaintiff Dickenson became the purchaser of one mill, and in 1811 of the other. After the...

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