Dimmock v Hallett

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date1865
CourtCourt of Appeal

Vendor and Purchaser - Puffing - Sale without Reserve - Particulars of Sale - Misrepresentation.

An estate being sold by the Court at the suit of a mortgagee, with liberty to all parties to bid, the auctioneer stated in the sale-room that the sale was without reserve, but that the parties were at liberty to bid. The Plaintiff bid at the sale, and ran the purchaser up from £14,000 to £19,000, without any other bidder intervening:—

Held, that the purchaser was not entitled on this ground to be discharged.

The particulars of sale described a farm, forming about a third of the estate sold, as late in the occupation of A. B., at the rent of £290. A. B. had occupied the farm, which contained a good deal of grass land, as yearly tenant, at £290, but went in at Midsummer, paying only £1 for the first quarter, and quitted at Michaelmas in the next year, thus paying, £291 for a year and a quarter. Since this the Plaintiff had agreed to let the farm at £225; but the agreement had been rescinded before taking possession, and the evidence shewed that the farm would not let for nearly so much as £290:—

Held, reversing the order of Stuart, V.-C., that there was such substantial misrepresentation as entitled the purchaser to be discharged.

THIS was an appeal, by a purchaser under a decree, from an order of Vice-Chancellor Stuart, dismissing with costs a Petition to release him from his purchase.

In the suit, which was by a mortgagee in possession, to whom about £15,000 principal and an arrear of interest were due, amounting in all to about £19,000, a decree had been made for sale of the estate, which consisted of about 934 acres. The conduct of the sale was given to the Plaintiff, and liberty was given to all parties to bid. The sale took place on the 25th of January, 1866.

The particulars described the property as “fertile and improvable land,” and stated that “all this property is situate in the district known as the South Level, and is within the limits of the powers conferred by the Hatfield Chase Warping and Improvement Acts, 1854 and 1861, whereby, in course of time, it may be covered with deposit, locally termed ‘warp,’ from the waters of the River Trent, and considerably improved at a moderate cost.” The 13th condition was as follows: “If any mistake be made in the description of any of the lots, or any other error shall appear in the particulars of the estate (except as to the quantity of land, which shall be taken as stated, whether more or less), such mistake or error shall not annul the sale, but the vendor or purchaser shall give or take a compensation or equivalent as the case may require, and which compensation or equivalent shall be settled by the said Judge at Chambers.”

Part of this property was a farm called Bull Hassocks Farm, containing 300 acres, described in the particulars as “Lately in the occupation of Mr. R. Hickson, at an annual rent of £290 15s. Now in hand.” Another farm, called Creyke's Hundreds, containing 115 acres, was mentioned as “let to Mr. R. Hickson, a yearly Lady Day tenant (old style) at £130 per annum.” Another farm, Misson Springs, containing 131 acres, was mentioned to be “let to Mr. F. Wigglesworth, a yearly Lady Day tenant (new style) at £160 per annum.” As to the other parcels, some were stated to be vacant; as to others, it was mentioned that the tenants had given notice to quit, and others were stated to be in the occupation of yearly tenants, stating the rentals.

The conditions did not state the sale to be without reserve, nor did they state the fact that the parties to the cause had liberty to bid. The auctioneer stated in the auction room that the sale was without reserve, and five witnesses on behalf of the Plaintiff stated that he added that the parties interested in the estate were at liberty to bid. The property was put up in one lot, and there were three bidders — the Petitioner, Mr. Baxter, the solicitor for the Hatfield Chase Draining and Warping Company, and the Plaintiff. Mr. Baxter ceased bidding at £14,000, and a competition then went on between Mr. Dimmock and the Petitioner, until the property was knocked down to the latter at £19,000. The Petitioner deposed that, though he knew that a Mr. Dimmock was bidding against him, he did not know that he was a person interested in the property. The bidding by Mr. Dimmock was one ground on which the Petitioner sought to be relieved from his purchase.

There was some evidence to shew that a considerable portion of the land was very bad, and that the cultivation of some of it had, in consequence, been abandoned.

The land was all within the limits of the powers of the local Act referred to in the conditions: but it was in evidence that a canal, by means of which the warping operations were conducted, did not yet come within three miles of the estate, and that the expenses of warping, when it could be effected, would be above £25 per acre.

The Bull Hassocks Farm had been taken by R. Hickson at Midsummer, 1863, from Dimmock, who was then mortgagee in possession, at the rent of £1 till Michaelmas, the tenant paying rates and taxes, and from that time at the rent of £290 15s. This farm contained about 150 acres of pasture. It had previously been let at a higher rent. Hickson, at Lady Day, 1864, gave notice to quit, and left it at Michaelmas, 1864. In May, 1865, a Mr. Nelson a greed to take this farm and Creyke's Hundreds at 15s. an acre. He never took possession, an agreement having been come to for rescinding the bargain on his paying the Plaintiff £20; the reason, as he alleged, being, that the land was not worth the rent; and the reason alleged by the Plaintiff being, that Nelson had no capital.

Hickson, at Michaelmas, 1863, had taken Creyke's Hundreds at £130 a year, as from Lady Day, 1864; but he, at Michaelmas, 1865, had given a notice to quit, which would expire at Lady...

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7 cases
  • Kingspan Environmental Ltd and Others v Borealis A/s and Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 1 Mayo 2012
    ...not found a case in representation. This may be so where a statement is in such general terms as to be unverifiable. 478 421. Thus in Dimmock v Hallett [1866] LR 2 Ch App 21 a description in auction particulars that a farm's land was “ fertile and improvable” was said to be “a mere flouris......
  • IVY Technology Ltd v Mr Barry Martin
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 20 Mayo 2022
    ...may be a difficult one to draw. [See Kingspan Environmental Ltd v Borealis A/S [2012] EWHC 1147 (Comm), at [420]. Old cases include Dimmock v Hallett [1866] L.R. 2 Ch. App. 21 and Johnson v Smart (1860) 2 Giff 151, at 156, per Sir John Stuart V-C.]” (footnotes interpolated) In Kingspan, c......
  • Delany v Keogh
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 28 Febrero 1905
    ... ... H. L. 424. Derry v. Peek 14 A. C. 337. Derry v. Peek 14 A. C. 377. Dimmock v. HallettELR L. R. 2 Ch. App. 21. Eaglesfield v. Marquis of Londonderry 26 W. R. 540. Fitzgerald v. Portarlington 1 ... Jones (3). The Court requires good faith in conditions of sale, and looks strictly at the statements contained in them : Dimmock, v. Hallett(4). There the misrepresentation relied upon entitled the petitioner to be discharged from his contract. So in Stanley v. JPGauran (5), Palles, C.B., ... ...
  • Between 1) Melko Dobroslavic 2) Ronalee Murray-Dobroslavic Plaintiffs v 1) Grand Harbour Properties 2) Dale Crighton 3) Trevor Watkins Defendants
    • Cayman Islands
    • Grand Court (Cayman Islands)
    • 31 Marzo 2023
    ...[1885] 29 CH. D. 459, Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. v. Mardon [1976] QB 801, Hedley Byrne & Co, v. Heller & Partners Ltd. [19654] AC 465, Dimmock v. Hallett [1866–67] LR 2 Ch App 21, Thornton v. Shoe Lane Parking Ltd. [1971] 2 QB 163 7 [1897] AC 22 8 [2013] UKSC 34 9 [2002] CILR 389 10 [2009......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2016, December 2016
    • 1 Diciembre 2016
    ...French CJ and Kiefel J; Chitty on Contracts (Hugh Beale gen ed) (Sweet & Maxwell, 32nd Ed, 2015) at para 7–019. 67Dimmock v Hallett(1866) LR 2 Ch App 21; Miller v BMW Australia[2010] HCA 31; (2010) 241 CLR 357 at [23], per French CJ and Kiefel J; Chitty on Contracts (Hugh Beale gen ed) (Swe......
  • Misrepresentation
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Contracts. Third Edition Vitiating Factors
    • 4 Agosto 2020
    ...appeal to SCC refused (1986), 42 Man R (2d) 242n (SCC) . 7 Scott v Hanson (1829), 1 Russ & M 128, 39 ER 49 (Ch). 8 Dimmock v Hallett (1866), LR 2 Ch App 21. 9 Rasch v Horne , [1930] 3 DLR 647 (Man CA) [ Rasch v Horne ]. 10 Andrews v Hopkinson , [1957] 1 QB 229. 11 Mariani v Lemstra , [2003]......

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