Eddowes, and Another against Hopkins and Another, Executors of Harris

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of the King's Bench
Judgment Date01 January 1780
Date01 January 1780

English Reports Citation: 99 E.R. 242


Eddowes, and Another against Hopkins and Another, Executors of Harris

[376] eddowes, and another against hopkins and another, Executors of Harris. 1780. Where there is a general verdict on a declaration consisting of different counts, some of which are inconsistent, or bad in point of law, and evidence has only been given on the good or consistent counts, the verdict may be amended by the Judge's notes [f 1]. Assumpsit, tried before Lord Mansfield, at Guildhall, at the sittings after last Michaelmas term. The declaration contained several counts ; some upon promises made by the testator, others on other promises by the defendants themselves. To the first set of counts plene administravit was pleaded, and the general issue to the others ; and, the jury having found for the plaintiffs with £147 damages, a general verdict was entered by the officer. At the trial, the only question was, whether the plaintiffs were entitled to interest on the value of goods sold by them to the testator. They were wholesale linen-drapers, and the testator an American merchant, and it appeared to have been the usage of the American trade, for merchants here to allow to their American correspondents twelve months credit, and then to charge them five per cent, for interest, and for the tradesmen here, to allow the merchant fourteen months credit, and then to charge five per cent. This was hardly disputed by the defendants, and his Lorship held, that though by the common law, book debts do not of course carry interest, it may be payable in consequence of the usage of particular branches of trade ; or of a special agreement ; or, in cases of long delay under vexatious arid oppressive circumstances, if a jury in their discretion shall think fit to allow it [B^]. But none is claimed by custom for all inhabitants, none such can be witnesses to support the right : otherwise in the case of prescriptive rights, where persons having correspondent rights are admissible, per Lord Kenyon in Bent v. Baker, 3 T. R. 32. [f 1] So where evidence has been given on a bad count, as well as on a good count, if it appears by the Judge's notes that the jury calculated the damages on evidence applicable to the good count only. Williams v. Breedon, 1 B. & P. 329. Vide Orr v. Churchill, C. B. E. 29 Geo. 3, H. BI. 227, 232 j 2]. E 2] The case of Orr v. Churchill, does not relate to the allowance of interest ok-debts ; but to the...

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