Hussey v Christie

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtHigh Court of Chancery
Judgment Date30 May 1807
Date30 May 1807

English Reports Citation: 33 E.R. 417



hussey v. christie, May 2ist, 30th, 1807. Lien of the- Master of a ship by bills drawn, and payments made, for necessary repairs, abroad, in the prosecution of the voyage ; though no instrument of hypothecation. A Motion was made for an Injunction against the Defendants, assignees under a Commission of Bankruptcy against the owners of the ship Britannia, and against purchasers of the ship and cargo from them; and for a Receiver : the Plaintiff being entitled under the engagement, entered into with him, as captain of the ship, to one-third of the net proceeds of the cargo, in lieu of wages; and claiming also a lien in respect of bills drawn, and payments made by him, as captain, for repairs done to the ship, while abroad, at New South Wales, in the course of the voyage, upon the Southern Whale Fishery. Upon the arrival of the ship, the assignees took possession ; and brought her into the London Docks. [595] Sir Samuel Romilly and Mr. Cullen, in support of the Motion. For repairs done to a ship in this country a lien exists, as long as the ship continues in the possession of the person, who has done the repairs. If the repairs are done in the course of a voyage, those, who have done the repairs, or the master, making himself liable for them, have a lien. By the Law of Merchants the Master may hypothecate the ship for the repairs ; and consequently, as he cannot hypothecate to himself, making himself liable by bills, he may keep possession of the ship. There are many authorities, collected by Mr. Abbott (Abbott on Shipping, 103, &c,), as to the general right to hypothecate the ship ; and the distinction as to the lien, where the repairs are made in this country, and abroad, is acknowledged by Lord Hardwicke in the case of Buxton v. Snee (1 Ves. [sen.] 154. Sarnsun v. Bragington, 1 Ves. [sen.] 443), and by Sir Joseph Jekyll in Watkinson v. Bernadiston (2 P. Will. 307). Also upon a petition, Ex part-e Shank (1 Atk. 234), a lien for repairing in a foreign port was admitted. Mr. Fonblanque and Mr. Cooke, for the Defendants, Assignees under the Commission of Bankruptcy against the Owners : Mr. Martin and Mr. Benyon, for Purchasers of Shares of the Ship : Mr. Richards and Mr. Roupell, for Purchaseis of the Cargo. This claim of lien cannot be admitted. The question is of considerable importance, and in some degree new ; as it is an attempt to make this Court the Forum for a...

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