Poplett v Stockdale

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date01 December 1825
Date01 December 1825

English Reports Citation: 171 E.R. 1041



S. C 2 C. & P. 198

[337] in C. P. at the sittings after michaelmas term, 6 geo IV 1825. Adjourned Sittings at Westminster Westminster, Dec 1, 1825. poplett v stockdale. (The printer of an immoral and libellous work cannot maintain an action lor his bill, against the publisher who employed him ) [S. C 2 C. & P. 198 ] Assumpsit, on a special agreement to pay the plamtift by a bill of exchange, the balance of an account for printing a certain book, called the " Memoirs of Harriette Wilson " ; with counts for work and labour The plaintiff was the printer, and the defendant the publisher of the work in question. The work was printed and published in numbers, and contained a history of the amours of a woman of pleasure, and of her adventures with persons of rank and distinction. On the covers of the separate numbers, several of which were put in evidence, were advertisements of obscene publications ; and under the title of Exhibits were lists [338] of the persons, anecdotes of whom were to be found in the respective numbers. The case for the plaintiff having been proved, Wilde Serjt. for the defendant was proceeding to point out the pernicious tendency of the. work, when Best C* J said, I must now take notice of the character of this book It professes to be-the history of a common prostitute, and to detail her real or pretended amours. 1 have no hesitation in saying, that no person who has contributed his assistance to the publication of such a work, can recover in a Court of Justice any compensation for labour so bestowed The person who lends himself to the violation of the public morals and laws of the country, shall not have the assistance of those laws to carry into execution such a purpose It would be strange, if a man could be fined and imprisoned for doing that, for which he could maintain an action at law Every one who gives his aid to such a work, though as a servant, is responsible for the mischief of it. No man can doubt the double object of this work, the corruption of youth, in the first place, by the exhibition of licentious scenes ; and the extortion of money from exalted individuals, by holding over them the fear of having themselves de scribed as persons of immoral habits I have no power here to punish these parties but I will not consent, that the plaintiff shall have the assistance of this Court to obtain remuneration for...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 books & journal articles
  • Illegality
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Contracts. Third Edition Vitiating Factors
    • 4 August 2020
    ...(1957), 119 CCC 380 (NB Co Ct). 9 Fores v Johnes (1802), 4 Esp 97, 170 ER 654 (Nisi Prius); Poplett v Stockdale (1825), Ry & Mood 337, 171 ER 1041 (Nisi Prius). 10 Apthorp v Neville & Co (1907), 23 TLR 575 (KB). 11 Berg v Sadler and Moore , [1937] 2 KB 158. 12 Harrington v Victoria Graving ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT