Russell and Others against the Men Dwelling in the County of Devon

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date14 November 1788
Date14 November 1788
CourtCourt of the King's Bench

English Reports Citation: 100 E.R. 359

IN THE COURT OF KING'S BENCH

Russell and others against the Men Dwelling in the County of Devon

Willes, 74. 16 East, 305.

See Gibson v. Mayor of Preston, 1870, L. R. 5 Q. B. 221; Borough of Bathhurst v. Macpherson, 1879, 4 App. Cas. 268; Kent v. Worthing Local Board, 1882, 10 Q. B. D. 121; Cowley v. Newmarket Local Board [1892], A. C. 350; Municipality of Pictou v. Geldert [1893], A. C. 529; Thompson v. Mayor of Brighton [1894], 1 Q. B. 338; Whyler v. Bingham Rural Council [1901], 1 K. B. 48; Wheeler v. Public Works Commissioners [1903], 2 Ir. R. 241; Maguire v. Liverpool Corporation [1905], 1 K. B. 788.

russell and others against the men dwelling in the county of devon. Friday, Nov. 14th, 1788. No action will lie by an individual against the inhabitants of a county, for an injury sustained in consequence of a county bridge being out of repair. [Willes, 74. 16 East, 305.] [See Gibson, v. Mayor of Preston, 1870, L. R. 5 Q. B. 221 ; Borough of Bathhurst v. Macpherson, 1879, 4 App. Gas. 268 ; Kent v. Worthing Local Board, 1882, 10 Q. B. D. 121 ; Cowley v. Newmarket Local Board [1892], A. C. 350; Municipality of Pidou v. Geldert [1893], A. C. 529 ; Thompson v. Mayor of Brighton [1894], 1 Q. B. 338 ; Whyler v. Bingham Rural Council [1901], 1 K. B. 48; Wheeler v. Public Works Commissioners [1903], 2 Ir. R. 241 ; Maguire v. Liverpool Corporation [1905], 1 K. B. 788.] This was an action upon the case against the men dwelling in the county of Devon, to recover satisfaction for an injury done to the waggon of the plaintiffs in consequence (a) Doug. 305, n. 2d edit. 360 RUSSELL I'. THE MEN OF DEVON 2 T. R. 668. of a bridge being out of repair, which ought to have been repaired by the county ; to which two of the inhabitants, for themselves and the rest of the men dwelling in that county, appeared, and demurred generally. Chambre, in support of the demurrer, insisted that by the laws of this kingdom, no civil action can be maintained against the inhabitants of a county at large for any injury sustained by an individual in consequence of a breach of tbeir public duty. No instance can be found of any attempt to support such an action as the present, which is a strong argument to shew that such an action will not lie, especially where the circumstances, which should give occasion to it, are in daily occurrence: for on principle there can be no distinction between any special injury arising from a neglect in not repairing a bridge and an highway. But this [668] does not rest on general observation only ; for if the principles, on which this action must be supported, are examined, it will be found equally clear. Consider, first, who are the necessary parties to all civil suits; they must either be brought against individuals, who are to be particularly named, or against corporations, or against persons who are rendered liable by the provisions of particular Acts of Parliament: if it be brought against individuals, all of them must be brought before the Court; they must appear before the Court or be outlawed. This mode of bringing actions against large bodies of men would render nugatory the privileges of the Crown of creating corporations, and would destroy the mode of suing corporations in their corporate capacity. And no Act of Parliament has yet made the inhabitants of a county at large liable in this case. Besides here the defendants are the men of Devon, who must be taken to mean the inhabitants of that county at the time of purchasing the writ: but the inhabitants of a county are a fluctuating...

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18 cases
  • Darius Ryan v The County Council of The County Tipperary, North Riding
    • Ireland
    • King's Bench Division (Ireland)
    • 17 May 1912
    ...20 T. L. R. 254; 90 L. T. (N. S.) 210. (1) 68 J. P. 415; 20 T. L. R. 254; 90 L. T. (N. S.) 210. (2) [1905] 1 K. B. 767, at p. 781. (1) 2 T. R. 667. (2) [1892] A. C. (3) [1902] 2 I. R. 538. (4) 79 L. T. (N. S.) 495. (5) [1905] 2 I. R. 415, 542. (1) 68 J. P. 415. (1) 3 A. C. 1155. (2) 20 L. R......
  • The County Council of The County of Cavan and The Bailieborough Rural District Council v Kane, Brothers
    • Ireland
    • King's Bench Division (Ireland)
    • 21 June 1910
    ...P. 101. (5) 37 Ir. L. T. R. 114. (6) L. R. 10 Q. B. 453. (7) 36 Ch. D. 593. (1) Ir. R. 5 C. L. 193. (2) Brett's Grand Jury Law, p. 23. (3) 2 T. R. 667. (4) 35 Ir. L. T. R. (1) [1907] 2 K. B. 480. (1) [1904] 2 Ir. R. 569. (2) E. B. & E. 84. (3) [1903] 2 Ir. R. 45. (4) [1895] 2 Ir. R. 555. (5......
  • Brady v Cavan County Council
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 2000
    ...S82(3) PUBLIC HEALTH (IRL) ACT 1896 S15(1) R V STAINES UNION 62 LJ QB 540 HARBINSON V ARMAGH CO COUNCIL 1902 2 IR 538 RUSSELL V MEN OF DEVON 2 TR 667 COWLEY V NEWMARKET LOCAL BOARD 1892 AC 345 PUBLIC HEALTH (IRL) ACT 1896 S15 CIVIL LIABILITY ACT 1961 S60(1) SHEEHAN, STATE V GOVT OF IRELAND......
  • Wheeler v Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 24 June 1901
    ... ... R. 7 Ex. 247. Russell v. Men of DevonENR 2 T. R. 667 ... damages in case such should be recovered against the defendants. Held, also, that it was no ... the various purposes including amongst others]: For preserving order and good conduct amongst ... shall not be assessed or rated to any county, borough, or other local rate or cess in respect ... Men of Devon (2) to Cowley v. Newmarket Local Board ... the owner of a plot of ground, with a dwelling-house thereon, situate at the base of a rocky ... ...
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2 books & journal articles
  • Of Kings and Officers — The Judicial Development of Public Law
    • United Kingdom
    • Sage Federal Law Review No. 33-2, June 2005
    • 1 June 2005
    ...breach of statutory duty. 73 Consequently where the duty was owed by 'the county' it could not be enforced: see Russell v Men of Devon (1788) 2 TR 667; 100 ER 359. This case was subsequently misunderstood as establishing a distinction between misfeasance and malfeasance in respect of highwa......
  • THE ARTICLE III "PARTY" AND THE ORIGINALIST CASE AGAINST CORPORATE DIVERSITY JURISDICTION.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 64 No. 5, April 2023
    • 1 April 2023
    ...Peake 206. (298.) Id. at 131, Peake at 206. (299.) Id. (300.) Id. (301.) Russell v. Men Dwelling in Devon (1788) 100 Eng. Rep. 359, 362. 2T.R. 667. 671-73 (Lord Kenyon (302.) Weller. 170 Eng. Rep. at 131, Peake at 207. (303.) See City Bank of Balt. v. Bateman, 7 H. & J. 104, 109 (Md. 18......

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