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the Master of the Rolls in 1874, and contributed articles to the Nautical Magazine, the Revue de Droit International, as well as frequently to this Magazine, in which the last of his articles, viz., “ An International Arbitration in the Middle Ages,” was published in our November number of last year. He was Vice-President and one of the founders of the Institiit de Droit International in 1872, and also one of the promoters of a kindred society, the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations.
He was buried at Fulham Cemetery, Middlesex, on January 20th, in the presence of many devoted friends who mourned his loss, among whom were Mrs. Richard Marsden, his niece; Dr. Tristram, Q.C., Chancellor of the Diocese of London, and judge of the Consistory Court; Professor Holland, D.C.L., of the University of Oxford, member of the Institzit de Droit International; Mr. Alfred Burton, M.R.C.S. (Eng.); Dr. Stubbs, of the Middle Temple; and Sir Sherston Baker, Bart. Her Majesty the Queen communicated her regret, and the King of the Belgians his sympathy, to the relatives of the deceased,
Sad omnes una nzanet nox,
V.—CURRENT NOTES ON INTERNATIONAL LA\/V.
Foreign Judgments “in rem.”
A very curious question arose in the recent case of Minna Craig Steamship C0. v. Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London and China, I897 (r Q.B.), 55. The plaintiffs, an English Company, owned a ship, the Minna Craig, which sailed from India to a German port. Her master was induced by fraud to sign Bills of Lading for goods which were never in fact put on board. The bills were indorsed for value without notice of the fraud to the Defendant Company, whose registered place of business was in England.
During the ship’s voyage a winding-up petition was presented against the Plaintiff Company. On arrival at Hamburg, the defendants, who had in the meantime discovered the fraud, arrested the ship and took proceedings to enforce against her a lien, to which, by German law, non-delivery of the goods entitles the holder of a Bill of Lading. The German Court declared in favour of the lien, and ordered it to be satisfied by sale of the ship. The plaintiffs brought an action in England against the defendants to recover from them the fruits of their foreign judgment, as money had and received to the plaintiffs’ use, alleging it to be devisible among the general body of creditors. The Court (Henn Collins, J.) held that the plaintiffs could not recover.
It will be observed that there were really two conflicting principles applicable to the case. Firstly : the rule, not altogether free from doubt, that the “winding-up of a “ company impresses the whole of its property with a trust “for application in the course of the winding-up for the
“benefit of the persons interested in the winding-up.” (See Dicey's “Conflict of Laws,” rule 68, p. 343; Westlake, 3rd edition, p. 154; in re Oriental Inland Steam Co., L.R. 9 Ch. 557). Secondly : the well-established rule that “a valid “foreign judgment in rem in respect of the title to a “movable gives a valid title to the movable in England to “the extent to which such title is given by or under the “judgment in the country where the judgment is “pronounced.” (See Dicey, rule 102, p. 427-429; and see Castrique v. Imrie, L.R. 4 H. L. 414; Cammell v. Sewell, 5 H. & N. 718, etc.) As regards the former of these two points, the difficulty suggested by Westlake and referred to by Dicey (p. 343, note 3) did not arise in the present case, as the Plaintiff Company was clearly domiciled in England. Henn Collins, j., based his decision on the fact that the German judgment was one in rem and not merely in personam, and that the case was therefore distinguishable from Hunter v. Potts (4 T.R. 182), Sill v. Worswick (I H. Bl. 665), and similar cases. The German judgment, it is to be noted, declared that the defendants not only had a lien, but that this lien took priority over other claims, except those for the necessary expenses of prosecuting the voyage and for wages and disbursements.
The Court of Appeal in Smelting Co. of Australia v. Commissioners of Inland Revenue (Times L.R., Vol. 13, p. 84, and W.N. 1896, p. 167) : held, that a licence to use a patent in New South Wales was not “property locally situate out “of the United Kingdom” within the meaning of Sect. 59 of the Stamp Act, 1891. The case was decided on the peculiar wording of the Act itself, but is interesting for the dictum of Lopes, L.J., to the effect that “the property now in
“ question could not be said to be locally situate anywhere,” and of Rigby, L._]., that “although for the purposes of “Probate Duty it had been held that all property was “ capable of being localised, he did not think that for any “ other purposes incorporeal rights could be said to have “ any local situation.” (Compare the cases cited by Dicey, “ Conflict of Laws,” pp. 318-322.)
In connection with a similar point, it is to be observed that the House of Lords has affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Attorney-General v. Sudeley (1896, 1 Q.B. 354). (See W.N. 1896, p. 162, and Times L.R., Vol. 13, p. 38.) We have already commented on the
case in former issues. (See “ Current Notes,” February and May, I896.)
The cases (referred to in our last issue) of In re Clark and In re Doetch have now been fully reported in L.R. 1896, 2 Q.B. 476 and L.R. 1896, 2 Ch. 836 respectively.
HAT has been called an interesting blackletter case
has recently been before the Court of Appeal.
The facts of the case shewed that the plaintiff was lord of the manor, and defendants were the executors of George Christy, deceased. Christy was admitted tenant of certain copyhold tenements of the manor, which included two tenements known as Scotts and Langmead. Christy subsequently died seised of the tenements, and, at the time of his death, was not possessed of any beasts then being, or
which had ever been, within the manor; but he died possessed of two beasts outside the manor. The defendants, not knowing that there was any claim to them as heriots, sold them in order to realise their testator’s estate. The plaintiff claimed that he was entitled on the death of Christy to the best beast in respect of each of the tenements, Scotts and Langmead, and sought to recover from the defendants for their alleged wrongful seizure of the beasts. The contention on behalf of the defendants was that the heriots could not be claimed by heriot custom because the custom to take a heriot could not apply to a beast within the manor, but in this case the tenant never had any beast within the manor. Heriots could not be claimed by heriot service, inasmuch as heriot service only applied to fee tenants of the manor, and not to copyholders, being presumed to be founded on a reservation in a deed, and was in the nature of a rent service. The Divisional Court, however, held that heriot service might be applicable to copyhold tenements, and here, though Scotts was not a heriotable tenement Langmead was, and, therefore,judgment resulted for the plaintiff for the value of one beast. This judgment was the reason of the appeal, but the Court of Appeal supported the decision of the Divisional Court, and dismissed the appeal. The Master of the Rolls in giving judgment pointed out that it was contended for the defendants that this was a customary heriot, and the custom was only applicable so as to render beasts upon the manor at the time of the tenant’s death liable to seizure. The heriot was admitted by the plaintiff for the purpose of argument to be a customary heriot, but alleged that even then the beasts could be seized outside the manor. The various authorities shewed that on the happening of the event which gave the right to the succession, the property in the beast passed to the lord of the manor. There was no necessity for the lord to have