Blair v Crawford

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeM. R.
Judgment Date21 February 1906
CourtChancery Division (Ireland)
Date21 February 1906
Blair
and
Crawford.

M. R.

Appeal.

CASES

DETERMINED BY

THE CHANCERY DIVISION

OF

THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN IRELAND

AND BY

THE IRISH LAND COMMISSION,

AND ON APPEAL THEREFROM IN

THE COURT OF APPEAL.

1906.

Practice — Motion to stay proceedings — Former action between same parties for the same cause — Res Judicata — Estoppel — Frivolous and vexatious proceeding — Infant.

Held, by the Master of the Rolls, (1) that the plaintiff was not estopped from proceeding by the judgment in the former action, and (2) that the circumstances in connexion with the alleged agreement against the appeal were such that the action should not be stayed.

Held, by the Court of Appeal, that the judgment of the Master of the Rolls should be affirmed on the second ground, without expressing any opinion on the first.

William Blair had in his lifetime carried on the business of a tailor, and also of a bookseller and stationer, at Ballymena, in the county of Antrim. He made his will, dated the 7th October, 1900, to the following effect:—

“I desire that all my property and effects be placed in charge of Robert Crawford and Robert Milliken, both of Ballymena, whom I appoint executors and trustees of my will. I direct my business to be carried on by my trustees as heretofore, and the proceeds to be used for the upkeep of my wife and children and education of my children until my youngest son attains twenty-one; and if my trustees think right to dispose of said business before my youngest son attains twenty-one, then I direct that an annuity of £10 yearly be paid to my wife during her lifetime. In case the business is carried on until Harry reaches twenty-one, the entire effects and property of every description to be divided in equal shares between my sons Willy and Harry, they paying thereout to my niece, Annie M. Agnew, the sum of £50, and also an annuity of at least £10 yearly to my wife.”

The said William Blair died on the 8th October, 1900, and probate of the will was granted on the 18th January, 1901, to the defendants, Robert Crawford and Robert Milliken, the executors named in the will. The testator left him surviving his widow, Annie Blair, and two sons, William, plaintiff in this action, and Henry, both of whom were minors. The widow, Mrs. Blair, died on the 16th July, 1902, intestate. The defendants, immediately after the testator's death, possessed themselves of the assets of the testator, and took over the management of, and carried on and conducted, the business of the testator. The defendants valued the gross personal estate of the testator at £943 19s. 2d., but the plaintiff averred that this was an undervalue, and that the defendants had never furnished the plaintiff with an account of the personal estate of the testator, or what had become of it.

The defendants appointed one David Blair, a brother of the testator, to carry on the tailoring business of the testator, and it was carried on for three months, until, in February, 1901, the defendants discontinued it. The plaintiff averred that this was done because the defendant Robert Crawford was a partner in a rival tailoring business of Barclay & Crawford, and that by abandoning the tailoring business the defendants inflicted damage on the trust estate.

The defendants appointed Mrs. Blair to manage the stationery and bookselling portion of the business. The plaintiff averred that Mrs. Blair was, to the knowledge of the defendants, of intemperate habits, and unfit to manage the business, and in consequence she wasted the assets. The plaintiff alleged that in so doing the defendants were guilty of a breach of trust, wilful default, and devastavit.

In January, 1902, the defendants sold the said business of stationery and bookselling, with the stock-in-trade, for £500. The plaintiff averred that the sale was negligently and improperly conducted, and was made at a gross undervalue.

On the 18th November, 1902, an action was brought in the Chancery Division, on behalf of William Blair and Henry Blair (who were then minors), by David Blair, their next friend, as plaintiffs, against Crawford and Milliken as defendants, (1) for administration of the personal estate of William Blair; (2) for an account of the personal estate of William Blair on the footing of wilful default. The defendants filed a defence, traversing most of the allegations in the statement of claim, and denying that they had been guilty of wilful default. The action was tried before Barton, J., in January, 1904. Several witnesses were examined, and the hearing extended over four days. His Lordship held that the defendants had not been guilty of wilful default, and dismissed the action without costs.

After the trial of the action it was alleged by the now plaintiff that the next friend of the minors entered into an agreement with the defendants not to appeal against the order of Barton, J. The plaintiff alleged that this agreement was not made in the interest of the minors, but was part of a compromise which included other matters in which the minors had no interest, and the plaintiff submitted that he was prejudiced by this agreement, as it had stopped the appeal, which would otherwise have been taken, from the decision of Barton, J.

In the affidavits filed in support of the motion it was stated that Mr. Currie, a solicitor in Ballymena, had acted as solicitor for the next friend with regard to the alleged agreement, and that he could give material evidence as to the alleged compromise. He refused to make...

To continue reading

Request your trial
3 cases
  • Tassan Din v Banco Ambrossiano S.P.A.
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1991
    ...with particularity - (1989/3142 P - Murphy J. - 31/11/90) - [1991] 1 I.R. 569 |Din v. Banco Amrosiano S.P.A.| Citations: BLAIR V CRAWFORD 1906 1 IR 578 MULGREW V O'BRIEN 1952– 1953 NI 10 BARRY V BUCKLEY 1981 IR 306 WYLIE'S JUDICATURE ACTS 1906 34–37 SUPREME COURT PRACTICE 1979 PARA 18/19/......
  • Horgan v Murray
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1998
    ...P. Horgan Petitioner and Joseph Patrick James Murray and James Milton Respondents Cases mentioned in this report:— Blair v. Comerford [1906] 1 I.R. 578. In re a company [1983] 1 W.L.R. 927; [1983] 2 All E.R. 854. Re a company [1986] B.C.L.C. 362. Re a company [1987] 1 W.L.R. 102; [1987] B.C......
  • O'Connell v Environmental Protection Agency
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 5 July 2001
    ...JOHNSON 1988 ILRM 747 TREATY OF ROME ART 234 RSC O.19 r28 RSC O.125 r1 TASSAN DIN V BANCO AMBROSIANO SPA 1991 1 IR 569 BLAIR V CRAWFORD 1906 1 IR 578 MULGREW V O'BRIEN 1953 NI 10 BARRY V BUCKLEY 1981 IR 306 SUN FAT CHAN V OSSEUS LTD 1992 1 IR 426 BROADNET IRELAND LTD V OFFICE OF THE DIR......

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