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rently a man of property and sub- in a court of another description, stance; he kept two saddle horses, but although a court of honour, and a pony, which she used to ride. (the Jockey Club), the members
Mr Topping -He should for. had no power to issue writ or bear making any observation, or process, to compel the execution adducing any evidence calculated of their judgment. The case was to affect the character of the per- as follows: son who had taken the name of In 1811, a party of sporting Mrs. Underhill; as he felt that gentlemen dined at Colonel Barnby so doing he should not be able ston's, in Chester, amongst whom to alter the verdict, which, upon were the plaintiff and the defendthe evidence, must be for the ant, a gentleman of fortune at plaintiff. The truth was, the de- Liverpool. They each had a fills fendant, when very young, had a month old, and it was agreed become enamoured of this lady, by the parties they should run a but passion having ceased, and match at Chester races, 1913. reason having assumed her em- Sst. each, for 100 guineas, h. f. pire, he had formed a more suita- Sir Thomas brought bis filly to able and honourable connection. the post, but no horse of the de
Sir Simon Le Blanc observed, fendant's made its appearance. that when the defendant quitted Sir Thomas's jockey weighed, and his lodgings, leaving behind him it afterwards came out that the the lady who had passed for his defendant's filly was dead. The wife, if he had meant to with learned counsel observed, that the draw himself from future liabi- stipulation of the half-forfeit was lity, he should have given the to guard against accidents, which plaintiff notice of his intention, horses as well as men were subbut he had not done so: he had ject to. The wager had been won departed clandestinely, and no up !o the extent of one half of it; tidings were heard of him till the and the law of England would report arrived of his marriage. shew that the defendant was There could be no doubt that his bound to pay the 501. for the reliability continued. The Jury covery of which the action was were of the same opinion, and brought. their verdict was for the plaintiff, The Attorney-General submitto the full amount of his demand. ted to the court, that the act of - Damages 471. 8s. 6d.
God had rendered it impossible for the defendant to fulfil his pari of the contract ; and that such
rule of law was equally as appliChester Assizes.'
cable to brutes as to mankind. Sir T. Massey Stanley, Bart. v. Chief Justice-" Here not so, Hodgson. This was an action undoubtedly; a man undertakes against the defendant, a gentle- that he will do so and so, and man of the first respectability on binds himself to the performance the turf, for the amount of a bet of it; he is responsible for the which was refused to be paid, as non-performance of his agreebeing against the laws of the turf. ment. So with a horse; a man The case had been argued before, may bind himself that his filly
shall perform a stipulated task, said he was sorry that the answer which it cannot do. The respon- given to the objection made at the sibility certainly lies upon the trial “ that it appeared upon the contract."
record" had been so hastily given Verdict-For the plaintiff, da- way to by him; for though the mages 501.
indecency of evidence is no objecChief Justice" Gentlemen of tion to its being received where the Jury, you will recollect that it is necessary to the decision of a pounds are always guineas on the civil or criminal right, yet the turf!"-The verdict was accord- witnesses should have been told ingly altered to guineas.
that they might refuse to give evi
dence in a case where two men, Ditchburn v. Goldsmith.—This by laying a wager concerning a was an action between inhabitants third person, would compel his of Gravesend, upon a wager laid physicians, relations, and servants, by the defendant, who was a to disclose what they knew relapreacher of the doctrines of the tive to the subject of the wager. late Johanna Southcott, of 2001. The learned serjeant added, that to 1001. that she would be deli- the subject of the present wager, vered of a male child on or before Joanna Southcott, was a single the 1st of November last. Before woman. Mr. Serjeant Best could state the Mr. Serjeant Best answered, plaintiffs case, Mr. Serjeant Ons. that Lord Mansfield, in the very low, for the defendant, objected case cited, said " a wager wheon the grounds of indecency and ther the next child shall be a boy ludicrousness that this action or a girl hurts no one;" and he ought not to be tried, and cited should be able to prove, that the Da Costa o. Jones (Cowp. 729.) defendant had, in one of his pubwhich was a wager upon the sex lic lectures, declared that Johanna of Chevalier D'Eon, in which Southcott was to be married by Lord Mansfield held such wagers proxy, that the child might not be void as would " affect the inte born a bastard. rest or the feelings of a third per- The Lord Chief Justice (Gibbs) son; for instance, that such wo said, his difficulty was not wheman has eommitted adultery, or ther the present action was mainthat an unmarried woman has had tainable, but whether any Judge a bastard." In that case the de- had on that account refused to fendant's counsel objected at the try a cause. trial, that the plaintiff ought not Mr. Serjeant Onslow and Mr. to recover, because it was a wa. Comyn, for the defendant, inger upon a question tending to stanced Lord Loughborough, who introduce indecent evidence : to in an action upon a wager this it was answered, that the ob- ther there are more ways than 6 jection was upon the record, and of nicking 7 on the dice, allowing Lord Mansfield being of that 7 to be the main and 11 a nick to opinion, overruled the objection; 7," ordered the cause to be struck but afterwards, when the case out of the paper; and the whole came before the whole court in Court of Common Pleas afterarrest of judgment, his Lordship wards refused leave to restore it Vol. LVII.
(9 H. B. 43); and Lord Ellen- shall be a boy or a girl, and wheborough, who refused to try an ther a woman shall have a child action on a wager on a point of at all.
Call the next cause. law in which the parties have no interest, and the whole Court of King's Bench afterwards agreed in the propriety of such refusal The King v. Sir N. William (2 Campb. 408).
Wraxall, baronet.-The AttorneyThe Lord C. J. Gibbs stopped General obtained a rule to shew further argument by saying that cause why a criminal information he would suffer the cause to pro- should not be filed against this ceed with a view of making an defendant for a libel upon Count end of such cases, out of mercy Woronzoff, in a work lately pubto the parties.
lished by the defendant, entitled Mr. Serjeant Best then stated “ Historical Memoirs of my own his case, and proved by William Time.” The libel related to the Gordon that the bet was made at death of the first wife of the Prince Gravesend on the 5th of Septem- of Wurtemberg, who afterwards ber last, and by Dr. Reece, that married the Princess Royal of Joanna Southcott was never after- England. The author commenced wards delivered of any child. his book with saying, that he re. Upon cross-examination by Mr. lated the events that he either witSerjeant: Onslow, the Doctor said nessed, or of which he received that he had never heard of her the accounts from respectable teshaving a husband, and that she timony. The present prosecutor passed for a single woman. denied upon oath every word of
Lord C. J. Gibbs.—Now that this libel, of which the following the wager involves the question were the principal passages :-"I of a single woman having a have heard this subject agitated child, I won't proceed with the between 1789 and 1795, when
great uncertainty prevailed reMr. Campbell (with Mr. Serj. specting the point, though it Best) suggested, that the woman seemed to be generally believed herself gave out that she was with that she was dead, and that her child, and prophesied that that end had been accelerated or prochild would be a male, born be- duced by poison. It was natural fore the 1st of November. Were to ask, who had caused the poison she alive, therefore, she would to be administered ? Was the have no right to complain of her Empress herself the perpetrator feelings being hurt.
of this crime? And even if that Lord C. J. Gibbs.—So I am to fact should be admitted, was not try the extent of a woman's chase the Prince of Wurtemberg tacitly tity and delicacy in an action a party to its commission? Though upon a wager. I chose to wait
no positive solution of these questill the fact of her being a single tions could be given, yet when the woman came out. There is a wide fact of the Princess's death came difference between a wager, whe- to be universally understood, ther a married woman's next child many persons doubted the inno
cence of her husband. The King
of Great Britain himself was conclusion of that year, became strongly imbued with the opinion, duke, by the decease of Frederic of which he made no secret. In Eugene his father. Early in the 1796, when the first overtures summer of 1793, a gentleman were begun, on the part of the conversing with me on the subject Court of Wurtemberg, for the of the first Princess of Wurtemmarriage of their Prince to the berg's death, assured me that he Princess Royal, George the Third had seen and perused all the papers was so prepossessed against him, relative to her imprisonment and for having been supposed privy to decease; which, at the desire of the death of his wife, that he would the Prince, and by his authority, not listen to the proposal. In had been transmitted to George order to remove an obstacle of the Third ; who, after a full insuch magnitude, the Prince sent spection of them, became perover to London a private agent, fectly convinced of his having had instructed to ascertain from what no part in that dark and melanquarter the accusation came, and choly transaction. Lastly, he gave furnished with documents for dis- it as his opinion, that Catherine proving it. That agent 1 per- had alone caused her to be poi. sonally knew, while he was here, soned unless her decease resulted employed on the above mission. from natural causes. Her husband He possessed talents, spirit, zeal, remained a widower near eight and activity, all which he exerted years after that event, before he in the cause. Having clearly attempted to obtain the hand of traced the imputation up to Count the Princess Royal of Great BriWoronzoff, who long had been, tain. During so long a period of and who then was the Russian time, he seems to have adopted no Envoy at our Court: he induced measures for repelling the calum: the Count, by very strong personal nious report circulated all over remonstrances, accompanied, as Europe, of his participation in the we must suppose, by proofs, to death of his wife : reports which declare his conviction of the Prince's had made the most unfavourable innocence, and utter ignorance of impression even in England. It the nature or manner of his wife's is true, that George the Third end. It followed of course, that became convinced of his innocence Catherine, under whose exclusive before he consented to the union care she remained, could alone be of the Prince with his eldest accused of having produced it. daughter : but though the King The agent finally satisfied his Ma- yielded to the proofs brought upon jesty that the Émpress, and she this point, yet it was well known only, caused the Princess to be that he did it with reluctance and dispatched, without the partici- hesitation, rather giving way to pation, consent, or knowledge of the Princess's avowed wishes on her husband, if after all she the subject, than himself desiring did not die a natural death. In or approving the match. So far, May, 1797, the Princess Royal of indeed, was he from pushing forEngland was married to the Prince ward the alliance, that I know, of Wurtemberg, who, before the from good authority, he offered
the Princess, after all the preli- foundation in the front of that minaries were adjusted, and the second edition. marriage was fixed, to break it off, The Attorney-General said that if she chose to decline it, taking this would be no satisfaction to on himself personally the whole the character of Count Woronzof, responsibility of its failure. There or atonement for the injury be remains stił another important had sustained in the minds of those fact, which merits consideration. who had read only the first edition, We have seen that Count Woron- and the proposal constituted að zoff originally maintained his aggravation of the libel. Sovereign's innocence of the Prin- The court being subsequently cess's death, though he was after- moved to make the rule absolute; wards induced to depart from after Mr. Scarlett had shewn cause that assertion : but when did he against it on the ground that the make such an admission ? Much defendant could not be supposed depends on the time; for Cathe- to have been actuated by malice, rine died on the 6th of November, Lord Ellenborough said, the rule 1796 ; and after her death, a crime, must be absolute. The ground more or less, might not appear to upon which the Court is called be of much consequence, where so upon to interpose is, that there was many could be justly attributed to no motive of personal malice. her. Certain it is that the nego. If that was an excuse, it would ciation adranced much more ra- excuse the greater part of the most pidly after the decease of the Em- pestilent libels. There is genepress; and, on the 18th of May, rally speaking no personal motive 1797, the nuptials were solemnized. of malice in the libels brought Over the nature, as well as over before us ; the object, in general
, the author, of the first Princess of is to make that which is slander, Wurtemberg's death, a deep or and catches the itehing ears of the impenetrable veil is drawn. "We public, most profitable. Whether must leave it to time to unfold, if the publication gives pain or pleait does not rather remain, as is sure, the object looked ai is a lu• more probable, for ever proble- crative sale of that which, from matical." Upon the publication its malignity, is likely to be bought of this libel, the prosecutor wrote I do not know whether that is the to the defendant to ask him who motive of Sir N. Wraxall, but it this. “ private agent" was, whom is with reference to one of the the author “personally knew;" worst publications of the kind and the answer which he received that we are desired to give way was, that it was so many years and not exert the arm of the law. ago that he had forgotten; but Could the person libelled have for that he never meant to libel the borne to make the complaint be prosecutor, and if he would assure has urged to our justice He is the author he was in error, he a person representing once a great would expunge the whole story in potentate, and he is libelled in a second edition of the work which respect of a communication of facts was about to appear ; he further most injurious to his honour and promised to assert the want of its character. Could he do otherwise