Truth Faileth; so that Equity Cannot Enter Exemplified
Truth Faileth; so that Equity Cannot Enter:
Exemplified from a short Abstract of the Proceedings
in a Cause in the High Court of Chancery.
A Pamphlet, believed to have been published privately by Thomas Hunt (1773)
This link will take you to the text ‘Thomas Hunt, Lawyer’.
JOHN BANKES,—having a small Freehold Estate : Two Leasehold Estates, in Great Queen-Street and George Yard . Another Leasehold Estate in St. James’s Westminster, computed at 1481l per Annum at least, charged with a Debt of 9000l : Several other Leasehold Estates : A considerable Stock in Trade, and large sums of Money, due to him, for Book Debts, and upon Bonds, Notes, and other Securities,—made his Will, Deed of Appointment and Codicil, and thereby gave,
To his Wife, his said Estate in Great Queen Street :
To his Relations and other Persons in his Will named, his said Estate in George Yard :
To the Master and Wardens of the Haberdashers Company, London, his said Estate in St. James’s Westminster, IN TRUST (among other Things) to pay, Yearly,, by two equal Payments,—20l . to the Clerk of the said Company,—5l. to his Clerk, —7l to the upper Beadle,—5l, to the under Beadle, — 12l. to the Minister and Deacons of the Congregation in the said Deed mentioned, —80l. to his Wife for Life,—and, 130l to his other Relations, whilst the said Debt of 9000l . remained unpaid : And after Payment of the said 9000l . and all other his just Debts, Funeral Expences, and Legacies, which the rest of his Personal Estates shou1d fall short to satisfy, in case such deficiency should happen, he directed—that the said Annuities of 130l – payable to his Relations should be doubled—that the further Sum of 200l. per Annum, (making in the whole 460l. per Annum ) should be applied for their Use—and that divers C HARITIES amounting to 350l . per Annum should be paid to Seventy poor Persons :
AND the said John Bankes gave to his Executors, his other Leasehold Estates, and the Residue of his Personal Estate, SUBJECT to the Payment of ALL his Debts, (the said Debt of 9000l. only excepted) Funeral Expences, and Legacies.
IN 1719 the said John Bankes died.
IN 1725 his Relations (his Wife excepted) brought their Bills in Chancery, for an Account of his Estate, and for a Performance of the Trusts, of his said Will, Deed, and Codicil.
WHICH in 1727, was by that Court, DECREED accordingly.
By an ACCOUNT carefully stated from, and compared with the ANSWER of the said John Bankes’s Surviving Executor, and the other PROCEEDINGS, in the said Cause, it clearly appears,
THAT the Leasehold Estates, and the Residue of the said John Bankes’s Personal Estate, so as aforesaid given to his Executors, was far more than sufficient to pay all his Debts (the said Debt of 9000 l . only excepted) Funeral Expences and Legacies ; of which all Parties, had Notice of such ANSWER.
AND that the whole of the said Debt of 9000l might, with the Surplus of the Rents of the said Estate in St. James’s Westminster, have been paid upwards of Thirty years since :
BUT in 1730, Seven Years before the taking the Account, of the Residue of the said John Bankes’s Personal Estate, by ROBERT HOLFORD, Esq; the MASTER to whom the taking of such Account was referred by the said DECREE, he CERTIFIED to the said COURT, that there then remained due from the said. John Bankes’s Estate 13000l . and upwards ; although 4000l, (and all Interest thereon) part of the said 9000l . Debt, had then been paid :
AND in taking such Account, by the said MASTER, a considerable Part thereof, ADMITTED to have come to the Hands of the said Executors, or of some Person for their or one of their Use, was omitted ; other Part thereof was not Charged be Received, until many Years after the same was received ; other Part thereof was swallowed up in fictitious or false Payments ; other Part, thereof was retained in the Hands of such surviving g Executor, whilst there was Paid, or Charged to be paid, to Him, and others, Interest at 6l. per Cent, for Debts, which might, and ought to have been paid off, by and out of the Monies so retained ; and a further Part thereof remained undisposed of ; FOR EXAMPLE, the said John Bankes’s Stock in Trade, appraised at 1316l. and upwards, is not so much as mentioned in the RECEIPTS, and divers Sums, computed to amount to 1320l. or thereabouts, paid by the said John Bankes in his life time, is, after his Death, again charged, in the PAYMENTS, of such Account : of five sums amounting to 581l. one half only, instead of the whole ; is brought to Account : And 500l. is charged and allowed, as paid by one of the said John Bankes’s Executors to the other ; although the Executor to whom the same is charged to be paid is not debited therewith, or with any Part thereof.
The RECEIVERS of the said Estate in St. James’s Westminster, previous to their Appointment; gave upwards of 3000l. Security, for their truly, or truly and annually, accounting for and paying, as the Court had directed or should direct, what they should receive, out of the said Estate : And yet
They kept out their Accounts, from nine to thirteen Years, and in a period of’ Twenty Seven Years, four of such Accounts only, were verified by the Oath of the Receivers themselves, and eight of such Accounts, were sworn to, by a Person who could not write her Name :
AND many of the Allowances in divers of such Accounts, made by the said ROBERT HOLFORD, Esq; deceased, and by PETER HOLFORD, Esq; his Son, the present Master to whom the said Cause stands transferred, are evidently (as is conceived) either fictitious ; or not payable out of the said Estate ; or partial ; or exorbitant ; or made without, or contrary to, the Direction of the Court ; FOR EXAMPLE, 317l. 12s.. 6d . is allowed in such Accounts for I NTEREST on 330l. alledged, but not proved, to be lent in 1734 to the then Annuitants Relations, on an Assignment, or pretended Assignment, of three Years and a half or their said Annuities, amounting to 110l . per Annum, part of their said Annuities amounting to 130l . per Annum : Which said INTEREST, after the Allowance thereof as aforesaid ; was (in an Affidavit made in Support of a Petition, preferred to the said COURT in June 1768, praying that 1039l. 10 s . might be paid out of the said last mentioned Estate in respect of the said Loan, or pretended Loan, and the Securities, or pretended Securities for the same) positively swore (a) to be due and owing .
THE said Suit was instituted, in order to take the Management of the said Trust, and Trust Estate, out of the Hands of the said EXECUTORS and TRUSTEES, and to put the fame, under the Direction of the said COURT :
BUT it is conceived that the said TRUSTEES (1), in manifest Contempt of the said DECREE, have evidently, openly, and repeatedly, Assumed and Exercised, if not Controuled the Authority of the said COURT, to the apparent Prejudice of the Suitors thereof, and of the said Seventy Poor Persons : FOR EXAMPLE, the said. TRUSTEES directed 900l. and upwards, arising from the Rents of the said Estate in St. James’s Westminster, to be laid out (as mentioned in Note a) in the Purchase of 1000l. Bank Annuities ; although the Annuities payable to the said Annuitants Relations, were then considerably, and the Annuity payable to the Minister and Deacons of the said Congregation, was then wholly in Arrear(c): And THEY privately sold, or, as is conceived, RATHER PARTED WITH, to one, then and now a TRUSTEE of the same Estate, for 120 l only, a renewable Leasehold Estate ( not given to them IN TRUST, but directed to he applied to pay the said Testators Debts) subject to a Ground Rent of 10l. per Annum of which, AFTER the same had been permitted to run to Ruin, and previous to the said Sale of or their so parting with the same, a Lease was offered to be taken, at the Yearly Rent of 30l. clear of Taxes, and the Tenant to give One Thousand Pounds Security, to lay out Six Hundred Pounds in substantial Repairs thereon.
By the Ways and Means above S P E C I FI E D, and by others which RESEMBLE if not EXCEED them, it clearly appears,
THAT many DEBTS, to a very large amount, which might and ought to have been paid by and out of the Residue of the said Testators Estate, have been CHARGED, OR PRETENDED TO BE CHARGED, on the said Estate in St. James’s Westminster
THAT MANY THOUSAND POUNDS, have been, by some Persons, converted to their own Use :
THAT there was due—to the said Annuitants Relations, on their said Annuities amounting to 110l . per Annum, Eight Hundred and Ninety Six Pounds and upwards, at Midsummer 1760,—And the Minister and Deacons of the said Congregation, had notthen, in the Space of 40 Years, been paid One Shilling in respect of the said Annuity of 12l . per Annum . The whole of which said Arrears on the said Annuity of 12l. and the said 896l. and upwards, and the Monies accruing due, on the same Annuities- of 12l. and 110l. per Annum, respectively (save 100l. or thereabouts) the present Receiver, hath,after a Delay and Expence, conceived to be equally shameful, been since COMPELLED to pay :
THAT notwithstanding all such Payments the Suitors of the said Court, and the said Seventy Poor Persons, have been wronged, of Seven Hundred Pounds a Year, for upwards of Thirty Years, in manifest Violation and Contempt of the said DECREE and of ALL LAWS HUMAN AND DIVINE,
THE said Debt Of’ 9000l., having been long since PAID, and
THE present Debts (of 6000l . and 1900l . making together 7900l.) charged or pretended to be charged, on the said Estate in St. James’s Westminster, being Debts, which, in pursuance of the said WILL and DECREE, OUGHT TO BE PAID, not out of the said last mentioned Estate, but out of the said John Bankes’s Personal Estate,—AND CONSEQUENTLY,
THE said Annuitants Relations ought NOW to be paid the said 260l. a Year, and there ought NOW to be applied for their Use the said further Sum of 200l. per annum, making together the said 460l . per Annum ; and the said SEVENTY POOR PERSONS, ought NOW to be paid the said 350l.per Annum ; and not only so, but a Satisfaction ought to be made them, for the large Sums they have been defrauded of, for many years ; towards which, it is conceived, that 6900l. the Penalties of the Recognizances (d) entered into by the present Receiver, and by his late Father, a former Receiver, ought to be made to contribute ; for which Reasons, it is apprehended,
THERE are just Grounds, whereon to build, a reasonable .Assurance, that—If the City, of London in their corporate Capacity : Or, if even a few Persons of Rank, Fortune, and Spirit,-animated by Love to their Country. and Compassion to the Helpless and Oppressed,—would take proper Steps, in Behalf of the said SEVENTY POOR, they would, in a short time, actually enjoy, the said THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS a YEAR.
P 0 S T S C R I P T .
THE Character and Conduct, of the Writer of the preceding Pages, both as an Officer of the Customs, and as a Sollicitor of the said Court, having been greatly misrepresented to his Prejudice, he presumes he may have Leave to observe,
THAT in 1748, (his Clerkship to an Attorney in the City being expired) he obtained a Place in the Revenue. BUT after having in performance and discharge of his OATH and TRUST, sustained many severe Conflicts, in and for discovering many Errors, Neglects, and Irregularities, with regard to the Manner of carrying on divers Branches of Business, particularly in the Current of’ Business at the Water Side, relating to the Goods imported by the EAST INDIA COMPANY, the Duties to the CUSTOMs on which, are computed to exceed ONE MILLION PER ANNUM ; and with regard also to the manner of carrying on the Business by the Officers in the EAST INDIA WAREHOUSES ; and in the ACCOUNTS touching the PROHIBITED GOODS, which were intended to have been laid before the PARLIAMENT, pursuant to the 11, & 12 W. 3 ch. 10. Intitled, an Act for the more effectual employing the POOR, by encouraging the Manufactures of this Kingdom,
HE CEASED to be an Officer of the Customs, with-a Certificate In Writing, (Copy whereof is subjoined (,e) under the Hands of the then COMMISSIONERS thereof :
AND, having entered on the Practice of his Profession, as an Attorney and Solicitor, was, at the earned Request of one, who claimed to be an Annuitant, under the said Will and Deed, prevailed upon, to look into the Proceedings, and afterwards acted as a Sollicitor, in the said suit, WHEREUPON in less than six Years, the Minister and Deacons of the Congregation, who had never before received one Shilling, in Respect of the said Annuity of Twelve Pounds, were paid Five Hundred and Twenty Eight Pounds, for forty four Years arrears thereof : And the said Annuitants Relations, two of whom had received One Guinea each only, and the rest not One Penny, during three Years of the Receivership of the present Receiver ( at a time —when the Interest of’ the Money, which during such three Years, was apparently retained in the Hands of the RECEIVERS OFFICERS OF THE COURT, AMOUNTED TO ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY P OUNDS, and upwards,) were paid One Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Two Pounds, and upwards : And the Enquiry having been prosecuted, a Discovery has been made,—of such PRACTICES for a series of Years, in, and by the OFFICERS and SOLLICITORS of a COURT which must be allowed, with regard to the Number and great Value of Suits instituted there, to be by far the most considerable Court of Justice within this Kingdom, as (is apprehended) evidently shews, that there is not ONE British Subject, but may, if not prevented by a New (f) and effectual REMEDY, BE DEPRIVED EVEN OF AN AFFLUENT FORTUNE, BY THE VERY MEANS APPOINTED TO SECURE HIM IN THE ENJOYMENT THEREOF, -It was therefore judged proper (notwithstanding the recent THREATNINGS thrown out against the Writer hereof, in and for a faithful Discharge of his Trust) to draw aside the Veil, and expose to the View of the PUBLIC those PRACTICES, whereby TRUTH has been PERVERTED and JUSTICE POLLUTED—With this deliberate Wish, That such Steps, and such Steps only, may be taken in consequence of the Publication hereof, as Compassion to the helpless and oppressed POOR.—The Honour and Happiness of the- NATION :—The Purity and vigour of the LAWS : —and the Strength and Grandeur of the CROWN,—RECOMMEND; and (as is conceived) REQUIRE (g).
Breadstreet, March 1773, THOMAS HUNT.
(a) THE said 330l. was pretended to be lent during the Receivership of the present Receiver’s Father, (who was also a Trustee and a Party to the said Suit) whilst he had near One Thousand Pounds in his Hands unapplied, exclusive of Nine Hundred Pounds and upwards laid out, in pursuance of an Order, not of the said COURT, but of the said T RUSTEES, in the Purchase of l000l. Bank Annuities, in the Names of two of their Number, of whom such Receiver was one : No I NTEREST was paid in respect of the said 330l.in such Receivers life time, but after his Death, 99l. is charged to be paid for SIX Years Interest thereon, pretended to be due in July 1740 . It is submitted to the judgment of the Reader, after considering these Facts, whether this and the other Payments or pretended Payments, which make up the abovementioned 317l. 12s. 6d. were real or fictitious ; and consequently, whether the Persons, by whose Oaths, the Accounts in which they were charged, are verified : Or the Person who in June 1768, Swore, that ALL Interest, on the said Loan, or pretended Loan, from the 25th of December 1734, was then due and owing, are chargeable with the Crime of false Swearing ; it is certain, that all these Oaths cannot be true ; and it is equally certain, that whoever was CRIMINAL, therein, ALL the Parties interested in the said Estate, were SUFFERERS thereby, The OATHS made respecting this Transaction, is offered to the Consideration of the PUBLIC, as a SPECIMEN, of the MANY false or deceitful OATHS made in the said Cause.
(b) The Conduct of these TRUSTEEs, should not be once mentioned, without remembering the singular Integrity and Humanity of Mr. LANGTON, in his Execution of the laid Trust, upon his late Appointment thereto.
(c) Besides the immediate Injury done to the then Annuitants Relations by the non Payment of the, said 330l. they, and the other Parties interested in the said Estate, by means thereof twice risqued, and after a great Expence, narrowly escaped a further Loss, first, of the said One Thousand and Thirty Nine Pounds and Ten Shillings, and afterwards, of Six Hundred and Seventy three Pounds and Fifteen Shillings .
(d) Securities, of’ the like Nature, with Bonds, for their truly, or truly and Annually, accounting for, what they should receive out the Rents of the said Estate in St. James’s Westminster, and paying the fame as the said court had directed, or should direct.
Custom House, February 10, 1757.
(e) It having been represented to Us, That it might be of service to Mr. THOMAS HUNT, (who was lately in the Service of the Customs) that We whose Names are hereunder written, should give a Certificate of his Character ; since otherwise, the Cause of his being now out of Employment, may be misrepresented, to his Prejudice : We do in justice to Mr Hunt, readily certify, That from the Experience We have had of his Conduct, We believe him to be, a capable, diligent, and honest Man.
(f) However grievous the Evils complained of, by the Suitors of the said Court during the Chancellorship of the late Earl of Macclesfield, and PROVIDED AGAINST BY 12 G EO .Ist. Ch.32. were—It is conceived, the evils now complained of, are in divers Respects, far more grievous ; Seeing the Evils last referred to, may in all Cases be practiced without Suspicion ; in some almost without Limits ; and in many, without a possibility of Discovery.
(g) When the Chancery (according to Rule) cannot relieve in a just Cause, the Parliament will give special Directions for Relief ; upon which Principle it is apprehended, are founded (among others) those RULES concerning LAW, that,—The LAW is the SUBJECTS best BIRTH-RIGHT : And has provided a REMEDY for every WRONG.
N. B. A more particular Account of the PROCEEDINGS under the said WILL and DECREE, is Printed, and several Hundred Copies are left with Goadby and Berry, Stationers, in Sweeting’s-alley, Royall Exchange, to be delivered gratis, to such Gentlemen, as are inclined to pursue it.
Transcriber’s note: I have tried to create as accurate a copy of the original document as I can. However, I have inserted lines between paragraphs in order to break up the text and make it easier to read. In the actual document paragraphs are denoted by indented text only.
Geoff Culshaw, 31 January 2009
This link will take you to the text ‘Thomas Hunt, Lawyer’.
- This page was last updated on Sunday July 3rd, 2011.