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These cases are from the lawindexpro database. They are now being published to the swarb.co.uk website in a better form. As a case is published there, an entry here will link to it. The swarb.co.uk site includes many later cases.  



Agency - From: 1849 To: 1899

This page lists 41 cases, and was prepared on 29 October 2014.

 
Acraman And Another, Assignees Of Garrett, A Bankrupt -v- Herniman [1851] EngR 429; (1851) 16 QB 998; (1851) 117 ER 1164
6 May 1851


Insolvency, Agency

[ Commonlii ]

 
 Lady Beresford -v- Driver; 31-Jul-1851 - [1851] EngR 754; (1851) 14 Beav 387; (1851) 51 ER 335
 
Lady Beresford -v- Driver [1852] EngR 650 (A); (1852) 16 Beav 134
1 Jun 1852


Agency

[ Commonlii ]
 
Robertson -v- Wait (1853) 8 Ex 299
1853


Contract, Agency

1 Citers


 
Collen -v- Wright (1857) 8 B & E 647
1857


Agency
The law of breach of the warranty of authority should be read to imply a remedy to an innocent third party, with whom the agent has purported without authority to make a contract or to reach a settlement of outstanding liabilities under a contract, against the agent.
1 Citers


 
Slack -v- Crewe [1860] EngR 244; (1860) 2 F & F 59; (1860) 175 ER 958
1860


Agency, Landlord and Tenant
It is doubtful whether an agent to let a house has an implied general authority to let persons into possession, but slight evidence will be sufficient to show an express authority.
[ Commonlii ]

 
 Holland -v- Russell; 13-Jun-1861 - [1861] EngR 728; (1861) 1 B & S 424; (1861) 121 ER 773

 
 Holland -v- Russell; 9-May-1863 - [1863] EngR 546; (1863) 4 B & S 14; (1863) 122 ER 365
 
Edmunds (PO) -v- Bushell And Jones [1865] EngR 12 (B); (1865) 4 F & F 1044
1865


Agency, Employment

[ Commonlii ]
 
Platzhoff -v- Lebean [1865] EngR 40; (1865) 4 F & F 545; (1865) A)
1865


Agency, Contract

[ Commonlii ]
 
Salomons -v- Pender [1865] EngR 365; (1865) 3 H & C 639; (1865) 159 ER 682
21 Apr 1865

Bramwell B
Agency
When a person who purports to act as an agent is not in a position to say to his principal, "I have been acting as your agent, and I have done my duty by you," he is not entitled to recover any commission from that principal.
Bramwell B said: "It is true that . . the defendant has had the benefit (if it be one) of the plaintiff's services. But the defendant is in a position to say, 'What you have done has been done as a volunteer, and does not come within the line of your duties as agent.'" And in the same case Martin B. quoted the passage from Story on Agency, where it is said: "In this connection, also, it seems proper to state another rule, in regard to the duties of agents, which is of general application, and that is, that, in matters touching the agency, agents cannot act so as to bind their principals, where they have an adverse interest in themselves. This rule is founded upon the plain and obvious consideration, that the principal bargains, in the employment, for the exercise of the disinterested skill, diligence, and zeal of the agent, for his own exclusive benefit. It is a confidence necessarily reposed in the agent, that he will act with a sole regard to the interests of his principal, as far as he lawfully may; and even if impartiality could possibly be presumed on the part of an agent, where his own interests were concerned, that is not what the principal bargains for; and in many cases, it is the very last thing which would advance his interests. The seller of an estate must be presumed to be desirous of obtaining as high a price as can fairly be obtained therefor; and the purchaser must equally be presumed to desire to buy it for as low a price as he may."
1 Citers

[ Commonlii ]
 
Jones -v- Phipps [1868] LR 2 QB 567
1868
QBD

Landlord and Tenant, Agency
For many years, an agent had, with the authority of his principals, dealt with an estate as his own and negotiated with the tenant as to the terms and continuance of the holding. Held: It was incidental to that authority that he should determine the tenancy by notice to quit. The tenant was not aware of the existence of the agent's principals and considered the agent to be the landlord.
1 Citers


 
Calder -v- Dobell (1871) LR 6 CP 486
1871


Agency
"an agent who contracts in his own name does not cease to be contractually bound because it is proved that the other party knew when the contract was made that he was acting as agent."
1 Citers


 
Australasian Steam Navigation Co -v- Morse (1872) LR 4 PC 222
1872
PC
Sir Montague Smith
Agency
Sir Montague Smith: "... when by the force of circumstances a man has the duty cast upon him of taking some action for another, and under that obligation, adopts the course which, to the judgment of a wise and prudent man, is apparently the best for the interest of the persons for whom he acts in a given emergency, it may properly be said of the course so taken, that it was, in a mercantile sense, necessary to take it."
1 Citers


 
The Australasian Steam Navigation Company -v- William Henry Morse And George Philip Morse [1872] EngR 22; (1872) 8 Moo PC NS 482; (1872) 17 ER 393
22 Mar 1872
PC

Commonwealth, Transport, Agency
The authority of the Master of a Ship to sell the goods of an absent Owner is derived from the necessity of the situation in which he is placed; and, consequently, to justify his selling, he must establish (1) a necessity for the sale; and (2) inability to communicate with the Owner. Under these conditions, and by force of them, the Master becomes the Agent of the Owner, not only with the power, but under the obligation (within certain limits) of acting for him; but he is not, in any case, entitIed to substitute his own judgment for the will of the Owner, in selling the goods, where it is possible to communicate with the Owner.
[ Commonlii ]
 
Hamilton -v- Dixon 1873 1R 72
1873

Lord Justice Clerk Moncrieff
Agency
The court heard an allegation concerning an alleged obligation to deliver pig iron. Held: "it was too plain to require argument that in order to authorise an agent to give away his employer's goods without consideration, direct and immediate sanction to the individual transaction would be necessary."
1 Citers



 
 Great Northern Railway Co -v- Swaffield; 1874 - (1874) LR 9 Ex 132

 
 Parker -v- McKenna; CA 1874 - (1874) LR 10 Ch 124

 
 Hollins -v- Fowler; HL 1875 - (1875) LR 7 HL 757
 
Panama & South Pacific Telegraph Co -v- India Rubber, Gutta Percha, and Telegraph Co [1875] 9 Ch App 515
1875


Agency
Where his agent has taken a secret commission, the transaction is voidable at the election of the principal who can rescind it provided counter-restitution can be made.
1 Citers


 
National Mercantile Bank -v- Rymill (1881) 44 LTNS 767
1881

Bramwell LJ, Brett and Cotton LJJ
Contract, Agency
The plaintiff owned horses subject to a bill of sale. The grantor of the bill sold the horses privately in the defendant's auction yard and following the sale, on the grantor's instructions, the auctioneer delivered the horses to the buyer. Held: There had been no conversion. Bramwell LJ: [the auctioneer:] "has not claimed to transfer the title and he has not purported to sell; all the dominion he exercised over the chattels was to redeliver them to the person to whom the man from whom he had received them had told him to redeliver them." Brett and Cotton LJJ agreed that on the evidence there had been no sale by the auctioneer. This case has been criticised, mainly for the conclusion that there had been no sale by the auctioneer.
1 Citers


 
National Mercantile Bank Ltd -v- Rymill [1881] 44 LTNS 767
1881
CA
Bramwell LJ, Brett and Cotton LJJ
Agency, Torts - Other
The plaintiff was the owner of horses the subject of a bill of sale. The grantor of the bill sold the horses privately in the defendant's auction yard and following the sale, on the grantor's instructions, the auctioneer delivered the horses to the buyer. It was held that there had been no conversion. Held: The auctioneer did not claim to transfer the title and did not purport to sell; all the dominion he exercised over the chattels was to redeliver them to the person to whom the man from whom he had received them had told him to redeliver them. On the evidence there had been no sale by the auctioneer. A bailee escapes liability for conversion, not only where he merely redelivers to his bailor, but where he delivers at the bailor's directions to a third party without knowledge of any adverse claim, though with knowledge that such delivery is in pursuance of a sale or other disposition.
1 Citers


 
West London Commercial Bank -v- Kitson [1883] 12 QBD 157
1883


Agency

1 Citers



 
 Hughes -v- Percival; 1883 - (1883) 8 App Cas 443; [1881-85] All ER 44; (1883) 8 AC 443

 
 Re Lewis ex parte Helder; CA 1883 - (1883) 24 ChD 339

 
 Re Chapman ex parte Edwards; CA 1884 - (1884) 13 QBD 747
 
Blackburn, Low & Co -v- Vigors (1886) 17 QBD 553
1886
CA
Lord Esher MR, Lindley LJ,
Agency, Insurance, Torts - Other
Lord Esher MR: "This seems to me to be the true doctrine. The freedom from mis-representation or concealment is a condition precedent to the right of the assured to insist on the performance of the contract, so that on a failure of the performance of the condition the assured cannot enforce the contract." Lindley LJ: "It is a condition of the contract that there is no misrepresentation or concealment either by the assured or by anyone who ought as a matter of business and fair dealing to have stated or disclosed the facts to him or to the underwriter for him." Lord Halsbury LC warned against "the somewhat vague use of the word 'agent'" which, he said, "leads to confusion" in insurance cases.
1 Cites

1 Citers


 
Firbank's Executors -v- Humphryes (1886) 18 QBD 54
1886
CA
Lord Esher MR
Agency
The plaintiff was induced to enter into a transaction by the someone pretending to be the principal. The defence was that he was the principal's innocent agent. Held: Lord Esher MR discussed the warranty of authority: "The rule to be deduced is, that where a person by asserting that he has the authority of the principle induces another to enter into any transaction which he would not have entered into but for that assertion, and that assertion turns out to be untrue, to the injury of the person to whom it is made, it must be taken that the person making it undertook that it was true, and he is liable personally for the damage that has occurred."
1 Citers



 
 Blackburn, Low & Co -v- Vigors; HL 1887 - (1887) 12 App Cas 531
 
Toulmin -v- Millar (1887) 58 LT 96
1887
HL
Lord Watson
Agency

1 Citers



 
 Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co -v- Ansell; CA 1888 - (1888) 39 ChD 339

 
 Lyell -v- Kennedy; HL 1889 - (1889) 14 App Cas 437

 
 Barker -v- Furlong; 1891 - (1891) 2 CH 172
 
Mullens -v- Miller [1892] 22 Ch D 194
1892


Contract, Agency
Where an agent enters into a contract on behalf of a principal and the opposite party has been induced to enter into it by an innocent misrepresentation by the agent, the opposite party is entitled to rescission provided that the making of a representation of that kind was within the actual or apparent authority of the agent.
1 Citers


 
Consolidated Co -v- Curtis & Son (1892) 1 QB 495
1892
QBD

Torts - Other, Agency
An auctioneer who sold and delivered goods the subject of a bill of sale. An auctioneer who sells and delivers is liable in conversion because he is acting as more than a mere broker or intermediary. Held: It is not easy to draw the line at the precise point where a dealing with goods by an intermediary becomes a conversion. The difficulty is diminished by remembering that in trover the original possession was by a fiction deemed to be lawful and some act had therefore to be shown constituting a conversion by the defendant of the chattel to his own use, some act incompatible with a recognition on his part of the continuous right of the true owner to the dominion over it. All acts which are consistent with the duty of a mere finder such as the safeguarding by warehousing or asportation for the like purpose, may well be looked upon as entirely compatible with the right of the true owner, and, therefore, as not constituting a conversion by the defendant. The test may be whether there is an intent to interfere in any manner with the title of or ownership in the chattel, not merely with the possession. The difficulty is rather in drawing the true inference from facts in particular cases than in grasping the principle. There can be no conversion by a mere bargain and sale without a transfer of possession. The act, unless in market overt, is merely void, and does not change the property or the possession: Lancashire Wagon Co. v Fitzhugh A fortiori, mere intervention as broker or intermediary in a sale by others is not a conversion.
1 Cites

1 Citers



 
 Bryant Powis & Bryant -v- La Banque du Peuple; PC 1893 - [1893] AC 170

 
 Ultzen -v- Nicols; 1894 - [1894] 1 QB 92; (1894) 63 LJ QB 829; (1894) 70 LT 140; (1894) 10 TLR 25; (1894) 28 Sol Jo 26; (1894) 10 R 13 DC
 
Pape -v- Westacott [1894] 1 QB 272
1894


Agency
The landlord's agent, in breach of his authority, released a licence to assign a lease taking a cheque (instead of cash) for the outstanding rent due from the existing tenant. This took place in the presence of the assignee, who did not however know of the excess of authority. Held: The court dismissed a suggestion that the landlord could still have distrained against the assignee. The agent had as far as the assignee was concerned been held out as acting with authority, but the agent was liable to the landlord for exceeding his authority.
1 Citers



 
 Gaskell -v- Gosling; CA 1896 - [1896] 1 QB 669

 
 Re Hampshire Land Company; 1896 - [1896] 2 Ch 743
 
Shipway -v- Broadwood [1899] 1 QB 369
1899

Chitty LJ
Agency
Where an agent takes a commission, "the real evil is not the payment of money, but the secrecy attending it"
1 Citers


 
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