1915 Police Court
At the Scarborough County Court before Judge Lock, Wm Small, general dealer, Nixon’s Yard, Lower William Street, sued Lady Mary Payton, Westow, Kirkham Abbey, wife of Sir Charles Payton, Scarborough, for £8 5s, for “goods sold”.
Mr J Whitfield, solicitor, was for plaintiff, and Mr JD Munby (Messrs Tasker Hart and Munby) was for defendant.
Small was a general dealer, and Lady Payton lived at Scarborough until a few weeks ago. She appeared to have had a hobby of keeping goats. Small, in the course of his dealings from time to time, sold Lady Payton different goats.
Altogether there were five different transactions. The first four were satisfactory, at all events Small got his money, but on the fifth occasion Small said there were four goats agreed to be sold for £8 10s and that he had only had 5s, and that there was a balance due of £8 5s. The defendant, he understood, said the goats were not sold, that there never was a contract, that Small took them to her house, and left them there very much against her wish. Small, on the other hand, said the goats were taken there and she agreed to purchase them. A more valid reason, Mr Whitfield suggested, might be that she was not able to pay for them. Lord Payton had asked Small to take one goat away.
Small gave evidence. Lady Payton had asked him to take one back, a fawn and white one with horns, as she had no room for it, but she sent for it the next day. It would have been delivered had it not been for the Bombardment. He was away a day or two, and he believed Lady Payton was.
Continuing, Small said that he thought the Bombardment had prevented a settling up. Lady Payton afterwards removed the goats from Scarborough. He had asked for the money or return of the goats, and she said she would let him have three back, but not the one which was half a sheep and half a goat. “I have never heard of half a sheep and half a goat,” said witness.
Mr Whitfield: She would give up all but this natural curiosity? – Yes.
Cross-examined by Mr Munby, witness said that he enlisted on December 3rd, and next day sold Lady Payton two goats. He went to Bradford that night, and then was about six weeks in Scarborough. He was discharged on February 10th as medically unfit.
Mr Munby explained that certain goats were not sent back to Small because he was away.
Proceeding, Small denied that Lady Payton never saw him on December 14th, when the last goats were alleged to have been sold. He would take the goats back, but Lady Payton had not all of them, so witness alleged.
Mr Munby suggested witness was mixing two lots of goats up – the one he had was from another lot, but witness denied this. When witness took the last goats Lady Payton had about twenty goats in the goat stables at Stepney Court.
John Wm Hanson, Blenheim Terrace, carting contractor, said that on December 12th he sold four goats to Small. He had had one since Small “went soldiering”. He asked witness to look after it.
Stanley Jackson, aged 14, of 5, Scalby Road, said he had looked after goats for Lady Payton. Just before the Bombardment Lady Payton had sent him to tell Small to take the goats up, and witness saw Small arrive with the goats. Lady Payton said they were fine goats – how much did he want for them? Small said £10, but she offered £8 10s, and Small accepted. Lady Payton said she could not pay for them just then, as she wanted to sell some of her other goats to get the money. She would send the money down to him when she sold the other goats. There were 27 goats there then, and Lady Payton asked Small to take one down with him to his place and look after it. Witness went to Kirkham Abbey, and Lady Payton said she would give him and the other boy 3s if they would say that Small brought the goats when she was out.
On the day Small took the goat witness was sent by Lady Payton to tell Small to take it back to Stepney Court.
Mr Whitfield, in the box, spoke as to Lady Payton stating to him that she did not buy the goats. She offered a sum not more than £3 10s. She also said she took them to Kirkham Abbey because there was no one to take care of them. She would still pay £3 10s.
The Judge asked why Lady Payton had not sent them back, and Mr Munby said that Small was away, and she was afraid, without anyone to look after them, that they would starve.
The case was adjourned until the next court.