Unruly horse lands cart man in court

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1914 Court

Before Judge Lock, at the Scarborough County Court, George Everingham, butcher, Ramshill Road, sued Francis Clifford, carting contractor, 8, Hoxton Road, for £3 14s 6d for damages for breach of warranty.

Mr J Whitfield, solicitor, was for plaintiff, and Mr C Royle was for defendant.

Mr Whitfield said that on Wednesday April 28th, the defendant was passing plaintiff’s shop driving a black mare cob in a four-wheeled rully. He pulled up and asked plaintiff if he would buy the cob. There was a conversation during which Everingham asked if it was quiet and reliable. The defendant said, “Yes, it is perfectly quiet to ride and drive, and has not a dodge.” Ultimately, plaintiff decided, after a talk with his man, Frank Harland, to purchase the animal.

The sum of £16 was asked, and £15 was the price agreed upon. Defendant had told plaintiff that he had bought the horse from Rillington High Moor and it had been carrying a little girl to school, and running in the market cart. This was untrue.

Plaintiff asked defendant to take it up in the afternoon, so that he could yoke it to his rully, but defendant said, “Surely you don’t want to take it in your rully – you have seen it yoked as it is.” The bargain was then struck.

When the horse was being yoked in Everingham’s vehicle, it crushed a man named Humphreys against a wall. Then it laid down on the ground, jumped up, and was difficult to manage.

It caught Humphreys in the back, and was finally restrained, or it might have done some serious damage. Plaintiff decided not to run the animal. Defendant would not take it back, and it was sold at Malton for £13 2s 6d the remainder of the claim being made up of the balance and for expenses.

The horse, it was found, had been bought from a Scarborough man named Hodgson, and it had a history. It had, on one occasion, run away. There was, Mr Whitfield argued, a strong case of breach of warranty.

Mr Everingham, in evidence, said defendant had bought the pony, which was sold as “in dispute,” for 12 guineas.

Defendant did not say he had the horse only four days and he had seen nothing wrong. That was not the extent of the warranty. Witness thought there was a bit of a mettle about the horse.

Mr Royle: You like a horse with mettle?

Witness: I like a good looking horse, never mind the mettle (laughter).

Mr Royle: But aren’t you fond of mettled horses?

Witness: No, I have got past that (laughter). I like quietness.

Replying to further questions Mr Everingham said that Messrs Smith had also had the horse for about 18 months.

He (witness) would not keep the horse eighteen minutes if he could help it (laughter). Clifford did say he would take the horse back if witness would lose a bit. Witness did not see that he would lose anything.

Francis Harland, 6, St Martin’s Place, said the horse knocked Humphreys down. Witness would not attempt to yoke the animal single-handed. The horse was a jibber.

S Tymon, 61, Ramshill Road, said he overheard Clifford telling Everingham that the cob was quiet.

Thomas Humphreys, 31, Trafalgar Street West, said the horse was “winchey” when the harness was put on. When put to the vehicle it jumped in the air, then laid down. It jumped up four times, on one occasion pinning Harland and witness against the wall.

On the last occasion it came down it put both fore feet in the middle of witness’s back. The first time it came down it pulled witness underneath it. Had it not been for a 
man named Smith there might have been a serious accident.

It was the worst horse he had seen in that respect. He thought it wise to get it out of the trap – otherwise there wouldn’t have been a trap left. Witness had 30 years’ experience, but this was the worst he had had anything to do with.

Defendant, in the box, said he told plaintiff he had only had the pony for four days, it had come straight from grass, and he had found no fault with it. He told Mr Everingham that the man he got it from had told him he got it from Rillington Low (not High) Moor. He firmly believed that the horse was all right.

By Mr Whitfield: Hodgson did not tell him (defendant) he must not send anyone to him for a recommendation in regard to the pony, and that he sold him it with faults and errors.

A verdict for plaintiff with costs was given.