ο»Ώ THE DISPUTED ROWING MATCH ION THE THAMES.|1869-01-30|Pontypool Free Press and Herald of the Hills - Welsh Newspapers Online
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THE DISPUTED ROWING MATCH…

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THE DISPUTED ROWING MATCH ON THE THAMES. In the Court of Queen's Bench, last week, the some- what singular case of Sadler v. Smith was decided. This case which had been pending a long while, and has been repeatedly before the Court, arose out of an abortive race between Sadler and Kelly. The race proved abortive by reason of a difficulty as to starting. The men were to start themselves and could not agree about it. Kelly rowed back to the referee and said that Sadler would not start. The referee, who, it should be observed, had been too far off to see what had occurred, and was also too far off from Sadler for the latter to hear what passed, said, Then if he won't start, you row over the course." Upon this Kelly turned round, and upon coming near Sadler cried out, I'm going to row over," and accordingly rowed right away, and was declared the winner. Sadler diilsatibfied with this, sued the stakeholder for his stakes. At the tria 1 before the Lord Chief Justice the jury found that Sadler had not heard what passed, and had not a fair opportunity for starting. The Lord Chief Justice upon that directed a verdict for the plaintiff. The question was whether it should stand, the de- fendant, the stakeholder, insisted that it should not, because by the agreement the decision of tile referee was to be final. On the other hand, the referee him- self, who admrited at the trial that he had been rather too hasty, stated that he had never intended that Kelly should row over as he had done without giving Sadler a fair opportunity of starting. After a long and obstinate argument by the counsel for plaintiff and defendant, The Chief Justice in giving his judgment, said the merits of the case were plainly with Sadler, for he had not had any fair opportunity of starting, and according to the referee's own account of the matter his intentions had not been carried out, and Kelly had taken an unfair advantage of his competitor. It was insisted however, that the decision of the referee should be regarded as final But he thought that it was not so in the present instance. No doubt, whenever tne parties had provided that, in a given event, a certain party should judge between them, his decision was final. But this was a very different case, for the event upon which the referee had to decide had never occurred at all, for there had been no start and no race. Moreover there had been no decision. The referee's order was that a start should be made. That order was never, however, complied with. There never was a start as he had directed, and there had been no race. It was contended that he had deter- mined that there had been by awarding the stakes to tne other competitor; but his power to do so depended upon there having been a start and race. The fact, however, Wits tha,i there had been no start afad no race and therefore the authority to award the stakes failed, so Lhat, as the award of the stakes wail with- out authority, the plaintiff was entitled to recover his share of the stakes. He, therefore, was entitled to judgment, Mr. Justice Hannen concurred, and although he observed, he had felt some hesitation in arriving at that conclusion, he said he had at last been enabled to arrive at it without doubt. The referee bad awarded generally that Kelly was entitled to the stakes, but no one could say that would have been binding if there had been no race and no rowing at all. The referee assumed that what he had directed had been done— namely, that Kelly should give Sadler a fair start. The events, therefore, on which the referee's power to award the stakes depended had never arisen. There- fore the award of the stakes had no validity. Mr. Justice Hayes entirely agreed. It was as though one of the parties had started afraid of the other, and the stewards seeing him come past, and assuming that he had started fairly, had hell him to be the winner, whereas there had been no race at all, and no authority to make a decision. Judgment for the plaintiff, Sadler, to recover his stakes.

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