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Penmaenmawr Land Dispute.


Penmaenmawr Land Dispute. DAMAGES AGAINST A LOCAL TRADESMAN. At the Llandudno County Court, on Thurs- day, before His Honour Judge Moss, Mrs Mary Violet Jones, widow of the late Dr. Jones, who formerly lived at Dvvygytyichi, and now resides at Hygrove, Minsterwoi th, Gloucester, brought an action against ;\1 r. S, H. Roberts, draper, Cambrian Buildings. Penmaenmawr, tor the recovery of [50. in-ide up of the value of land severed from a plot sold to her amounting to .1633, and expenses amounting to £ 17. The plaintiff appeared in person and con- ducted her case with remarkable skill, and the defendant was represented by Mr W. J. Lias (instructed by Mr J. W. Hughes, Conway). At the outset, Mr Lias pleaded the statute of limitations, but His Honour said that he would not del with the point at that stage. Plaintiff, who displayed remarkable familiar- ity with legal terms and phrases, said that on the 3rd January, 1900, the defendant conveyed to her for L21 i land and premises known as Cae Cyd, Dvvygyfylchi, the premises con- taining i rood 26 perches. There was no evidence to suggest that any portion of the plot she purchased had been disposed of, and there was certainly no disclosure of such transaction. The plot in question extended behind the Horeb Congregational Chapel. Early last year, plaintiff visited the spot and found that a new schoolroom had been erected, behind the chapel, on her land, and she confirmed this on her return home by reference to the deeds. At this stage a mass of correspondence between the parties, was read by the Judge. Mr Lias said that the whole point was that the plan was wrong. It was peculiar that Mr Worthington, who is a solicitor and a partner of Mr R. D. Darbishire of Manchester, got possession of property which Mr Darbishire had already soid, if in fact he had sold it. The plaintiff remarked that it was very im- proper that a threat to ask for an adjournment with costs should be made, and she refused the details. She did not refuse, bnt wished to know particularly what details were required. Mr Lias-It was a tribute to your knowledge, Mrs Jones, if I may say so. Cross-examined, the plaintiff said she lived at Hafody Rhiw, next to the chapel, from 1897 to 1900. The wall suggested by the defence did not necessarily mean that it was the boundary of the property. She knew nothing of the wall, because she went by deeds. She did not rent the tenant any- thing beyond the wall. The reason she had not made any claim from the Horeb Chapel trustees was that they did not use it to her knowledge. She had written to the authorities, but did not propose proceeding until the action was settled. Mr. Worrall, the late surveyor of Penmaenmawr, negotiated the sale with the defendant for her. She could not tell who prepared the conveyance, as there were two or three solicitors acting for her at the time. She had nothing to complain of the deed. Mr. Lias I put it to you that it was com- mon knowledge that the land behind the chapel belonged to the chapel before you bought Cae Cyd ? If it was, it was not to my knowledge. It may or may not be correct. This closed plaintiffs case. His Honour said he did not think this was a case where the statute of limitation applied. The defendant was called, and he stated that on the 26th March, 1896, E. Watson Jones bought Cae Cyd from O. D. Darbishire, and he lent Watson Jones £ 106 on it. On the 16th November, 1897, Watsou Jones sold 273 square yards to the Horeb trustees for £ 13 15s. The wall on the property was built about two or three years before he (defendant) bought it. Mr. Worrall approached him and asked him if he wanted to sell the property, which he paid £ ,170 for. He (defendant) told him the price was £ 215, and Mr. Worrall said he had a purchaser, and asked for the deeds. In a couple of days he returned and gave witness a cheque for the amount, and asked him to attest the conveyance, which he did. Witness was not represented by any solicitor at the time. The boundary wall was on the property when he bought it from Watson tones, and he (witness) had never exercised ownership rights over the land beyond the wall. The price of £ 13 155 for 273 yards was too much. Sixpence a yard would be quite sufficient for it, because there was no approach to it except from the mountain. Plaintiff: Why do you say tile land is only worth 6d. a yard, when you charged me 2s. a yard for it ?—Owing to the present valuation of the market. Plaintiff: Has it gone down in value ?—Yes. Thomas Roberts, Berthlwyd, Dwygyfylchi, a builder and contractor, and a trustee of Horeb Chapel, said he had known Cae Cyd for 40 years. The land which the chapel authorities bought from Mr Worthington, formerly belonged to John Jones. The value of the land in question was only 6d. a yard. The Judge And still you paid 1/- a yard ? Yes, they took advantage of us. (Laughter). Continuing, witness said it was common knowledge that the land belonged to the chapel. Mr Lias said that although he had a number of other witnesses, he would leave the case where it stood. It was explained that the land at the back of the chapel really had belonged to two owners. There was formerly a fence dividing it diagonally, the land to the left of the feroce being part of Cae Cyd, and that to the right the property of another owner. What was sold to Mr Watson Jones by Mr Darbishire, it was contended, was up to this diagonal fence, but the plan attached to their deed showed the boundary to be at the further side of the other portion of the chapel grounds. After the plaintiff and defendant's counsel had addressed the Court, His Honour re- served his decision until after the adjourn- ment. His Honour, on the resumption of the Court, delivered a lengthy judgment in favour of the plaintiff for £30 and costs, and ordered that the £ 13 15s. paid into court by the defen- dant should be in part payment. He did not think there was much excuse for the mistake made by the defendant, because he had joined as mortgagee with Mr Watson Jones, the mortgagor, in the sale to the chapel trustees of the part of the land behind the chapel up to the old fence, and afterwards he took a conveyance of the same land from Mr Watson Jones to himself. Apparently no solicitor was called-in in the sale to the plaintiff, with the usual result of people acting as their own lawyers. When Mrs Jones, who left Penmaenmawr owing to her husband being an invalid, returned and learnt of the building of the schoolroom on he land in- cluded in her conveyance, she was not quite met as she should have been by the defen- dant under the circumstances. She was entitled to compensation.

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