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A Sullen Daebndant


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Arson Case from Pembroke.

ICriminal Business.

Civil Court.


Civil Court. FARM TENANCY DISPUTE. Margaret Ellen James (spinster) Pantsaesun, sued Thomas Davies, of Pantgwyn, in the parishes of Moylgrove and Bayvil, for the re- covery of possession of the Pantygwyn farm. Mr. Ivor Bowen (instructed by Mr. Mathias Thomas, of Tenby) was for plaintiff, and Mr. Villiers Meager (instructed by Messrs. Jenkins and Evans, Cardigan) was for defendant. Plaintiff's statement of claim set out that the farm was let to defendant as tenant from year to year by William Frederick Lloyd James, by whom the freehold reversion was conveyed to her on August 12th, 1904. The tenancy was duly determined by notice to quit, dated 29th July, 1907, and expiring on September 29th, 1908. Plaintiff claimed (1) possession; (2) f.20 for half a year's rent; (3) £2 3s. lOd. for mesne profits; and (4) meshe profits from the date of the writ until judg- ment at the rate of £40 per annum. The defence was that defendant was in pos- session of the premises sought to be recovered, and denied that the tenancy had been deter- mined. He stated that he was a tenant from year to year, and the tenancy commenced on March 25th, 1903. He submitted that he was entitled to a 12 months' notice to quit, expiring March 25th. Under an order made in this action defendant had paid to plaintiff the sum of zE20 rent due to September 29th, 1908. Plaintiff's Jeply was that by a verbal agree- ment defendant's tenancy was to commence and determine at Michaelmas. Mr. Ivor Bowen, in opening his case, said the point the jury had to decide was whether the custom in this county was for agricultural tenancies to terminate at Michaelmas or not. He went on to say that defendant had been I given notice for March as well as September, but disregarded both, and humorously enquired whether defendant thought he could leave just when he chose. When defendant entered on the tenancy, a 21 years' lease dating from Sep- tember was contemplated. It was drafted by the late Mr. Picton Evans, but the parties failed to agree upon some of the terms, and the lease fell through. Mr. Bowen argued that this draft agreement could be taken as evidence of a verbal agreement as to the tenancy, about which there was no dispute during the negotia- tions; it was always understood that the ten- ancy was to be a September one. As strength- ening this point evidence as to the custom pre- vailing in the district would be called. Mr. Wm. F. Lloyd James said he was formerly owner of the estate. He said it was agreed that the tenancy should be a September one, although the defendant entered the baginning of April when witness gave it up. He never knew any oth:r tenancies than September ten- ancies in that district. In answer to the Judge witness said he could not say what would happen if a tenant took over at any other time than September because he had never known such a thing accept in this instance. Cross-examined by Mr. Meager: It was true that in the draft lease there \fere clauses ex- cluding defendant from the benefits of the Ag- ricultural Holdings Act. The Judge: Is that so? Mr. Meager: It is, my lord Judge: Was that one of things about which you differed ? Witness: No. Judge: Then we need not consider it. Mr. T. Rule Owen, Haverfordwest, for 45 years estate agent and valuer in Pembrokeshire, and Mr. John Francis, estate agent, etc., Car- marthen, were called to speak as to the custom. Both said that all tenancies were September tenancies, and tHat. whenever, owing to special circumstances, a farmer entered into possession at any other time of year there was a special agreement to provide that tne tenancy snouici date from September. Mr. Meager submitted there was no evidence of custom. His Lordship agreed. It was a question of fact. The lease was not signed, and the ques- tion would be whether defendant emend under an implied agreement. It was a question of fact for the jury to decide. Mr. Meager addressed the jury and ^-nded that the agreement having fallen thr'-vr\ the defendant became a tenant -t the payment of the first year' rent, when b would become a yearly tenant from the date of entry. Mr. Ivor Bowen argued there v;es amp ? evidence of an implied agreement that The tenancy should be a September one, and pointed out in support cf tlrs ihat the defendant had refused to accept a March notice to quit. The Judge summed up at some length, and said the jury had to decide whether they they thought the intention of the parties was that the tenancy should be reckoned from Sep- tember to September, although defendant went in"April, or whether they thought there was no agreement or arrangement. If they came to the lvatter conclusion they must find that de- fendant was a yearly tenant from the time he entered. The Jury, afier an absence of nearly half an hour, returned with a verdict for defendant. The Judge entered accordingly with costs. This concluded the business of the Assizes. The High Sheriff for the town (Mr. George Davies) presented the Judge with white gloves, and his lordship in cordially acknowledging the compliment expressed the hope that High Sheriffs of Haverfordwest would be able to re. peat this at many future Assizes. s* *5T



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