p.3 Shuter & Wilkins vs John Covert - This was a special action, on the case brought by the Plaintiffs, against the Defendant, a common carrier, to recover the value of a puncheon of spirits, which had been delivered to one Field, the master of the schooner, the Rambler, of which the Defendant was the owner; which puncheon, through the negligence of the master, had been bulged, and the spirits lost. It appeared in evidence that the Defendant had, by a verbal agreement, hired the vessel to the master for one trip; and, that while the master was in possession of the schooner, according to such hiring, that the puncheon of spirits above mentioned, was delivered to him to be carried for hire, from Kingston to the Carrying Place.
It was contended, therefore, on the part of the Defendant, on the authority of James vs. Jones, (3 esp. N.P. Reports, 27,) that such hiring precluded the Plaintiffs from recovering, against the Defendant in this action as owner of the vessel. And that although in England, where vessels were required to be registered, a Charter-party would have been necessary. Yet, in this country, where vessels are not required to be registered, it is not necessary that a charter-party should be executed between the owner and charterer; but that a mere hiring, by verbal agreement, was amply sufficient to secure the owner from any responsibility on account of the negligence of the person hiring.
For the Plaintiffs, it was contended, on the authority of Rich., Executor, vs. Coe, et al (2 Cowper, 6, 36,) and Fletcher, et al vs. Braddock, et al. (2 Bos. & Pul. N. R. 132,) that although there had been a charter-party between the Defendant and the master - yet, that the Defendant, in this action, would have been liable. But as there was a mere verbal agreement between the parties in this instance, it was impossible to preclude the Plaintiffs from recovering against the Defendant in this action - for if the contrary were allowed, any owner might, by agreeing privately with his master, avoid all responsibility as owner, for any negligence of the master.
His Honor, the Chief Justice, concurring with the Counsel for the Plaintiffs, directed the Jury to find accordingly. The Jury therefore returned a verdict for the Plaintiffs, and damages, £31 10.
Jones & Bethune, Counsel for the Plaintiffs.
Hagerman - For the Defendant.
The Steam Boat
Will, until further notice, leave Kingston for the Bay of Quinty every Monday Morning, at 10 o'clock. Will leave the Carrying Place every Tuesday at 12 o'clock, and Hallowell every Wednesday Morning at 7 o'clock.
Will leave Kingston for Prescott every Thursday Morning, at 10 o'clock, and Prescott at 9 o'clock every Friday morning.
Will leave Kingston for Bellville on Saturdays at 10 o'clock A.M. and return on Sundays. Her stopping places will be as usual.
N.B. A Stage will meet the Boat at the Carrying Place for the conveyance of passengers to York, or any other intermediate place.
Kingston, September 9th, 1825.