Samuel & Ellen Hearfield

The story of Samuel's misunderstanding in Hull over the forged 5 note is here. Samuel and Ellen managed to get their names in the newspapers over other matters, a couple of times. This page shows what else I have been able to find.

The first pair of clippings relate to their pork-butchers' business, in Hull and later in Leeds ...

At the Leeds Town Hall, on Saturday, Samuel Hearfield, a pork butcher in Burley-street, was fined 40s. and costs for having a pair of scales that were 10 drachms against the purchaser. Mr Speed, the inspector of weights and measures, was the prosecutor.
[The Leeds Mercury, Monday, November 22, 1869]


At the Leeds Town Hall, on Saturday, Samuel Hearfield, pork butcher, Burley-street (formerly of Hull, now carrying on business in Leeds) was charged with having an incorrect scale. It appeared from the evidence of Mr Speed, inspector of weights and measures, that an iron washer had been fixed underneath the scale in which goods were placed which made it 10 drachms against the buyer. The defendant's wife said that they had been in business at Hull before coming to Leeds, and they had there been allowed to have a draught, and they thought they had a right to do the same at Leeds. Fined 40s. and costs.
[The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Friday, November 26, 1869]

The following account relates what happened after Samuel died. Ellen got involved with a local money-lender, and seems to have ended up penniless. She died less than a year after this case went to court.


At the Leeds County Court yesterday, before the Judge (Mr. W.T. Greenhow) and a jury, Miss Sarah Jenkinson, pork butcher, carrying on business at No.71, Burley-street, brought an action against James Walter Bradberry, carrying on business as a money-lender under the style of "Bradberry & Co" at Wormald-row, to recover 50, 30 of which was was the estimated value of goods belonging to the plaintiff which the defendant had converted to his own use and wrongfully detained, and 20 as special damages caused by the detention of the goods and by the defendant having trespassed upon the plaintiff's premises and wrongfully removed the goods. Mr WARREN (Messrs Ford and Warren) appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr LAWRENCE GANE represented the defendant.

Mr WARREN said that up to August in last year the plaintiff resided with her sister in Caledonian-road, and carried on business as a dressmaker. In that month she went to reside with Mrs Hearfield, pork butcher, Burley-street, taking from her two unfurnished rooms - a sitting room and bedroom. Mrs Hearfield informed her she had been in difficulties, and had had to borrow a sum of money from Bradberry, for which she had given him a bill of sale.
(Presumably this would give Bradberry the right to seize and sell her furniture if she should default on the debt.)

The plaintiff, who had a quantity of furniture with which to furnish the rooms, requested Mrs Hearfield to go to Bradberry and ask him to sign a memorandum to the effect that if she took her goods into Mrs Hearfield's premises, over which he had a bill of sale, they would be safe. The defendant gave her a positive promise that the goods would be all right, and the plaintiff then took her goods into the house.

It seemed that Mrs Hearfield, who had had large sums to pay to Bradberry, was unable to pay her rent, and in April of this year there was a sum of 6 due from her to Mr Wallis, the landlord. The bill of sale did not override the power of the landlord to distrain for his rent, and Mr Wallis did so, the goods of Mrs Hearfield having been duly appraised at the sum of five guineas, and sold to the plaintiff for that amount.

On the 7th May, the day on which the goods were sold to the plaintiff, she became tenant of the premises in place of Mrs Hearfield. On the same day the defendant came to the premises, which were locked, and he was informed by a neighbour that Mrs Hearfield had gone. On the morning of Monday the 9th, the defendant went to the premises and entered by the window, in the absence of the plaintiff. He broke open the door, and was then met by a man called Daker, with whom the plaintiff had left a key. He persisted in removing the goods, and although a certificate was got from Mr Wallis that the plaintiff had purchased the goods and had been accepted as tenant, he removed the goods the same night.

The plaintiff having been examined, Mrs Hearfield was called, and gave evidence with reference to the goods which belonged to the plaintiff. In August, 1880, she received 10 from the plaintiff, which she paid to the defendant on account of his bill of sale, which was in favour of Mr Samuel Green.

Mr WARREN - What did you originally get from Mr Green or Mr Bradberry on the first bill of sale?
- It was got when my husband was dying, and it came to eighty some odd pounds.
(Ellen's husband Samuel died in the summer of 1878.)

Mr GANE - Strictly speaking, what was advanced on the first bill of sale is not relevant to the case. The question was whether the defendant rightly or wrongly seized some goods which he alleged he had a right to seize by a bill of sale dated the 29th November. In reply to the Judge, Mr GANE said there was no inventory of the goods included in the second bill of sale.

In reply to Mr WARREN, the witness said that the sum received under the first bill of sale was about 80.

Mr WARREN - How much did you repay at first?
- 2 a week.
- How long did you pay 2 a week?
- I could not exactly say, but I paid it a long time. It would be four or five months. Then it was reduced to 30s. a week, and I went on paying that for a long time. It was afterwards reduced to 1 a week. In August Miss Jenkinson lent me 10, which I paid to Bradberry, and then I paid 1 a week up to Christmas.

Mr WARREN - Did you borrow any money between the time when you got 80 and the second bill of sale which you got in November last?
- No.
- In November, having paid 2 a week, 30s. a week and 1 a week, from 1878 down to the 23rd November 1880, there was still due from you 37. Is that so?
- I can't say.
- In January, 1881, you borrowed from Bradberry the sum of 9, with 4 for interest. Did you get one single farthing?
- I got 5.

Mr WARREN - And for 5 you gave a bill of sale for 13. It speaks for itself.
- That is so, your Honour.

Mr GANE - On the 18th January, so far from getting 5, she got 9.

Mr Wallis, the landlord, and other witnesses having been examined, Mr GANE, for the defendant, said that as a matter of fact, Mr Bradberry was out of pocket. He had never had the money returned which he had advanced to Mrs Hearfield. If, however, he had seized the plaintiff's goods, he had done so at his peril, and must pay her for the wrong he had done her. His case was that Mr Bradberry had done nothing wrongfully; that he had a perfect right to enter the house; that, as a matter of fact, he did not know he was seizing the plaintiff's goods, and there was no proof he had seized her goods.

The defendant, who was examined, said that when the first bill of sale was granted, Mrs Hearfield had furniture of the value of 40 or 50. When the second bill of sale was granted, in November last, she told him that the furniture was the same. When he took possession of the goods, Miss Jenkinson told him that the whole of them were hers, and he (the defendant) had got all the money out of Mrs Hearfield that he would get. He was really 5s. out of pocket, and had received no interest on his money.

In cross-examination by Mr WARREN, he said the first bill of sale was given to Mr Green, his partner.
Mr WARREN - Where is he?
- He's dead.
- Then I won't ask you where he is. (Laughter.)

In reply to further questions, the defendant gave the various amounts advanced from time to time to Mrs Hearfield after the death of her husband, when she owed him 70, down to March last. The items and the "consideration" charged for them were:-
- December, 1878, 20, interest 10;
- April, 1879, 10, interest 4;
- September, 1879, 10, interest 4;
- October 8th, 4, no interest;
- April, 1880, 5, interest 2;
- June 10th, 3, interest 12s.6d.;
- October, 15, interest 7;
- January, 1881, 2, interest 1s. (for three or four days only);
- January 18th, 9, interest 4;
- March 5th, 2 12s. (until the 1st April), interest 6s.
The total amount advanced was 93 12s., and as "consideration" defendant had charged 32 14s.

HIS HONOUR remarked that there could be only one verdict in this case, and the only question was the amount of damages. The jury, after a brief absence, gave a verdict of 32 - 20 as the value of the goods, and 12 damages for the trespass.
[The Leeds Mercury , Tuesday, June 21, 1881]

Copyright © John Hearfield 2009