Difference between revisions of "Hamilton & Co. v. Urquhart"

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{{DISPLAYTITLE:''Hamilton & Co. v. Urquhart''}}
 
{{DISPLAYTITLE:''Hamilton & Co. v. Urquhart''}}
''Hamilton & Co. v. Urquhart'', Wythe 295 (1794),<ref>George Wythe, ''[[Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery]],'' 295 (Richmond: J.W. Randolph, 2d ed. 1852).</ref> was a brief decision discussing whether a bond was exempt from depreciation under Virginia law.
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[[File:WytheHamiltonVUrquhart1852.jpg|link={{filepath:WytheDecisions1852HamiltonVUrquhart.pdf}}|thumb|right|300px|First page of the opinion [[Media:WytheDecisions1852HamiltonVUrquhart.pdf|''Hamilton & Co v. Urquhart'']], in [https://catalog.libraries.wm.edu:443/01COWM_WM:EVERYTHING:01COWM_WM_ALMA51596402710003196 ''Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery, with Remarks upon Decrees by the Court of Appeals, Reversing Some of Those Decisions''], by George Wythe. 2nd ed. (Richmond: J. W. Randolph, 1852).]][[Media:WytheDecisions1852HamiltonVUrquhart.pdf|''Hamilton & Co. v. Urquhart'']], Wythe 295 (1794),<ref>George Wythe, ''[[Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery (1852)|Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery with Remarks upon Decrees by the Court of Appeals, Reversing Some of Those Decisions]],'' 2nd ed., ed. B.B. Minor (Richmond: J.W. Randolph, 1852), 295.</ref> was a brief decision discussing whether a bond was exempt from depreciation under Virginia law.
 
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==Background==
 
==Background==
Responding to the rapidly-plunging value of paper money printed there, the Virginia Assembly passed a law in 1781<ref>Ch. 22, 10 Hening 471 (Nov. 1781 session).</ref> that reduced the value of all debts incurred after 1777 and payable in paper money; the debt was devalued according to a table based on the date the debt was incurred.  
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Responding to the rapidly-plunging value of paper money printed there, the Virginia Assembly passed a law in 1781<ref>An Act Directing the Mode of Adjusting and Settling the Payment of Certain Debts and Contracts, and for Other Purposes, Nov. 1781, in [http://vagenweb.org/hening/vol10.htm 10 ''The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia''] (William Waller Hening ed., Richmond 1822), 471-74.</ref> that reduced the value of all debts incurred after 1777 and payable in paper money; the debt was devalued according to a table based on the date the debt was incurred.
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Wythe does not say who the lender or borrower was in this case, but it seems a fair inference that plaintiff Archibald Hamilton & Co. was the lender; and that defendant William Urquhart (executor of Nathaniel Flemyng's estate) represented the borrower. Flemyng borrowed money from Hamilton over several years before 1777, then Flemyng signed a bond in 1777 promising to repay Hamilton. Hamilton filed a bill with the Chancery Court asking it to make Urquhart pay it the full, not devalued, value of the debt.
  
Wythe does not say who the lender or borrower was in this case, but it seems a fair inference that the plaintiff, Archibald Hamilton & Co., was the lender; and the defendant, William Urquhart (executor of Nathaniel Flemyng's estate), represented the borrower. Flemyng borrowed money from Hamilton over several years before 1777, then Flemyng signed a bond in 1777 promising to repay Hamilton. Hamilton filed a bill with the Chancery Court asking it to make Urquhart pay it the full, not devalued, value of the debt.
 
 
==The Court's Decision==
 
==The Court's Decision==
The Chancery Court granted Hamilton's request. Wythe noted that the Virginia law allowed courts to hand down a judgment it deemed "just and equitable" if the court determined that applying the devaluation table to the debt would be unjust.<ref>Ch. 22, Sec. 5, 10 Hening 471, 473.</ref> Wythe determined that the value of paper money during the time Flemyng incurred the debt was not less than its present-day value, so the devaluation table did not apply.  
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The Chancery Court granted Hamilton's request. Wythe noted that the Virginia law allowed courts to hand down a judgment it deemed "just and equitable" if the court determined that applying the devaluation table to the debt would be unjust.<ref>Ibid., 473.</ref> Wythe determined that the value of paper money during the time Flemyng incurred the debt was not less than its present-day value, so the devaluation table did not apply.
===References===
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==References==
 
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[[Category:Cases]]
 
[[Category:Cases]]
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[[Category:Currency]]
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[[Category:Debtor-Creditor]]

Latest revision as of 09:49, 19 July 2018

Hamilton & Co. v. Urquhart, Wythe 295 (1794),[1] was a brief decision discussing whether a bond was exempt from depreciation under Virginia law.

Background

Responding to the rapidly-plunging value of paper money printed there, the Virginia Assembly passed a law in 1781[2] that reduced the value of all debts incurred after 1777 and payable in paper money; the debt was devalued according to a table based on the date the debt was incurred.

Wythe does not say who the lender or borrower was in this case, but it seems a fair inference that plaintiff Archibald Hamilton & Co. was the lender; and that defendant William Urquhart (executor of Nathaniel Flemyng's estate) represented the borrower. Flemyng borrowed money from Hamilton over several years before 1777, then Flemyng signed a bond in 1777 promising to repay Hamilton. Hamilton filed a bill with the Chancery Court asking it to make Urquhart pay it the full, not devalued, value of the debt.

The Court's Decision

The Chancery Court granted Hamilton's request. Wythe noted that the Virginia law allowed courts to hand down a judgment it deemed "just and equitable" if the court determined that applying the devaluation table to the debt would be unjust.[3] Wythe determined that the value of paper money during the time Flemyng incurred the debt was not less than its present-day value, so the devaluation table did not apply.

References

  1. George Wythe, Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery with Remarks upon Decrees by the Court of Appeals, Reversing Some of Those Decisions, 2nd ed., ed. B.B. Minor (Richmond: J.W. Randolph, 1852), 295.
  2. An Act Directing the Mode of Adjusting and Settling the Payment of Certain Debts and Contracts, and for Other Purposes, Nov. 1781, in 10 The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia (William Waller Hening ed., Richmond 1822), 471-74.
  3. Ibid., 473.