Walsh V. Lonsdale [1882 W. 1127.]

Equity (legal concept), Lease, Maxims of equity

WALSH v. LONSDALE [1882 W. 1127.]
This is one of the most frequently cited authorities on the effect of the Judicature Acts so far as the fusion of law and equity is concerned. Essentially the question down on whether the defendant could bring a legal remedy (distress) with respect to a lease which formerly would have been regarded as equitable only (effectively an agreement to grant a lease rather than one in proper legal form). Facts:The Defendant on the 29th of May 1879, agreed to grant and the Plaintiff to accept a lease of a mill for seven years at the rent of 30s. a year for each loom run, the Plaintiff not to run less than 540 looms. The lease to contain such stipulations as were inserted in a certain lease of-the 1st of May, which was a lease at a fixed rent made payable in advance, and contained a stipulation that there should at all times be payable in advance on demand one whole year’s rent in a addition to the proportion, if any, of the yearly rent due and unpaid for the period previous to such demand. The Plaintiff was let into possession and paid rent quarterly, not in advance, down to the 1st of January, 1882, inclusive, having run in 1881 560 looms. In March, 1882, the Defendant demanded payment of £1000 14s. 840 as one whole year’s rent for 560 looms at 30s., and £165 as the proportionate part of the rent from the 1st of January last), and put in a. distress. The Plaintiff thereupon commenced his action for damages for illegal distress, for an in- and for specific performance, and moved for an injunction. Fry, J., granted the injunction on the terms of the Plaintiff paying the into Court. The Plaintiff appealed. JESSEL, M.R.

It is not necessary on the present occasion to decide finally what the rights of the parties are. If the Court sees that there is a fair question to be decided it will take security so that the party who ultimately succeeds may be in the right position. The question is one of some nicety. There is an...
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