Bankruptcy of James King, 1867

James King bought Lawn House, previously a doctor's residence, in 1858. He was living there in 1861 with his wife Elizabeth, five children and two servants. They were still there in 1871 with three children and one servant. He and his brother John (who lived at 10 High Street) were Winslow's leading auctioneers, valuers and land agents, with extensive interests in North Bucks and beyond. They expanded the business of their father John King, a land surveyor. It seems (see below) that each thought the other cheated him in the run-up to the bankruptcy. After John died in 1876, James and his family moved to 10 High Street and lived there until he died in 1894 aged 72.

Bucks Herald, 13 April

1867, 13th April, Bucks Herald
JOHN KING, of Winslow v. JAMES KING, of Winslow.
  This was a plaint to recover possession of a close of land that defendant held and laid claim to.  H. Small, Esq., was for the plaintiff, and – Tomlin, Esq., of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, for the defendant.  The statements of both brothers were very contradictory; but the evidence seeming to preponderate in favour of the plaintiff, his Honor gave judgement for plaintiff for possession, with costs.


Buckingham Advertiser, 13 July

COURT OF BANKRUPTCY, LONDON.
TUESDAY, JULY 9.
Before Mr. Registrar Brougham.
THE FAILURE OF MR. JAMES KING, OF WINSLOW, BUCKS.

  This was the first sitting for the proof of debts and choice of trade assignees under the unexpected failure of Mr. James King, described as “of Winslow, in the county of Buckingham, Auctioneer, Appraiser, and Land Agent; during a portion of the time residing there, in partnership with John King of the same place, under the name or firm of John and James King, Auctioneers, Appraisers, and Land Agents, and now of Winslow, aforesaid, Auctioneer, Appraiser, and Land Agent.”

  Mr. Thomas E. Tomlins, solicitor, 25, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, appeared for the bankrupt and a number of creditors.  The petition was filed on the 21st ult., the cause of bankruptcy being stated to be as follows, viz.: ”Losses by bankrupt debtors, through the restriction upon the cattle trade by reason of the cattle plague, and the levying an execution upon my property by the Bucks and Oxon Union Bank as creditors of the late partnership firm of John and James King.”  The creditors chiefly reside at Winslow, Claydon, Leighton Buzzard, Waddesden, Grandborough, and Moulsford, and the total amount of their debts is not cast up.  Against the principle creditors the following explanation is given, viz.: “The Bucks and Oxon Union Bank (Limited) Winslow, Bucks, £1,558..15..11, and £1 5s. for costs of execution and judgement, 7th April.

  “These creditors have recovered judgement against Mr. John King and myself for this sum.  They hold security, viz.: A lease from the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s, London, of the tithes of the Prebend of Shaftesbury, on lands in Willesden, Middlesex, deposited by the said John King, my partner, for moneys advanced to us by these creditors in our late partnership business of Auctioneers and Land Agents.  The value of the security is estimated at £1,600, and these creditors declined to consider an offer I made them in February last to pay them this debt on their transferring the said security to myself.  Execution has been levied but no sale has been made.”

  After the admission of a number of proofs the creditors nominated Mr. Samuel Cole, of Grandboro’, Bucks, farmer, to act as assignee, and upon that gentleman accepting the trust the Court confirmed his appointment.

  The bankrupt, with the consent of the majority of his creditors, was granted an allowance of £4. 6. 0 per week until the examination and order of discharge sitting, which was fixed to be held on the 12th of October next, at 12 o’clock.

  Renewed protection from arrest having been granted the bankrupt, and Mr. Barnes appointed as accountant to prepare the statutory accounts, the sitting ended.


Buckingham Advertiser, 19 Oct

COURT OF BANKRUPTCY, LONDON.
OCTOBER 12.
Before Mr. Commissioner Winslow.
RE J. KING, WINSLOW.- FAILURE THROUGH PRESSURE.

  This was an examination sitting and application for order of discharge under the disastrous failure of Mr. James King, the well known auctioneer and land agent carrying on an extensive trade at Winslow, in Buckinghamshire, and whose creditors reside at Oxford, Buckingham, Reading, Tingewick, Grandborough, Whaddon and Leighton Buzzard.  The bankrupt petitioned the Court on 21st June last, attributing his failure to the following causes, viz.: “Losses by bankrupt debtors through the restrictions upon the cattle trade by reason of the cattle plague, and the levying an execution upon my property by the Bucks and Oxon Union Bank as creditors of the late partnership firm of John and James King.”

  Mr. Bazley appeared as counsel for the creditors’ assignee, Mr. James Cole, of Grandborough, Buckingham, farmer; and Mr. T. E. Tomlins, solicitor, 25, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, supported the bankrupt, whose statement of accounts disclosed the following results, viz:-

DR.
 £      s.   d.
To creditors unsecured
3,705    18    8
Ditto holding security
1,191      0    0
Liability on account of my brother J. King (fully secured by him) £1,560..0..11
Creditors to be paid in ful
106   10   0
 
--------------------
Total 
5,005     8   8
CR.
By debtors good
402   10   0
Ditto doubtful £2,063  16  1
Ditto bad 4,271    0  2
Property given up to my assignees
2,013    0   0
Ditto in the hands of creditors.
1,520    0   0
Deficiency
1,069   18  8
 
--------------------
Total  
5,005    8   8

The creditors holding security are thus described – Miss Charlotte King, Winslow, Bucks, spinster, £166, “holds mortgage of 8 acres 2 rods and 9 perches of copyhold land, situate at Newton Longville, let to William Yates, a yearly tenant, at £18 per annum, estimated value £320.”  The Rev. G. K. Morrell, Moulsford, Berkshire, £1,025, “holds mortgage dated 12th October 1858, of a copyhold house, stables, and garden, and freehold farm buildings and three acres of freehold land, situate at Winslow, Bucks, in my own occupation; estimated value, £1,200.”

  The cash account filed, commencing 14th July, 1866, and ending 21st June, 1867, shows totals on either side of £8,297..1..1 and the farm trading account from 21st June 1866, to 21st June, 1867, is thus summed up, viz.:-

DR.
To purchases- 
£   s.  d.
Farming stock, implements, &c., at Addington and Tingewick estimated at
1,600   0   0
To sundry purchases, and gas, &c
1,594  16   5
Profit
88    2    1
 
------------------
Total   
£3,282  18   6
CR.
By sundry sales
1,682  18   6
1867, June 21, farming stock, implements, &c., on hand at Addington and Tingewick
1,600   0    0
 
-----------------
Total
£3,282    18   6

Deficiency Account from 21st June, 1866, to 21st June, 1867

DR.
 
£     s.   d.
To deficiency.
1,069   18   8
Profit
441     7   6
Rents received
21    3   2
Surplus
217  12  10
 
------------------
Total   
£1,750   2    2
CR.
By trade expenses
129  14  10
Rates, taxes &c
19    5   8
Interest and commission
473   16   4
Interest paid on account of Jno. King
32    17   8
House and personal expenses
250   12   9
Losses
839   15   5
Difference
2     9   6
 
-----------------
Total
£1,750  2   2

  The expenditure of the bankrupt was stated to have been £500 for the past two years.

  Mr. Bazley said he represented the trade assignee, who was also a very large creditor himself.  The bankrupt had been called upon to file very voluminous accounts, and also a statement of his affairs from the 21st June, 1866, which he had done.  The assignees had thoroughly investigated the accounts, and he (Mr. Bazley) was happy to say that they were perfectly satisfied, and had no opposition to offer.  The bankrupt had given up considerable assets, and the creditors would be paid a large dividend - over 10s. in the pound.  Mr. Banes, public accountant, of Weaver’s Hall had certified with respect to the accounts as follows:- “I certify that the statement of accounts, the cash account, the goods account, and deficiency account have been prepared, and are confirmed by the books, papers, and statements of the bankrupt, James King, and are, to the best of my belief, correct and in pursuance of the 143rd section of the Bankruptcy Act, 1861.  I certify my approval thereof.”  He (Mr. Bazley) had scarcely ever met with a more satisfactory case, and had it not been for the pressure of the Bucks and Oxon Union Bank, who were fully secured for their debt, Mr. King would in all probability never have been bankrupt.

  His Honour.  Does anybody oppose James King?  There seems to be a large estate here.

  Mr. Bazley said that was so: and no individual creditor offering any opposition, the Court passed the bankrupt’s examination, and granted him an immediate order of discharge.

  The proceedings then ended, and Mr. King, who received the hearty congratulations of several friends, left the Court with his solicitor.


Bicester Herald, 28 Aug 1868

  JAMES KING, auctioneer, Winslow, first dividend of 2s 10d on Wednesday, August 26, or the following Wednesday, at Mr. Parkyn’s, Basinghall-street, London.


Buckingham Express, 12 Dec 1868

WINSLOW.
PETTY SESSIONS, DECEMBER 9TH.
Before E. W. Selby Lowndes, Esq.
THREATENING LANGUAGE.

  John King, land surveyor, of Winslow, was summoned by his brother, James King, auctioneer, of the same place, for using threatening language on the 18th November last.
  Mr. Small appeared for the defendant.

  James King deposed - On the 18th of November, a few minutes before four o’clock, he was walking down the High Street, Winslow, when the defendant came out of his house [10 High Street] with a poker in his hand.  He flourished the same in my face and by the side of me, and threatened to kill me with the poker.  I wish to be protected that I may walk along the street in safety.
  Cross-examined by Mr. Small - For a year and a half defendant has been wishing to do me an injury, I never said in Mr. Denne’s presence that defendant had been avoiding me.  When he came out of his house he called me a blackguard.  Joseph Seaton and William Reeves were there.  William Reeves is not here today.  He wished me not to summon him, as he would regret very much to be called to give evidence between defendant and myself.  I saw John King on the 17th of November, I went into the George Inn about four o’clock and saw defendant and Mr. Denne with cards before them.  I said “Take care you don’t get cheated, doctor.”  I do not recollect saying he will cheat you if he can.  Defendant was sitting before the fire. Defendant took up this poker, after he had asked Mr. Barton to find him room.  In the course of the conversation I told him he had not got a shilling.  Upon that he produced some silver coins in his hand.  I will swear I did not kick them out but I should have done so had not Mr. Barton pushed against defendant and knocked the money out of his hand.  Shortly after this I was going out of the room and stood sideways to defendant.  He got up with the poker in his hand, and whilst up I struck him with my fist on his cheek.  I did not run away, I went out of the room.  I was gone out when Mr. Barton [landlord of The George] came running out with a broken head. I will swear that no such words as take care, do not come near me, were used.

  Joseph Seaton, labourer, was called by complainant- I saw Mr. James King come down from the market in the afternoon of 18th of November.  When he got near the defendant’s house, he came out with his hat off and a poker in his hand.  I did not hear any words.  I did not see him raise the poker.

  Mr. Small addressed the magistrate on the defendant’s behalf, and called
  John Denne, surgeon, of Winslow, who deposed- On Tuesday evening, the 17th November, he was at the George Hotel with the defendant playing at cribbage.  Complainant came in, and the first words he uttered were “Take care, he don’t cheat you, doctor; he will cheat you if he can.”  After some words between the brothers, defendant appealed to Mr. Barton that complainant might leave the room so that defendant might be provided with a private room.  Complainant said that his brother had always avoided him, and now he had got him.  He said he did not believe he had a shilling of his own. He (defendant) then took out two coins and held them in the palm of his hand.  Complainant then kicked them out of his hand.  He had previously held the poker dangling in his hand.  Complainant hit his brother a driving blow by the side of the head with his fist.  He then left the room as quickly as possible.  Complainant got the poker and thrust at him.
  Complainant cross-examined witness, and elicited that he had seen defendant and complainant together at the close of the bowling green.  The poker was taken up after the complainant had used the words spoken of.  He did not know what time they left.  He recollect complainant coming to his surgery, but did not know what day.  He asked if he had threatened complainant, and my answer was “Yes, if you provoke him as much as you have done, you must take the consequences.” 
  The conversation between complainant and defendant’s solicitor was here so strong that the remainder of the cross-examination could not be heard.

  Complainant addressed the bench, stating all he wished for was protection.
  The court was then cleared, and on the reassembling the magistrate said defendant must be bound over in his own recognisances in the sum of £100 to keep the peace.
  Mr. Small then asked for James King to be bound over, as he considered his client in equally as much danger of his life as the complainant.
  John King who was then sworn, and stated that he was afraid his brother would do him some bodily injury from his threats and the blow on Tuesday, the 18th of November.
  The magistrate considered it would be better if both were bound also in the sum of £100.


Bucks Herald, 27 Feb 1869

  John King, land surveyor, of Winslow, was summoned by James King, auctioneer, of Winslow, with having used threatening language towards him on the morning of Saturday, the 6th Feb.
  Mr. Tomlins, of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, appeared for the complainant.
  The defendant asked for an adjournment of the case, but the magistrates thought it had better proceed.

  James King said he was an auctioneer at Winslow, and on the 6th of February he was at a ball at the George Inn, there were also present Mr. Samuel Cole, Mr. R. Marks, and Mr. John Grace.  We had been playing at cards for about half-an-hour, when the defendant came into the room and made the remark that “they would get cheated at cards by me,” and went to the fireplace and took up the poker, and said he had come to the ball for the purpose of attacking me, and said he would do for me.  Mr. Cole said there should be no disturbance there.

Defendant then tried to get at me, and Mr. Cole collared him to prevent him getting near me.  He then forced him off to the side of the room where I was sitting, and Mr. Cole, with the assistance of Mr. R. Marks, pushed him into a chair, and Mr. Marks took the poker out of his hand.  There was more struggling, and Mr. J. [=T.?] Marks then came in and said he would turn him out if he did not stop the row.  Shortly afterwards, Mr. Barton asked me to go into another room, leaving Mr. John King behind.  After sitting there for some five or ten minutes waiting for the fly to take myself and daughter home, the defendant came into the room and repeated his threats to do for me.  Mr. Barton then turned him out and locked the door.  After the service of summons - on Saturday the 13th of February - defendant met me at the George Inn, about eight o’clock in the evening, and made use of abusive language, saying he would do for me yet.  He has threatened me with the poker, and I fear the defendant will do me some bodily harm.

  Mr. Samuel Cole, who was called by Mr. Tomlin, said he remembered the morning of the 6th of Feb.  He was at Mr. Barton’s.  He saw defendant take up the poker, and thought he would have struck complainant.

  Mr. Tomlin said he should not call more witnesses he should ask for substantial bail, and two sureties to keep the peace, or to be committed.

  Defendant said complainant hissed in his face in the ball-room, and endeavoured to annoy him in every way, I did not take up the poker until there had been some bad language used.

  Defendant was bound over himself in the sum of £100, and two sureties in £100 each to keep the peace for six months.


Buckingham Advertiser, 24 July 1869

Nisi Prius was at this date an arrangement for having a civil law case heard at the county assizes rather than in London.

NISI PRIUS.- TUESDAY.
Before Mr. Justice Byles.
JAMES KING V. JOHN KING.

  This case was tried before a common jury.
  The plaintiff is an auctioneer, residing at Winslow, and the defendant, John King, is a land agent, of the same place, who was sued by James King, for that he did, on the 3rd May last, falsely and maliciously speak and publish of the plaintiff statements injurious to the character of plaintiff.
  The plaintiff’s counsel, in opening the case, expressed the readiness of their client to rest satisfied with an apology from the defendant, and a verdict which should carry costs.  Mr. Metcalfe said the case was instituted solely for the purpose of clearing the plaintiff’s character of the imputation.  Mr. King had written to the defendant asking for an apology and retraction, which however had been refused.  He had, therefore, no other alternative than to bring this action, in which is sole object was to clear himself.
  Mr. O’Malley, for the defendant, admitted that the words used had but one interpretation, and he was empowered to say that if an apology was alone required, the defendant was perfectly ready to admit that he sincerely regretted having used the words mentioned in the indictment, and that there was not the shadow of a foundation for having used them.  He (Mr. O’Malley) was prepared to agree to a verdict of 40s., which would carry the costs.
  The plaintiff’s counsel having agreed to this arrangement.
  His Lordship, in addressing the jury, said there was three things to be considered in regard to this case.  First, the defendant should retract the words used; secondly he should regret having employed them; and, thirdly, he should be prepared to defray  the costs of the action.  The defendant had effectually cleared the character of the plaintiff, and he would ask the jury to return a verdict of 40s., with the necessary certificates as to costs.


Death of Charles James King, 1870

The dispute between the King brothers was superseded by a tragic accident. Charles James King was aged 17.

Buckingham Express, 8 Jan 1870

FATAL GUN ACCIDENT

  In our last week’s impression, we inserted a paragraph relative to a gun accident which befel [sic] Charles James, son of Mr. James King, auctioneer of this town.  At the time of writing hopes were entertained of his ultimate recovery, but we are sorry to state he died from its effects on Friday evening last.  On the following day an inquest was held by D. P. King, Esq., coroner for the district, at the Bell Hotel, Mr. John Elley being chosen foreman of the jury.  The following evidence was then adduced:-

  George Jennings, house decorator, of Winslow said - On Monday the 27th ult. I was out shooting with the deceased in the Grandborough road, in the parish of Winslow.  About three o’clock in the afternoon I saw some fieldfares fly across the field opposite to me.  I was in the road and deceased was in the field. We both had guns, and saw the birds together, and deceased said “We shall have a shot at them presently, I will go down the side of the hedge and get under the oak tree and wait until they come across.”  I was in the road under the hedge.  In about a minute I heard the report of a gun and looked if deceased was going to pick a bird up, but could not see him.  I then heard him cry out for help, and ran down to the gate, and deceased said “Oh! Come over and help me, for my leg is shot in two.”  I got over the gate and found him lying on his left side with his left leg twisted under him.  He held up his right leg, and said, “This is the leg.”  I examined it, but there was no wound.  I then took the other and put it out straight, and found he was wounded inside the left thigh.  I asked him how he had done it, and he replied, “I don’t know; I was crawling through the hedge and the gun went off; it was not cocked.”  I afterwards found the gun pushed three-parts through the hedge, with both hammers down.  I obtained assistance and then ran for a doctor.  We then got him home. Deceased was alone when the accident happened; I was forty or fifty yards from him.  I found deceased about two yards from the muzzle of the gun.

  Dr. Newham, deposed - I was called on Monday, the 27th ult. to see the deceased, I found he had a gun-shot wound on the inside of the left thigh, the charge had entered the leg, breaking the thigh bone, and lodging on the outside of the thigh under the skin.  He was exceedingly weak and faint from loss of blood.  The usual stimulants were administered, and the fractured leg set.  Deceased never thoroughly rallied, and I attribute his death to loss of blood and of a weak frame from rapid growth.  There is no doubt the cause of death was a gun-shot wound.

  The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


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Copyright 10 July, 2020