1 S.E. 325 (Va. 1887), Bocock's Ex'r v. Alleghany Coal & Iron Co.

Citation:1 S.E. 325, 82 Va. 913
Opinion Judge:Richardson, J. (after stating the case),
Party Name:Bocock's Ex'or & als. v. Alleghany Coal and Iron Company
Attorney:R. T. Hubard and George J. Hundley, for the appellants. Johnston, Williams & Boulware, for the appellees.
Judge Panel:Richardson, J. (after stating the case), delivered the opinion of the court. Absent, Lewis, P.
Case Date:February 07, 1887
Court:Supreme Court of Virginia

Page 325

1 S.E. 325 (Va. 1887)

82 Va. 913

Bocock's Ex'or & als.


Alleghany Coal and Iron Company

Supreme Court of Virginia

February 7, 1887

Page 326

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 327

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 328

Decree affirmed.


Appeal from a decree of the chancery court of the city of Richmond, rendered July 9th, 1883, in the suit therein pending wherein Thomas S. Bocock, executor of N. F. Bocock, deceased, O. R. Bocock and Peter A. Forbes, who sue for the benefit of D. A. Parrack, were complainants, and the Alleghany Coal and Iron Company, H. C. Parsons, G. McNeill, Murrillo Spaulding and F. B. Deane were defendants.

The object of the suit was to compel the specific performance on the part of the defendant, the Alleghany Coal and Iron Company, of a contract alleged to have been entered into by said defendant with the complainants for the purchase of a tract of land known as the "Pratt farm," situated in Buckingham county, Virginia, containing 774 acres, and on which it was supposed there were valuable deposits of iron ores. The active parties to the transaction were Thomas S. Bocock, executor of N. F. Bocock, deceased, and O. R. Bocock, widow of N. F. Bocock, and Peter A. Forbes, the vendors, and F. B. Deane, the vendee. The contract was entered into on the 14th of June, 1881, and by it said tract of land was sold at the price of $ 2,500. In evidence of the sale, a contract in writing of that date was signed by said vendors and by "F. B. Deane for himself and his associates."

By this contract, "Deane and his associates" reserved the right of sixty days within which to consult and determine whether or not they would consummate the purchase. N. F. Bocock, deceased, had by his will prescribed different terms of sale for his real estate from the terms whereon this sale was made; a decree was obtained at a special term of the circuit court of Buckingham county, in a suit pending in said circuit court for the settlement of said N. F. Bocock's estate, ratifying this sale, and directing a conveyance of the land to Murrillo Spaulding, whom the purchasers designated as the grantee. And the vendors having been informed that the purchasers had determined to take the land, executed a good and sufficient deed conveying the land to Spaulding, and delivered the same to J. D. Horsley, Esq., who was acting in this transaction as the attorney of the purchasers. During the entire negotiation, not only the complainants, but also Deane and Horsley seem to have understood that the real purchaser of the land was the Alleghany Coal and Iron Company, or if that company was not, then H. C. Parsons, the then president, and G. McNeill, an agent of the company were, individually, the real purchasers. And in this supposition, the complainants were sustained by the evidence of both Deane and Horsely. So, of course, they all looked to the company, or to Parsons and McNeill for the payment of the purchase money, and were greatly surprised, as they say, when Deane and Horsley informed them by letter in October, 1881, that "H. C. Parsons and G. McNeill, of the Alleghany Coal and Iron Company, had refused to ratify Deane's action as their agent in the purchase of the 'Pratt farm.'"

After various ineffectual efforts, in which the complainants were earnestly backed by Deane, the agent, and by Horsley, the attorney, to induce the company, or Parsons and McNeill, to recognize the purchase and pay the purchase money, the complainants, on 3d of April, 1882, instituted this suit for specific performance. In their bill they set forth the foregoing facts, and aver that the company was the real purchaser; that Deane was its duly authorized agent, and that he was so recognized by Parsons, the president, and by McNeill, the agent of the company, and that...

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