28 U.S. 99 (1830), Inglis v. Trustees Of Sailor's Snug Harbor

Citation:28 U.S. 99, 7 L.Ed. 617
Party Name:JOHN INGLIS, DEMANDANT v. THE TRUSTEES OF THE SAILOR'S SNUG HARBOUR IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK.
Case Date:February 02, 1830
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 99

28 U.S. 99 (1830)

7 L.Ed. 617

JOHN INGLIS, DEMANDANT

v.

THE TRUSTEES OF THE SAILOR'S SNUG HARBOUR IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

United States Supreme Court.

February 02, 1830

THIS case came before the court at January term 1820, from the circuit court of the United States for the southern district of New York: on points of disagreement certified by the judges of that court. After argument by counsel, it was held under advisement until the present term.

It was a writ of right, brought in the circuit court, for the recovery of certain real estate situate in the city of New York, whereof Robert Richard Randall died seised and possessed.

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The count was upon the seisin of Robert Richard Randall, and went for the whole premises.

Paul R. Randall and Catherine Brewerton, a brother and sister of Robert Richard Randall, both survived him, but had since died, without issue.

The demandant claimed his relationship to Robert Richard Randall, through Margaret Inglis, his mother, who was a descendant of John Crooke, the common ancestor of Robert Richard Randall, Catherine Brewerton, and Paul R. Randall.

The tenants put themselves upon the grand assize, and the mise was joined upon the mere right.

The cause was tried at October term 1827.

The counsel for the tenants began with the evidence, and showed that they had been in possession for a number of years, claiming and holding the land as owners.

The seisin of Robert Richard Randall was then proved, and that he purchased from one baron Poelnitz. The generalogy of the demandant as next collateral heir of Robert R. Randall on the part of his mother, and that the blood of Thomas Randall, the father of Robert Richard Randall, was extinct, was proved.

It was in evidence that the British troops entered into New York on the 15th of September 1776, and took and had full possession thereof, and of the adjacent bays and islands, and established a civil government there under the authority of the British commander in chief.

Evidence was given to prove that the demandant was not more than one year old when the British troops entered the city of New York, where he was born; that the father of the demandant was a native of Ireland, and had resided for some time in New York, and continued to reside there until he left there for England, on the day of or the day before the evacuation of New York, the 25th of November 1783. He took the demandant with him to England, remained there two years, was appointed a bishop, and went to Nova Scotia in 1785 or 1786, and there resided until his death. The mother of the demandant died in New York on the 21st of September 1783, a little while before the evacuation thereof by the British tropps. It was always considered by a witness

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who testified in the cause, that Charles Inglis, the father of the demandant, was a royalist. The demandant was certainly born before the year 1779; in 1783 he could not speak plainly, and was considered not more than five years old, between four and five. He took his degree of master of arts in England, was there ordained a clergyman; his place of residence from the time he first arrived at Nova Scotia was with his father, and he has continued to reside there ever since. He went to England to be consecrated a bishop; which character he now holds, being bishop of Nova Scotia. Charles Inglis, the father of the demandant, had four children, the eldest of which, a son, died an infant, 20th of January 1782, two daughters, and the demandant, who was the youngest child.

The following proceedings of a convention of the state of New York, before the British entered the city, were in evidence.

Tuesday Afternoon, July 16th, 1776.

Present, general Woodhull president, and the members of the convention.

Whereas, the present dangerous situation of this state demands the unremitted attention of every member of the convention: Resolved unanimously, that the consideration of the necessity and propriety of establishing an independent civil government be postponed until the first day of August next, and that in the meantime,

'Resolved unanimously, that all magistrates and other officers of justice in this state, who are well affected to the liberties of America, be requested, until further orders, to exercise their respective offices, provided, that all processes, and other their proceedings, be under the authority and in the name of the state of New York.

'Resolved unanimously, that all persons abiding within the state of New York, and deriving protection from the laws of the same, owe allegiance to the said laws, and are members of the state: and that all persons passing through, visiting, or making a temporary stay in said state, being entitled to the protection of the laws during the time of such

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passage, visitation, or temporary stay, owe, during the same, allegiance thereto.

'That all persons, members of or owing allegiance to this state, as before described, who shall levy war against the said state, within the same, or be adherent to the king of Great Britain, or others, the enemies of the said state, within the same, giving to him or them aid or comfort, are guilty of treason against the state, and being thereof convicted, shall suffer the pains and penalties of death.'

The tenants gave in evidence the acts of the legislature of New York: 'For the forfeiture of the estates of persons who adhered to the enemies of the state,' &c. passed the 22d of October 1779; the 'act supplementary to the act to provide for the temporary government of the southern part of this state,' & c. passed the 23d of October 1779; and the supplement thereto, passed the 27th of March 1783.

Robert Richard Randall died in the city of New York between the 1st of June and the 1st of July 1801, having on the 1st of June of that year made his last will and testament; probate of which was regularly made in the city of New York.

The provisions of the will of Robert Richard Randall under which the tenants claimed their title are the following.

'6. As to and concerning all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal; I give, devise and bequeath the same unto the chancellor of the state of New York, the mayor and recorder of the city of New York, the president of the chamber of commerce in the city of New York, the president and vice president of the marine society of the city of New York, the senior minister of the episcopal church in the said city, and the senior minister of the presbyterian church in the said city, to have and to hold all and singular the said rest, residue, and remainder of my said real and personal estate, unto them the said chancellor of the state of New York, mayor of the city of New York, the recorder of the city of New York, the president of the chamber of commerce, president and vice president of the marine society, senior minister of the episcopal church, and

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senior minister of the presbyterian church in the said city, for the time being, and their respective successors in the said offices forever, to, for, and upon the uses, trusts, intents and purposes, and subject to the directions and appointments hereinafter mentioned and declared concerning the same, that is to say, out of the rents, issues and profits of the said rest, residue, and remainder of my said real and personal estate, to erect and build upon some eligible part of the land upon which I now reside, an asylum, or marine hospital, to be called 'the Sailor's Snug Harbour,' for the purpose of maintaining and supporting aged, decrepid, and worn out sailors, as soon as they, my said charity trustees, or a majority of them, shall judge the proceeds of the said estate will support fifty of the said sailors, and upwards; and I do hereby direct, that the income of the said real and personal estate, given as aforesaid to my said charity trustees, shall forever hereafter be used and applied for supporting the asylum, or marine hospital, hereby directed to be built, and for maintaining sailors of the above description therein, in such manner as the said trustees, or a majority of them, may from time, or their successors in office, may from time to time direct. And it is my intention that the institution hereby directed and created should be perpetual, and that the above mentioned officers for the time being, and their successors, should forever continue and be the governors thereof, and have the superintendence of the same. And it is my will and desire, that if it cannot legally be done, according to my above intention, by them, without an act of the legislature, it is my will and desire that they will as soon as possible apply for an act of the legislature to incorporate them for the purposes above specified. And I do further declare it to be my will and intention, that the said rest, residue and remainder of my real and personal estate, should be at all events applied for the uses and purposes above set forth; and that it is my desire all courts of law and equity will so construe this my said will, as to have the said estate appropriated to the above uses, and that the same should in no case, for want of legal form or otherwise, be so construed as that my relations, or any other persons,

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should heir, possess, or enjoy my property, except in the manner and for the uses herein above specified.

'And, lastly, I do nominate and appoint the chancellor of the state of New York, for the time being, at the time of my decease; the mayor of the city of New York, for the time being; the recorder of the city of New York, for the time being; the president of the chamber of commerce, for the time being; the president and vice-president of the marine society in the city of New York, for the time being; the senior minister of the episcopal church in the city of New York, and the senior minister of the presbyterian church in the said city, for the time being;...

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