Manning and Son v,
Corney- Mr Crosse for plaintiffs; Mr I. Bencraft for
In this case the
plaintiffs were Messrs. Manning and Son, the well
known purveyors of Barnstaple; and the defendant, Mr
Wm. Corney, a respectable yeoman of Heanton
Punchardon. The original form of action was a claim
for £10 14s 6d preferred by the plaintiffs for value
received; defendant acknowledged the claim and
pleaded a set-off of £10 4s 2d, the value of a pig
supplied to Messrs. Manning for the Christmas market
– the balance had been paid into Court.
Mr Crosse stated
the case as it was afterwards disclosed in evidence.
The first witness called was:
Mr John Manning
who deposed: - I am a butcher and in partnership
with my father. About six weeks before Christmas
last Mr Corney came to our shop and said he had a
pig for sale, fit for the Christmas market, and
asked if we would have it. I agreed to take it at
the “times' price,” which was about 8s 6d. per
score. He called on the following Friday and said
his wife wished to retain half of the pig. I said I
was glad of it; I did not care to have a large pig;
but he must keep the head. He agreed to do so –
said an additional cheek of pork would not be much
in his house.
A fortnight after
defendant called again and said his wife had altered
her mind and did not wish to keep any part of the
pig. I said I had only bought half and would have no
more. Some conversation took place as to when it
should be slaughtered; and I said it was necessary
that it was well done, as it was a show pig, and
that I should send down Westacott, an experienced
pig killer at my own cost to do the work. Plaintiff
said he could kill a pig as well as any butcher in
Barnstaple. I gave direction as to the weather in
which he should kill it: if open and cold weather,
he was to kill it on the Tuesday; but if it was
close and muggy weather, on the Monday, that it
might have more time to settle.
On 23rd December the
carcase was brought in; it was 22 score and 12lb
weight. I did not inspect the interior and saw
nothing disagreeable in it, though it had not
settled well. The weather was close. When he brought
in the pig I asked when he would take home his half.
I said I had agreed for half and would take no more.
I cut off a leg as the pig lay; it was 35lb. In the
evening at 9 o'clock, I cut off the head where it
lay. I immediately perceived a strong smell, - and
on examination found the membrane of the gullet had
been left in the neck. The smell was very
disagreeable. I cut out a pound or two of putrid
meat and coagulated blood. Everything should be cut
out, that air may pass freely between the shoulders.
The lard had not been touched or dressed, as it
should have been. The half carcase was taken to our
slaughter-house for Mr Corney.
The next morning
early the neck was cut off the other part and sent
to a customer who returned it before 9 o'clock. I
then made a more minute examination and found the
neck and part between the shoulders was green. It
was Mr Corney's wish that we should leave the pig
whole till the Thursday night, but for our
convenience we cut it up on Wednesday, or it would
have been worth nothing. Had it been good I could
have sold the bacon; Squire Vaughan would have taken
it; but I could not send it to him. I took the pig
to turn out an account the plaintiff owed me. Mr
Lerwill and Mr Corney came on the afternoon of the
24th – the latter
having been sent for. Mr Lerwill said, “It smells
bad, and no mistake,” and advised defendant to take
it home. This he refused to do. In the evening I
sent the pig to the “Green Dragon “ public house and
had it placed in Corney's cart. I have since offered
to leave all matters in dispute to the arbitration
of his own brother-in-law (Mr Lerwill) or any other
Mr Bencroft: - I first engaged to take the whole
pig, but a week after Mr Corney said his mistress
wished to have half. When she altered her mind I
refused to have more than the half I had engaged to
is usual in exhibiting show pigs to lay them out
Manning, sworn: I am father and partner of the last
witness. On 23rd December, in the
morning, I saw the pig in question had been brought
in, the carcase was lying on the stall. At Christmas
carcases are commonly exhibited with the backs
uppermost – this was on a cold slab, not a board. I
put my hand to the meat several times during the
day; it felt soft. At 9 o'clock in the evening I
again went to the shop and my attention was called
to the head of the pig, which had been cut off. It
smelt very bad indeed. The next morning, at between
8 and 9, I went to examine it – I found half of it
hung up and the head laid on a board by the side. I
saw that it had been slaughtered by an inexperienced
person: the lard was not lifted from the ribs and
pinned out, with holes cut for the air to enter. But
the moment I looked to the neck I saw that for a
foot in length from the part where the head had been
cut off, it was quite green. In killing a pig it is
essential to take out the gullet and the loose
particles and open the mouth with a skewer, and
allow the blood to drain off and a current of air to
I saw from the
appearance that it was bad job and went to see the
defendant at ten in the morning when he came into
town. I said “William you had better go and see
John: there is something the matter – the pig is bad
– very bad.” He did not come, and I went to see him
again, and left word with his wife to desire him to
come. He did not come till 2 in the afternoon; when
he came to my house in Joy Street. I said, “You've
seen the pig.” He said he had. I said, “Well it's
very bad; you had better take it home and do what
you can with it.” He refused and became abusive and
I ordered him out of the shop. I threatened to call
the attention of the Searcher of the Market to it. I
did not do so, as I thought he would think better of
it and take it away.
examined:- If the pig had been properly butchered it
would have been good, not only on that day but the
Day and Robert Cawsey, assistant to Messrs. Manning,
gave corroborative evidence. The latter said Mr John
Manning took out from 1 1lb to 1 1/4lb of clotted
blood, &c, from the gullet of the pig.
Balsdon of Westcott, was present when the pig was
bought. Heard Mr J. Manning ask Mr Corney when he
would take his half of the pig. Mr Manning said he
should not have bought it at all , if Mr Corney had
not engaged to take half.
Smyth, yeoman, saw the pig at 2p,m., on the 24th; it
was green and very bad at the neck.
was the case.
Bencraft addressed the Court for the defense, and
called in evidence.
William Corney, who deposed:- I sold the pig in
question to Mr John Manning, who agreed to give the
best price given in market. Afterwards I thought of
keeping part and told him so; to which he agreed. A
week after I called in and said I would not have
any. He said,”I never said you should have it.” He
offered to send a person to slaughter it. To which I
said, “You can please yourself. I have killed pigs
for you before, and can kill that.” It was properly
slaughtered by Mr Stump and cleaned out, and an air
passage left through the throat. When delivered, Mr
John Manning said to me “You'll have half of this
pig?” I said “Not likely; - you've got it and must
sell it. I have nothing to do with it.” John ordered
me out of the shop. There was meat sent to my cart
the same evening. I left it at the quarters.
examined: - It is now salted; not by my orders. It
was perfectly sweet on the night of the 24th. I
smelled to it. I repeat that I never saw Mr Manning
on the morning of the 24th.
Crosse;- Do you swear that you did not see Mr
Manning, at 10 o'clock, in the market?”
Defendant;- I might have seen him pass.
Crosse (to defendant):- I'll ask you no other
Henry Hoskings assisted to load the pig on the 23rd.
It looked good. The portion I have tried today is
Cross-examined:- I have tried the hams and some of
the bacon; it is good. I saw the pig slaughtered; it
Stump, gamekeeper to William Williams, Esq,
slaughtered the pig on the Monday before Christmas
day. I have slaughtered many. I don't know whether
the gullet was taken out; I did not dress it. Mr
Berry dressed it. I saw it the next day, and it
looked white and nice.
Susan Pyke sworn:- I keep “The Green Dragon” Inn,
Barnstaple. At six o'clock on the evening of the
24th December, a quantity of pork was brought by Mr
Manning's people, and loaded into Mr Corney's cart.
He had it taken out again and it was lodged in a
room in my house. It was very good, except the head
and part of the neck, and even that is good for
food. I salted the pig on the 26th; it was then very
good, and it is so now. Scores have seen it.
Westcott, butcher, sworn;- I have killed some
hundreds of pigs. I saw the pig in question when
exposed on Mr Manning's stall. It was well put out
of hand, and cleaned as well as I could clean it. It
was placed on its belly, which is not a good way to
keep meat sweet, as it has no air. I cut up the meat
on the Saturday, before salting it; it was good,
except a few parts referred to, and even those parts
are no good.
Cross-examined:- I did not see the inside of the pig
when it lay on the stall. I consider the gas burners
and sausages around it had an injurious effect on
Baker of “The Mermaid” saw the meat on the evening
of the 24th December. It was very good and he
offered to buy it.
Bencraft summed up, and Mr Crosse addressed the
Judge recapitulated the leading points of the
evidence and the Jury returned a verdict for the
defendant, stated that they considered that after Mr
Manning received the pig, he was answerable for it.
Exeter Flying Post (31 August) has the
(the first part is about a train colision, but
the second part deals with Mr Manning's
altercation with a juror).