The Times (London), February 18, 1836, Issue 16029, p.4. (Document)
(Before Mr. Baron ALDERSON.)
SHIRLEY V. COX.
This was a bill filed by the Rev. William A. Shirley, vicar of Shirley, in the county of Derby, against the defendant, for an account of the tithes of all tithable matter arising out of the land in his occupation, but more especially for the tithe of wood.
Mr. BOTELER (with whom was Mr. Duckworth), for the Plaintiff; stated that, in point of fact, the only object of the plaintiff was to show that the vicar of this parish was entitled to the tithe of wood; and although the proporrtion of woodland in the parish was extremely small, he was anxious, for the sake of his successors. to establish his right. But for the act which passed in 1832, commonly called Lord Tenterden's Act, this suit would not have been instituted, as, unfortunately for both parties, the costs would most probably surpass the value of the tithes sought to be recovered. This suit had been occasioned by the passing of that act as many others had been, many clergymen conceiving it their duty to establish right which otherwise they would have suffered to lie dormant.
Mr. Baron ALDERSON—And yet this was a statute to prevent litigation.
Mr. BOTELER—It had produced more litigation than almost any statute which had ever been framed.
Mr. Baron ALDERSON—That is not a very uncommon consequence. There is a good old saying, "Let well alone." Evidence was put in to prove the rights of the vicar to the General tithes of the parish, which it was contended included wood, although it was not shown that any tithe for wood had ever been paid to the vicar, or till now claimed either by the rector or vicar. The account for the other tithes was not pressed.
Mr. Simpkinson and Mr. T. H. Hall having been heard for the defendant, and Mr. Boteler in replv.
Mr. Baron ALDERSON dismissed the bill with costs as to all the matters except the tithe of wood, with liberty to the plaintiff to take an issue as to the tithe of wood, and if he did not take that issue, then the bill was to be dismissed without costs as to the tithe of wood.