The Bankruptcy of Alexander Morrison Fell, 1873

type: Companies - bankruptcy

The Falkirk Herald
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The Bankruptcy of Alexander Morrison Fell

Glasgow Bankruptcy Court

On Tuesday, at the Glasgow Bankruptcy Court— Sheriff Dickson—Alex. Morrison Fell, oil manufacturer, residing at 86 Buccleuch Street, appeared for examination bankruptcy. Sederunt— Mr J.A. Wink, C.A., trustee on the estate; Mr John Gill, writer, law agent, in the sequestration; and Mr T. G. Wright, who appeared for creditors..

The Bankrupt, examined by Mr Gill, deposed; The statement my affairs which is now produced is a correct one. It represents my liabilities to be £1,975 12s, and my assets £57. I have against the West Calder Oil Company, which value £5,000, and which is the subject of litigation in the Court of. Session. The judgment of the Lord Ordinary was against me, but I have reclaimed the Inner House. I was formerly a partner the West Calder Oil Company. I remained a partner until June, 1870, when I retired from, the concern, on receiving £400 from the other partners. This sum was expended by me in removing to Glasgow, maintaining myself and family for nine months, and paying off debts amounting to about £250. After leaving West Calder I had no employment for nine or ten months. During that time entered intopartnership with Donald Munro, by which lost £440. I supplied him means to go to India for the purpose purchasing in certain parts the interior, where railways had been newly opened, up, horns, buffaloes' horns, and seeds, to be sent into the home markets. Mr Munro represented that business to be very profitable, but found it to be quite the reverse. He returned from India in bad health. His estate was sequestrated, and I obtained no dividend. I got clear discharge from him so far as the partnership was concerned, and he gave me a bill for £250 which was not honoured.

I did nothing until about May, 1871, when I started as an oil commission agent and grease manufacturer in Saracen Lane: I continued in that business until April 1872, I found that business be the reverse of profitable. I had very little capital, except what was borrowed.. Since April, 1872 have acted as manager Joseph Townsend's Oilworks in Glasgow. My salary has been £300 per year. I require the whole of that sum for household expenses, having a wife and a family of eight to maintain.

It was in January or February, 1872, that I began to think that I had claim, against the West Calder Oil Company. I thought so in consequence of statements contained in prospectus issued by the company, and brought an action against the former partners in the company. I incurred very heavy expenses by that action. I account for my insolvency by the loss sustained by partnership with Munro, which amounted to £440, the expense incurred maintaining my family for nearly two years without earning anything; and the expenses of the litigation with the West Calder Oil Company. Mr Joseph Townsend became security, for the payment of these expenses, but, in the event Mr Townsend paying these expenses, has a claim against me.

By Mr Wright—At the time I retired from the West Calder Oil Company, the books of the company showed that I was indebted to them. I cannot give particulars, I never received a final statement. The books showed that I had drawn, out all capital. I got discharge from the company of the debt I was owing them, besides receiving £400 for retiring. My late partners brought, action against me to assign certain leases, in implement of an agreement entered into with them. These actions were conjoined, and the Lord Ordinary, afterwards decided against me, with costs. The expenses of this action amounted to £908, 17s. 9d" which is included in the statement of my liabilities.

After these cases were decided against me, I applied for sequestration of my estate. The immediate cause of my taking this step was that Wm. Roger, grocer, Crosshill, took proceedings against me on a bill for £18 which I had granted to him for groceries. Mr Roger gave me charge on that bill early in August. There was also a small account Messrs Ross, of Edinburgh, in connection with Munro's bankruptcy. They got a decree against me for £4 6s.

(Q.) Did you intimate to the agent the West Calder Oil Company before applying sequestration that unless you were paid in full your claim against the company, you would apply for sequestration, of your estate?—

(A.) I authorised no one to make such statement my behalf. It depends upon circumstances whether the action against the West Calder Oil Company will be carried further. I have no power present in the matter; it rests with the creditors. I have made offer to my creditors of 3d in the £1, payable six months.

(Q.) If your offer is accepted, do you intend to carry on the action against the West Calder Oil Company.—

(A.) I cannot say, but I do not think there is much liklihood of it. The expenses the case included in my statement are only those incurred by my law-agent. The amount of business debts included in my liabilities is, I think, about £40. The remainder of my liabilities represent household expenses and borrowed money.

The statutory oath was then administered to the bankrupt.

The Falkirk Herald 20th September 1873