by Jon Malings

Transcribed from the North East Gazette, April 22nd, 1887 



In the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, London, yesterday the case of Samman v. the Corporation of the Trinity House came before Mr Justice A. L. Smith, sitting without a jury. This was an action brought by the plaintiff, the managing owner of the steamship Oxon of Sunderland against the defendant Corporation, nominally to recover £16 14s 3d, but really for the purpose of testing the power of the defendants to charge light dues on coal shipped on board steamers in excess of the amount actually required to take the ship to the port to which she was outward bound.—The case for the defendant that the plaintiff’s vessel took out about 100 tons more coal than was necessary for the outward voyage, and that, though the plaintiff had no intention of selling it, he was bound to pay light dues upon it.—Mr Bucknill maintained, on behalf of the defendant, that, as the vessel carried coal in her forehold, she was bound to pay light dues upon it. It could not be said that the plaintiff’s vessel, under such circumstances was wholly and bona-fide in ballast.—Mr. Justice Smith held that the coal in question was not cargo. and that the vessel when she left Sunderland was wholly and bona-fide in ballast, and gave judgment for plaintiff for the amount claimed, with costs on the High Court scale.