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British Industrial History

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King, Masterman, and Terry

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of Union Foundry (Kidsgrove)

1892 'BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS. Re S. H. Terry, of Hednesford.-At the Hanley County Court, yesterday, Mr. T. T. Nelson applied for the discharge in bankruptcy of Stephen Harding Terry, of Stafford House, Hednesford, engineer's outside manager, lately of Alsager, and carrying on business at the Union Foundry, Kidsgrove, as a member of the firm of King, Masterman, and Terry, engineers and ironfounders. - The Official Receiver reported that the debtor was adjudged bankrupt on the 25th November and filed a statement of affairs showing liabilities …..The bankrupt, who was for years in the Civil Service, became manager to Renshaw, King, and Co., at the Union Foundry, Kidsgrove, in October, 1889. In January, 1890, Renshaw retired and the bankrupt joined H. S. King and C. E. Masterman, under the style of King, Masterman, and Terry ; but. five months later the business was sold, bankrupt’s partners arranging to take over the assets and liabilities, and giving the bankrupt an indemnity against the latter. The partnership was dissolved, but as the assets, which were believed to be sufficient to pay all liabilities, were not realised, the creditors commenced proceedings against Mr. Terry, and it was to protect himself from the partnership debts that the bankrupt filed his petitition. The bankrupt and his partners had- kept proper books, but those books were not balanced. His Honour said he had taken some pains to possess himself of the facts of this case, in which he saw that debts only to the amount of £342 had been proved against the bankrupt, and that his own estimate of the assets was exceeded by the results, as instead of £200. set down by him, they realised £275., with the result that the creditors obtained a very substantial dividend of 13s. in the pound.. That was exceedingly satisfactory. It also appeared that when Mr. Terry joined the firm at Kidsgrove he went into the working business part of it, and had nothing to do with the book-keeping. Still, a technical offence had been committed under the Act of 1890, for which the bankrupt, with his partners, was responsible, for although they had kept the books required by the Act their book-keeper had failed to properly balance them. He was perfectly satisfied that the bankrupt's conduct had been most straightforward, creditable, and honest - no other description would apply; still he (the judge) had no option left to him by law, and must recognise that offence in some way. If he suspended the discharge he could only do so for two years, which would be monstrous under the circumstances of the bankruptcy, so he proposed to adopt the alternative to this, and to call upon the bankrupt to pay £10. towards the debts not satisfied by the bankruptcy.-Mr. Nelson said his client would pay this at once, and he then applied for a certificate from his Honour to the effect that the debtor's bankruptcy had been caused through circumstances over which he bad no control. - His Honour said he thought he had only power to grant such a certificate, when the applicant was intending to apply for some public office.-Mr. Nelson referred to the case of Lord Colin Campbell, where such a certificate was granted, and his Honour having ascertained that he had discretionary power in the matter, granted the debtor's discharge and the certificate asked for upon the condition he had named.'[1]


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Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, 14 April 1892