Sir Francis Buller, 1st Baronet

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It was nobly said in another place (I heard it with pleasure, and thought it becoming the dignity of the person who pronounced it, and the place in which it was pronounced) "that the law is best applied, when it is subservient to the honesty of the case."

Sir Francis Buller, 1st Baronet (17 March 1746 – 5 June 1800) was an English judge.

Quotes[edit]

  • Expressions used in particular cases are to be understood with relation to the subject-matter then before the Court.
    • Moss v. Gallimore (1780), Dougl. 279.
  • A casus omissus can in no case be supplied by a Court of law, for that would be to make laws.
    • Jones v. Smart (1785), 1 T. R. 52.
  • All arguments on the hardship of a case, either on one side or the other, must be rejected, when we are pronouncing what the law is; for such arguments are only quicksands in the law, and, if indulged, will soon swallow up every principle of it.
    • Yates v. Hall, (1785), 1 T. R. 80.
  • Wherever a man neglects to take advantage of any defence which he has at the time, he waives it.
    • Buxton v. Mardin (1785). 1 T. R. 81.
  • Each plea must stand or fall by itself.
    • Kirk v. Nowill (1786), 1 T. R. 125.
  • It seems to me that the argument of the defendant's counsel blows hot and cold at the same time.
    • L'Anson v. Stuart (1787), 1 T. R. 753. Compare: ". . . . This would be blowing hot and cold". Lawrence, J., Berkeley Peerage Case (1811), 4 Camp. 412; "Hot and cold were in one body fixt; And soft with hard, and light with heavy mixt", Dryden.
  • Dissentions existing between man and wife are in all events very unfortunate: when they become the subject of consideration to third persons, they are very unpleasant, and if the case requires that the conduct of each party should be commented upon in public, it is a most painful task to those to whose lot it falls to judge on them. The subject therefore is always to be handled with as much delicacy as it will admit of; but the infirmities of human nature have given rise to cruelties and other ill-treatment on the part of husbands, and to cases in which this Court has thought it indispensably necessary to interpose.
    • Fletcher v. Fletcher (1788), 2 Cox. Eq. Cas. 102.
  • The Court is at liberty to transpose and mould clauses and words in a will so as to make the whole take effect.
    • Doe v. Wilkinson (1788), 2 T. R. 223.
  • It has been uniformly laid down in this Court, as far back as we can remember, that good faith is the basis of all mercantile transactions.
    • Salomons v. Nissen (1788), 2 T. R. 681.
  • I think what has been considered as settled law for thirty years past ought not now to be departed from.
    • Doe v. Staple (1788), 2 T. R. 699.
  • An action cannot be supported for telling a bare naked lie: but that I define to be, saying a thing that is false, knowing or not knowing it to be so, and without any design to injure, cheat, or deceive another person. Every deceit comprehends a he; but a deceit is more than a lie, on account of the view with which it is practised, its being coupled with some dealing, and the injury which it is calculated to occasion, and does occasion, to another person.
    • Pasley v. Freeman (1789), 3 T. R. 56.
  • It is certainly a rule that the jury must find facts, and not merely evidence of facts.
    • Newling v. Francis (1789), 3 T. R. 198.
  • Customs which are consistent may be pleaded against each other.
    • Ball v. Herbert (1789), 3 T. R. 264.
  • The law merchant is a system of equity, founded on the rules of equity, and governed in all its parts by plain justice and good faith.
    • Master v. Miller (1791), 4 T. R. 320.
  • It was nobly said in another place (I heard it with pleasure, and thought it becoming the dignity of the person who pronounced it, and the place in which it was pronounced) "that the law is best applied, when it is subservient to the honesty of the case."
    • Master v. Miller (1791), 4 T. R. 335.
  • I have always thought it highly injurious to the public that different rules should prevail in the different Courts on the same mercantile case. My opinion has been uniform on that subject. It sometimes indeed happens that in questions of real property Courts of law find themselves fettered with rules, from which they cannot depart, because they are fixed and established rules1; though equity may interpose, not to contradict, but to correct, the strict and rigid rules of law. But in mercantile questions no distinction ought to prevail. The mercantile law of this country is founded on principles of equity; and when once a rule is established in that Court as a rule of property, it ought to be adopted in a Court of law. For this reason Courts of law of late years have said that, even where the action is founded on a tort, they would discover some mode of defeating the plaintiff, unless his action were also founded on equity; and that though the property might on legal grounds be with the plaintiff, if there were any claim or charge by the defendant, they would not consider the retaining of the goods as a conversion.
    • Tooke v. Hollingworth (1793), 5 T. R. 229.
  • Some instances of strength of memory are very surprising.
    • Coleman v. Wathen (1793), 5 T. R. 245.
  • There is no distinction between a good jury and a common jury.
    • King v. Perry (1793), 5 T. R. 460.
  • The intention of the testator is the polar star by which we must be guided.
    • Smith v. Coffin (1795), 2 Hen. Bl. 444; id. Tindal, L.C.J., Wilce v. Wilce (1831), 5 M. & P. 694.
  • There is not in this country one rule by which the rich are governed, and another for the poor. No man has justice meted out to him by a different measure on account of his rank or fortune, from what would be done if he were destitute of both. Every invasion of property is judged of by the same rule; every injury is compensated in the same way; and every crime is restrained by the same punishment, be the condition of the offender what it may. It is in this alone that true equality can exist in society.
    • Trial of O'Coigly and others (1798), 26 How. St. Tr. 1193.
  • We must not overturn, the cases.
    • Ablett v. Ellis (1798), 2 Bos. & Pull. 249.
  • My distinction is, that in incorrect wills the Court may take liberties, but that if the words are correct they have no power to make any alteration.
    • Doe et dem. Dacre v. Dacre (1798), 2 Bos. & Pull. 260.
  • The Court is to pronounce according to the apparent intent of the testator, but that intent must be found in the words of the will, and is not to be collected by conjecture dehors the will.
    • Doe et dem. Dacre v. Dacre (1798), 2 Bos. & Pull 259.
  • If the law be thought to be improper or inconvenient, application to correct it must be made elsewhere, and not to those who are bound by the repeated and solemn judgments of their predecessors.
    • Bishop of London v. Ffytche (1800), 1 East, 495.

External links[edit]