Belfast Newsletter, 16 January 1888

Chancery Division – Jan 14,

Before the Master of the Rolls

An Interesting administration suit,

Corley v Corley

This was an action to administer the real and personal estate of Mary Corley, deceased, of Swinford, in the County of Mayo, who died in the year 1879, leaving property amounting to between £13,001 and £14,000 chiefly personally.  The deceased carried on an extensive wholesale and retail business in the town of Swinford.  The plaintiffs were Miss Catherine Corley and Mrs Mannion, daughters of the deceased, and the defendant was Mr Timothy Corley, son and executor of the deceased.  The defendant admitted that there should be a decree for administration, inasmuch as a legacy of £1000 to each of the plaintiffs was due, but submitted that he was entitled to a set-off for nearly nine years, during which they had lived with him.  The plaintiffs, on the other hand, contended that there was no agreement to pay for their maintenance, and said they had always assisted the defendant in his household and business.  The plaintiffs were cross-examined to show the large expense the defendant incurred while they were residing with him for dress, and keeping up a costly establishment for their benefit.  It transpired in the evidence that £30 was paid by the defendant for a sealskin jacket for one of the plaintiffs, Mrs Mannion.  She, however, stated that this was a marriage present from the defendant’s wife.  It also appeared from the evidence that the defendant had been on the turf and owned a racehorse.

The Master of the Rolls said his view was that there had been no agreement for maintenance between the defendant and his sisters, but he thought that it was understood between them that there should be no interest paid on the legacies.  The order the Court would make would be to grant a decree for administration, and declare the plaintiffs entitled to their respective legacies, but without interest. By consent it was further ordered that £30 should be set against Mrs Mannion’s legacy for the expense of her trousseau, and £5 against Miss Corley’s legacy for certain dresses.

Connel for the plaintiffs – The MacDermott, QC; Mr Carlton QC; and Mr Charles O’Connor (instructed by Messrs Maxwell and Weldon). For the defendant – Messrs Bowley, QC and Henry Richards (instructed by Messrs Whitney and Co).

swinford main street
Corley Hotel on Swinford’s main street, 2008