Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (16/Apr/1874) - The Liquidation of the Affairs of Amos Tyas, Manufacturer, Kirkheaton

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


(Before Mr. Registrar Jones.)

At the County Court, yesterday morning, witnesses were examined in this liquidation as to the property of the debtor, some of which was believed to have been concealed. The debtor, who carried on business at Stafford Hill, as a fancy manufacturer, filed a petition for liquidation in October, 1878. His liabilities were stated to be £714 8s. 2d., and the assets £60. The creditors, however, were not satisfied with the debetor’s statement, and he was alleged to have had some questionable transactions with his brother-in-law and a mason at Kirkheaton, named Thomas Lees, who was summoned, along with the debtor, for examination as to the disposal of the property in question. Mr. Barker, on behalf of the trustee, Mr. T. Westerby, accountant, Huddersfield, conducted the examination.

Amos Tyas, the debtor, said that in October last he let Mr. Thomas Lee have half-a-dozen chairs, a sofa, a carpet, and four bags of sweeping waste, for a debt of about £29. The selling price of the wool would be about a penny a pound, and there were seven or eight hundred pounds. Lee sold the wool to a scripture reader, at Kirkheaton, for the same price. About £18 or £20 out of the £29 he owed Lee was for lent money, and the remainder for work done. One item of the lent money was £15. He only kept one small book in which he put down his goods sold, and in that he made no entry of the loans from Lee, and could not tell the dates. He had not given that book up to the trustee, and had not got it with him. Lee gave him no receipt when he let him take the furniture and wool, and there was no memorandum of the arrangement in writing. He estimated the value of the chairs at £6, the sofa at £6 10s., the carpet at £6, and the wool at £4, making altogether £22 10s. ; and Lee was simply wanting the remainder. He had not omitted to return Lee as a creditor for the balance because he was afraid of those things coming out ; he had done nothing but right. He could not say how the £l5 loan was paid him — whether it was in gold or notes ; he could not say when it was lent to him, nor what hour in the day, nor whether it was morning or evening ; he did not know whether he received the money at Lee’s house or his own ; and he could not say what he did with it. He was so fast that it had not left a trace on his memory. He did not think he should be very solvent at the time he borrowed the £15 ; he should think he would be more solvent when he made the arrangement with Lee to let him have the furniture and wool. Joseph Smith, of Marsh, and he, bought some property at Kirkheaton, and it was sold to Ainley and Lord, and he cleared from three to four hundred pounds out of that ; and then he removed from there, and laid it all out at Stafford Hill. He did not think he made much profit in his business between the time he borrowed the £15 of Lee and February last. He filed his petition in February, and his place had been standing for nine months before then. He knew he was insolvent in October, but he thought he could wade over it. He lost money between October and February, though no large sums ; but there were accommodation bills and bad trade. There was one accommodation bill for £143 10s., one for £270 10s., one for £100, and another for £89. If he had, in his statement, put his liabilities on accommodation bills at £407, it was an oversight. With regard to Hudson, he considered his proof for £22 2s. 9d. a false one, as he understood the goods Hudson had covered his debt. The transaction with Hudson took place, he should say, in January, and was a similar one to that with Lee. He had never had any other piano but the old flat-top one in his house. There was a sewing machine belonging to him in the house occupied by his sister, who was teaching his daughter dressmaking, and it was put there for his daughter to work at. He did not know what to do about giving that up to the trustee. It cost £7. He had no objection to give that up to the trustee now, if he pressed for it, but he should not like to take it from the girl. With the exception of what Lee had, he (the debtor) had no furniture in the house during the last 12 months but what was there now. He would swear that Joshua Inman, who lives across the road opposite his house, had nothing belonging to him. He had three machines in his business ; one curling machine, worth £6, he sent back to Joseph Rowley, who supplied it, because it did not answer, and Mr. Rowley promised to alter it and return it, but he did not do so ; it was not sent back because Mr. Rowley pressed him for payment. There was now as much strapping in the mill as would run his machinery ; that strapping was on the premises when he filed his petition, and he had put it in his statement ; but it was not there when the inventory was taken by the trustee. At that time it was in his cellar. He had asked the trustee for some money, and could not get any, and so he cut the strapping off with the intention of selling it to get money to live on ; but he thought afterwards he would not sell it, and took it back to the mill last week.

Mr. Barker here read the debtor’s statement of what was in the mill, and it contained, no mention of the strapping.

The Debtor then continued that it must have been an oversight. He had sold to Robert Greenwood, weaver, of Kirkheaton, his brother-in-law, after the affair with Lee, a donkey and cart, for £4 17s. 6d. He had no material left which he used in his business.

Thomas Lee produced his book, which contained entries of the loans to the debtor, and also the purchase of the wool, with the dates. He still wanted £8 or £9 of Tyas, but had not proved his debt. The debtor came to his house, and asked for the £15, and witness promised to lend it him. They went out together, witness went and drew some money he had to receive, while the debtor went to his shop. He afterwards met Tyas at the top of the Shore, where he lent him the £15 in gold. He corroborated the debtor’s statement as to what he estimated the value of the chairs, sofa, carpet, and wool at. The wool and furniture were at witness’s house now. He had a customer for the wool, at one penny a pound. Edward Greenwood bought the wool. Witness had nothing else belonging to Tyas in the place.

This closed the examination, and it will now be for the trustee to consider whether he will apply for search warrants.