|The Brig Caroline
It will be remembered that the owner of the brig Caroline, Mr. Isaac Simmons, brought an action against the proprietors of the Sydney Morning Herald for an alleged libel published on the 4th of June, 1845. The libel was contained in the leading article of the paper under the title of " Unseaworthy Ships," and arose out of the circumstance of Mr. Simmons having purchased the Caroline for £250 ; having then fitted her out for a voyage to England, advertised her as affording passages at about half the ordinary rates ; and intimated his own intention of proceeding in her with his family to England, which he subsequently did not do. The Caroline sailed from Sydney under the command of Captain Aitken, and returned to port in seven days, making sixteen inches of water an hour, having had fine weather the whole time.
She was then examined, and Captain Aitken advised Mr. Simmons to re-ship the cargo, and give the passengers their money back, which not being assented to. Captain Aitken refused again to trust himself in her. She was subsequently again sent to sea under a different commander, and was again forced to put into the Bay of Islands leaky.
In the libel, Mr. Simmons was charged with having twice deliberately sent this wretched old basket to sea, thereby risking human life. The defendants justified the libel, and the jury found a verdict in their favour. On the 23rd of July last. a motion was made by Mr. Windeyer on behalf of the plaintiff for a new trial, on the ground that the verdict was contrary to evidence ; and after a very long argument a new trial was granted on the payment by the plaintiff of all costs up to the present time - the main ground of their Honors' decision being, that the proof was defective of the guilty knowledge of Mr. Simmons of the rotten and unseaworthy state of the vessel previous to her sailing from Sydney the first time. SG 1 Aug 1846
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