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The Rushden Echo, 13th May, 1898
Brown & Son - Bankruptcy


  On Tuesday, George Frederick Brown, trading as Brown & Son, boot manufacturer, Rushden, came up at the Northampton Bankruptcy Court for examination.  Debtor’s statement showed amount due to unsecured creditors, £1,131  1s.  8d., and assets (after deducting £61  2s.  due to preferential creditors) £117  5s.  10d.

  The Official Receiver (Mr. Ewen) : As a matter of fact the statement is wrong as regards the assets.  The stock-in-trade and machinery, which according to this are estimated at £166  4s.  10d., were sold previous to the receiving order.

  Debtor : Yes.

  The Official Receiver :  The gross amount realized was £96  8s., and after payment of rent and expenses


for the establishment is £22  4s.  2d.

  The debtor said that at the time of the filing of his statement he did not know the amount realised by the sale.  He did now know who instructed the auctioneers to realise the whole of the estate.  He did not know whether Messrs. Steeds and Wright did, but he said he had no objection to a sale.

  Mr. Ewen : How old are you now?

  Debtor : Twenty-two.

  Mr. Ewen :  How old were you when you began?

  Debtor replied that when he was 18 years of age he started with his father.  His uncle, Mr. Franklin, was the landlord of his premises, and lent him money for the business.  He had been paid his rent out of the £90 that had been realised.  His father, prior to starting in business, had been a clicker, and debtor a clerk and traveller.  He was in partnership with his father for three years, but 


His father left him because he had “had sufficient” of it, and the worry was too much for him.

  Mr. Ewen : He knew it was going wrong?

  Debtor : He knew it was not solvent.

  Mr. Ewen : And you did?

  Debtor : Yes.

  Mr. Ewen : How long?

  Debtor : Since we parted in Christmas of 1896.

  Mr. Ewen : You wanted to go ahead a little faster than your father cared about?

  Debtor : Yes.

  Mr. Ewen : When you got rid of your father did you plunge a little?

  Debtor : I did.

  Mr. Ewen : And on the top of that you had a fire?

  Debtor : Yes.

  Mr. Ewen : And that accounts for the trading of the last twelve months.

  Debtor : Yes.

  Mr. Ewen : You knew after


you could not pay 20s. in the pound.

  Debtor : Yes.

  Mr. Ewen : But you did not take steps then to ascertain how you stood.

  Debtor replied that he did not.  In the autumn of 1896 he thought he could get through though he could not then pay 20s. in the pounds.  His uncle had distrained for rent before  he placed his account in the hands of Messrs. Steeds and Wright.  He owed £163  10s.  2d., balance of the money lent by Mr. Franklin when he started in business and £268  4s.  10d. to the Union Bank, for £150 of which his uncle was guarantee.

  Mr. Ewen : Has the whole of


been incurred during the present year?

  Debtor : I could not say from memory.

  Mr. Ewen : When was the first time you were pressed?

  Debtor : At the latter end of last year.  The net loss from April, 1897, to the present time was £353.  Debtor further said he knew he was £150 to the bad when his father left the business and he had never been in a better condition than that.  He kept on with the business because he thought he would have pulled through.  He had been selling goods at a loss since Christmas.

  Mr. Ewen : You knew you were


What right had you to go and sell at a loss?

  Debtor : I had got rather a heavy stock at that time.

  Mr. Ewen :  Did you sell at less than cost price?

  Debtor : I think it was a little.

  Mr. Ewen : Did you ever keep proper accounts?

  Debtor : No.

  Mr. Ewen : Whom have you sold goods to at less than cost price?

  Debtor :  Haylock, of Leicester, and Griffiths, of Birmingham .

 Mr. Ewen : said he should like an account of all the boots which had been sent out during the present year at less than cost price as the


at that.

  Debtor : There would be four or five gross to Leicester, and two or three to Birmingham .

  Answering Mr. Phillips, debtor said the bad debts were scheduled at £237.

  The examination was formally adjourned at this point.

Transcribed by Gill Hollis
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