The public examination of Noel Richard Allen, formerly a draper in High-street and Queen-street, Rushden, and now a brewer’s traveller, of Denmark-street, Bedford, took place on Tuesday at the Bedford Bankruptcy Court. The statement of affairs showed liabilities £87 7s 4d, assets £15 10s, deficiency £71 17s 4d.
In reply to the Official Receiver, the debtor said: I began business in July, 1897, as a draper at Rushden. I had £200 free capital, money given to me. I continued in business until September, 1898.
The Official Receiver : During that time did you have any other capital? - Debtor : I had some other money given to me to pay creditors who were pressing me.
How much? - I could not tell you exactly.
Is it all in the bank book? - Yes.
Can you tell me what you estimate it was? - I could not.
You can tell me near enough; about how much, £300 or £500? - Well, I had two different sums, I think, beside the first, and one amount was £150.
How much money did you invest in that business? - About £400.
In September, 1898, you
CALLED YOUR CREDITORS TOGETHER
owing £568? - Yes.
During the time you were in business as a draper what books did you keep? - Nothing to signify, only a ledger.
You never had a cash book? - NO.
How much in the £ did you pay your creditors? - 10/-.
The liabilities according to your statement were £568 and the assets £336, leaving a deficiency of £232? - Yes.
You had also sunk in the business £400? - Yes.
So that you had lost £630 in the 15 months? - Yes.
Can you explain how that loss came about? I was pressed soon after I started in business, so that I had to have sales at different places. I had sales at Wellingborough, Finedon, and Bozeat and of course sold things and realized money to pay the people who were pressing me.
What sort of sales, auction sales? - Yes, I had one auction sale at Wellingborough, conducted by Mr. Coulbeck; the others I had myself and got the best prices I could, by mock auction. I started the goods at a price and worked down till I sold them.
Sold them for anything you could get? - No, I did not sell them under cost.
Never? - There may have been one or two little things I did.
Did you keep any account of these sales? - No.
Did you ever sell goods you had not paid for? - I am not sure about that.
“Could you deny it?” asked the Official Receiver.
Debtor hesitated a considerable time, and then replied, “I couldn’t say.”
Can you deny that you did sell
GOODS YOU HAD NOT PAID FOR?
I could not swear to it.
Was this matter discussed at the meeting of creditors? - Yes.
And the creditors said they would accept 10/- in the £? - Yes.
How was that found? - By the lady who started me in business, my godmother.
The sum of £284 was found by this lady? - Yes, in cash.
What became of the assets? - I had those.
That was another present this godmother gave you? - Yes.
What became of the £256 stock in trade and other assets? - They were made over to my wife in the marriage settlement.
You were left in possession of £37? owing to the kindness of your godmother, that is, £256 stock, £64 book debts, £ ? horse, cart, and harness, and £13/10/? bicycle ? Yes.
What did you do then ? I had a country round with a horse and cart and what goods I sold I took the money to the bank. The country round lasted till about Christmas, 1898.
According to your statement you owed £87 7s 4d ? -- Yes.
You owe Messrs. Addison, Limber and Co., Nottingham, £20 for goods supplied during 1899 and for coats; what were those goods? Drapery goods.
What were you doing in 1899? -- I had a country round.
I think you said the country round ended before then ; when did you give up your country rounds? the latter part of 1898 and the beginning of 1899.
I want to
as far as I can ; how long did the country round last? I believe it was till February, 1899.
Did you have these goods from these people at Nottingham before or after you gave up the country round? - Before.
Why didn’t you pay them? - I paid them as far as I could.
Was that all your transactions with them? - No, I had paid them several accounts before that.
Why didn’t you pay this one; you had all this stock? - I was not doing the trade to pay them.
Then there is Mrs. Charles Brown, Central Buildings, Rushden, £12 for money lent in February, 1901; what did you borrow that for? - To file my petition.
Who is Mrs. Chas. Brown? - My mother-in-law.
Why couldn’t you pay this £87 when you were left in possession of all that money? - Because I didn’t take the money.
What happened to this stock? - Some of it was made over in the settlement.
As a matter of fact you continued your rounds till the beginning of 1899; when did you marry? - March 25th, 1899.
You had a policy of insurance for £500. - That has lapsed.
And all the furniture, household effects, stock-in-trade, goods, fittings, horse and cart, &c., you settled all these things through this prior settlement on your wife? - Yes.
What did your wife do? - She opened a shop at Northampton.
What did she stock it with? - The remains of the drapery.
Did that business answer? - No.
Your wife had your stock? - Yes, that is quite right.
There was some stock in the shop which she gave up at Northampton? - Yes.
Did the stock go
by night? - It started in the daytime but did not arrive until night.
What time? - It left Northampton at about 12 o’clock in the day-time and think it had not got to Rushden much before seven o’clock.
Where did it go to? - Into a shop belonging to my mother-in-law.
What was the value? - I could not tell you.
Why not? - Because I have not gone through it.
Don’t you know at all what indebtedness your wife incurred at Northampton? - No.
Did she call her creditors together? - No.
Did she pay them all? - As far as I know.
Did you never inquire? - No.
What are you getting now per week? - £2 a week.
Have you incurred any debts beyond those disclosed in this statement of affairs? - Not that I am aware of.
Don’t say that; have you contracted any debts in Bedford? - No.
All these debts are simply little remnants of this previous insolvency? - Yes.
The Official Receiver : I shall apply for an adjournment; I should like to look into some of these questions.
The examination was then adjourned.