Letter from Royal Institution of Cornwall
regarding the
 Bankruptcy of Francis Paynter

Dear Mr Newman

According to Tom Paynter's notes, Francis (Frank) Paynter was bankrupt in 1849, so I went a'looking in the Royal Cornwall Gazette of that year. The issue on June 1st 1849 reported proceedings of the Exeter Court of Bankruptcy re Paynter. Mr Pitts (Bishop and Pitts) applied to the Commissioner for an order to inspect an important document which he understood had been recently discovered belonging to this estate. The Commissioner said that the document was merely an account signed by Mr Nicholls, the creditor, in which certain items were stated. Mr Pitts should however examine it for himself. It was then handed to him by the Commissioner.

Since this was obviously a report of on-going proceedings, I went backwards: in the Gazette of May 1849, I found virtually a whole column on Frank Paynter's affairs. This was a report on proceedings in the Court which culminated in the Commissioner not allowing the bankrupt to pass his last examination. The case of Nicholls the creditor concerned the detention by Paynter of some deeds of mortgage. Paynter said that he had assigned his furniture etc to trustees; in January last he had made a mortgage of property to his brother Charles who had become his surety to the bank for £200. At this time, Mr Bidwell was suing him for £500, and his cousin Mr Thomas Paynter, the police magistrate, for another large sum, about £700. He denied any knowledge of any unsettled account for money which he had borrowed of the late Mr John Paynter, brother of the magistrate, and for whom the bankrupt had acted as agent, although it appears that entries were found in Mr Paynter's papers of money advanced to the bankrupt and of the payment of which there was no record.

Frank Paynter said that at the beginning of 1840, he had set down his capital at £16,000, subject to liabilities of £11,000. In May 1840 his second marriage took place, when he settled property value £9,825 on his wife whose pin-money was £50 per annum. In nine years, his household expenses were £4,502: his office expenses £2,500 and his servants' wages £100 [totalized average close to £600 per annum, Ed.] The profits from all his business did not average more than £600 per annum. The examination was adjourned 'sine die' [= indefinitely].

Yours sincerely


H. Douch

Page created: 14th Jan 2003