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260 ^^^ VARD LA W RE VIE W,

much less numerous. In England, much the greater part of all the landed property in the kingdom is managed by such agents. They reside upon the estate for which they are agent, have an office or counting-house, keep a set of books, and represent the owner of the estate in all business transactions between him and his tenants. As agents they keep an account with their banker, to the credit of which they deposit all rents collected from the ten- ants of the estate, and against which they draw cheques in pay- ment of all expenses incurred on behalf of the estate. What remains represents the net income of the estate, and of course belongs to the owner of the estate ; and any mixing by such agents of the owner's money with their own is a fraud on their part.^

The largest and most important class of persons, however, against whom bills for an account will lie, are agents who make it their business, or at least a part of their business, to receive the property of others into their possession for the purpose of selling it, and who are paid for their services by a fixed commission on the proceeds of sales made by them. Agents of this class comprise, not only factors or commission merchants,^ but auctioneers * (/. ^., when they receive into their own possession the property to be sold by them), stock-brokers * (/>., when employed to sell stocks, shares, or securities), bill-brokers or note-brokers,* employed to sell bills of exchange or promissory notes, and book-publishers * (/. e., when they publish a book for its author, and sell it for him on commission).

It may be regarded as clear that all agents of the kind just referred to have a right, when they receive the proceeds of property sold by them, to appropriate such proceeds to their own use, deb- iting themselves and crediting their principals with the amount

1 See Salisbury v. Cecil, i Cox, 277. ^ Mackenzie v, Johnston, 4 Madd. 373.

• Commonwealth v, Stearns, 2 Met. 343.

  • It seems therefore that, in King v, Rossett, 2 Y. & J. 33, the plaintiff was entitled to

an account of the stock sold by the defendants for him. See infra^ n. 6.

^Commonwealth v, Foster, 107 Mass. 221.

  • It seems therefore that, in Barry v, Stevens, 31 Beav. 258, the plaintiff was entitled

to an account. In that case, as in King v. Rossett, supra, if there was thought to have been no good reason for filing the bill, the court could have met the justice of the case by requiring the plaintiff to pay costs. In each case, the plaintifiTs chief object probably was to obtain an injunction against an action at law brought by tfie defendant to recover a balance claimed to be due to him; and clearly the plaintiff was not entitled to that in either case.