Attorney-General v Tomline (No 3): ChD 1877

For more than 20 years the Crown had been in possession of land forming part of a manor in Suffolk owned in fee simple by Colonel Tomline, who then entered the land in order to dig out mineral material (coprolites-fossilised dinosaur dung). The Crown had entered the land upon the expiry of a licence granted to the Lieutenant-Governor of a nearby fort, Alexander Mair, for life if he so long continued governor, which he ceased to be in 1811. The Crown was in possession of the land for more than forty years and claimed possessory title, and te right to control extraction of coprolites. .
Held: The claim succeeded. Colonel Tomline, as lord of the manor, had an absolute power of veto over the digging up of the coprolites, and ‘The value of that veto appears to me to be the value of the coprolites less so much money as would induce a third person to get them, that is, the measure of damages would be the net returns from the sale of the coprolites less such a sum of money by way of profit as would induce a third person to undertake the enterprise. That I consider to be the proper measure of damage in this case.’

Fry J
(1877) 5 Ch D 750
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRoberts v Crown Estate Commissioners CA 20-Feb-2008
The commissioners sought to claim title to a foreshore by adverse possession. The claimant asserted that he had acquired title in his capacity of Lord Marcher of Magor which had owned the bed of the estuary since the Norman Conquest, and that the . .
Appeal FromAttorney-General v Tomline (No 3) CA 1880
The Crown claimed land by adverse possession. It had continued in possession for many years after a licence had expired.
Held: The Crown had acquired a fee simple by adverse possession, and not simply a copyhold title. James LJ: ‘From the time . .
CitedRoberts v Swangrove Estates Ltd and Another ChD 14-Mar-2007
The court heard preliminary applications in a case asserting acquisition of land by adverse possession, the land being parts of the foreshore of the Severn Estuary.
Held: A person may acquire title to part of the bed of a tidal river by . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Limitation, Constitutional

Updated: 23 December 2021; Ref: scu.264651