Fabrigas v Mostyn: 1773

Minorca was a ceded colony of the British Crown. The Governor, General Mostyn, apparently fearing that Fabrigas would stir up danger for the garrison, committed him to the worst prison on the island, with no bed and only bread and water, and with no contact with his family. He then confined him ‘on board a ship, under the idea of a banishment to Carthagena.’ Fabrigas sued General Mostyn for damages in the King’s Bench.
Held: The damages award of andpound;3,000 was upheld.
Lord De Grey said: ‘I do believe Mr Mostyn was led into this, under the old practice of the island of Minorca, by which it was usual to banish: I suppose the old Minorquins thought fit to advise him to this measure. But the governor knew that he could no more imprison him for a twelvemonth, than he could inflict the torture; yet the torture, as well as the banishment, was the old law of Minorca, which fell of course when it came into our possession. Every English governor knew he could not inflict the torture; the constitution of this country put an end to that idea. This man is then dragged on board a ship, with such circumstances of inhumanity and hardship, as I cannot believe of general Mostyn; and he is carried into a foreign country, and of all countries the worst; for I believe there are directions given, that no persons should go to Spain, or be permitted to quit the port of Carthagena.’


Lord de Grey


[1773] 2 Wm Bl 929, (1773) 20 St Tr 82


See AlsoFabrigas v Mostyn 1746
And as to the excess of damages, the Court were all of opinion, that it was very difficult to interpose with respect to the quantum of damages in actions for any personal wrong. Not that it can be laid down, that in no case of personal injury the . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromFabrigas v Mostyn 1775
The plaintiff a native Minorquan sought to bring an action in England for an alleged assault and false imprisonment on him in Minorca by the Governor of Minorca.
Held: Such an action could be brought. What foreign law is is a matter of fact to . .
CitedBancoult, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2) HL 22-Oct-2008
The claimants challenged the 2004 Order which prevented their return to their homes on the Chagos Islands. The islanders had been taken off the island to leave it for use as a US airbase. In 2004, the island was no longer needed, and payment had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Torts – Other

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.277173