Lord Blantyre v The Lord Advocate and The Clyde Trustees: HL 19 Jun 1879

Property – Right to Foreshore of a Public Navigable River – Where Barony Title followed by Possession – Acts constituting Possession
A proprietor who held upon a barony title certain lands which were bounded by the river Clyde, which was a tidal navigable river, brought an action of declarator against the Crown and the Clyde Trustees to have it found that the shores and banks of the river ex adverso of his lands belonged to him, subject to the rights of the Crown as trustee for public uses, and to the rights conferred by Parliament upon the Clyde Trustees. The title contained no express grant of the shore, and no such specific and definite boundary as was sufficient to instruct that it was intended to be conveyed. The proprietor proved acts of possession for forty years by pasturing cattle, by cutting reeds for thatching, by taking sea-weed and drift-ware, by carrying away sand and stone for building, and c. held ( aff. judgment of Court of Session) that the pursuer’s title, taken in connection with the evidence of the possession had of the foreshore, was sufficient to entitle him to decree as asked.
Observations per Lord Blackburn upon the legal estimate to be put upon acts of possession in a case of that kind, and upon the circumstances which will give these acts weight in considering the evidence.


Lord Hatherley, Lord Blackburn, and Lord Gordon


[1879] UKHL 661






Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.637964