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Wellcome -v- Burroughs Partnership Dispute Papers

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Wellcome Foundation Ltd
  • Archives and manuscripts

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About this work


These are Wellcome's copies of proceedings and correspondence - most are headed 'Markby Stewart & Company' the name of Henry Wellcome's solicitors. Radford & Franklin acted for Silas Mainville Burroughs.

Burroughs took Wellcome to court in order to dissolve the partnership. The initial writ was dated February of 1888, the case reference was '1888, B, No.618' and this appears on many of the documents.

The case went to the Royal Court of Justice, Chanery Division where it was heard before Mr Justice Kekewich on Monday 24th June and Tuesday 25th June 1889.

Mr Ralph Neville QC and Mr Lazdar appeared for the Plaintiff - Burroughs Mr Warington QC and Mr Alexander Young appeared for the Defendant - Wellcome

The judgement went against Burroughs.

In the course of the litigation Burroughs made various claims about Wellcome not fulfilling his responsibilities regardin the business. He made claims re. Wellcome's health and illnesses; Wellcome's travels post illness (parituclalry neglect of communication such as letters and cables); Wellcome's opposition to Burroughs's attempt to establish a factory in America unde Dr Witte; Wellcome's alleged neglect of company business (timekeeping, pursuit of personal interestes); Wellcome's publishing interests; Wellcome's overdrafts on the company accounts; Wellcome's relationship with Mrs Sheldon and general character defects. The case also looked at Burroughs's willingness to pursue litigation rather than resolve issues; Burroughs's many letters to Wellcome apologising for his (Burroughs's) behaviour; senior staff statements both for and against the two partners. [Note, this set of documentation was collated and retained by Wellcome's solicitors so gives a biased view of the dispute].

In 1895-1896 additional action was taken by Burroughs's executors and his widow against Wellcome. This was in regards to the dissolution of the partnership upon Burroughs's death in 1895.

This forms a second set of material, starting at WF/E/01/04/xx. However, a number of these records were taken from the material collected as part of the first dispute. and date from the 1880's. Much of the content of the records overlaps, as can be seen by the item titles.

Burroughs's solicitors in this instance were Humphreys Son & Kershaw. Wellcome's remained Markby Stewart & Co, with Mr Sargent carrying out much of the work.



Physical description

c.32 items

Ownership note

Please see main WF collection description (ref. 'WF').

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