This case was about the interpretation of two insurance policies taken out by Messrs Marshall, Hamilton, and Company on the ship Ceres. One of those policies covered the Ceres and its freight until the ship reached its “port or ports of discharge in the West Indies”; the other policy covered the Ceres and a subset of its freight, a load of fish, until the ship reached “a market in the West Indies.” In Spring of 1784, the Ceres sailed from Greenock, Scotland, carrying beef, coal, and dry goods. The ship went first to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where it picked up the load of fish, and subsequently to the Caribbean, where it discharged the fish. The shipmaster, George Jamieson, then began taking steps to obtain a return freight to Britain. In the course of his efforts to obtain a return freight, Jamieson sailed to Jamaica and moored the Ceres in Morant Bay. There, the ship was wrecked in a hurricane. At the time of the wreck, the Ceres still contained beef, coal, and dry goods. Based on these facts, a dispute arose between Marshall, Hamilton, and Co. and its underwriters about whether, prior to the hurricane, the ship’s outward voyage had terminated under the terms of each insurance policy.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 7103


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