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Armory v. Delamirie

From lawbrain.com

Armory v. Delamirie, 1 Strange 505 (1722),is an old English case that concerns the superiority of title of a prior possessor in the discovery of lost property.

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Summary of Case Facts

Armory was a chimney sweep who found a jeweled ring in the course of his cleaning duties. Armory then took the ring to a jeweler, Delamirie, who, under the pretenses of appraising its value, removed the gemstones from the setting and offered Armory only three half-pence. Armory demanded that the ring be returned to him, with the gemstones, in its prior assembled condition. Delamirie returned only the empty ring setting. Armory brought suit for the value of the gemstones.


Did either party have property rights to the gemstones in the ring?

Holding and Law

Yes. Both parties have rights related to possession. However, concerning lost property, the finder has superior title to all but the rightful owner.  As such, Armory’s possession was superior to Delamirie’s, and Armory held superior title to the gemstones in the ring.

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