What is a Mercantile Agent

What is a “mercantile agent”?

Section 1(1) of the Factors Act 1889 defines the term thus:

1(1) The expression “mercantile agent” shall mean a mercantile agent having in the customary course of his business as such agent authority either to sell goods, or to consign goods for the purpose of sale, or to buy goods, or to raise money on the security of goods.

In simplistic terms, a mercantile agent is any individual or legal entity with the authority to act as such for the purposes of buying and selling goods [which includes “wares and merchandise”, pursuant to s1(3)], or using goods as security for a loan of money.

What is the legal defintion of “goods”?

From Bouviers Law Dictionary:

“GOODS, property. For some purposes this term includes money, valuable securities, and other mere personal effects. The term. goods and chattels, includes not only personal property in possession, but also choses in action. 12 Co. 1; 1 Atk. 182. The term chattels is more comprehensive than that of goods, and will include all animate as well as inanimate property, and also a chattel real, as a lease for years of house or land. Co. Litt. 118; 1 Russ. Rep. 376. The word goods simply and without qualification, will pass the whole personal estate when used in a will, including even stocks in the funds. But in general it will be limited by the context of the will. Vide 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 289; 1 Chit. Pr. 89, 90; 1. Ves. jr. 63; Hamm. on Parties, 182; 3 Ves. 212; 1 Yeates, 101; 2 Dall. 142; Ayl. Pand. 296; Wesk. Ins. 260; 1 Rop. on Leg. 189; 1 Bro. C. C. 128; Sugd. Vend. 493, 497; and the articles Biens; Chattels; Furniture. 2. Goods are said to be of different kinds, as adventitious, such as are given or arise otherwise than by succession; dotal goods, or those which accrue from a dowry, or marriage portion; vacant goods, those which are abandoned or left at large.

GOODS SOLD AND DELIVERED. This phrase is frequently used in actions of assumpsit, and the sale and delivery of goods are the foundation of the action. When a plaintiff declares for goods sold and delivered, he is required to prove, first, the contract of sale; secondly, the delivery of the goods, or such disposition of them as will be equivalent to it; and, thirdly, their value. 11 . Shepl. 505. These will be separately considered.

2. – 1. The contract of sale may be express, as where the purchaser actually bought the goods on credit, and promised to pay for them at a future time; or implied, where from his acts the defendant manifested an intention to buy them; as, for example, when one takes goods by virtue of a sale made by a person who has no authority to sell, and the owner afterwards affirms the contract, he may maintain an action for goods sold and delivered. 12 Pick. 120. Again, if the goods come, to the hands of the defendant tortiously, and are converted by him to his own use, the plaintiff may waive the tort, and recover as for goods sold and delivered. 3 N. H. Rep. 384; 1 Miss. R. 430, 643; 3 Watts, 277; 5 Pick. 285; 4 Binn. 374; 2 Gill & John. 326; 3 Dana, 552; 5 Greenl. 323. 3. – 2. The delivery must be made in accordance with the terms of the sale, for if there has not been such delivery no action can be maintained. 2 Ired. R. 12; 15 Pick. 171; 3 John. 534.

4.- 3. The plaintiff must prove the value of the goods; where there is an express agreement as to their value, be established by evidence, but where there is no such express agreement, the value of the goods at the time of sale must be proved. Coxe, 261. And the purchaser of goods cannot defend, against an action for the purchase money, by showing that the property was of no value. 8 Port. 133.

5. To support an action for goods sold and delivered, it is indispensable that the goods should have been sold for money, and that the credit on which they were sold should have expired. But where the goods have been sold on a credit to be paid for by giving a note or bill, and the purchaser does not give it according to contract, although the seller cannot recover in assumpsit for goods sold and delivered till the credit has expired, yet he may proceed immediately for a breach of the agreement. 21 Wend. 175.

6. When goods have been sold to be paid for partly in money, and partly in goods to be delivered to the vendor, the plaintiff must declare specially, and he cannot recover on the common count for goods sold and delivered. 1 Chit. Pl. 339; 1 Leigh’s N. P. 88; 1 H. Bl. 287; Holt, 179.”

What is the legal form of the valuable consideration that can be offered and accepted in the sale, pledge or other disposition of goods?

Section 5 of the 1889 Act states:

“5 The consideration necessary for the validity of a sale, pledge, or other disposition, of goods, in pursuance of this Act, may be either a payment in cash, or the delivery or transfer of other goods, or of a document of title to goods, or of a negotiable security, or any other valuable consideration;”

In other words and for the sake of clarity; without limitation, payments can be made in bank notes, by delivery of other goods or transfer of documents of title, or by tendering a negotiable security. However, pursuant to s9 of the1889 Act, all credit card purchases are governed by the Consumer Credit Act 1974:

“9(i)the buyer under a conditional sale agreement shall be deemed not to be a person who has bought or agreed to buy goods, and

“conditional sale agreement” means an agreement for the sale of goods which is a consumer credit agreement within the meaning of the M1Consumer Credit Act 1974 under which the purchase price or part of it is payable by instalments, and the property in the goods is to remain in the seller (notwithstanding that the buyer is to be in possession of the goods) until such conditions as to the payment of instalments or otherwise as may be specified in the agreement are fulfilled.”

What is a negotiable security?

In Wylde v. Radford, 38 L. J. Ch. 51, referring to authorities cited in that case while discussing the nature of the depositing of negotiable securities, the eminent Kindersly VC expressed the view that:

“Anything may of course be deposited, and deeds or plate, after they have been deposited, may be said to be a security; but what is intended is such securities as promissory notes, bills of exchange, exchequer bills, coupons, bonds of foreign Governments, &c.”

Section 83(1) of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 defines exactly what a Promissory Note consists of:

“A promissory note is an unconditional promise in writing made by one person to another signed by the maker, engaging to pay, on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum certain in money, to, or to the order of, a specified person or to bearer.”

It would therfore be reasonable to conclude that a Promissory Note made payable to bearer is a well established security within the meaning of the Factors Act 1889, but is it considered to be negotiable?

From Bouvier’s:

“NEGOTIABLE. That which is capable of being transferred by assignment; a thing, the title to which may be transferred by a sale and indorsement or delivery.

2. A chose in action was not assignable at common law, and therefore contracts or agreements could not be negotiated. But exceptions have been allowed to this rule in relation to simple contracts, and others have been introduced by legislative acts. So that, now, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bills of lading, bank notes, payable to order, or to bearer, and, in some states, bonds and other specialties, may be transferred by assignment, indorsement, or by delivery, when the instrument is payable to bearer.”

The obvious deduction to make is that the delivery of a privately issued Promissory Note made payable to bearer is a perfectly lawful and legally codified form of payment for goods, wares and merchandise under the provisions of the Factors Act 1889, on the basis that it has been cosidered to be on the same legal footing as a Promise to Pay by the governor of the Bank of England since the eighteenth century, as codifed by the Bills of Exchange Act 1882, notwithstanding the fact that only bank notes can be reissued after payment.

If all of this is true then why doesn’t everybody deposit Promissory Notes made payable to bearer in their bank accounts for the purposes of acquiring goods and settling debts?

Having spoken with a senior executive in Private Banking about opening a Trust Account for the purposes of making such deposits, it was explained to me that, whilst it is certainly a facility that a bankster can make available, the applicant must be a so-called “High Net-Worth Individual” to even qualify for a basic private account, with at least two million quid in provable assets.

In other words, all the available evidence suggests that a perfectly lawful banking mechanism that could free the people of these shores from their enslavement to fraudulant debt has been monopolised by the super-rich, who have been getting away with committing crimes against humanity for centuries.

Is there a lawful remedy available?

Equity courts will always take jurisdiction to save a multiplicity of suits. Since this crime has been committed against every individual who could be classed as a mercantile agent under the 1889 Act, which is everybody who has ever bought or sold goods, the appropriate remedy might be obtained by issuing a Representative Action in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, against every UK-based commercial bank, on the basis that they have unjustly enriched themselves by clogging the equity of redemption, in failing to disclose to the public the means by which unlimited credit is created and any debt can be satisfied.