Bradford won the case against Edward Pickles at first instance, with North J. of the Chancery Division granting an injunction restraining Pickles from continuing with his tunnelling works. The judge viewed section 4 of the Bradford Waterworks Act of 1854 as the identical successor to section 233 of the original Bradford Waterworks Act of 1842, and interpreted that provision as preventing Pickles's appropriation of the underground water before it united into a defined stream or entered the Corporation's land. Pickles appealed the decision, arguing that North J. was wrong on the statutory interpretation point and right on the common law point that intention was irrelevant. The Corporation argued the converse, but this time the judges sided with Pickles. This chapter discusses the litigation, the elevation of the case to the House of Lords, the reaction of the press to the case, the financial strain caused by the litigation on Pickles, and whether Pickles was acting with malice in his dispute with Bradford over water supply.
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