Under this head we may consider first, who may prove debts, and against whom they may be proved; and, second, the manner of proof.2

All persons who have distinct claims against the insolvent, may prove them against his estate, whatever be their personal * relations to him. Thus, a wife, who has a distinct estate of her own, may have and prove a debt due to her from the estate of her husband, (a) A trustee may may inquire into the consideration for a judgment debt." Ex parte Marson, 3 Mont. & A. 155. And it has been held, that a judgment to be provable, most have been signed, actually, or by relation, before the commission issued. Mog-gridge v. Davis, Wightw. 16; Buss v, Gilbert, 2 M. & S. 70; Robinson v. Vale, 2B.&.C. 762; Ex parte Birch, 4 id.

(y) This matter has been already commented upon, with reference to the right to prove claims for unliquidated dam-ages; which see. The reason of the doctrine of the text is obvious. The claim, while in its unliquidated state, is for no district sum; as soon as the jury, have passed upon it, it becomes a claim for a definite amount. The question then comes, as in the case of a promissory note. Is the claim, taken as a whole, valid ? No question of greater or less amount of dam-ages is left For a jury. That the judgment changes the character of the demand from what may be termed a mere claim to a debt, see Crouch v. Gridley, 6 Hill, 250; see also Thompson v. Hewitt, id. 254. So with a decree of a court of chancery for the payment of a debt. Johnson v. Fitz-hugh, 3 Barb. Ch. 360.

(z) In the matter of Comstock, 5 Law Rep. 163.

(a) Thus it is said, that if a bond or covenant is given by the husband, to pay prove for his cestui que trust(b) An infant may prove by his guardian; and courts having cognizance of bankruptcy matters may generally appoint a guardian for the purpose. The assignee of a bond or simple contract may prove in his own name. The assignee of another bankrupt may prove his claim. Corporations may prove by their duly authorized attorney, (bb) In all these cases, as indeed in all cases, precautions are used to ascertain the truth, which may best be considered under the next topic, - the method of proof.

1 A judgment obtained after an adjudication of bankruptcy prevents the creditor from proving his debt, although the sutt was begun before bankruptcy, and the discharge in no bar to such a judgment. Re Gallison, 2 Lowell, 72, where the conflicting decisions on this point are cited and the foregoing rule approved. - K.

2 A creditor whose claim is provable hut not proved, may obtain judgment against the bankrupt, if neither he nor his assignee interpose. Cutter v. Evans, 115 Mass. 27; Ray v. Wight, 119 Mass. 426; Holland v. Martin, 123 Mass. 278; Doe v. Childress, 21 Wall. 642. If the indorser of a note pays a part of the money due upon it to the holder, after the bankruptcy of the maker, for a full release of such indorser's own liability, the holder may prove the note in full against the estate of the maker, and must hold for the benefit of the indorser any dividends ho may receive above the balance remaining due him on the debt. He Souther, 2 Lowell, 320. - K.

In all cases, arising under the statutes of Bankruptcy, the alleged bankrupt, and any party to the action, or in interest, is made a competent witness; and either of the creditors may have any question of interest determined by a jury, (c) * The cestui que trust should join with the trustee, (d) the infant the wife, or her trustees, during his life, a sum of money for the benefit of the wife or issue after his death, such a bond maybe proved in bankruptcy against his estate. Ex parte Winchester, 1 Atk. 116; Ex parte Dicken, Buck, 115; Ex parte Campbell, 16 Ves. 244; Ex parte Gardner, 11 id. 40; Ex parte Brown, Cooke, 231; Ex parte Granger, 10 Ves. 349; Montefiori v. Montefiori, 1 W. Bl. 363; Shaw v. Jakeman, 4 East, 201. See also Ex parte Smith, Cooke, 237; Brandon v. Brandon, 2 Wils Ch. 14; Ex parte Elder,

2 Madd. 282; Ex parte Brenchley, 2 Glyn & J. 174. But it is said that a bond given by the husband to pay money for the use of the wife, with a condition, by way of defeasance, that the bond shall not be enforced unless upon the bankruptcy of the obligor, will be void as a fraud, upon the creditors of the husband, and cannot be proved against his estate. Lockyer v. Savage, 2 Stra. 947; Higinbotham v. Holme, 19 Ves. 88; Stratton v. Hale, 2 Bro Ch. 490; s. c. Buck, 179: Ex parte Hodgson, 19 Ves. 206; Ex parte Young,

3 Madd. 124; Ex parte Hill, Cooke, 232; Ex parte Bennett, id. 233.

{b) Ex parte Dubois, 1 Cox, 310; Re Lane, etc. Co. 2 Lowell, 305. As to the joinder of cestui que trust in the proof, see infra, note (d).

(bb) This is provided for by statute, and it may be added, that all these matters of form of proof, etc, are made the subject of strict statute regulation. In Albany Exchange Bank v. Johnson, 5 Law Rep. 313, Conckling, J., said, after stating that the statute requirement must be fully complied with: "Indeed, independently of the above recited provision of the act, it may well be doubted whether a petition of this nature, in behalf of a corporation, could properly be received without proof that the persons by whom it was signed and verified were, in fact, the official organs or the authorized agents of the corporation." 1 Cooke, Bankrupt Law, 124; Deacon on Bankruptcy, 194; Ex parte Bank of England, 18 Ves. 228, 1 Rose, 142, which last report seems to be somewhat deficient Ex parte Bank of England, 1 Wils. Ch. 295. 1 Swanst. 10.

(c) In the case of Foster v. Remick, 5 Law Rep. 406, which arose under the Bankrupt Act of 1841, Story, J., said: "And after having provided 'that all proof of debts or other claims of creditors entitled to prove the same by this act, shall be under oath or solemn affirmation/ etc. [the statute] proceeds to declare,' bat all such proofs of debts and other claims shall be open to contestation in the proper court having jurisdiction in bankruptcy, and as well the assignee as the creditor shall have a right to a trial by jury, upon an issue to be directed by such court, to ascertain the validity and amount of such debt or claims' Now, certainly, there is some difficulty in avoiding the conclusion, that this clause of the seventh section does apply to every case where the creditor seeks to have the fact ascertained by a jury, of the validity and amount of his claim, whatever may be the case of the debtor, where no assignee has. as vet. been appointed. It strikes me, therefore, that if the creditors in the present case should desire a trial by jury, it ought to be granted; but, if not desired, then the court may proceed to decide the case of itself, as a summary proceeding in equity."