Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 15,100+ case briefs...

Wilber v. Owens

Supreme Court of New Jersey
65 A.2d 843 (1949)


William Brokaw Bamford created a manuscript that discussed his views on philosophical and metaphysical issues. Bamford’s will included a trust that funded the completion and publishing of the manuscript’s findings. Bamford’s wealth was inherited. The manuscript’s introduction section discussed Bamford’s belief that individuals who inherited wealth should use their wealth to benefit humanity. Princeton University was a named beneficiary of the trust. Following Bamford’s death, Princeton’s vice chancellor examined the manuscript and found it to be irrational, unintelligible, and of no scientific value. However, the vice chancellor also found that Bamford had a general charitable intent. On this basis, Princeton University applied the doctrine of cy pres to fund the university’s scientific and philosophical research. The will’s executor, Charles P. Wilber (plaintiff), sued the trustees of Princeton University, including John Owens (defendants). Wilber claimed that Bamford lacked a charitable intent and intended only for the manuscript to be completed and published. The lower court found that: (1) Bamford had a charitable intent, (2) the trust was a valid charitable trust, and (3) Wilber was obligated to release the trust funds to Princeton for the advancement of its scientific and philosophical research.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hehrer, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 287,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,100 briefs, keyed to 204 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.