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Assumpsit and Debt in the Early Sixteenth Century: The Origins of the Indebitatus Count

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2009

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One of the more intriguing mysteries raised by the action of assump sit in the sixteenth century is that of the Indebitatus count. We know that the most common form of declaration in assumpsit by the middle of the sixteenth century took this form: whereas the defendant had bought a cow from the plaintiff, the defendant promised to pay to the plaintiff £10. The sequence of tenses, from the pluperfect to the perfect, sometimes reinforced by perantea or postea indicates that the promise which constituted the cause of action had been made subsequently to the creation of the initial liability. In effect the cause of action was a promise to perform an existing duty. The same result could be achieved by using the strict Indebitatus count: the defendant, being indebted to the plaintiff in £10, promised to pay £10. The purpose of the present paper is to examine why this form of count developed, and how it was justified in terms of the newly-formulated ideas of consideration.

Copyright © Cambridge Law Journal and Contributors 1982

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1 I use “Indebitatus assumpsit” to comprehend all forms of count based on a promise to pay a debt, whether containing an “Indebitatus” clause or not. Professor Simpson favours the narrower use, restricting it to where the count does contain an “Indebitatus ” clause (Simpson, A. W. B., History of the Common Law of Contract (Oxford 1975), pp. 305307)Google Scholar, but the wider meaning of the phrase is found in the sixteenth century (infra, n. 98), and nothing hinges on the terminology; what is in issue is the general question of the relationship between debt and assumpsit, not a particular form of words: Milsom, S. F. C., Historical Foundations of the Common Law, 2nd ed. (1981), p. 349.Google Scholar

2 Infra, pp. 150–151.

3 Whitehed v. Elderton (1530) [Public Record Office] K.B. 27/1076, m. 64.

4 Infra, n. 59.

5 K.B. 27/1111, m. 64. The case is referred to in Baker, J. H., ”Origins of the ‘Doctrine’ of Consideration“ in On the Laws and Customs of England, ed. ScullyArnold, Green Arnold, Green, and White, (North Carolina 1981), pp. 336, 339.Google Scholar

6 Hoskins, W. G.: “English Provincial Towns in the Early Sixteenth Century,” in Provincial England (1965), p. 70.Google Scholar

7 Coventry Leet Book, ed. Harris, M. D., Early English Text Society (O.S.), Vol. 138 (1909) ), pp. 605, 619Google Scholar; Reed, A. W., Early Tudor Drama (1926), pp. 16. His son William, later a judge of the King's Bench, is said to have been born in Coventry in 1508: Reed, op. cit., p. 72.Google Scholar

8 Coventry Leet Book, pp. 603, 604.

9 Coventry Leet Book, pp. 628, 635.

10 Coventry Leet Book, pp. 635, 642.

11 Coventry Leet Book (Early English Text Society (O.S.), Vol. 146 (1913)), p. li; More's sister was married to John Rastall.Google Scholar

12 Baker, J. H., The Reports of Sir John Spelman, Vol. 2, Selden Society, Vol. 94 (1978), pp. 5657; Reed, op. cit., pp. 3234.Google Scholar

13 Reed, op. cit., p. 30. Through Heywood the case and the issues it raised may have been brought to the attention of the other members of the Thomas More circle, the intellectual leaders of the legal profession.

14 Hoskins, op. cit., p. 73: one of the three or four richest merchants in provincial England.” Victoria County History, Warwickshire, Vol. 8 (1969), pp. 209210. The frequent references to him in the Coventry Leet Book reveal his place in Coventry society.Google Scholar

15 V. C. H. Warwicks., Vol. 4 (1947), p. 72. Inquisition post mortem: P.R.O. C 142/46/36.Google Scholar

16 The record of the case dates the promise in July 1526 (18 Henry VIII). This must be an error.

17 V. C. H. Warwicks., Vol. 8, p. 210; Vol. 4, p. 72; Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fifteenth Report, Part 10, p. 150.Google Scholar For the decline of Coventry, Phythian-Adams, C., Desolation of a City: Coventry and the Urban Crisis of the Late Middle Ages (Leicester 1979), pp. 187278.Google Scholar

18 For this court, Coventry Leet Book, pp. 604605, 699700, 853854.Google Scholar

19 There are signs of increasing strictness in the nomenclature of actions at this time: e.g., Quasshe v. Skete (1538) K.B. 27/1109, m. 74 (Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 289; ”Origins of Consideration,“p. 339). In Laverok v. Wygan (1513) K.B. 27/1008, m. lid no objection was taken to a plaint referred to as ”decepcio super casu.”Google Scholar

20 Milsom, S. F. C., ” N o t Doing is no Trespass” [1954] C.L.J. 105; Simpson, op. cit., pp. 222227.Google Scholar

21 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 262–281.

22 In Pykeryng v. Thurgoode (1532) Spelman, Accion sur le case, pl. 5 (93 Seld.Soc. 4), Spelman J. took considerable trouble to play down the distinction between nonfeasance and misfeasance; the point was clearly worth making then.

23 Y.B. T.20 Hen. VI, 34, pl. 41; 51 Seld.Soc. 97.

24 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 274–275; Milsom, Historical Foundations, pp. 333–335.

25 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 266–273.

26 Brooke, , Abridgment, Ley Gager, 22: “nota tamen a cestuy iour home ne poit gager son ley in accion sur le case.”Google ScholarMcGovern, W., “Medieval Contract Law: Wager of Law and the Effect of Death ” (1968) 54 Iowa Law Rev. 19, 4851.Google Scholar

27 Infra, n. 35.

28 Cf. the problems caused by the boundary between trespass and case in the late eighteenth century: Prichard, M. J., “Scott v. Shepherd (1773) and the Emergence of the Tort of Negligence ” (Selden Society lecture, 1976).Google Scholar

29 Y.B. M.21 Hen. VII, 30, pl. 5, per Pigott.

30 Orwell v. Morloft, Y.B. T.20 Hen. VII, 9, pl. 18, per Kingsmill J.

31 Y.B. P.14 Hen. VIII, 31, pl. 8, per Brooke J. See also Y.B. M.2 Hen. IV, 11, pl. 48, per Markham; Y.B. T.ll Hen. IV, 82, pl. 28; Y.B. M.19 Hen. VI, 29, pl. 51.

32 See in particular the argument of John Dodderidge in Slade's Case in 1597 (e.g., B.L. MS. Harl. 6809, f. 45). The point is developed more fully in my doctoral dissertation, The Development of the Action of Assumpsit, 1540–1620 (University of Cambridge, 1980), pp. 241245, 253257.Google Scholar

33 Accions sur le cas, 25.

34 Y.B. T.20 Hen. VII, 8, pl. 18.

35 Orwell v. Mortoft, Y.B. T.20 Hen. VII, 8, pl. 18; Keil. 69. But cf. the view of Fineux C.J. referred to in Orwell v. Mortoft, that the rise in prices would be taken into account in the assessment of damages in debt or detinue. This is supported by Y. B. M.ll Hen. VII, 5 pl. 20 and Anon. (1524) Spelman, Det, 11 (93 Seld.Soc. 87), and seems right in principle. We are led to suspect either that Frowick misunderstood the practice of the courts in debt and detinue, or that he was misrepresenting it in order to justify the expansion of the action on the case. Later cases suggest that this was rather a grey area: Core's Case (1536) Dyer 20, 20v, pl. 138, per Fitzjames C.J.; Norman v. Some (1594) (infra, n. 37).

36 Frisland's Case (1596) B.L. M.S. Harg. 51, f. 66v, per Walmsley J.

37 Norman v. Some (1594) C.U.L. MS. Ee 3.2, f. 34, quoted by Baker, ”New Light on Slade's Case” [1971] C.LJ. 213, 220, n. 33; Frisland's Case (last note).Google Scholar

38 No reported case has been found where the issue was directly raised. In Dyxson v. Barnard (1534) K.B. 277/1093, m. 30 the defendant pleaded to the action, protestando that the plaintiff had not been damaged.

39 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 280; Milsom, op. cit., pp. 335, 338.

40 Humphries v. Oliver, B.L. MS. Add. 25205, f. 19; L.I. MS. Hill 122, f. 7v; Harv. Law School, MS. 2069, f. 86.

41 Y.B. P.2 Hen. V, 3, pl. 12.

42 Y.B. M.12 Edw. IV, 13, pl. 10; Anon (1510) Keil. 160, per curiam, contra More Sjt.; Anon B.L. MS. Harg. 388, f. 214v.

43 (1505) Keil. 69; Keil. 77; Y.B. T.20 Hen. VII, 8, pl. 18.

44 (1532) Spelman, Action sur le Case, 5 (93 Seld.Soc. 4); 94 Seld.Soc. 247.

45 For the rise in prices, Rogers, J. E. T., History of Agriculture and Prices in England (1866-1892), Vol. 3, pp. 9798; Vol. 4, p. 257.Google Scholar

46 93 Seld.Soc. 4, per Cholmeley and Hinde Sjts.

47 Supra, n. 35. Cf. Core's Case (1536) Dyer 20, 22v, pl. 138), per Fitzjames C.J.

48 93 Seld.Soc. 5, per Spelman J.

49 93 Seld.Soc. 5, per Coningsby J. and Fitzjames C.J.

50 (1535) Spelman, Accion sur le Case, 8 (93 Seld.Soc. 7); Y.B. M.27 Hen. VIII, 24, pl. 3 (sub. nom. Jordan's Case). Whether debt would in fact have lain in this case is questionable.

51 93 Seld.Soc. 5. The argument of the majority in Pykeryng v. Thurgoode may be thought more plausible if debt and detinue are seen as proprietary actions, based on grant rather than promise. But Port's objection still holds: the only thing which the defendant has done wrong is to withhold the plaintiff's property, for which debt or detinue is the proper remedy.

52 Cleymond v. Vincent (1520) K.B. 27/1037, m. 40; Kiralfy, A. K. R., Source Book of English Law (1957), p. 198; Stevens v. Herde (1530) K.B. 27/1075, m. 75; Gyreton v. Asshewell (1536) K.B. 27/1098, m. 79; Braynefford v. Tylcok (1536) K.B. 27/1099, m. 75; Alton v. Wattys (1537) K.B. 27/1105, m. 28d.Google Scholar

53 Baker [1971] C.L.J. 213, 214.

54 This was so only in the King's Bench; here the subsequent promise, although formally necessary, did not have to be proved, whereas in the Common Pleas proof of the promise was essential: Lord Grey's Case (1567) C.U.L. MS. li 5.15, f. 3v, per Dyer C.J.; Anon (1573) (?), C.U.L. MS. Dd 5.22, f. 13; Edwards v. Burre (1573) Dal. 104. On the whole question of the implied promise in the latter part of the sixteenth century, see my Development of Assumpsit, pp. 209–231.

55 Wyngkytl v. Hacker (1538) K.B. 27/1108, m. 66; Heron v. Stevyns (1539) K.B. 27/1110, m. 66; Heron v. Warwyke (ibid., m. 90); Dyrry v. Wyllyams (1539) K.B. 27/1112, m. 36; Hubberd v. Maunsell (ibid., m. (Ad); Barnes v. Levy (ibid., m. 112d.

56 Whitehed v. Elderlon (1530) K.B. 27/1076 m. 64; Harvye V. Stone (1539) K.B. 27/1112, m. 65; Annesley v. Kytley (1539) K.B. 27/1113, m. 62.

57 Harvye v. Warwyke (supra, n. 55); Dyrry v. Wyllyams (supra, n. 55); Harvye v. Stone (supra, last note); Annesley v. Kytley (supra, last note); Barnes v. Levy (supra, n. 55).

58 ”Super tali contractu predictus executor talem prosequeretur accionem pro recuperacione inde qualem testator prosecutus esset si superstes fuerat videlicet per querelam debiti et non decepcionis super casum” (K.B. 27/1111, m. 64).

59 The King's Bench roll for Michaelmas term 1544 (K.B. 27/1133) contains no counts in the old (Pykeryng v. Thurgoode) form, but 13 in the newer: mm. 32d, 33, 36, 37, 73, 105, 119, 120, 121, 123, 141d, 163.

60 Brooke, Abridgment, Accion sur le Case, 5. The note is an abridged form of the Year Book report of Holygrave v. Knyghtysbrygge (supra, n. 50), but is probably not contemporaneous with the case. The Year Book of 27 Hen. VIII was first published by Myddylton in 1545–46 (Beale, R445; Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 169); Brooke's note appears to derive from the printed text, and may therefore be tentatively dated to the mid-1540s.

61 Anon (1572) Dal. 84. The principle became severely distorted in the later years of the sixteenth century: Ibbetson, Development of Assumpsit, pp. 209–231.

62 E.g., Isack v. Barbour (1563) K.B. 27/1207, m. 55 (Baker, “Origins of Consideration,” p. 353, n. 61); Sharrington v. Strotton (1566) Plo. 454, 460; Simpson, op. cit., pp. 318–319.

63 Baker, “Origins of Consideration,” supra, n. 5.

64 Cf. Simpson, op. cit., p. 329. References to the more important earlier writings on the origins of the doctrine may be found in Baker, “Origins of Consideration,” p. 336, n. 1.

65 “In narracione ilia non apparet quam ob causam predictus Thomas assumpcionem predictam fecisset videlicet nee pro denariis sibi premanibus solutis nee pro recepcione parcelle bonorum predictorum Et sic ex nudo pacto non oritur accio” (K.B. 27/1111, m. 64).

66 The significance of the use of the word “causa” is discussed infra, p. 154.

67 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 266; supra, pp. 147–148.

68 B.L. MS. Harg. 388, f. 215; Simpson, op. tit., p. 630. The case can be dated between 1526 and 1536; Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 270, n. 6.

69 L. Seuffert, Zur Geschichte der obligatorischen Verträge (1881), p. 77. The theory is traceable back as far as the early fourteenth century, to Bartolus' interpretation of D. J. L. Barton, “The Early History of Consideration ” (1969) 85 L.Q.R. 372, 381, n. 33. By the 1560s the delictal idea was completely subsumed within the contractual; detriment had become a facet of consideration as an inducement to the promise, rather than being the result of reliance on the promise, an alternative to consideration: Ibbetson, Development of Assumpsit, pp. 29–33; the seeds of this are already clearly visible in Doctor and Student (Dial. 2, c. 24; 91 Seld.Soc. 230). For a different view, see Atiyah, P. S., The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract (1979), pp. 184187.Google Scholar

70 Milsom, S. F. C., “Reason in the Development of the Common Law ” (1965) 81 L.Q.R. 496, 505513.Google Scholar

71 Barton, op. cit., pp. 385–386; Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 293–294.

72 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 292; N.B., that there is no evidence of such use of the “in consideracione” clause before Marler v. Wilmer. Declarations couched in the old form, with the “pro” clause, are still found in the 1560s: e.g., Daldron v. Barton (1561) K.B. 27/1198, m. 85; Cork v. Kyng (ibid., m. 89); Pooler v. Taylor (1564) K.B. 27/1212, m. 127; Oliver v. Peter (1566) K.B. 27/1217, m. 37; Stevens v. Kyng (ibid., m. 44); Pascall v. Wpod (ibid., m. 47); Motley v. Marden (ibid., m. 50); Ryley v. Welles (ibid., m. 77); Ludjord V. Portman (1568) K.B. 277/227, m. 38d; Loveday v. Aser (ibid., m. 45).

73 Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 288.

74 Lord Grey's Case, C.U.L. MS. Ii 5.15, f. 3v. Cf. the more realistic views of Dyer C.J. (Bodl., MS. Rawl. C 112, f. 292; Simpson, op. cit., p. 633).

75 J. L. Barton, 91 Seld.Soc. lvii.

76 Y.B. P. 12 Hen. VIII, 11, pl. 13; Port, MS., f. 15v. For the Port manuscript, now in the Huntington Library, see Baker (1980) 1 Jnl.Leg.Hist. 100.

77 Salmond, J. W., “The History of Contract” (1887) 3 L.Q.R. 166, 174Google Scholar; Vinogradoff, P., “Reason and Conscience in Sixteenth Century Jurisprudence ” (1908) 24 L.Q.R. 373, 382384Google Scholar; Barbour, W. T., The History of Contract in Early English Equity (Oxford 1914); pp. 5965Google Scholar; Kiralfy, A. K. R., The Action on the Case (1957), p. 170Google Scholar; Simpson, , op. cit., pp. 321, p, 375405Google Scholar. But see Barton, J. L. (1977) 27 U.Tor.L.J. 373, 378382.Google Scholar

78 Simpson, op. cit., p. 323. We cannot dismiss Marler v. Wilmer as an aberration in the light of Blyke v. Barston (infra, n. 95).

79 Sollner, A., “Die Causa im Kondiktionen- und Vertragsrecht des Mittelalters bei den Glossatoren Kommentatoren und Kanonisten” (1960) 77 Z.S.S. (Rom.Abt.) 182, 220Google Scholar; Barton, J. L., “Causa Promissionis Again“ (1966) 34 T.v.R. 41, 54Google Scholar; Brissaud, J., History of French Private Law, trans. Howell, R., (1912), p. 515. This is, of course, a considerable over-simplification, for “causa” was used in many senses: Barton, op. cit., pp. 43–51.Google Scholar

80 Supra, n. 59.

81 Edmund Plowden may not have been convinced: in Sharrington v. Strotton (1566) Plo. 454, 460 he argued that in assumpsit “consideration” necessarily involved a change of position by the promisee, a view which epitomises the principle of reciprocity; and an anonymous note of 1567 attributes to him the consistent opinion that a pre-existing debt would not support a promise: “An action on the case will not lie unless there is a consideration for the assumpsit; so if I am indebted to J. S. for building my house, no action lies for this because it is not consideration, but only a nude contract.” (B.L. MS. Harg. 15, f. 40.) There are hints of the same idea in some reports of Turgys v. Becher (1596) C.U.L. MS. Gg 6.29, f. 133; L.I., MS., Mayn. 55, f. 241; B.L., MS., Lansd. 1084, f. 120v, but apart from this we have only the odd desultory suggestion that it was past consideration: Bateman v. Ford (1590) C.U.L. MS. LI 3.9, f. 84; B.L. MS. Add. 35942, f. 85; Hodge v. Vavisour (1616) 1 Rolle 413; 3 Bulst. 222; this was only a formal objection, answered by the equally formal reply that it was not past, but continuing.

82 E.g., Anon (1577) L.I. MS. Misc. 361b, f. 81; Anon (1580) L.I. MS. Misc. 488c, p. 71; Anon (1582) Godb. 13; Sidenham v. Worlington (1585) 2 Leon. 224; Crisp v. Golding (1586) 1 Leon 296; Manwood v. Burston (1587) 2 Leon. 203; Gill v. Harewood (1587) Goulds. 48; Anon (1588) (?), Harv.L.S., MS., 1180 (1), f. 292v; Anon (1588) L.I. MS. Misc. 361b, f. 123v; Pearle v. Edwards (1588) Yale MS. GR 29.6 f. 18v; Lord North's Case (1588) 2 Leon. 179; Chambers' Case (1589) C.U.L. MS. Ff 5.26, f. 16v. There are many other reports of these cases to the same effect.

83 Simpson, op. cit., p. 323.

84 Lectures on Legal History (Harvard 1913), p. 146. Similarly Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 290 (although the conclusion does not seem to follow from the example cited).

85 In Lord North's Case (1588) 2 Leon. 179 Indebitatus assumpsit was held to lie for a failure to pay a fine pro licencia concordandi.

86 [1954] C.L.J. 105, 112113Google Scholar; the argument. does not reappear in the later Historical Foundations. See too Stoljar, S. J., History of Contract at Common Law (Canberra 1975), pp. 7375.Google Scholar

87 E.g., Gill v. Harewood (1587) 1 Leon. 161; Simpson, A. W. B., “The Place of Slade's Case in the History of Contract” (1958) 74 L.Q.R. 381, 386.Google Scholar

88 Infra, pp. 157–158.

89 London, Bristol, and the Great Sessions in Wales: Hall, G. D. G., “An Assize Book of the Seventeenth Century” (1963) 7 A.J.L.H. 228, 236. We may add Worcester too: Blyke v. Barston (1540) infra, n. 95.Google Scholar

90 Bertachinus, Repertorium Aureum (Venice 1499 ed.) Vol. 3, f. lv (sub verb. Pactum, tit. Pactum nudum, no. ix), citing Alexander Tartagni: “Pactum nudum super eo quod debetur a lege vel statuto vel ex precendento conventione parit actionem tanquam vestitum calore legis vel precedentis obligationis.”

91 D.13.5; C.4.18; Buckland, W. W., Textbook of Roman Law, 3rd ed. (Cambridge 1963), pp. 529531.Google Scholar

92 Helmholz, R. H., “Assumpsit and Fidei Laesio” (1975) 91 L.Q.R. 406, 413416.Google Scholar

93 This is the question with which the canon lawyers were concerned: Simpson, op. cit., pp. 375–405; Doctor and Student 2.24 (91 Seld.Soc. 229–231).

94 Milsom, S. p. C., “Account Stated in the Action of Debt” (1966) 82 L.Q.R. 534Google Scholar; Historical Foundations, pp. 260, 341; Hall (1963) 7 A.J.L.H. 228, 236. Concessit Solvere is compared with Indebitatus assumpsit in Andrewes v. Webb (1607) B.L. M.S. Lansd. 1062, f. 83v.Google Scholar

95 Blyke v. Barston (1540) K.B. 27/1075, m. 26: “… non allegavit pro qua causa aut aliqua re certa idem Thomas [the debtor] concessit se debere eidem Egidio [the creditor] easdem 101.” The defendant in error alleged a custom of the city “quod quandocunque aliqua persona infra civitatem illam concessit se solvere aut debere alicui altere persone aliquam summam pecunie quod tune ballivi civitatis predicte pro tempore existentes possunt et valeant tenere placitum in accione debiti super eadem concessione secundum consuetudinem civitatis predicte absque aliqua allegacione pro aliqua alia causa aut aliqua re certa pro qua concessio ilia accrevit aut facta fuit.”

96 Supra, n. 44.

97 Supra, n. 68.

98 This was a substantial rather than a formal distinction. Slade's Case, although it contained no “Indebitatus” clause, was referred to as “le indebitatus assumpsit”: B.L. MS. Lansd. 1061, f. 42v; I.T. MS. Petyt 516.5, f. 120. See too Paramour v. Payne (1596) C.U.L. MS. Gg 6.29, f. 133v.

99 Banks v. Thwaites (1586) 3 Leon. 74; C.U.L. MS. Dd 11.64, f. 15; Anon (1587) C.U.L. MS. LI 3.8, f. 334); Hunt v. Randall (1587) B.L. MS. Harg. 15, f. 152; Devenly v. Welbore (1588) Cro.El. 85; C.U.L. MS. Hh 2.9, f. 392v; Anon (1591) B.L. MS. Harg. 26, f. 29; Anon (1593) C.U.L. MS. Dd 5.22, f. 12v; Alsop v. Claydon (1596) Moo. 406, pl. 545; Cro.El. 465; John Rylands Lib.Fr. MS. 118, f. 268.

1 Banks v. Thwaites (1586) last note; Anon (1586) L.I. MS. Mayn. 29, f. 235v; Norris v. Kirke (1587) Cro.El. 73; C.U.L. MS. Hh 2.9, f. 385v; Obaston v. Gorton (1588) Cro.El. 91; C.U.L. MS. Hh 2.9, f. 396v; Abbot's Case (1588) 3 Leon. 206; B.L. MS. Lansd. 1087, f. 30; L.I. MS. Mayn. 29, f. 105v; Estrigge v. Owles (1589) 3 Leon. 200; 4 Leon. 3; C.U.L. MS. LI 3.8, f. 467v; L.I. MS. Hill 123b, f. 89v; Hobs v. Hawkins (1590) B.L. MS. Lansd. 1068, f. 44; B.L. MS. Add. 35941, f. 77v; Applethwaite v. Nertley (1590) 4 Leon. 56; Cro. El. 229; C.U.L. MS. Ii 5.16, f. 79v.

2 Pulmant's Case (1583) 3 Leon. 76; 3 Leon. 200; 4 Leon. 2; I.T. MS. Barr. 76, f. 18v; B.L. MS. Harg. 11, f. 25; Anon (1586) C.U.L. MS. LI 3.8, f. 334; Estrigge v. Owles (1589) (last note); Anon (1590) C.U.L. MS. LI 3.9, f. 51; Anon (1591) B.L. MS. Harg. 26, f. 29; Capp v. Lancaster (1597) Cro.El. 548. C.U.L. MS. Ii 5.16, f. 254; B.L. MS. Harg. 15, f. 186; B.L. MS. Add. 25201, 687–691; Baker, 94 Seld.Soc. 200–202.

3 See in particular Hughes v. Robotham (1593) Pop. 30; May v. Carmyden (1593) C.U.L., MS. Ii 5.16, f. 254; B.L., MS. Harg. 15, f. 186; B.L., MS. Add. 25201, f. 50v. See further my Development of Assumpsit, pp. 329–337.

4 Spelman, Uses, 4 (93 Seld.Soc. 228).

5 93 Seld.Soc. 229.

6 Ives, E. W., “The Genesis of the Statute of Uses ” (1967) 82 Eng.Hist.Rev. 673, 687691; Baker 94 Seld.Soc. 200–202.Google Scholar

7 Anon (1536) Dyer 14 (covenant); Whitacres v. Onsley (1573) Dyer 322 (debt against gaoler for escape of prisoner).

8 “… ubi predictus Willelmus querelam suam predictam prosecutus est tanquam executor testamenti sive ultime voluntatis Ricardi Marler patris sui in hoc quod in tota ilia narracione… nulla sufficienti auctoritate apparet quod predictus Willelmus fuit executor testamenti sive ultime voluntatis predicti testatoris… sic quod predictus Willelmus nullam habuit auctoritatem nee potestatem manutenendi aliquam hujusmodi sectam versus prefatum Thomam” (K.B. 27/1111, m. 64).

9 It was held necessary to produce the will when the executor was suing on a promise made to his testator in Edwards v. Stapleton (1597) Cro.El. 551; Noy 63; in the 1530s it was by no means certain that any action would lie at the suit of an executor in his representative capacity: Simpson, op. tit., p. 566.

10 Rastall's Collection of Entrees, completed in 1564, contains a section entitled “Accion sur le case in lieu de Accion de Det.”

11 See especially Manwood v. Burston (1588) B.L. MS. Harg. 15, f. 112; Smith v. Hitchcock (1591) B.L. MS. Lansd. 1087, f. 115; Hughes v. Robotham (1593) Pop. 30.