• In the case of Lampleigh v Brathwait (1615) Hob 105, it was established that where there was a past benefit conferred at the request of the beneficiary, and reward was previously expected, the promisor was bound by his promise. It need not matter if it was performed prior to the promise of a reward.

Facts of Lampleigh v Brathwait (1615) Hob 105

  • D, Braithwait, had killed a man
  • He then asked C, Lampleigh, to secure a royal pardon for him
  • C spent many days obtaining this, having to ride out on his expense to where the King resided and back
  • After this, the D promised to pay the plaintiff £100
  • D failed to pay, so the C sued

Issues in Lampleigh v Brathwait (1615) Hob 105

  • As the C acted before the promise of a reward, would he still be able to claim this?
  • Did past consideration suffice to create a valid contract?

Held by the King’s Bench

Yes, the C was owed the reward. The D asking such of C implied a promise to pay the C for his efforts.

Findings of the Court

“meer voluntary curtesie will not have a consideration to uphold an assumpsit. But if that curtesie were moved by a suit or request of the party that gives the assumpsit, it will bind, for the promise, though it follows, yet it is not naked, but couples it self with the suit before, and the merits of the party procured by that suit, which is the difference.” [106]