Alexander Macdonald and Alexander Macdonald the Younger v David Longbottom

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date15 June 1860
Date15 June 1860

English Reports Citation: 120 E.R. 1181


Alexander Macdonald and Alexander Macdonald the Younger against David Longbottom

For note see 1 El. & El. 977.

1 EL. & EL 988. MACDONALD V. LONGBOTTOM 1181 in the exchequer chamber (a). alexander macdonald and alexander macdonald the younger against david longbottom. [Friday, June 15tb, I860.] For note see ante, p. 977. [For note see 1 El. & El. 977.] The defendants appealed against the above decision of the Court of Queen's Bench, making absolute the rule to enter a verdict for the plaintiffs. W. B. Brett was heard for the appellant. Kemplay, for the respondents, was not called upon. William* J. We are all of opinion that the judgment of the Court below should be affirmed. A* to the main ground of the argument for the respondents, none of ua entertain any more doubt than the Court below; we all think that the evidence was admissible. That evidence does not vary the written contract, but only identifies [988] the subject-matter to which it refers. But upon the other point 1 felt at one time the same doubt as my brother Wightman : although my learned brethren here feel no doubt upon it. It cannot be disputed that if, as a matter of fact, it could be proved that the treaty was on a condition that the wool should amount to a particular quantity, namely, 2300 stones, 100 stones more or less, it would have been gross injustice to admit the oral evidence for the purpose of fixing the subject-matter of the contract, and exclude it from fixing the particular quantity of that subject-matter; or to hold that an action lay against the defendant for refusing to accept that which he never had bargained for. But, upon the whole, I incline to the opinion of the rest of the Court that the statement as to the quantity, in the previous conversation, was a mere expression of opinion by the plaintiffs, and not a material element in the contract by which the defendant bound himself to accept the wool. Martin B. I also think that the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench should be affirmed. The letters of the 5th and 8th September constitute a contract, which, in my opinion, would be a good contract at common law, if the Statute of Frauds had never existed. The ambiguity in the expression "your wool" would not prevent the contract from being a good one; and there is nothing in sect. 17 of the Statute of Frauds to invalidate it. If the previous conversation...

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1 cases
  • Tankexpress A/S v Compagnie FinanciŠre Belge Des Petroles S.A.
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • November 9, 1948
    ...evidence in order to give a specific content to general expressions used in the contract; he quoted Lord Campbell's words in Macdonald v. Longbottom, 1 E. and E. saying "There cannot be the slightest objection to the admission of evidence of this previous conversation, which neither alters ......

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