Landmark Cases in the Law of Restitution by Charles Mitchell

By Charles Mitchell

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Printed with The Golden Fleece itself is a set of Sonnets or Madrigals addressed to his brother Thomas. Though the two works are continuously signed, from which we may fairly be confident that they were printed as a single composite book,31 the Sonnets or Madrigals has a separate title page and dedication, this time to Thomas; and while the printing of both pieces was formally the work of Christopher Purset the title page of The Golden Fleece shows that the task was farmed out to WS (presumably the printer William Stansby), whereas that of the Sonnets or Madrigals suggests that it was printed by Purset himself.

But even in that case there would have been a request by the customer that the tradesman do the work, 62 Above 12. See most clearly Addison, Contracts, 213. 64 JH Baker, ‘The Use of Assumpsit for Restitutionary Money Claims’ in Schrage (n 52) 31, 33–5. 65 See especially the remarks of Coke CJ in Vaux v Newman (The Six Carpenters’ Case) (1610) 8 Co Rep 146, 147; Baker (n 64) 37–8. 63 Lamplugh v Brathwaite 17 and even the most hard-line modern proponent of the rigid distinction between contract and unjust enrichment would have no qualms about treating such a claim as straightforwardly contractual.

Warburton J may not have been convinced, but he was alone in his doubts. In Trinity term 1616 judgment was entered for Lamplugh in the sum of £102 13s 4d assessed by the jury—£100 as damages (the amount it was said had been promised) and a standard 53s 4d as costs—together with an additional £10 6s 8d added as costs by the court. So much for the case itself. There is nothing about it that should cause even the slightest raising of an eyebrow, let alone a place in history: a point of principle about the relationship between consideration and promise which had been reiterated time and time again in the previous few decades, and a technical point of pleading in the action of assumpsit which was well in line with earlier case law.

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