Brief of Lampleigh v Braithwaite

Brief of Lampleigh v Braithwaite by Legum

Lampleigh v Braithwaite (1615) Hob 105:

Material Facts:

The defendant Braithwaite killed a man and requested that the plaintiff help secure him pardon from the King. The plaintiff spent resources fulfilling this request, and eventually secured a pardon for the defendant. The defendant promised to pay the plaintiff £100 in gratitude and later failed. The plaintiff sued.


1. Whether or not the promise to pay £100 to the plaintiff is binding on the defendant.

Arguments of the Defendant:

That the plaintiff had already acted before the promise to pay, and thus only provided past consideration which was invalid.


1. The promise is binding.


That since the plaintiff had acted upon the request made by the defendant, and the defendant later promised to pay, the promise was an implied promise to pay the plaintiff for his efforts. According to Bowen LJ, ‘A mere voluntary courtesy will not have a consideration to uphold an assumpsit. But if that courtesy were moved by a suit or request of the party that gives the assumpsit, it will bind’.