Raffles v Wichelhaus (1864) 2 Hurl & C 906
The complainant, Mr. Raffles, had an agreement with the defendant, Mr. Wichelhaus, for the delivery of cotton from Bombay to Liverpool in a ship named Peerless. Unknown to them, two ships were named Peerless and were scheduled to leave for Liverpool in November and in December. The complainant intended to deliver the goods in December, whilst the defendant expected them in November. The defendant refused to pay for the cotton when it arrived in December because it was late by a month.
1. Whether or not Mr. Raffles had an enforceable contract with Mr. Wichelhaus.
1. It was held that no enforceable contract exist between Mr. Raffles and Mr. Wichelhaus.
The judges held that there was latent ambiguity in the terms of the contract. Since the defendant and complainant had different ships in mind when forming the contract, there was no meeting of the minds for the parties.