Cases That Led To Subject of Consideration

The case of Hartley v Ponsonby [1857] 26 LJ QB 322 in English law is said to be regarding the subject of consideration the principal verdict. The verdict is depicted from the amendment from the precedent that were set on the case of Stilk v Myrick[1809] EWHC KB J58, from these verdict there was raised the issue of consideration. Consideration in this provision is stated to be the contractual duties that are to be considered valid in the case that the duties that are performed changes the original duties that are set out by the contract.

Case facts

The case Hartley v Ponsonby [1857] facts are that Hartley was the main contractor contracted by Ponsonby to crew their ship. However, during one of the stop over some of the crew men deserted and only left behind six competent men. With the number being so less it would be very difficult and unsafe to crew the ship for the rest of the voyage [Luther, 2009, pp. 530]. However, the men agreed to continue with the hard task because they were promised extra cash, but on arrival to its destination Ponsonby refused to pay the extra amount that he had promised them.

Consideration in the case

The case Stilk v Myrick [1809] 2 Camp 317, 6 ESP 129 in contract law is regarded as the problem case. The case is the representation of conflicting reports, one report relies on the consideration doctrines for judgment and the other relies on public policy. This case prompted the reliance of the consideration doctrines and made it an amendment in the contract law. Consideration is supported from the doctrines of Promissory Estoppel, which states that when one party in a contract makes a clear unequivocal promise or assurance that would mostly interfere with the original contract (Ewan, 2007]). If the other party pursues and finishes the contractual basis in the contract then the other party through consideration is legible for equitable compensation to the party that have performed that particular duty.

Judgment of Hartley v Ponsonby [1857]

The judgment was based from the fact of the doctrines of Promissory Estoppel through consideration of the promise that was awarded to the crew men to finish the task. although the crew men were paid for the duty their were entitled to, from Stilk v Myrick [1809] EWHC KB J58 states that they were not supposed to be paid however, when the other crew men deserted the existing contract was altogether “considered” discharged. The promise made to the remaining crew men formed a new agreement and this provided a valid consideration from the point of Promissory Estoppel [McKendrick, 2007, pp 312].

Importance of the case

This case is important to contract law because it addresses the issue of consideration on a contract; this would help the plaintiff to get compensation from the duties performed through promise that the defendant is withholding [Stone, 2009, pp. 73]. Also provide an analysis that determines whether the given promise could be taken seriously or was just a goof by the other party. This will also help to sort out the sanction that followed the promise if it was a moral promise or legal promise and the remedy to be offered from the amendment precedent set by Stilk v Myrick [1809].


In the contract consideration would play a major role in contract law within the doctrines of Promissory Estoppel. The precedent that was set by Stilk v Myrick [1809] allowed promissory duties that are added on the contractual agreement when acted upon in good faith be compensated for with the agreed price. These brought about the theme of consideration on contract law and enforce gratuitous promises aligning it with English common law peculiarly.

Get a price quote
Type of assignment:
Writing level:
Number of pages:

New customer 15% off

Discount applied successfully