(1) It is generally declared a past consideration will support a subsequent promise if the consideration was given at the request of the promisor. In Lampleigh v. Braithwait the plaintiff sued for money which the defendant had promised to pay him for services rendered previous to the promise, at the defendant's request, but without any promise at the time of the request and of the rendition of the services. The court agreed "that a mere voluntary courtesy will not have 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; for the promise, though it follows, yet it is not naked, but couples itself with the suit before, and the merits of the party procured by that suit."71 On principle, it
68 Mills v. Wyman, 3 Pick. (Mass.) 207; Bartholomew v. Jackson, 20 Johns. (N. Y.) 28, 11 Am. Dec. 237; Dearborn v. Bowman, 3 Metc. (Mass.) 155; Allen v. Bryson, 67 Iowa, 591, 25 N. W. 820, 56 Am. Rep. 358; Osier v. Hobbs, 33 Ark. 215; Ellicott v. Turner, 4 Md. 476. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 857-3S1.
69 Ludlow v. Hardy, 38 Mich. 690. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 857-S81.
70 Hale v. Riee, 124 Mass. 299; Mason v. Campbell, 27 Minn. 54, 6 N. W. 405; Montgomery v. Lampton, 3 Metc. (Ky.) 519; Shepard v. Rhodes, 7 R. I. 470, 84 Am. Dec. 573; Stafford v. Bacon, 1 Hill (N. Y.) 532, 37 Am. Dec. 366. But see Willing v. Peters, 12 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 177. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 357-381.
71 Lampleigh v. Braithwait (A. D. 1615) Hob. 105, 1 Smith, Lead. Cas. 67. And see Sidenham v. Worlington (1585) 2 Leon. 224; Marsh v. Rainsford (1588) 2 Leon. Ill; Riggs v. Bullingham (1599) Cro. Eliz. 715; Bosden v. Sir John Thenne (1603) Yelv. 40; Field v. Dale, 1 Rolle, Abr. 11; Boothe v. Fitz-patrick, 36 Vt. 681; Chaffee v. Thomas, 7 Cow. (N. Y.) 358; Dearborn v. Bowman, 3 Mete. (Mass.) 155; Comstock v. Smith, 7 Johns. (N. Y.) 87; Allen v. Woodward, 22 N. H. 544; Goldsby v. Robertson, 1 Blackf. (Ind.) 247; Carson v. Clark, 2 111. (1 Scam.) 113, 25 Am. Dec. 79; Lonsdale v. Brown, 4 Wash. C. C. 148, Fed. Cas. No. 8,494; Wilson v. Edmonds, 24 N. H. 517. The previous request may be inferred from the beneficial character of the services, or other consideration, and the other circumstances. Hicks v. Burhans, 1C Johns. (N. Y.) 243; Oatfield v. Waring, 14 Johns. (N. Y.) 188; Wilson v. Edwould seem that, unless the services were rendered under such circumstances that the law would imply a promise to pay what they were worth, a subsequent promise would be without effect,72 and that in that case the only effect of the subsequent promise would be as evidence of the value of the services.73 In many of the cases, indeed, in which the exception was recognized the subsequent promise was coextensive with that which would have been implied by law. And in view of the repudiation of the doctrine of past consideration, the exception is discredited by modern text-writers.7* Lampleigh v. Braithwait has, however, been followed in several recent cases in this country.78
Some'cases even go so far as to say that even though the past consideration was rendered without request, yet, if it moved directly from the promisee to the promisor, and inured directly to the promisor's benefit, the subsequent promise is binding;76 but these cases are doubtful, unless they can be sustained on the ground that the ratification of an unauthorized act is equivalent to a request.77 It has been held that if the past consideration, though rendered at the request of the other party, was intended by both parties to be gratuitous, the subsequent promise to pay therefor is not supported by a consideration.78
(2) There is another exception, or possible exception, to the rule monds, 24 N. H. 517. The rule laid down in Lampleigh v. Braithwait was literally adhered to in Ireland in a comparatively late case. Bradford v. Roulston, 8 Ir. C. L. 468. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 357-381.
72 MOORE v. ELMER, 180 Mass. 15, 61 N. E. 259, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 128, in which it is said, per Holmes, C. J.: "The modern authorities which speak of services rendered upon request as supporting a promise must be confined to cases where the request implies an undertaking to pay." See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 351-881.
73 See Kennedy v. Brown, 18 C. B. N. S. 677, per Earle, C. J. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 357-381.
74 Anson, Cont (8th Ed.) 98-100; Pollock, Cont. (3d Ed.) 187; Harriman, Cont. § 139.
75 Pool v. Horner, 64 Md. 131, 20 Atl. 1036; Stuht v. Sweesy, 48 Neb. 767, 67 N. W. 748; Silverthorn v. Wylie, 96 Wis. 69, 71 N. W. 107; Montgomery v. Downey, 116 Iowa, 632, 88 N. W. 810. See, also, Daily v. Minninck, 117 Iowa, 563, 91 N. W. 913, 60 L. R. A. 840. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 357-381.
76 Boothe v. Fitzpatrick, 36 Vt. 681; Seymour v. Town of Marlboro, 40 Vt. 171; Doty v. Wilson, 14 Johns. (N. Y.) 378. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 851-881.
77 Post, p. 173, note 83.
78 Allen v. Bryson, 67 Iowa, 591, 25 N. W. 820, 56 Am. Rep. 358; Osier v. Hobbs, 33 Ark. 215. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 79; Cent. Dig. §§ 357-381.
in cases where one person has voluntarily done what another person was legally bound to do, and the latter afterwards promises to pay him therefor. The English cases usually cited in support of this rule all turned upon the liability of parish authorities for medical attendance upon paupers who were settled in one parish, but resident in another. It was held in all the cases that a suit could be maintained for services rendered against the parish legally bound to render them, which had, after their rendition, promised to pay for them. Some of the cases seem to base the decision on the ground that the moral obligation resting on the parish was sufficient to support its promise;79 but, as we have seen, moral obligations cannot form a consideration.80 Other cases seem to go on the ground that there was a legal obligation resting on the parish of residence to do that which the parish of settlement might legally have been compelled to do, and that a quasi contractual relation thus arose between the parties; or that there was knowledge on the part of the defendant parish of acts from which a contract might be implied, independent of the subsequent promise.81 There is, to say the least, much doubt in regard to this exception.82 In a Massachusetts case, however, in which the plaintiff had, without a prior request, paid money which the defendant was legally bound to pay, the court held that a subsequent promise by the defendant to reimburse him was "equivalent to a previous request," on "the well-established principle that the subsequent ratification of an act done by a voluntary agent of another, without authority from him, is equivalent to a previous authority." 83