To render an instrument under seal a valid and binding contract, it must be delivered.24 Delivery may be effected either by actually handing the instrument to the other party himself,25 or to a stranger for his benefit,26 or by words or conduct indicating an intention that the instrument shall become binding though it is retained in the possession of the party executing it.27 In all cases there must be an intention to deliver the instrument. Merely to part with the possession of it, without intending thereby to render it operative, is not a delivery.28

174, 19 Am, Dec. 38S. See "Seals," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 8-5; Cent. Dig. §§ 3-7.

21Cromwell v. Tate's Ex'r, 7 Leigh (Va.) 301, 30 Am. Dec. 506; Lee v. Ad-kins, Minor (Ala.) 187: Glasscock v. Glasscock, 8 Mo. 577; Lewis' Ex'rs v. Overby's Adm'rs, 28 Grat. (Va.) 627; Breitling v. Marx, 123 Ala. 222, 26 South. 203; Echols v. Phillips, 112 Ga. 700, 37 S. E. 977. See "Seals;' Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 3-5; Cent. Dig. §§ 3-7.

22 "The authorities," says Prof. Knowlton in his edition of Anson on Contracts', "are not in accord upon this question; and, while much may depend on the wording of the statute allowing the scroll, still it is believed that, if the device adopted is intended to be a seal, it is to be regarded as such, though the intention be not expressly declared. The presumption is that the parties undertook to execute such an instrument as would be effectual for the purpose intended." Knowlton's Anson, Cont. 55. See Burton v. Leroy, 5 Sawy. 510, Fed. Cas. No. 2,217; Trasher v. Everhart, 3 Gill & J. (Md.) 234; Eames v. Preston, 20 111. 389; Brown v. Jordhal, 32 Minn. 135, 19 N. W. 650, 50 Am Rep. 516; Wing v. Chase, 35 Me. 260; Richardson v. Mining Co., 22 Cal., at page 157; Prevail v. Fitch, 5 Whart. (Pa.) 325, 34 Am. Dec. 558; 21 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law, 894, note. See "Seals," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 8-5; Cent. Dig. §§ 5-7.

23 Ball v. Dunsterville, 4 Term R. 313, Ludlow v. Simond, 2 Caines, Cas. 1, 2 Am. Dec. 291; Pickens v. Rymer, 90 N. C. 282, 47 Am. Rep. 521; Davis v. Burton, 3 Scam. (111.) 41, 36 Am. Dec. 511; Yale v. Flanders, 4 Wis. 96; Burnett v. McCluey, 78 Mo., at page 688; Hollis v. Pond, 7 Humph. (Tenn.) 222; In re Hess' Estate, 150 Pa. 346, 24 Atl. 676; Norvell v. Walker, 9 W. Va. 447; Citizens' Building Ass'n v. Cummings, 45 Ohio St. 664, 16 N. E. 841. And see Baltimore Pearl Hominy Co. v. Linthicum, 112 Md. 27, 75 Atl. 737, 136 Am. St. Rep. 383, 20 Ann. Cas. 1325, in which it was held that a contract signed by two parties, but having a seal opposite the signature of only one, was not a contract under seal of the other. See "Seals" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 3-5; Cent. Dig. §§ S-7.

24 Shep. Touch. 57; Cook v. Brown, 34 N. H. 476; Johnson v. Farley, 45 N. H. 505; Overman v.'Kerr, 17 Iowa, 490; Fisher v. Hull. 41 N. T. 421; Duer v. James, 42 Md. 492; Younge v. Guilbeau, 3 Wall. 641, 18 L. Ed. 262; Harris v. Regester, 70 Md. 109, 16 Atl. 386. Obtaining deed by fraud, no delivery. Tisher v. Beckwith. 30 Wis. 55, 11 Am. Rep. 546; Gould v. Wise, 97 Cal. 532, 32 Pac. 576, 33 Pac. 323. See "Deeds," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 54; Cent. Dig. § 116.

24 Richmond v. Morford, 4 Wash. 337, 30 Pac. 241, 31 Pac. 513; Bogie v. Bogie, 35 Wis. 659. See "Deeds," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 56; Cent. Dig. §§ 111-125.

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26 Peavey v. Tilton, 18 N. H. 151, 45 Am. Dec. 365; Mitchell's Lessee v. Ryan, 3 Ohio St. 377; Otis v. Spencer, 102 111. 622,. 40 Am. Rep. 617; Douglas v. West, 140 111. 455, 31 N. E. 403; Hall v. Hall, 107 Mo. 101, 17 S. W. 811; Williams v. Latham, 113 Mo. 165, 20 S. W. 99; Brown v. Brown, 66 Me. 316; Duer v. James, 42 Md. 492; Haenni v. Bleisch, 146 111. 262, 34 N. E. 153; Col-yer v. Hyden, 94 Ky. 180, 2*1 S. W. 868; White v. Pollock, 117 Mo. 467, 22 S. W. 1077, 38 Am. St. Rep. 671. See "Deeds," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 56; Cent. Dig. §§ 117-125.

27 Xenos v. Wickham, L. R. 2 H. L. 296; Roberts v. Security Co. [1897] 1 Q. B. 111; Ruckman v. Ruckman, 32 N. J. Eq. 259; Benneson v. Aiken, 102 111. 2S4, 40 Am. Rep. 592; Rodemeier v. Brown, 169 111. 347, 48 N. E. 468, 61 Am. St. Rep. 176; McCullough v. Day, 45 Mich. 554, 8 N. W. 535; Dunham v. Pitkin, 53 Mich. 504, 19 N. W. 166; Wall v. Wall, 30 Miss. 91, 64 Am. Dec. 147. Recording of deed by grantor may be presumptive evidence of delivery. Glaze v. Three Rivers, etc., Ins. Co., 87 Mich. 349, 49 N. W. 595; Steele v. Lowry, 4 Ohio, 72, 19 Am. Dec. 581; Kemp v. Walker, 16 Ohio, 118; Tobin v. Bass, 85 Mo. 654, 55 Am. Rep. 393; Burke v. Adams, SO Mo. 504, 50 Am. Rep. 510; Swiney v. Swiney, 14 Lea (Tenn.) 316; Vaughan v. Godman, 103 Ind. 499, 3 N. E. 257; Walton v. Burton, 107 111. 54; Moore v. Giles, 49 Conn. 570; Palmer v. Palmer, 62 Iowa, 204, 17 N. W. 463; Whitney v. Hale, 67 N. H. 385, 30 Atl. 417; Holmes v. McDonald, 119 Mich. 563, 78 N. W. 647, 75 Am. St. Rep. 430. The presumption may be rebutted, however, by showing that there was in fact no delivery and acceptance. Hendricks v. Rasson, 53 Mich. 575, 19 N. W. 192; Jefferson County Bldg. Ass'n v. Heil, 81 Ky. 516; Weber v. Christen, 121 111. 91, 11 N. E. 893, 2 Am. St. Rep. 68; Brown v. Brown, 167 111. 631, 47 N. E. 1046; Fair Haven Marble & Marbleized Slate Co. v. Owens, 69 Vt. 246, 37 Atl. 749. It is very generally held that the mere fact of recording raises no presumption of delivery. Gifford v. Corrigan, 105 N. Y. 223, 11 N. E. 498; Hill v. McNichol, 80 Me. 209, 13 Atl. 883; Barnes v. Barnes, 161 Mass. 381, 37 N. E. 749; Babbitt v. Bennett, 68 Minn. 260, 71 N. W. 22. See "Deeds," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 56; Cent. Dig. §§ 117-125.

28 Jordan v. Davis, 108 111. 336; Adams v. Ryan, 61 Iowa, 733, 17 N. W. 159; Ireland v. Geraghty (C. C.) 15 Fed. 45. "A delivery may be by acts without words, or by words without acts, or by both. Anything which clearly manifests the intention of the grantor, and the person to whom it is delivered, that the deed shall presently become operative and effectual; that the grantor loses all control over it; and that by it the grantee is to become possessed of the estate, - constitutes a sufficient delivery. The very essence of the delivery is the intention of the party." Marshall D. Ewell, in note to Ireland v. Geraghty, supra. And see Bryan v. Wash, 2 Gilman (111.) 565; Walker v. Walker, 42 111. 311, 89 Am. Dec. 445; Duer v. James, 42 Md. 492; Ruckman v. Ruckman, 32 N. J. Eq. 259; Thatcher v. St Andrew's Church, 37 Mich. 264; Gregory v. Walker, 38 Ala. 26; Burkholder v. Casad, 47 Ind. 418; Rogers v. Carey, 47 Mo. 235, 4 Am. Rep. 322; Williams v. Schatz, 42 Ohio St. 47; Goodlet v. Kelly, 74 Ala. 213; Davis v. Williams, 57 Miss. 843; Burnett v.

To constitute a good delivery, it is generally held in this country that there must also be an acceptance by the other party,29 but the acceptance need not always be expressly shown. Where the instrument is clearly beneficial to the other party, its acceptance will be presumed,80 though, of course, this cannot be so, even when it is beneficial, if acceptance is in fact refused, for a man cannot be compelled to accept even a benefit.81

Possession by the grantee or obligee is prima facie evidence of delivery and acceptance.32

As the delivery of a contract under seal is what makes it operative, its date is the date of delivery. The date appearing on the instrument is entirely immaterial. It may have no date at all, or an impossible date.33 In the absence of anything to show the contrary, a deed will be presumed to have been delivered on the day of its date, but delivery at a different time may always be shown by extrinsic evidence.34