The famous statute of frauds and perjuries, 29 Car. II. c. 3, was enacted in England in 1677,11 and, as stated in its recital, had for its object the "prevention of many fraudulent practices, which are commonly endeavored to be upheld by perjury and subornation of perjury."

The original statute contains two sections - the fourth and the seventeenth - which affect the form of certain simple contracts.12

These sections have been substantially followed by the statutes of most of our states, but in some states there are material variations. These variations will be noticed as we go along.

As the seventeenth section differs materially from the fourth, it will be better to treat them separately. In doing so we shall consider (1) the nature of the contracts specified, (2) the form required, and (3) the effect of failure to comply with the provisions of the statute.