Lord Coke has said that an infant's necessaries are "his necessary meat, drinke, apparel, necessary physicke, and such other necessaries, and likewise for his good teaching' or instruction, whereby he may profit himself afterwards."74 Under this rule necessaries will include whatever is reasonably needed for the infant's subsistence, such as food and lodging;75 for his health, such as medicine, and services of a physician or nurse in case of sickness;76 for his comfort,77 and for his education.78 The term is not limited to what is necessary to the actual support of life, but extends "to articles fit to maintain the particular person in the state, station, and degree in life in which he is," so that things may be necessary for one person which would not be necessary for another in a different station in life.79
72 Wallin v. Highland Park Co., 127 Iowa, 131, 102 N. W. 839, 4 Ann. Cas. 421; Jones v. Valentines' School of Telegraphy, 122 Wis. 318, 99 N. W. 1043. See "Infants;" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114-127.
73 Post, p. 644.
74 Co. Litt. 172a. For a good discussion of the law in regard to necessaries, see Ryder v. Wombwell, L. R. 3 Exch. 95. See "Infants;' Dee. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114-127.
75 Barnes v. Barnes, 50 Conn. 572; Rivers v. Gregg, 5 Rich. Eq. (S. C.) 274. Dinners supplied to a student at private rooms at a university, prima facie not necessaries. Brooker v. Scott, 11 Mees. & W. 67; Wharton v. McKenzie, 5 Q. B. 606. Hotel bill. Watson v. Cross, 2 Duv. (Ky.) 147. Dwelling house not a necessary. Allen v. Lardner, 78 Hun, 603, 29 N. Y. Supp. 213. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114-127.
76 Gibbs v. Poplar Bluff Light & Power Co., 142 Mo. App. 19, 125 S. W. 840; Glover & Co. v. Ott's Adm'r, 1 McCord (S. C.) 572; Werner's Appeal. 91 Pa. 222. And see Hoyt v. Casey, 114 Mass. 397, 19 Am. Rep. 371; Wailing v. Toll, 9 Johns. (N. Y.) 141. A horse may be necessary for health, Hart v. Prater, 1 Jur. 623; Harrison v. Fane, 1 Man. & G. 550; but not if for pleasure, note 85, infra. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114-127.
77 Dentist's services. Strong v. Foote, 42 Conn. 203. An infant is liable for reasonable attorney's fees for defending him in a criminal prosecution. Askey v. Williams, 74 Tex. 294, 11 S. W. 1101, 5 L. R. A. 176; Barker v. Hib-bard. 54 N. H. 539, 20 Am. Rep. 160. And see Munson v. Washband, 31 Conn. 803, 83 Am Dec. 151; Crafts v. Carr, 24 R. I 397, 53 Atl. 275, 60 L. R. A. 128, 96 Am. St Rep. 721; Wedding outfit. Jordan v. Coffield, 70 N. C. 110; Sams v. Stockton, 14 B. Mon. (Ky.) 232. Clothing. Mackerell v. Batchelor, Cro. Eliz. 583; Glover & Co. v. Ott's Adm'r, 1 McCord (S. C.) 572. But not for an unnecessary supply of clothing. Johnson v. Lines, 6 Watts & S. (Pa.) 80, 40 Am. Dec. 542; Burghart v. Angerstein, 6 Car. & P. 690. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114-127.
78 See post, p. 194.
Clark Cont.(3d En.) - 13
The construction of the general rule is well illustrated in its application to education. Thus, a common-school education is conceded to be a necessary as essential to the transaction of ordinary business and to the intelligent discharge of civil, political, and religious duties.80 While under exceptional circumstances of wealth or station in society a college education may be a necessary, yet the great majority of persons pass through life without it, and it has been held that under ordinary circumstances it is not a necessary.81 Whether or not a technical or professional education is a necessary depends upon the facts and circumstances of the particular case.82
79 Peters v. Fleming. 6 Mees. & W. 46; Ewell, Lead. Cas. 56; Ryder v. Wombwell, L. R. 4 Exch. 32; McKANNA v. MERRY, 61 I11. 177, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 135; Breed v. Judd, 1 Gray (Mass.) 455; Squier v. Hydliff, 9 Mich. 274; Wilhelm v. Hardman, 13 Md. 144; Jordan v. Coffield, 70 N. C. 110; Nicholson v. Spencer, 11 Ga. 610; Mauldin v. Southern Shorthand & Business University, 126 Ga. 681, 55 S. E. 922, 8 Ann. Cas. 130 [quot Clark on Contracts (2d Ed.) 156]. Board of four horses for six months, the principal use of which was in the business of an infant as a backman, though the horses were occasionally used to carry his family out to drive, was held not necessary. Merriam v. Cunningham, 11 Cush. (Mass.) 40. Livery for the servant of an infant officer in the army was held a necessary. Hand v. Sla-ney, 8 Term R. 578. And see Coates v. Wilson, 5 Esp. 152. But not cockades ordered for his soldiers. Hand v. Slaney, supra. "Articles of mere luxury are always excluded, though luxurious articles of utility are in some cases allowed." Chappie v. Cooper, 13 Mees. & W. 252. See "Infants,'" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114-127.
80 Middlebury College v. Chandler, 16 Vt 686, 42 Am. Dec. 537. Board bill contracted by an infant to enable him to attend school is a necessary expense. Kilgore v. Rich, 83 Me. 305, 22 Atl. 176, 12 L. R. A. 859, 23 Am. St. Rep. 780. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 50, 58; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 116.
81 Middlebury College v. Chandler, supra; Pickering v. Gunning, W. Jones, 182. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 50, 53; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 116.
82Bouchell v. Clary, 3 Brev. (S C.) 194; Mauldin v. Southern Shorthand & Business University, 126 Ga. 68i, 55 S. E. 922, 8 Ann. Cas. 130 (course in stenography). Thus, under certain circumstances, a medical education has been held not to be necessary, Turner v. Gaither, 83 N. C. 357, 35 Am. Rep. 574; while under other circumstances, it has been conceded that a course in pharmacy is necessary. Wallin v. Highland Park Co., 127 Iowa, 131, 102 N. W. 839, 4 Ann. Cas. 421. Whether preliminary education in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and mechanical drawing as part of a • correspondence course in electricity was necessary to an infant who had spent two years in a high school was a question of fact for the jury. International Text-Book Co. v. Doran, SO Conn. 307, 68 Atl. 255. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 50, 53; Cent. Dig. § 114.
While, therefore, as a general rule, the question must depend on the circumstances of each particular case, there are, of course, some things which are obviously incapable of being deemed necessaries. A wild animal or a steam roller, or a railroad engine, cannot, under any circumstances, be deemed such. And the same has been held of life insurance.83
Nor can things intended for ornament, and not for use,84 or merely for pleasure,85 be regarded as necessary. Again, things may be of a useful or necessary character, but the quality or quantity supplied may take them out of the character of necessaries.86 Elementary text-books might be necessary to a law student; but not a rare edition, nor a great number of copies of a single book. Things necessary to a person in one station of life might not be necessary to a person in a different station. Again, things not usually necessary may become so from the circumstances of the infant. Medical attendance and expensive articles of food may ordinarily be dispensed with, but may become necessary in case of ill health.
Things with which an infant is already sufficiently supplied are not necessary.87 An infant residing under the care of his father or
83 Simpson v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 184 Mass. 348, 68 N. E. 673. 63 L. R. A. 741, 100 Am. St. Rep. 560. See "Infants," Dec Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 115-121.
84 Peters v. Fleming, 6 Mecs. & W. 42; McKANNA v. MERRY, 61 I11. 179, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 135. See "Infants" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 50, 5S; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 116.
85 McKANNA v. MERRY, 61 I11. 179, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 135; Glover v. Ott's Adm'r, 1 McCord (S. C.) 572; Beeler v. Young, 1 Bibb (Ky.) 519. Horse, carriage, or bicycle not ordinarily a necessity. House v. Alexander, 105 Ind. 109, 4 N. E. S91, 55 Am. Rep. 189; Miller v. Smith, 26 Minn. 248, 2 N. W. 942, 37 Am. Rep. 407; Pyne v. Wood, 145 Mass. 558, 14 N. E. 775; Beeler v. Young, 1 Bibb (Ky.) 519; Howard v. Simpkins, 70 Ga. 322; Heffington v. Jackson, 43 Tex. Civ. App. 5G0, 96 S. W. 108 (buggy and. harness). A horse, however, may be necessary for health. Note 76, supra. Money furnished to enable an infant to take a necessary trip may be necessary, but not to take a trip for pleasure. Breed v. Judd, 1 Gray (Mass.) 455; McKANNA v. MERRY, supra. Tobacco is prima facie not necessary. Bryant v. Richardson, 12 Jur. (N. S.) 300. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 50, 53; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 116.
86 Ryder v. Wombwell, L. R. 3 Exch. 95; Burghart v. Angerstein, 6 Car. & P. 690; Johnson v. Lines, 6 Watts & S. (Pa.) SO, 40 Am. Dec. 542; Nicholson v. Spencer, 11 Ga. 610. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114,-127.
87 Barnes v. Toye, 13 Q. B. Div. 410; Davis v. Caldwell, 12 Cush. (Mass.) 512; Kline v. L'Amoureux, 2 Paige (N. Y.) 419, 22 Am. Dec. 652; Rivers v. Gregg, 5 Rich. Eq. (S. C.) 274; McKANNA v. MERRY, 61 I1L 180, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 136; Nicholson v. Wilborn, 13 Ga. 467; Bainbridge v. Pickering, 2 W. Bl. 1325; Burghart v. Angerstein, 6 Car. & P. 690; Perrin guardian, and supported by him, is not liable even for necessaries; and it even seems that this is so notwithstanding the poverty of his father.88 It has been held that the fact that an infant is abundantly supplied with money, so that he can purchase necessaries for cash if he chooses, is not equivalent to being supplied, and he will nevertheless be liable for necessaries bought on credit; but there is authority to the contrary.89