The draftsman of the Sale of Goods Act was Mackenzie Dalzell Chalmers (now Sir Mackenzie Chalmers). The following brief notes of the history of the statute in the United Kingdom are based upon the introduction to the first edition (1894) of his commentary on the Sale of Goods Act, 1893 (Sale of Goods, 7th ed. 1910, pp. vii, viii, ix). Further interesting particulars will be found in Chalmers' book.
A bill to codify the law relating to the sale of goods was originally drafted by Chalmers in 1888, and settled in consultation with Lord Herschell. In 1889 Lard Herschell introduced it in the House of Lords for the purpose of getting criticisms upon it, and it was subsequently criticized by Lord Bramwell and others. In 1891 it was again introduced in the Lords, and was referred to a select committee consisting of Lords Herschell, Halsbury, Bramwell and Watson, by whom it was carefully considered.
In 1892 it was again introduced in the Lords, and made applicable to Scotland, on the advice of Lord Watson, who had consulted various Scotch legal authorities. In the following year it was adopted in the House of Lords. In the House of Commons it was referred to a select committee and amendments were made. Some of these amendments were modified on the return of the bill to the Lords, and the statute was finally passed.
"The Bill, in its original form, was drafted on the same lines as the Bills of Exchange Bill. On Lord Herschell's advice it endeavoured to reproduce as exactly as possible the existing law, leaving any amendments that might seem desirable to be introduced in committee on the authority of the Legislature. So far as England is concerned, the conscious changes effected in the law have been very slight.
As regards Scotland, in some cases the Scottish rule has been saved or enacted for Scotland, in others it has been modified, while in others the English rule has been adopted."