4 This deecripion was held insufficient in Doherty v. Hill, 144 Mass. 466, 11 N. B. 681. See decisions stated in Wood on the Statute of Frauds, Sec. 353. In Mead v. Parker, 116 Mass. 413, it was held, following Hurley p. Brown, 98 Mass. 646, that in a memorandum of sale, dated at Boston, the words "a house on Church street" sufficiently described the property. Wells, J., in delivering the opinion of the court, said: "The most specific and precise description of the property intended requires some parol proof to complete its identification. A more general description requires more. When all the circumstances of possession, owner-sup, situation of the parties, and of their relation to each other and to the property, as they were when the negotiations and the writing was made, are disclosed, if the meaning and application of the writing, read in the light of those circumstances, are certain and plain, the parties will be bound by it as a sufficient written contract or memorandum of their agreement. Mead v. Parker was followed by Slater p. Smith, 117 Man. 96." In Hines v. Copeland, 23 Cal. App. 36, 136 Pao. 728, the description "49 acres" was held insufficient where the seller owned 6 lots, aggregating 120 acres. To similar effect is Roberts p. Bennett, 166 Ky. 588, 179 S. W. 606, L. R. A. 1916 C. 1098; Meramec Ac. Material Co. p. Kreis, 261 Mo. 160, 168 S. W. 1148; Harmon p. Scanlon, 168 Wis. 367, 14S N. W. 1082. In Hodges v. Rowing, 58 Conn. 12, 18 Atl. 079, 7 L. R. A. 87, "his [dace in Stratford containing about fifteen acres " was held sufficient, but in Andrew p. Baboock, 63 Conn.
109, 20 Atl, 715, "a tract of land with all the buildings thereon, adjoining the New Haven and Derby R. R,, in the town of Orange, and containing some twenty acres more or less" was said to be insufficient, though apparently the seller owned no other property anwering the description. In Hall p. Cotton, 167 Ky. 464, 180 S. W. 779, L. R. A. 1916 C. 1124, " their farm of 63'Vu acres" without a statement of the place where the farm was situated or of the previous owner or any other means of identifictaion was held insufficient. In Forteaque v. Crawford, 105 N. C. 29, 10 S. E. 910, "his land" was held "too vague and indefinite to admit parol evidence to locate the land." In Falls of Neuse Mfg. Co. p. Hendricks, 106 N. C. 486,11 S. E. 668, "his land where he now lives" was held sufficient if susceptible of identification by extrinsic evidence. In Lowe p. Harris, 112 N. C. 472, 17 S. E. 639, 22 L. R. A. 379, the description was also "his land," but since the earlier cases and since the cause of action arose in this case, the Legislature had enacted that parol testimony might be introduced to identify the land. The description was held insufficient, a majority of the court holding that the act could not operate retroactively. In Nims p. Gillis, 19 Oft. App. 53, SO S. E. 1035, "his land according to my tax returns " was held insufficient as the tax books did not describe the taxed lands in such a way as to fix them boundaries. In Jones v. Tye, 93 Ky. 390, 20 S. W. 388, "land adjoining the McKebly land" was held insufficient, the seller having two parcels answering that description. In Holme*
English cases seem to require less definiteness of description than the American.5 Even in the United States, "Descripv. Evans, 48 Miss. 247, 12 Am. Rep. 372, "a piece of property on the corner of Main and Pearl streets, city of Nat-chei, county of Adams, State of Mississippi," was held insufficient, because there was no reference in the memorandum itself to anything extrinsic that would define which corner was intended. The court said, how-ever: "Extraneous evidence so referred to, and any other evidence in connection with it, which may serve to identify and fix the limits of the land intended is admissible and proper. There would appear to be no limit in that direction except what is to be found in the general reference of the contract. For example, if a contract purports to embrace all the land owned by the vendor in a certain county, it would be admissible to prove any and all the land owned by him in that county." In Mellon v. Davison, 123 Pa. St. 298, 16 Atl. 431, " a lot of ground fronting about 190 feet on the P. R. R. in the 21st ward, Pittsburgh, Pa.," was held insufficient, though the seller owned but one piece of land in the ward named. See also Rineer v. Collins, 156 Pa. St. 342, 27 Atl. 28. In Thompson v. New South Coal Co., 135 Ala. 630,34 So. 31,62 L. R. A. 551, 93 Am. St, Rep. 49, "coal lands," was held an insufficient description. See also Ryan v. United States, 136 U. S. 68, 34 L. Ed. 447; Roberta v. Bennett, 166 Ky. 588, 179 S. W. 605, L. R. A. 1916 C. 1098; Daniels v. Rogers, 108 N. Y. App. Div. 338, 96 N. Y. S. 642; Penshorn v. Kunkel (Tex. Civ. App.), 90 S. W. 719. On the other hand-in Campbell v. Preece, 133 Ky. 572, 118 S. W. 373, the court held a description sufficient which described the land in question merely as the lands which the buyer bad previously sold to the seller. Cf. Howard v. Innes, 253 Pa. 593, 98 Atl. 761.
In Henderson v. Perkins, 94 Ky. 307, 14 Ky. L. Rep. 782, 21 S. W. 1035, "my home place and storehouse" was held sufficient. See also Bates v. Harris, 144 Ky. 400; Matheriey p. Wright, 171 Ky. 264, 188 S. W. 385; Harvey v. Brass, 216 Mass. 57, 104 N. E. 350; Anderson v. Hall, 273 Mo. 309, 18S S. W. 79; Beaton v. Fussell (Tex. Civ. App.), 166 S. W. 458; Spaulding v. Smith (Tex. Civ. App.), 169 S. W. 627.
5In Ogilvie v. Foljambe, 3 Meriv. 53, the description "Mr. Oglivie's house" was thought to be sufficient. In Bleakley v. Smith, 11 Sim. 150," The property in Cable St." was held to be sufficient. In Shardlow v. Cotterell, 20 Ch. D. 90, (C. A.), there was an auction sale, and the memorandum was contained in the following receipt signed by the auctioneer: "Received of Mr. A. Shardlow the sum of £21 as deposit on property purchased at £420 at Sun Inn, Pinxton, on the above date. Mr. George Cotterell, Pinxton, owner."
Jeasel, M. R., said: "I consider that any two specific terms are enough to point out sufficiently what is sold. For instance, 'the estate of A. B. in the county of Cor the estate of A. B. which he bought of C. D.,' or 'the estate of A. B. which was devised to him by C. D.,1 would be sufficiently specific. If so, why should not 'the property which A. B. bought of C. D. on the 29th of March, 1880,' be sufficient? Would anybody doubt that in a will 'the property which I bought of C. D. on the 29th of March 1880,' would be a sufficient decaription? If it is so in a will why not in a contract? I am at a loss to understand the reasoning on which the learned Judge in the Court below proceeded.
Let us look at the words in the present case. 'Property purchased at £420 at the Sun Inn, Pinxton, on the tions of real property, omitting the town, county, or state where the property is situated, have been held sufficient where the deed or writing provides other means of identification." 6 The particularity of description essential in a memorandum must ultimately resolve itself into one of degree. This has been so well expressed by an English writer that his remarks are quoted below.7 above date' (that is the 29th of March, 1880), 'Mr. George Cotterelt, Pinxton, owner.' There are here not two, but three specific terms, that on a given day it was sold at a given place, and that it belonged to Mr. George Cotter-ell. It appears to me that this is an amply sufficient description. True there may be a dispute about what the property was, but so there always may be. It is admitted that the word 'house' would have been sufficient, but that term would no more have excluded a dispute than the word 'property.' I am of the opinion, therefore, that the receipt alone contains enough to determine what the thing sold wag."
6Flegcl v. Bowling, 54 Ore. 40,.46, 102 Pac. 178, citing: Crotty v. Effler, 60 W. Va. 268, 54 8. E. 345; Hawkins Ei. Hudson, 45 Ala. 482; Webb v. Mulling, 78 Ala. 1ll; Garden City Band Co. v. Miller, 157 111. 226, 41 N. E. 753; Lloyd v. Bunco, 41 Iowa, 660; Mee v. Benedict, 98 Mich. 260, 57 N. W. 175, 22 L. R. A. 641, 39 Am. St. Rep. 543; Norfleet v. Russell, 64 Mo. 176; McCullough v. Olds, 108 Cal. 529, 41 Pac. 420; Tewskbury v. Howard, 138 Ind. 103, 37 N. E. 355; Robeson v. Hornbaker, 3 N. J. Eq. 60; Quinn p. Champagne, 38 Minn. 322, 37 N. W. 451.
In Crotty v. Effler, 60 W. Va. 268, 64 8. E. 345, it is said (at p. 263): "Although the state, county, and district may be omitted from the description, it is essential that the land agreed to be sold be so described as to be capable of being distinguished from other lands. It is not necessary that the contract should contain such a description as, without the aid of extrinsic testimony, to ascertain precisely what was agreed to be sold." 7 F. Vaughan Hawkins, Esq., on the Principles of Legal Interpretation with Reference Especially to the Interpretation of Wills, 2 Judicial Soc. Papers, 298 (pp. 326 et seq.): "The other limit of interpretation of which I have spoken is the result of the necessity of there being a sufficient written expression; the meaning of the words cannot be added to or corrected beyond a certain point, or the words cease to be capable of bearing the interpretation to be put upon them; and though the intent may be known, there is no expression in which it can clothe itself. It cannot be too often repeated that legal interpretation is not a mere ascertaining of the intent; it acts only by putting a meaning consistent with the intent, upon the words. And the answer to the question, What is a sufficient written expression? will vary largely with different classes of writings, and under different systems of jurisprudence. In this respect it is manifest that private documents must be interpreted more strictly than public. A deed or will made by a private person is made with the knowledge of the command of the law, which requires the ' writer to express himself fully and completely, and gives validity to the instrument only on the condition of reasonable compliance with the demand which it has imposed. On the other band a document, such as a treaty, which as to its form is almost ment retained wholly within the control of the party to be charged may also be a good memorandum. By hypothesis the bargain at common law is complete, and written evidence of it alone is necessary. There seems no reason for doubting the sufficiency of an undelivered writing for this purpose and this view finds support in many cases.12 It has, however, been held in a number of cases most of which relate to real estate, that a document remaining wholly unpublished in the possession of the writer could not be used as a memorandum.13 A somewhat