In 1846 there were decided two cases in which a defendant was held liable for the breach of a promise to marry. In one of these cases 90 the defendant's promise was alleged to be simply to marry the plaintiff; in the other case "to marry her within a reasonable time next after he should thereunto be requested."91 In both cases the defendant was held liable without any request by the plaintiff.
These cases did not profess to establish any general doctrine that a contract could be broken before the time for its performance. Moreover, Parke, B., twice expressly ruled the con- 88 Bayley's remark was repeated as representing the law in Heard v. Bowers, 23 Pick. 455, 460; but in that ewe, as the impossibility was not due to the voluntary act of the promisor, the rale was held inapplicable. In Daniels v. Newton, 114 Mass. 530,19 Am. Rep. 384, the dictum in Heard v. Bowers, was repudiated
89 See Duvale v. Duvale, 54 N. J. Eq. 581, 590, 35 Atl. 750, 56 N. J. Eq. 375, 39 Atl. 687, 40 Atl. 440, and infra, Sec. 1421, in regard to repudiated contracts to devise or bequeath property.
90 Caines v. Smith, 15 M. & W. 189.
91 Short v. Stone, 8 Q. B. 358 trary at about this time;92 and Lord Denman expressed a similar opinion.93