In a recent English case Lord Justice Mellish said in words often quoted: "There must be one of these three things to take the case out of the statute. Either there must be an acknowledgment of the debt, from which a promise to pay is to be implied; or, secondly, there must be an unconditional promise to pay the debt; or, thirdly, there must be a conditional promise to pay the debt, and evidence that the condition has been performed."7 If the word "acknowledgment" in this quotation is understood to include part payment as well as verbal acknowledgment, the statement is undoubtedly accurate in almost every jurisdiction, though as will be seen from the following sections, the application of the rule is not everywhere the same.
3 See Troeman v. Fenton, Cowp. 544; Quantock v. England, 5 Burr. 2628; Bryan v. Horseman, 4 East, 599; Frost v. Bengough, 1 Brag. 266; Clark v. Hougham, 2 B. & C. 149; Leaper v. Tatton, 16 East, 420; Dowthwaite v. Tibbut, 5 M. & S. 75; Mountstephen v. Brooke, 3 B. & Ald. 141; Scales v. Jacob, 3 Bing. 638; Partington v. Butcher, 6 top. 66.
4 A'Court v. Cross, 3 Bing. 329.
5, 6 Cosio v. Guerra, 67 Fla. 331, 65 So. 5.
7 Mitchell's Claim, L. R. 6 Ch. 822, 828, quoted, e. g., in Gusty v. Etonian, 159 Mass. 245, 247, 34 N. E. 360, 38 Am. St. Rep. 419.