Until 1829 no formal requisite for a new promise or acknowledgment of indebtedness was made by the law of England. In that year, however, Lord Tenterden's Act, so called, was passed,11 which required new promises and acknowledgments to be in writing as a condition of their validity. By a proviso the effect of part payment was left unchanged. In the United States a simliar statute has been enacted in most, but by no means in all States.12 The exact language of the Act has,
8 See cases is the following sections, passim.
9 This theory was suggested but not adopted in Wald v. Arnold, 168 Moss. 134, 46 N. E. 419.
10In re McGuire, 132 Fed. 394 (reversed on another point in Dacovich v.Schley, 134 Fed. 72, 67 C. C. A. 198); Chapman v. Barnes, 93 Ala. 433, 9 So. 589; Pollak v. Billing, 131 Ala. 519, 32 So. 839; Slaughter's Succession, 108 La. 492, 32 So. 379; Weil v. Jacobs'
Est., 111 La. 358, 35 So. 599; George W. Helm Co. v. Griffin, 112 N. C. 356, 16 S. E. 1023; Pierce v. Seymour, 52 Wis. 272, 9 N. W. 71; Phelan v. Fitz-patrick, 84 Wis. 240, 54 N. W. 614. See also Rankin v. Anderson, 24 Ky. L. Rep. 647, 69 S. W. 705; Hill v. Hill, 51 S. C. 134,141, 28 S. E. 309.
11 9 George IV, v. 14, Sec. 1.
12 There seems to be no such statute in Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, however, not been copied, and the differences in form of these statutes have not infrequently been made the basis for slight differences in the law of the several States which have enacted them. It was required by Lord Tenterden's Act that the writing should be signed "by the party chargeable thereby." Under this provision an acknowledgment signed by an agent was on a somewhat narrow construction held insufficient.13 But this construction was corrected by the Mercantile Law Amendment Act of 1856, which provided that the signature of an authorized agent should have the same effect as that of the party to be charged. Since the later statute the questions as to the sufficiency of a writing seem similar to those arising in regard to memoranda under the Statute of Frauds.14 In the United States the construction put upon Lord Tenterden's Act in England as to the power of an agent has been followed in New Jersey;15 but it seems probable that under most American Statutes based on Lord Tenterden's Act the signature of an authorized agent would be held sufficient, though not expressly permitted by the statute: 16 No formality in the terms of the writing is necessary; 17 though it is said that the provisions of the statute should be construed strictly in favor of the statutory bar.18 The requirement of a writing extends not only to new promises to pay debts already barred, but also to promises to pay debts not yet barred.19 How far the American statutes requiring a new promise to be in writing affect the question of part payment has been considered in another section.20 A new promise which is supported by contemporaneous consideration is not within the terms of such statutes and need not be in writing.21
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island or Ten-
13 Hyde v. Johnson, 2 Bing. N. C. 776, 3 Scott, 289; Gibson v. Baghott, 5 C. & P. 211; Clark v. Alexander, 8 Scott, N. R. 147. See further infra, Sec.190
14 See infra, Sec.Sec. 568 et seq.
15 De Raismes v. De Raiames, 70 N.J.L.16,66Atl.l70.
16 Liberman v. Gurensky, 27 Wash. 410, 67 Pac. 998.
17 Concannon v. Smith, 134 Cal. 14, 66 Pac. 40; Miller v. Beardsley, 81 Iowa, 720, 45 N. W. 766; Howard v. Windom, 86 Tex. 580, 26 S. W. 483.
18 Gray v. Day, 109 Me. 492, 84 Atl. 1073, 43 L. R. A. (N. S.) 535.
19 Floyd v. Pearce, 57 Miss. 140, 142; Wells p. Moor, 42 Tex. Civ. App. 47, 93 S. W. 220.
20Infra, Sec. 174.
21 Burnett v. Turner, 105 Ark. 290, 151 S. W. 249; Devine v. Murphy, 168