The distinction must be drawn between agreements in contemplation of marriage and agreements in consideration thereof. The statute does not invalidate an oral promise merely because it is made in contemplation or marriage.1
1Riley v. Riley, 26 Conn. 164; Railbolt v. East, 66 Ind. 538, 28 Am. Rap. 40; Stoen v. Kirkpatrick, 84 Miss. 63, 36 So. 140; Nowack v. Berger, 133
Mo. 24, 34 S. W. 489, 31 L. R. A. 810, 54 Am. St. Rep. 663; Laraen v. Johnson, 78 Wis. 300, 47 N. W. 615, 23 Am. St. Rep. 404.
It is definitely established also that mutual promises to many are withdrawn from the statute and are valid though oral.2 It has been suggested in support of this conclusion that the consideration in such cases is not marriage, but the other party's reciprocal promise to many. This distinction if valid would involve the conclusion that any oral bilateral agreement consisting on one side of a promise to marry is valid, but this conclusion cannot be accepted. There seems no doubt that except in the case of mutual promises to many, an "agreement in consideration of marriage" includes an agreement where the consideration on one side or the other is a promise to many.3 The exception from the statute, therefore, of mutual promises to marry must be explained merely on grounds of policy.