At common law corporeal hereditaments could be conveyed only by livery of seisin or by deed; and incorporeal hereditaments could be conveyed only by deed.18 Executory contracts, however, for the sale of land, are valid though oral except so far as statutes of frauds have enacted the contrary.19 The questions must, therefore, be kept distinct, what is essential for the conveyance of a given interest in property, and what is essential for an executory contract to convey it. The latter question only is appropriate here. The clause of the English Statute under consideration does indeed profess to include any contract or sale of land, but in view of the first section of the statute, which prohibits the transfer of real estate without writing, it is probable that contract or sale means in effect contract for sale - the words used in the seventeenth section.
17 "It is true, marriage was not the sole consideration for the agreement, on the part of the intended wife, that she would not demand dower in case [he survived her intended husband; his agreement not to exercise the rights, in respect to her property, which the marriage would confer, constituted a additional consideration for the agreement on her part; but the agreement was entire; the intended marriage entered into, and formed a part of the entire consideration on both sides, and without it, the agreement would never have been made." Henry v. Henry, 27 Ohio St. 121, 128. Cf. Larsen v. Johnson, 78 Wis. 300, 47 N. W. 615.
18Mayberry v. Johnson, 3 Green (N. J.), 116.
19 Miller v. Wibon, 146 111 523, 528, 34 N. E. 1111, 37 Am. St. Rep. 186; Mobile, etc., Ins. Co. v. McMillan, 31 Ala. 711, 719; Bell v. Breckenridge, 1 A. K. Marsh. 563, 565; McKennon v. Winn, 1 Okla. 327, 33 Pac. 582. See as to Louisiana law - Mason v. Towne, 12 La. Ann. 194; Barrett v. His Creditors, 12 Robinson, 474; Bell v. Andrews, 4 Dallas, 152, 1 L. Ed. 779.