As the law of covenants long antedates the law requiring consideration for the formation of contracts, it is necessarily true that, in the early law, no consideration in the modem sense was required to support a covenant; and though Pollock and Maitland "doubt whether in the thirteenth century a purely gratuitous promise made in a sealed instrument would have been enforced if its gratuitous character was quite clear," certainly long before the origin of the action of assumpsit such an instrument must have been binding.72 After the action of assumpsit had been developed, the somewhat unfortunate mode of expression became usual that a sealed instrument "imported" a consideration.73 It would itself a consideration, viz., the will of him that made it; and therefore where the agreement is by deed, it shall never be called a nudum pactum." So in Bacon on Uses, 13, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, it was said: "I would have one case shewed by men learned in the law, where there is a deed, and yet there needs a consideration; as for parol, the law adjudgeth it too light to give action without consideration; but a deed ever in law imports a consideration, because of the deliberation and ceremony in the confection of it." There is here evidently a juggling with a double meaning of the word "consideration."
70 Saunders v. Saunders, 154 Mass. 337, 28 N. E. 270. But see Nelson Coke & Gass Co. v. Pellatt,  4 Ontario, 481, with which compare Hudson Real Est. Co. v. Tower, 156 Mass. 82, 30 N. E. 465, 32 Am. St. Rep. 434.
71 See infra, Sec. 275.
72 See Bellewe, 32; Fitrherbert Abr. Annuitie, pl. 54, supra, Sec. 109.
72 Bromley, Arguendo, in Sharington v. Strotton, 1 Plowden, 298, 309, said in 1565: "For every deed imports in have been more accurate to have said that no consideration was needed for such a document.74 But however expressed the law has always been clear that apart from changes made by statute, a sealed promise, whether absolute or in the form of an offer, is binding without consideration.75 It should be mentioned, however, that equity will not specifically enforce or otherwise aid the covenantee of a voluntary covenant, but will leave him to his remedy at law,76 except in a few cases, thus enumerated by a learned writer: 77
1. A gratuitous declaration of trust without transmutation of possession.
2. A covenant to hold real property in trust for another in "consideration " of natural love and affection.
74The matter is accurately stated, that "consideration is not necessary" by Lord radon in Cock v. Richards, 10 Ves. 428, 438.
75Ex parte Tindal, 8 Bing. 402; Willard v. Tayloe, 8 Wall. 557, 19 L. Ed. 501; Dunlop v. Baker, 239 Fed. 193,162 C. C. A. 181; Brewer v. Sowers, 118 Md. 681, 86 Atl. 228; Krell v. Cod-man, 154 Mass. 454, 28 N. E. 578, 14 L. R. A. 860, 26 Am. St. Rep. 260; Lodi v. Goyette, 219 Mass. 72, 106 N. E. 601; Alter v. Alter, 40 N. J. L. 446; Waln p. Waln, 58 N. J. L. 640, 34 Atl. 1068; Harrell v. Watson, 63 N. C. 454; Ducker v. Whitson, 112
N. C. 44, 16 S. E. 864; Burriss v, Starr, 165 N. C. 657, 81S. E. 929; Thomason p. Bescher, 176 N. C. 622, 97 S. E. 664, 2 A. L. R. 626; Miles v. Hemenway, 59 Ore. 318, 117 Pac. 273; Burkholder's Ex'r v. Plank, 69 Pa. 226; Harris p. Harris' Ex'r, 23 Gratt. 737; Walter-man v. Village of Norwalk, 145 Wis. 663, 130 N. W. 479, and see supra, Sec. 109. But this rule has been held in Georgia inapplicable to a negotiable promissory note under seal. Lacey v. Hutchinson, 5 Ga. App. 865, 64 S. E. 205; Toller p. Hewitt, 12 Ga. App. 496, 77 S. E. 650.
76 Kekewich v. Manning, 1 De G. M. & G. 176,188; Barrett v. Geisitiger, 179 111. 240, 249, 63 N. E. 576; Crandall v. Willig, 166 111. 233, 46 N. E. 755; Selby v. Case, 87 Md. 469,39 Atl. 1041; Black v. Cord, 2 H. & G. 100; Lamprey v. Lamprey, 29 Minn. 151,12 N. W. 514; Vasser v. Yasser, 23 Miss. 378, 382; Tunison v. Bradford, 49 N. J. Eq. 210, 22 Atl. 1073; Hayes p. Kershow, 1 Sandf. Ch. 258, 281; Short v. Price, 17 Tex. 397; Graybill v. Brugh, 89 Va. 895, 17 S. E. 558, 21 L. R. A. 133, 37 Am. St. Rep. 894.
77 Pound, 13 111. L. Rev. 436,436, giving some discussion of each of the cate-
4. Parol gifts of land where the donee takes possession and acts upon the gift.
5. Defective conveyances to a creditor by way of security, to a wife by way of settlement, or to a child by way of advancement, where there was no legal duty but on the basis of the moral duty equity gives reformation under circumstances amounting to specific performance of the promise; and
6. Options under seal.