It depends upon the facts in each case whether goods or services contracted for by an infant are necessary. Illustrations may be given of what kinds of goods have been held necessary or the reverse, but it should be remarked that the same thing may be necessary to one person under certain circumstances and unnecessary to another person under other circumstances.99 Necessaries seem to be limited by the courts as closely as possible, and generally come under the heads of food,1 or clothing 2 of a reasonable kind, purchased for the use of the infant himself or of his family.3 In England the law seems less strict than in the United States. Jewelry to present to the betrothed of a wealthy infant,3a a watch,4 a horse,5 a racing bicycle,6 have all been held or said, in England, to be neces-
97 Holt v. Ward Clarencieux, 2 Strange, 937; Atwell v. Jenkins, 163 Mass. 362, 40 N. E. 178, 28 L. R. A. 694, 47 Am. St. Rep. 463; Union Life Ins. Co. v. Billiard, 63 Ohio St. 478, 491, 59 N. E. 230, 81 Am. St. Rep. 644; O'Rourke v. John Hancock Ins. Co., 23 R. I. 457, 462, 50 Atl. 834, 57 L. R. A. 496, 91 Am. St. Rep. 643.
98 Nicholson v. Wilbom, 13 Ga. 467; Hoyt v. Casey, 114 Mass. 397, 19 Am. Rep. 371. See discussion of a similar question in regard to married women, infra, Sec. 270.
99Epperson v. Nugent, 57 Miss. 45, 47, 34 Am. Rep. 434; Rivers v. Gregg, 6 Rich. Eq. 274, 278.
1 Barnes v. Barnes, 50 Conn. 572;
Price v. Sanders, 60 Ind. 310, 314; Rivers v Gregg, 5 Rich. Eq. 274, 278.
2 Barnes v. Toye, 13 Q. B. D. 410; Anderson p. Smith, 33 Md. 465; Lynch v. Johnson, 109 Mich. 640, 67 N. W. 908; Gay v. Ballou, 4 Wend. 403, 21 Am. Dec. 158.
3 Cantine v. Phillips, 5 Harr. (Del.) 428; Anderson v. Smith, 33 Md. 465; Chapman v. Hughes, 61 Miss. 339.
3a Jenner v. Walker, 19 L. T. (N. S.) 398. But see Hewlings v. Graham, 84 L. T. 497.
4 Barnes v. Toye, 13 Q. B. D. 410, 414; Peters v. Fleming, 6M.&W. 42.
5 Hart v. Prater, 1 Jur. 623.
6 Clyde Cycle Co. v. Hargreaves, 78 L. T. 296.
saries under special circumstances. It may be doubted if American judges would generally accept these results,7 though it should be noticed that the American Uniform Sales Act follows the English Sale of Goods Act in its language and certainly recognizes that things may be regarded as necessary for the child of wealthy parents which would not be for others.8 Services of a physician or dentist are recognized to be necessary,9 and it may be safely assumed that medicine is also in proper cases 10 as are funeral expenses of an infant's deceased husband.11 It is not likely that, because a physician recommended horseback exercise, most American courts would hold, as an English court has done, that a horse thereby might become necessary in the legal sense.12 Lodging is necessary.13 And since board and lodging are necessaries, an infant's agreement to work in return for them, if reasonable, cannot be rescinded by him after it is executed.14 Coke stated that an infant binds himself to pay "for his teaching and instruction," 15 and a rudimentary education is clearly within the list of necessaries,16, 17 as is training for a trade;18 but a
7 See the following section.
8 Uniform Soles Act, Sec. 2, "Necessaries in this section means goods suitable for the condition in life of such infant or other person, and to his actual requirements at the time of delivery." The States where this statute is in force are enumerated, infra, Sec. 506.
9 See Strong v. Foote, 42 Conn. 203; McLean v. Jackson, 12 Ga. App. 51, 76 S. E. 792; Price v. Sanders, 60 Ind. 310, 314. See also Williams v. Bonner, 79 Miss. 664, 31 So. 207; Potter v. Thomas, 164 N. Y. S. 923.
10Glover v. Ott, 1 McCord, 572. In Co. Lit. 172 a, "necessary physicke" is included among the things for which an infant may bind himself.
11 Chappie v. Cooper, 13 M. & W. 252.
12Hart p. Prater, 1 Jur. 623. See also Clowes v. Brooke, 2 Strange, 1101. See, however, Aaron v. Barley, 6 Rich. L.26. Cf. cases cited infra, n. 35.
13 Gregory v. Lee, 64 Conn. 407, 30 Atl. 53, 25 L. R. A. 618; Price v. Sanders, 60 Ind. 310, 314; Watson v. Cross, 2 Duv. 147; Rivers v. Gregg, 5 Rich. Eq. 274,278.
14 James v. Gillen, 3 Ind. App. 472, 30 N. E. 7; Stone v. Dennison, 13 Pick. 1, 23 Am. Dec. 654; Squire v. Hyd-liff, 9 Mich. 274; Ormsby v. Rhoades, 59 Vt. 505, 10 Atl. 722; cf. Breed v. Judd, 1 Gray, 455; Spicer v. Earl, 41 Mich. 191,1 N. W. 923. See Genereux v. Sibley, 18 R. I. 43, 25 Atl. 345.
15Co. Litt. 172 a. See also Rolle's Abr. Enfants (c), pl. 10.
16, 17 See coses in the following notes. Likewise a board bill contracted by an infant to enable him to attend school was enforced in Kilgore v. Rich, 83 Me. 305, 22 Atl. 176, 12 L. R. A. 869, 23 Am. St. Rep. 780.
18 Cooper v. Simmons, 7 H. & N. 707. See Mauldin v. Southern Shorthand University, 126 Ga. 681, 56 S. E. 922, where the court held whether a higher education in college,19 or for a profession,20 or a five-year-course of instruction at a corrreepondsnce school21 has been held not to be. In regard to all forms of education, however, except the most rudimentary, the question must depend upon the infant's circumstances and station in life 22 Whether the nature of a contract is such that it can, under any circumstances, be regarded as a contract for necessaries, is a question of law;23 but if the court decides that under some circumstances such a contract might be for necessaries, it then becomes a question of fact for the jury whether it was so in the particular case.24