Sec. 609, The fourth section of the statute of frauds.

In the twenty-ninth year of the reign of Charles II., Parliament passed a statute for the prevention of frauds and perjuries. This statute covers a variety of subjects, as its title imports. The most familiar sections are those which deal with contracts, the fourth and the seventeenth sections. The fourth section of this statute in the spelling of the English Statutes, Revised Edition, is as follows: "And bee it further enacted by the author-itie aforesaid that from and after the said fower and twentyeth day of June1 noe action shall be brought whereby to charge any executor or administrator upon any speciall promise to answere damages out of his owne estate or whereby to charge the defendant upon any speciall promise to answere for the debt, default or miscarriages of another person, or to charge any person upon any agreement made upon consideration of marriage, or upon any contract or sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or any interest in or concerning them, or upon any agreement that is not to be performed within the space of one yeare from the makeing thereof unlesse the agreement upon which such action shall be brought or some memorandum or note thereof shall be in writeing and signed by the partie to be charged therewith, or some other person thereunto by him lawfully authorized."2 The date of this statute is variously given. The Statutes at Large3 give the date as 1676. The English Statutes, Revised Edition, give the date as 1677. The fact is that the statute was introduced at a session of Parliament which began February 15, 1676; but the statute did not receive the royal assent until April 16, 1677. This section of the statute with some change in phraseology and much in spelling has been adopted by most of the states of the Union. It has been prolific of litigation; and has been so worked into the general system of law as to be known as the adopted child of the Common Law. A discussion of its nature and effect is therefore necessary.

11677 A. D.

2 29 Car. II., Ch. III.. Sec. 4. English Statutes. Revised Edition, byauthority: Rot. Par. 29 C. II., p. 2, Nu. 2.