This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
"Some doubt has arisen upon the point of satisfaction by a stranger, from the case of Grymes v. Blofield. (Reported in Cro. Eliz. 541, and in Rolle's Abridgment, 471, translated, 5 Vin. Abr. 296. Condition [F. d.], pl. 1, and in Comyn's Digest, Accord [A. 2] 5. And see M. 28 H. 6, fo. 4, pl. 21.) The report in Cro. Eliz. states it to have been an action on an obligation for 20 £. The defendant pleaded that J. S. had surrendered a copyhold tenement, in satisfaction, which the plaintiff accepted. The plaintiff demurred to the plca; and it is said that Popham and Gawdy, J. J., held it to be no plea. for J. S. was a mere stranger, and not privy to the condition, and therefore satisfaction by him was not good: and that afterwards, in Easter term, 31 Eliz., Popham and Clench adjudged • for the plaintiff. in the absence of the rest of the justices. In Comyn's Digest. the case is stated to the same effect. But, from the report of the same case in Rolle's Abridgment, it is to be inferred that judgment was given for the defendant.
"In the case of Edgcorabe v. Rodd (5 East, 294), which was an action for trespass and false imprisonment, to which satisfaction by another party was pleaded (upon the authority of Grymes v. Blofield) accrediting the report in Cro. Eliz., because cited in Comyn's without disapprobation, the court seems to have thought the plea bad, as setting up satisfaction by a stranger. In Edgcombe v. Rodd. however, the plea was held to be bad upon another substantial ground, upon which the judgment rather seems to have been founded.
"The rolls of the court have been searched, to ascertain the real state of the case of Grymes v. Blofield, but without much satisfaction being obtained. There are three rolls, importing three distinct actions upon three obligations for 20 £; and, in each case, a plea of satisfaction by J. S. by the surrender of a copyhold. The rolls are of Trinity term, 36 Eliz., B. R. No. 844, No. 845, No. 846. On the roll 844, the plea was demurred to, and a joinder in demurrer, with a dies datus to Michaelmas term; and there is no further entry upon that roll. Upon the roll 845, the pleadings are to the same effect, with a form of a dies datus in blank, and no further entry upon that roll. Upon the roll 846, there is a declaration and plea to the same effect as in the other rolls, with a replication traversing the surrender of the copyhold in satisfaction, and the acceptance. Issue was joined, and the cause tried, and a verdict found for the plaintiff, which was entered upon the postea. There is then an entry that a new trial was granted, upon the ground that the venire had issued to a wrong county; and a new venire awarded; and there the entry upon that roll ceases.
"Upon further inquiry being made, there has been found a report of the case in the MSS. reports in the British Museum, in the Hargrave MSS. No. 7, Vol. 2, p. 251, reports by Humphrey Were. The case is reported, in substance, as in Cro. Eliz., referring to the roll in B. R. (Trinity term, 36 Eliz.) 844; and it states that Fenner, J., doubted of the opinion of Popham and Gawdy, by reason of the acceptance of the plaintiff, and cites the 36 H. 6, title Barre (36 H. 6, Fitz. Abr. Barre, pl. 166), which is the case referred to in Fitzherbert's Abridgment; and it afterwards states, that, upon the case being moved again, Clench and Fenner agreed that the plea was a good bar; and that Gawdy said the case of Trespass, 36 H. 6 (Fitz. Abr. tit. Barre, pl. 166) was good law: and the report then states, that, in Easter term, 39 Eliz., the plaintiff had judgment to recover, Popham and Clench only being in court.
"There is another report of the same case in the Hargrave MSS., No. 50, in a book said to have been given, in
1618, by Arthur Tumour to Sergeant Calthorpe. in exchange for other books: but that report does not state any judgment to have been given.
"In the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Mu9eum, No. 1104, fo. 152 b - being a report of cases from the 6th to the 41st year of Elizabeth, the same case is reported stating a judgment for the plaintiff; and the report being precisely to the same effect as in the Hargrave MSS.
"It appears that Humphry Were was, at a somewhat later period, a reader to the Inner Temple. and afterwards a sergeant.
"It seems probable that the report in Croke, stating the judgment to have been given for the plaintiff, is correct; although no answer is suggested to the authority of the 36 H. 6, which seems contrary to the decision, and to have been referred to.
"In Thurman v. Wild (11 Ad. & E. 453, 3 P. & D. 289) the question as to the effect of satisfaction by a stranger, also arose; and the court seemed to recognize the decision of Grymes v. Blofield as correct; but held that the satisfaction pleaded in that case was a good bar, because made by one who was not a stranger, but a joint trespasser; and it therefore became unnecessary to decide how far satisfaction by a stranger would have been a good bar.
"Such seems to be the state of authority upon that question: and the court does not feel called upon to express any opinion upon the point, although it must be obvious that the decision in the 36 H. 6, reported in Fitzherbert, is consistent with reason and justice." Jones v. Broudhurst, 9 C. B. 173.