Accord and satisfaction appears in English law long before simple executory contracts are recognized at common law,1 as a means by which a liability in tort could be discharged.2 In the reign of Edward I, it seemed worth while to the counsel for the plaintiff to object to such defense if supported by oral evidence alone, but it did not seem worth while to the court to give any reasons for overruling such objection.3 As the simple executory contract came to be recognized, the defense of accord and satisfaction was extended to liability arising upon such contracts without question. Its sufficiency as a defense in such cases was assumed, and the questions which were considered involved the validity of the accord, the sufficiency of the satisfaction, and the sufficiency of such a defense as against liabilities on sealed instruments and other formal obligations.

8See Sec. 2510.

9 See Sec. 2507 and 2508.

1 See Sec. 25 et seq.

2 This rule is said to be one which has existed at English law from time immemorial. See Specialty Contracts and Equitable Defenses, by James Ban-Ames, 9 Harvard Law Review, 49 (65).

In Fitzherbert's Grand Abridgment, this subject appears under the headings "Accord and Concord." and "Barre." In Rolle's Abridgment it appears under the heading "Accord."

3 Y. B. 21 and 22, ed. I (Rolls Series), 586.