It is commonly said that the drawee is conclusively presumed to know the signature of the drawer, and therefore pays at his peril.
This theory, if it may be so called, is strongly suggested by Lord Mansfield in the leading case of Price v. Neal.2 "It was incumbent upon the plaintiff," he says, "to be satisfied 'that the bill drawn upon him was the drawer's hand,' before he accepted or paid it; but it was not incumbent on the defendant to inquire into it." It is certainly the favorite explanation of the rule and is reiterated in nearly every judicial opinion bearing upon the question. But it is in reality only another way of stating the rule, rather than an explanation of it. For the question remains: Why is he conclusively presumed to know the signature of the drawer?" Why is the drawee's excusable ignorance an irrevelant fact?"3