This section is from the book "A Treatise On The Construction Of The Statute Of Frauds", by Causten Browne. Also available from Amazon: A treatise on the construction of the Statute of frauds.
1 Crookshank v. Burrell, 18 Johns. (N. Y.) 58.
2 Astey v. Emery, 4 Maule & S. 262.
3 Watts v. Friend, 10 Barn. & C. 446. See Bowman v. Conn, 8 Ind. 58; Brown v. Sanborn, 21 Minn. 402; Carpenter v. Galloway, 73 Ind. 418.
§ 313. Next, as to the meaning of the word price. Ordinarily it means a consideration stipulated by one party to be paid to the other; and the question arises whether the statute shall apply in any case where no price is expressly agreed upon. In Hoadley v. McLaine the defendant gave the plaintiff an order for a landaulet to be built for him, and signed a memorandum to that effect, but without fixing any price. Evidence being introduced of what it was fairly worth, the Court of Common Pleas held the defendant bound to pay that sum, though it exceeded ten pounds, there being nothing to the contrary in the memorandum. The case involved to a certain extent the consideration of Lord Tenterden's Act before referred to, and Chief Justice Tindal remarked upon the substitution in that act of the word value for the word price (which latter is used in the statute of Charles), as showing its framer's extreme accuracy of mind, and that, by force of that substitution, where the parties had omitted to fix a price, it was open to a jury to ascertain the value in dispute.2 From this it must be inferred that the learned judge was of opinion that the seventeenth section of the statute of Charles would not apply where the parties had not fixed a price. In the case before him, however, it was only necessary to decide, as he did, that the memorandum was sufficient, though silent as to price, the jury being of course called upon to determine the value of the article which the memorandum had first shown the defendant to be bound to pay for. And there is certainly room for much hesitation in accepting, without an express judgment upon the point, the intimation of the court as to the narrow meaning of the word price in the seventeenth section. Apart from the manifest policy of the statute, which, as we have before remarked, is to prevent the fraudulent assertion of commercial bargains of a certain magnitude, it is no straining of words to say that, where parties make no stipulation as to the amount to be paid for goods, wares, or merchandise bought and sold, and thus agree tacitly upon the quantum valet, they do contract for a fair price, which is capable of being ascertained by proof, and thus their bargain is brought within the reach of the statute, where that price is shown to exceed the amount therein fixed.
1 Cox v. Bailey, 6 Mann. & G. 193.
2 Hoadley v. M'Laine, 10 Bing. 482; and see Harrnan v. Reeve, 18 C. B. 587.
§ 314. When a purchaser buys a number of articles at one transaction, and the aggregate price exceeds the statutory limit, the seventeenth section will be held to apply to the bargain. The mere fact that a separate price is agreed upon for each article, or even that each article is laid aside as purchased, makes no difference so long as the different purchases are so connected in time or place, or in the conduct of the parties, that the whole may be fairly considered one entire transaction.1
1 Baldey v Parker, 2 Barn. & C. 37. See the authorities cited to the corresponding point under the head of acceptance and receipt. Post, Chap. XV § 335; also Gilman v. Hill, 36 N. H. 311; Jenness v. Wen-dell, 51 N. H. 63; Allard v. Greasert, 61 N. Y. 1. But see Roots v. Dormer, 4 Barn. & Ad. 77.