Dann v Spurrier: 1802

The tenant had carried out improvements to the property. It was uncertain whether the length of the term (7, 14 or 21 years) was at the option of the lessee alone.
Held: The case was decided on construction of the lease. Lord Eldon made it clear obiter that the fact of the defendant’s knowledge (of the plaintiff’s mistake) must be proved by strong and cogent evidence. He gave some weight to the fact that the plaintiff was a professional man who had acted incautiously. He said: ‘this Court will not permit a man knowingly, though but passively, to encourage another to lay out money under an erroneous opinion of title; and the circumstance of looking on is in many cases as strong as using terms of encouragement.’
Lord Eldon LC
(1802) 7 Ves Jun 231, [1789] EngR 482, (1789-1817) 2 Ves Jun Supp 26, (1789) 34 ER 982 (A)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedYeoman’s Row Management Ltd and Another v Cobbe HL 30-Jul-2008
The parties agreed in principle for the sale of land with potential development value. Considerable sums were spent, and permission achieved, but the owner then sought to renegotiate the deal.
Held: The appeal succeeded in part. The finding . .
CitedRochdale Canal Company v King 1853
Sir John Romilly MR said: ‘The principle on which the Defendants rely is one often recognised by this Court, namely, that if one man stand by and encourage another, though but passively, to lay out money, under an erroneous opinion of title, or . .
CitedThorner v Major and others HL 25-Mar-2009
The deceased had made a will including a gift to the claimant, but had then revoked the will. The claimant asserted that an estoppel had been created in his favour over a farm, and that the defendant administrators of the promisor’s estate held it . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 May 2021; Ref: scu.276432