David Chesman, Et Ux v Margery Nainby, Widow: HL 22 Feb 1727

Miss Nainby traded as a draper from her home in Drury Lane. Prior to her marriage Mrs Chesman became apprenticed to Miss Nainby. Mrs Chesman entered into a bond that, after leaving Miss Nainby’s service, she would not trade as a draper, nor assist anyone else to do so, within half a mile of Miss Nainby’s home in Drury Lane or of ‘any other house that [Miss Nainby] shall think proper to remove to’ and that, in the event of breach, she would pay Miss Nainby pounds 100. After leaving Miss Nainby’s service Mrs Chesman assisted her husband to trade as a draper elsewhere up Drury Lane. It was held in the Court of Common Pleas, and upheld on appeal first by the Court of King’s Bench and then by the House of Lords itself in accordance with the opinion of its judicial members, that Mrs Chesman owed Miss Nainby pounds 100.
Contracts entered into between two persons, to restrain one of them from setting up, or exercising a particular trade or employment, within a certain limited district, and for a valuable consideration, are valid.


[1727] EngR 37, (1727) 1 Bro PC 234, (1727) 1 ER 536




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd SC 3-Jul-2019
The company appealed from rejection of its contention that its former employee should be restrained from employment by a competitor under a clause in her former employment contract. The court particularly considered the severability of a section . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 April 2022; Ref: scu.388939