Stilk v Myrick: KBD 16 Dec 1809

No Obligation Incurred without Consideration

The plaintiff agreed to sail with the defendant on a voyage being paid pounds 5.00 a month. Two crew deserted and the captain asked the remainder to do their work sharing the wages saved. The plaintiff sought the additional sum above the articled rate.
Held: The claim failed for the absence of consideration: ‘the agreement is void for want of consideration. There was no consideration for the ulterior pay promised to the mariners who remained with the ship. Before they sailed from London they had undertaken to do all that they could under all the emergencies of the voyage. They had sold all their services till the voyage should be completed.’ The performance of a pre-existing contractual obligation is not sufficient consideration to create a contract.

Lord Ellenborough
[1809] EWHC KB J58, [1809] EngR 552, (1809) 2 Camp 317, (1809) 170 ER 1168 (B)
Bailii, Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedIn Re Selectmove Ltd CA 21-Dec-1993
Promisse to Pay Tax due is not Consideration
The company appealed against an order for its winding up, saying that the debt was disputed, an accomodation having been reached with the Revenue.
Held: The court declined to regard a promise to the Revenue by a company to pay its existing . .
CitedWilliams v Roffey Brothers and Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd CA 23-Nov-1989
The defendant subcontracted some of its work under a building contract to the plaintiff at a price which left him in financial difficulty and there was a risk that the work would not be completed by the plaintiff. The defendant agreed to make . .
CitedParties Named In Schedule A v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd and Another QBD 28-May-2010
The defendant merchant banks resisted two group claims for annual bonuses for 2008 made by the employee claimants. They now sought summary judgment against the claims. The employer had declared a guaranteed minimum bonus pool available to make the . .
CitedMahmood v Vehicle Inspectorate Admn 5-Nov-1997
. .
CitedCompagnie Noga D’Importation Et D’Exportation Sa v Abacha and others CA 23-Jul-2003
. .
CitedSouth Caribbean Trading Ltd v Trafigura Beheer Bv ComC 22-Nov-2004
. .
CitedAssi v Dina Foods Ltd QBD 20-May-2005
. .
CitedBurt v Revenue and Customs SCIT 19-May-2008
SCIT Retirement relief – Completion of contract for sale of shares – Time of disposal – Equitable assignment – Whether English or Scots appeal. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Contract

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.248378