Vyse v Wakefield: 1840

The declaration stated, that, by indenture, the defendant covenanted that he would, at any time or times thereafter, appear at an office or offices for the insurance of lives within London, or the bills of mortality, and answer such questions as might be asked respecting his age, and, in order to enable the plaintiff to ensure his life, and would riot afterward do or permit to be done any act whereby such insurance should be avoided or prejudiced. It then alleged, that the defendant, in part performance of his covenant, did, at the plaintiff’s request, appear at the office of the Rock Life Insurance Company, and did answer certain questions asked of him ; and that the plaintiff insured the defendant’s life with that Company, by a policy containing a proviso, that if the defendant went beyond the limits of Europe, the policy should be null and void : – Breach, that the defendant went beyond the limits of Europe, to wit, to the province of Canada, in North America :- Held, on special demurrer, that the declaration was bad, for not averririg that the defendant had notice that the policy was effective.
Lord Abinger CB said: ‘The rule to be collected from the cases seems to be this, that where a party stipulates to do a certain thing in a certain specific event which may become known to him, or with which he can make himself acquainted, he is not entitled to any notice, unless he stipulates for it; but when it is to do a thing which lies within the peculiar knowledge of the opposite party, this notice ought to be given.’


Lord Abinger CB


[1840] EngR 276, (1840) 6 M and W 442, (1840) 151 ER 485




England and Wales


See AlsoVyse v Wakefield CExC 1840
A writ of error having been brought an the judgment of the Court of Exchequer in this case (6 M. and W 442), it now came on for argument. The Court, however, on reading the record, were unanimously of opinion, that an averment of notice to the . .

Cited by:

CitedEdwards v Kumarasamy SC 13-Jul-2016
The claimant sub-tenant had been injured entering the block of apartments. He said that the freeholder was responsible despite no report of the disrepair having been made. The lease excused the landlord from unnotified liability. The parties . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insurance, Contract

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.309702