Eastwood v Kenyon (1840) 11 Ad & E 438, QB

Key point

  • This case lays down the general rule that past performance is not good consideration and therefore a promise to pay for past performance is gratuitous


  • C was the guardian of a girl under the age of 21
  • C took loans to educate and raise her
  • The girl’s husband (D) promised to repay the loans
  • When D refused to repay, C sued for breach of contract

Held (Court of Queen’s Bench)

  • Claimed failed; no present consideration was given for the promise

Lord Denman CJ

  • The consideration was past
  • It was not made at the request of D was a benefit voluntarily conferred