Tweddle v Atkinson (1861) 1 B & S 393

Key point

  • This case laid down the privity of contract rule


  • Fathers of the bride and groom contracted with each other for each to pay a sum to the groom
  • The contract had a clause that allowed the groom to sue each party for their sum
  • The father of the bride did not pay the sum and the groom sued him

Held (High Court)

  • The groom’s claim failed as consideration did not move from him

Crompton J

  • Consideration must move from the party entitled to sue on the contract


  • This approach to privity characterises it as an extension of the doctrine of consideration
  • However, the doctrine of privity is separate from the doctrine of consideration, since you can be a party to a contract but not have advanced consideration
    • g. A promises to pay B and C £100 each, in return for a promise from B only