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Cutter v Powell [1795] EWHC KB J13

The claimant's husband agreed by contract to act as a second mate on the ship the 'Governor Parry' on a return voyage to Jamaica. The voyage was to take eight weeks and he was to be paid on completion. A term in the contract stated:

"Ten days after the ship 'Governor Parry,' myself master, arrives at Liverpool, I promise to pay to Mr. T. Cutter the sum of thirty guineas, provided he proceeds, continues and does his duty as second mate in the said ship from hence to the port of Liverpool. Kingston, July 31st, 1793."

Six weeks into the voyage the claimant's husband died. The claimant sought to claim a sum to represent the six weeks work undertaken.

Held: The wife's action failed. Payment was on condition that he worked the ship to Liverpool, since he did not fulfil this condition the widow was entitled to nothing.

Back to lecture outline on Discharge of a contract through performance in Contract Law