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Stilk v Myrick [1809] EWHC KB J58 King's Bench Division

The claimant was a seaman on a voyage from London to the Baltic and back. He was to be paid £5 per month. During the voyage two of the 12 crew deserted. The captain promised the remaining crew members that if they worked the ship undermanned as it was back to London he would divide the wages due to the deserters between them. The claimant agreed. The captain never made the extra payment promised.

Held:

The claimant was under an existing duty to work the ship back to London and undertook to submit to all the emergencies that entailed. Therefore he had not provided any consideration for the promise for extra money. Consequently he was entitled to nothing.
 
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