1778-04-02 (static/transcriptions/1778/04/002.jpg)

1778. Sittings. [Thursday] April 2.

Duress can be given in Evidence on the General Issue Non Assumpsit.
I think Impey has possitively asserted that it, but I recollect that I doubted much when he did assert it, and I do not remember that it was ever solemnly determined that it might. On looking into this Point as well as the time now permits I rather think the authorities oblige us to admit the Defence of Duress on the Plea of Non Assumpsit, for I think it comes within the reason of the Case of Infancy, and there is a Case in Salkeld in which it is said Infancy may be given in Evidence on the Plea Non Assumpsit: I take the reason that Infancy may be given in Evidence to be, that it proves there is no contract, because the Will of the Infant is wanting, for being under Age the Law holds him incapable to have a Will: So when a Man acts by Duress, there is, a want of Will, and therefore no contract, no promise, no undertaking, therefore the Plea, Non Assumpsit, is true.
The case of Infancy in Salkeld is in