Bradbury v Morgan – Case Summary

Bradbury v Morgan, Executors of Joseph Manuel Leigh (deceased)

Court of Exchequer

Citations: (1862) 1 Hurlstone and Coltman 249; 158 ER 877.


The claimants regularly gave credit to Leigh. On one occasion, Leigh asked them to lend his brother £100, which they did. Leigh guaranteed the debt. Later, Leigh died. The claimants were unaware of this and continued to supply goods to his brother on the credit agreed. Leigh’s executor refused to pay under the guarantee. The executor argued that the goods had been supplied after Leigh’s death, so any contract had terminated at that point.

  1. Had the guarantee contract been terminated by Leigh’s death?

The Court held in favour of the claimant. The guarantor contract was not terminated by Leigh’s death. The estate was liable to pay the balance.

This Case is Authority For…

Unless there is an express or implied term providing that the contract terminates on the death of one party, contracts remain valid if one party dies.


Bramwell B commented that there may be an exception where the contract requires personal performance from the deceased.