Hyde v Wrench – Case Summary

Hyde v Wrench

Court of Chancery

Citations: (1840) 3 Beavan 334; (1840) 49 ER 132.


The defendant wrote to the claimant offering to sell his farm for £1000. The claimant wrote back saying that he would buy the farm for £950. The defendant responded that he would not sell for that price. Later, the claimant wrote again saying that he would pay £1000 for the farm. By this time, the defendant had decided not to sell his farm at all. The claimant sued, claiming that the defendant was contractually bound to sell the farm for £1000.

  1. Was the defendant’s original offer still capable of being accepted?

The Court held in favour of the defendant. The original offer had been revoked by the claimant’s counter-offer. Therefore, there was no contract between the parties.

This Case is Authority For…

If a person makes a counter-offer, this has the effect of terminating the first offer. That offer can no longer be accepted.