Chandler's Executrix v. Hill
William Neale owed a debt to Dr. Chandler for services between December 1761 and February 1768. At his death, Neale directed his estate be used to pay off all of his debts. Neale's will also granted his son, Charles Neale, a track of land worth £400. In June 1782, William Neale's daughter received a bill from Chandler with charges from her father's appointments and sixteen years of interest. Chandler’s Executrix argued that Charles Neale and a James Quarles wrote a letter vowing to pay the debt. However, both men died. Chandler’s Executrix sought to resolve the debt by obtaining payments from William Neale's estate or attaching the property devised to Charles Neale.
The Court's Decision
Chancellor Wythe dismissed the case. The appellate court affirmed the decision stating that Charles Neale had no obligation to pay the debt and that the letter was not an enforceable contract.
- William Hening and William Munford, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia: with Selected Cases, Relating Chiefly to Points of Practice, Decided by the Superior Court of Chancery for the Richmond District (Richmond: I. Riley, 1809), 2:124.