John Thomas, shortly before dying, orally expressed a desire for his wife to have either the house used as their residence and its contents or £100 in addition to the other provisions made for her in his will. After his death the executors of his estate (Samuel Thomas, his brother, and Benjamin Thomas) entered into an agreement with Eleanor (his wife) “in consideration of John's desires” whereby Eleanor would take possession of the house and in return maintain the house and pay £1/year for the "ground rent".
The respondent remained in the house for some time; however after the death of Samuel, the appellant refused to complete the conveyance, claiming that consideration was lacking. The lower court found for Eleanor and Benjamin appealed.
- Is respecting the wishes of her dead husband (motive) sufficient consideration?
- Does the willing of the house constitute a voluntary gift and hence the respondent has no rights?
- In the court's findings Justice Patteson held that motive is not the same as consideration; consideration must be something which is of value in the eyes of the law.
- The court found that the agreement entered into between the executors and Ms. Thomas contained an agreement to pay £1 rent/year which showed this was not merely a voluntary gift and was sufficient consideration.
- Consideration must have value in the eyes of the law.
- Motive is not sufficient consideration.