Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/9

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APRIL 15, 1887.


IT seems to have been a common opinion in early times that a court of equity would give no assistance against a purchaser for value without notice.[1]

But, in Phillips v. Phillips[2] (1861), which at once became, and has since continued to be, the leading authority upon this subject, this doctrine, which Mr. Sugden strenuously defended to the last,[3] was definitively rejected. Lord Westbury, in his opinion, arranged the cases in which the plea of purchase for value would be a bar to equitable relief in three classes: (1) When an application is made to the auxiliary jurisdiction of the court. As illustrations under this class were mentioned bills for discovery and bills for the surrender of title-deeds belonging to the plaintiff. (2.) Where one who purchased an equitable interest in property, without notice of a prior equitable incumbrance of the plaintiff, has subsequently got in the outstanding legal title. This was the doctrine of tabula in naufragio. (3.) When a plaintiff seeks to charge a purchaser with “an equity as distinguished from an equitable estate, as, for example, an equity to set aside a deed for

  1. Stanhope v. Verney, 2 Eden, 81, 85, per Lord Henley; Jerrard v. Saunders, 2 Ves., J. 454, per Lord Loughborough; Wallwyn v. Lee, 9 Ves. 24, per Lord Eldon; Payne v. Compton, 2 Y. & C. Ex. 457, per Lord Abriger; Attorney-General v. Wilkins, 17 Beav. 285, per Sir John Romilly; Gomm v. Parrott, 3 C.B., n. s. 47.
  2. 4 D., F., & J. 208.
  3. Sugden, V. & P. (14 ed.) 791–798.