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Stilk v. Myrick

Court of Common Pleas
170 Eng. Rep. 1168 (1809)



Stilk (plaintiff) took a job as a sailor on a ship traveling from London through the Baltic Sea to St. Petersburg and back. He and the captain agreed that he would be paid five pounds a month. During the voyage, two sailors deserted. After the captain failed to find replacements, he entered an agreement with Stilk and the rest of the crew in which he promised that, if he could not hire two new sailors in Gottenburgh, Sweden, he would divide the wages of the missing crew members among the remaining ones. The captain failed to find new sailors at Gottenburgh, and Stilk and the other eight crew members brought the ship back to London. When they arrived home, the captain refused to pay the extra wages. Stilk sued in the High Court of Justice, King’s Bench Division.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lord Ellenborough)

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