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Vynior’s Case. * - Sir Edward Coke, Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I 
The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). Vol. 1.
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(1609) Trinity Term, 7 James I
First Published in the Reports, volume 8, page 81b.**
Ed.: William Wilde and Robert Vynior had agreed on a bond, by which Wilde owed Vynior £20 15s, with a variety of accompanying obligations and under which any disagreement about performance of the terms of the bond would be decided by William Rugge as arbitrator. Vynior sued Wilde for breach of his obligations, and Vynior argued that Wilde should rely on a decision of Rugge’s. In this case, the power to enter into a binding agreement to arbitration is rejected under the view that the power to revoke an authority in another person to arbitrate was irrevocable. Vynior won.
Robert Vynior brought an action of debt against William Wilde upon an obligation of 20 1. 15 Julii anno 6 of the same king. The Defendant demanded Oyer of the Bond and of the Condition endorsed, which was, That if the above bounden William Wilde do, and shall from time to time, and at all times hereafter, stand to, abide, observe, perform, fulfil, and keep, the rule, order, judgment, arbitrament, sentence, and final determination of William Rugge, Esquire, Arbitrator indifferently named, elected, and chosen, as well on the part of the said William Wilde, as on the part of the said Robert Vynior, to rule, order, adjudge, arbitrate, and finally, determine all matters, suits, controversies, debates, griefs, and contentions, hereto moved and stirred, and now depending between the said parties, touching or concerning the sum of Two and twenty pence heretofore taxed upon the said William Wilde, for divers kinds of Parish business, within the parish of Themilthorpe in the county of Norfolk, so as the said award be made and set down in writing under the hand and seal of the said William Rugge, at or before the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel next ensuing, after the date of these presents, That then, &c. And the Defendant pleaded, That the said Will. Rugge, nullum fecit arbitrium de et super praemissis, &c.1 The Plaintiff replyed, That after the making of the said Writing obligatory, and before the said Feast of St. Michael, scil. 22 Aug. Anno 6, supradicto apud Themilthorpe praed’ praedict’ Willihelm’ Wilde per quodd’ script’ suum cujus datus est eisdem die et anno revocavit et |[82 a] abrogavit, Anglice, did call back, omnem authoritatem quamcunque quam idem Willielmus Wilde per praed’ scriptum obligatorium dedisset, et commisissetpraefat’ Willielmo Rugge arbitratori suo, et adtunc totaliter deadvocavit, et vacuum tenuit totum et quicquid dict’ Willielmus Rugge post deliberationem ejusdem scripti sibi faceret in et circa dict’ arbitrium regulam, &c. unde ex quo praed’ Wil’mus Wilde post confectionem praed’ scripti, et ante praed’ Festum Sancti Michaelis tunc prox’ sequen’ in forma praed’ exoneravit, et abrogavit arbitratorem praed’ de omni authoritate arbitrandi de et super praemissis in conditione praed’ superius specific’ contra formam et effectum conditionis illius, et submissionis in ead’ mention’ idem Robertus petit judicium, &c.2 Upon which the Defendant did demur in law. And in this case 3. points were resolved.
1. That although William Wilde the Defendant was bound in a Bond to stand to, abide, observe, the rule, &c. arbitrament, &c. yet he may countermand the same; for a man cannot by his act make such authority, power, or warrant not countermandable, which by the Law and of his nature iscountermandable; As if I make a Letter of Attorney to make livery, or to sue an Action in my name; or if I assign Auditors to take an account; or if I make one my Factor; or if I submit myself to an Arbitrament; although that these are done by express words irrevocably, yet they may be revoked: So if I make my Testament and last Will irrevocably, yet I may revoke it, for my act or my words cannot alter the judgement of the Law to make that irrevocable, which is of its own nature revocable. And therefore (where it is said in 5 Edw. 4. 3. b. If I be bounden to stand to the award which I. S. shall make, I could not discharge that arbitrament, because I am bound to stand to his award, but if it be without Obligation it is otherwise) it was Resolved, that in the one case or the other the authority of the Arbitrator may be revoked; but then in the one case I shall forfeit my bond, and in the other I shall forfeit nothing; for, ex nuda submissione non oritur actio:3 and therewith agreeth Brooke in abridging the said book of 5 Edw. 4. 3. b. and so the book of 5 Edw. 4. is well explained. Vide (31 Hen. 6. 30 28, Hen. 6. 6b. 49 Edw. 3. 9a. 18 Edw. 4. 9. 8 Edw. 4. 10.)
2. It was Resolved, That the Plaintiff need not aver, that the said William Rugge had notice of the said Countermand, for that is implied in these words, revocavit et abrogavit omnem authoritatem, &c.4 for without Notice it is no revocation or abrogation of the authority: and therefore if there was no Notice, then the Defendant might take issue, quod |[82 b] non revocavit, &c.5 and if there was no notice, it shall be found for the Defendant; as if a man plead, quod feoffavit, dedit,6 or demisit pro termino vitae,7 the same implieth Livery, for without Livery, it is no Feoffment, gift, or demise; But there is a difference when 2 things are requisite to the performance of an act, and both things are to be done by one and the same party, as in case of Feoffment, gift, demise, revocation, countermand, &c. And when two things are requisite to be performed by several persons; as of a grant of a Reversion, attornment is not implied in it, and yet without attornment the grant hath not perfection, but for as much as the grant is made by one, and the attornment is to be by another, it is not implied in the pleading of the grant of one; but in the other case both things are to be done by one and the same party, and that maketh the difference. And therewith agreeth 21 Hen. 6 30a. where William Bridges brought an action of debt for 2001 upon an arbitrament against William Bentley; the Defendant pleaded, that before any Judgment, or Award made by the Arbitrators, the said William Bentley discharged the Arbitrators at Coventry, in the county of Warwick; and the same was holden a good barr and yet he did not averr any Notice to be given. So it is adjudged in (28 Hen. 6. 6 6 Hen. 7. 10, &c.)
3. It was Resolved, That by this Countermand or revocation of the power of the Arbitrator, the Obligee shall take benefit of the Obligation and that for two causes. 1. because he hath broken the words of the Condition, which are That he should stand to, and abide, &c. the rule, order, &c. and when he countermands the Authority of the Arbitrator, he doth not stand to and abide, &c. which words were put in such Conditions, to the intent that there should be no countermand, but that an end should be made by the Arbitrator of the Controversie, and that the power of the Arbitrator should continue till he had made an Award; and when the Award is made, then there are words to compel the parties to perform it, scil. observe, perform, fulfil, and keep the rule, order, &c. and this form was invented by prudent Antiquity; and it is good to follow in such cases the ancient forms and precedents, which are full of knowledge and wisdom; and with this Resolution agreeth the said book of 5 Ed. 4. 3b. which is to be intended, as above said, ut supra, That the Obligor cannot discharge the Arbitrament, but that he shall forfeit his bond, and the book giveth the reason, which is the cause of this Resolution, scilicet,8 because I am bound to stand to his award scil. to stand to his award, which I do not when I discharge the Arbitrator. The other reason is, because the Obligor by his own act hath made the Condition of the Obligation (which was endorsed for the benefit of the Obligor, to save him from the penalty of the Obligation) impossible |[83 a] to be performed, and by Consequence his Obligation is become single, and without the benefit or help of any Condition, because he hath disabled himself to perform the Condition Vide (21 Edw. 4. 55 per Choke, & 18 Edw. 4. 18b & 20a) If one be bounden in a Obligation, with Condition that the Obligor shall give leave to the Obligee for the time of 7 years to carry wood, &c. in that case although he gives him leave, yet if he Countermands it, or disturbs the Obligee, the obligation is forfeited. And afterwards Judgement was given for the Plaintiff.
[* ]The 1658 edition spelled these names “Vinyor” and “Wylde”; the names here have been set astoconform to later citations.
[** ]See the pleadings at Trinit. 7 Jac. Rot. 2629.
[1. ][Ed.: made no arbitration upon and concerning the foregoing.]
[2. ][Ed.: namely on the twenty-second day of August in the above-mentioned sixth year, at Themilthorpe aforesaid, the aforesaid William Wilde by a certain writing of his dated the same day and year revoked and abrogated—in English ‘did call back’—all the authority whatsoever which the same William Wilde had, by the aforesaid bond, given and committed to the said William Rugge, his arbitrator, and then wholly disavowed and held as void all and whatever the said William Rugge [had awarded] for him in and about the said arbitration, rule, etc., after the delivery of the same writing, wherefore, inasmuch as the aforesaid William Wilde after the making of the aforesaid writing and before the aforesaid feast of Michaelmas then next following discharged and abrogated the aforesaid arbitrator in form aforesaid from all authority to arbitrate upon and concerning the foregoing specified above in the aforesaid condition, against the form and effect of that condition and the submission mentioned therein, the same Robert prays judgment, etc.]
[3. ][Ed.: no action arises from a void submission [to arbitration].]
[4. ][Ed.: revoked and abrogated all authority, etc.]
[5. ][Ed.: that he did not revoke, etc.]
[6. ][Ed.: that he enfeoffed, gave [demised for life].]
[7. ][Ed.: [that he enfeoffed, gave] demised for term of life.]
[8. ][Ed.: that is to say.]