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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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The Case of Mixt Monies (1604)

The Case of Mixt Monies (1604)

(p.224) 12 The Case of Mixt Monies (1604)
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

David Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the legal reasoning in in Gilbert v. Brett (‘Case of Mixt Monies’), a decision in the Privy Council of England which confirmed the principle of monetary nominalism in the common law. The Case holds that an obligee, who is owed a debt for money, bears the risk of changes in the monetary standard between the date of the contract and the date it falls due for performance. The Case arose out of Elizabeth I’s debasement of the Irish currency in 1601. The report of the Case cites a range of authorities from the European civil law to justify the view that money should be tendered and received at nominal rates. The chapter shows how the report’s use of authority in the Case was selective, and reached a result which would not have been supported by the commonly held understanding of the leading writers in the civil law.

Keywords:   Gilbert v. Brett, Case of Mixt Monies, monetary nominalism, monetary valuation, monetary debasement, Carolus Molinaeus, Charles du Moulin, Sir John Davies, Renerus Budelius

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