Raffles v. Wichelhaus

2 H.& C. 906, 159 Eng. Rep. 375 (Ex. 1864)

Facts

Raffles (P) contracted to sell and Wichelhaus (D) agreed to buy 125 bales of Surat cotton. The contract stated that the cotton was to arrive from Bombay on the ship 'Peerless'. The goods were to be taken from the quay and that D would pay P for the same rate at 171/4d. per pound within a certain time then agreed upon after the arrival of the goods in England. There were two ships called 'Peerless', each of which was carrying cotton from Bombay to Liverpool; one in October and one in December. Neither of the parties was aware of this latent ambiguity. D thought he was contracting for the October ship and P thought he was contracting for the December ship. When the cotton did not arrive in October, D refused to accept delivery of the December shipment. P sued for breach of contract. D’s plea followed and P demurred. The court rendered its opinion.