The Case of Mixt Monies: Confirming Nominalism in the Common Law of Monetary Obligations
40 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2011
Date Written: October 6, 2010
Brett v. Gilbert (1605), commonly known as the Case of Mixt Monies, confirms the principle of monetary nominalism in the common law of obligations. It is fundamental to the modern understanding of the legal nature of obligations to pay money and goes far to define a distinctive conception of what money means in the law. This paper considers the historical origins of the principle of nominalism in English law. The paper demonstrates the use made of civil law monetary theory from the medieval and early modern periods in the development of common law reasoning. It argues that English law applied a principle of monetary nominalism long before it was explicitly adopted in the Case of Mixt Monies. The coinage proclamations of the English sovereigns all assumed a legal theory of nominalism.
Keywords: monetary nominalism, obligations, money, currency, monetary theory, mixt monies
JEL Classification: K0, K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation