[Penult Para, J Blackburn's judgment:] But the second direction raises the difficulty. ♦ I think that, if from that direction the jury would understand that they were first to consider
✓ whether they were satisfied that the defendant intended to buy this parcel of oats on the terms that it was part of his contract with the plaintiff that they were old oats, ✓
so as to have the warranty of the plaintiff to that effect, they were properly told that, if that was so, the defendant could not be bound to a contract without any such warranty unless the plaintiff was misled. ♦ But I doubt whether the direction would bring to the minds of the jury the distinction between agreeing to take the oats under the belief that they were old, and agreeing to take the oats under the belief that the plaintiff contracted that they were old.

Is Definition 1.1 the right definition of warranty?

(In an insurance contract) an engagement by the insured party that certain statements are true or that certain conditions shall be fulfilled, the breach of which will invalidate the policy.

  • I know that this is from 1871, but haven't posted on ELU, because the diction appears simple. It's just the length that confuses me.
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 7:12
  • I think the grammar and punctuations in the 19th century is a little different. In my opinion, it would be a little easier to read if the comma in front of if that was so were a semicolon. Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


In this case it's the same as 'guarantee' - to attest to the veracity of, as opposed to 'offer to fix it if it breaks within a year', which has overtaken both the terms in modern times.

See the ODO's definition [Verb, 2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/warrant

Officially affirm or guarantee:
"the vendor warrants the accuracy of the report"

  • Thanks. Would you be able to answer my question 1 please?
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 9:20
  • In short; no. I've been reading it for 20 minutes & still cannot decide where the missing comma/word/idea is - somewhere before 'they were properly told that'. The section before between √ & comma just doesn't lead to the late referral to the jury again, who I'm convinced is the subject of 'they' in that part. That doesn't seem to be the important part of the judgement, though. The distinction between "belief of a fact & belief there was testimony to a fact" seems to be where it all hinges. Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 9:39

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