The royal courts, merged by Magna Carta 1215 in London, have accepted claims for “offence of the case” (now more of a misdemeanour). A jury was convened, and there was no need for trial, but there was a need to argue for a certain breach of the royal peace. Gradually, the courts admitted claims for which there had been no real difficulties, no unlawful act of “armed violence” (vi and armis), but it was still necessary to enter it in the plea. Simon de Rattlesdene thus claimed in 1317 that he had been sold a wine contaminated with salt water and that, quite fictitiously, it had to be done “by force and weapons, namely with swords, arrows and arrows.”  The Court of Chancery and King`s Bench slowly began to admit the claims without the fictitious charge of violence and weapons dating back to 1350. A complaint for the mere breaking of an alliance (a solemn promise) required the presentation of formal proof of the agreement with a seal. However, in the case of The Humber Ferryman, a lawsuit was filed without any hard evidence against a smuggler who threw overboard a horse he was to carry on the Humber River.  Despite this liberalization, a threshold of 40 shillings had been created in the 1200s for the value of litigation. Although its importance has been rejuvenated over the years with inflation, it has closed most people`s access to the courts.  In addition, contractual freedom has been firmly repressed in the peasantry. After the black death, the status of the workers prevented in 1351 an increase in the wages of the workers, which notably fuelled the peasant revolt of 1381. Early common law cases held that the performance of a contract should always take place. Whatever difficulties the contracting parties faced, they were absolutely responsible for their obligations.
 In the 19th century, the courts developed a doctrine that contracts that were impossible to comply would be frustrated and would automatically end. In Taylor v Caldwell, Blackburn J found that when Surrey Gardens Music Hall burned down unexpectedly, the owners did not have to pay compensation to the company that had rented it for an extravagant performance because it was not indebted to any of the parties. One hypothesis that underlies all contracts (a “pre-condition case”) is that they can be executed. People would not normally be under contract to do something they knew would be impossible. Beyond the physical impossibility, the frustration might be that a treaty would become illegal, for example, when a war broke out and the government banned trade with a country at war, or perhaps if the whole purpose of an agreement was destroyed by another event, such as renting a space to attend a cancelled coronation parade.  But a contract is thwarted not only because a subsequent event makes the implementation of the agreement more difficult than expected, such as at Davis Contractors Ltd/Fareham UDC, where a developer unfortunately had to spend more time and money on work than he would be paid for due to an unforeseen shortage of labour and supplies. The House of Lords rejected his claim to contracts in place for him to claim quantenmeruit.  As the doctrine of frustration is a matter of treaty construction, it can be drawn by so-called “force majeure” clauses.  Similarly, a contract may have a force majeure clause that would terminate a contract more easily than the Konstruktion common law. In The Super Servant Two, Wijsmuller instructed BV to lease a self-driving barge to J. Lauritzen A/S, who wanted to tow another boat from Japan to Rotterdam, but had a provision that the contract would be terminated in the event of an event that made it difficult to encounter “dangers or hazards and accidents of the sea”. Wijsmuller BV also had a choice between making The Superservant One available or two.
They picked two and it sank. The Court of Appeal found that the inability to comply with the agreement was due to Wijsmuller`s own decision and was therefore not frustrated, but that the force majeure clause had to cover it.