57. But to put an end to such litigation, it was enacted by stat. 9 Geo. IV. c. 14, com monly known as. Lord Tenterden's Act, that the new promise or acknowledgment by words only, in order to be effectual to take a case out of the statute of liniitations, should be in writing, signed by the party chargeable thereby; and this statute has been substantially adopted by most, if not all, of the states in this country. This statute affects merely the mode of proof. The same effect is to be given to the words reduced to writing as would before the passage of the statute have been given to them when proved by oral testimony. 7 Bingh. 163. If part payment is alleged, " words only," admitting the fact of payment, though not in writing, are admissible to strengthen the proof of the fact of payment.
2 Gale & D. 59.
58. The retarn, under citation, by an ad ministrator of the maker of a note, showing the note as one of his intestate's debts, is,,in writing, within the meaning of this statute. 12 Sim. 17 ; and so is the entry by an insol vent debtor of the debt in his schedule of lia bilities. 12 Mete. Mass. 470. It was held in the last case that the mere entry was not in itself a sufficient acknowledgment, but being in writing, within the meaning of the statute, it might be used with other written evidence to prove a new promise. But the making one note and tendering it in payment of another is not a new promise in writing, 3 Cush. 1Vlass. 355; not even if the note he delivered, if it be re-delivered to the maker for the purpose of restoring matters between the parties to the state they were in before the note was given. 1 Metc. Mass. 1.
59. A and B had an unsettled account. In 1845, A signed the following: "It is agreed that B, in his general account, shall give credit to A for £10, for books delivered in 1834." Held, no acknowledgment in writing, so as to give B a right to an account against A's estate more than six years before A's death. 35 Eng. L. & Eq. 1.95. The writing must be signed by the party himself. The signature of the husband's name by the wife, though at his request, is not a signing by the party to be charged. 2 Bingh. N. c. 776. Nor is the signature by a clerk suffi cient. 17 C. B. 147. Nor is a promise in the handwriting of the defendant sufficient; it must be signed by him. 12 Ad. & E. 492. And a request by the defendant to the plain tiff to get certain moneys due the defendant from third parties, does not charge the party making the request, because it is not appa rent that the defendant intended to render himself personally liable. 8 Ad. & E. 221 ;
5 Carr. & P. 209. Since this statute, mutual accounts will not be taken out of the opera tion of the statute by any item on either side, unless the item be the subject of a new pro mise in writing. 2 Crompt. M. & R. Exch. 45 The effect of part payment is left by the statute as before. 10 Barnew. & C. 122. And the fact of part payment, it is now held, con trary to some earlier cases, may be proved by unsigned written evidence, 4 Eng. L. & Eq. 514 ; or by oral testimony. 9 Mete. Mass. 485 ; 30 Me. 353.
60. A new promise by an infant for neces saries revives the debt. 28 Eng. L. & Eq. 276. And where an infant had jointly with an adult made a note, and a part payment thereon, an oral promise, after arriving at his majority, to pay the balance, was held valid against him, but not against the adult. 5 Mete. Mass. 162. But this doctrine as to the effect of a new promise is chiefly applica ble to cases of indebtedness, and has no ap plication whatever in cases of contracts to do or not to do an act, nor in cases of tort, 2 Campb. 157 ; 11 Wheat. 309 ; 16 Ga. 144 ; 1 Barnew. & Ald. 92 ; nor to an action on a judgment. 11 Ired. No. C. 427.
61. The general if not universal limita tion of the right to bring action or to make entry, is to twenty years after the right to enter or to bring the action accrues, i.e. to twenty years after the cause of action accrues. As the rights and interests of different parties in real property are various, and attach at different periods, and successively, it follows that there may be a right of entry in a par ticular person, accruing many years after the expiration of the twenty years, and after the expiration of antecedent rights.
62. Thus, if an estate be limited to one in tail, and the tenant in tail be barred of his remedy by the statute, yet. as the statute only affects the remedy, and the right or estate still exists, the right of entry in the re mainder-man does not accrue until the failure of the issue of the tenant in tail, which may not happen for many years. The estate still existing in the tenant in tail or his issues supports and keeps alive the remainder-man's right of action till the expiration of twenty years after his right of entry accrues. 1 Burr. 60.