In 1677 the English Parliament enacted the first Statute of Frauds to prevent "many fraudulent practices, which are commonly endeavored to be upheld by perjury and subornation of perjury." The trial system then existing in England was forced to depend upon unreliable juries, and relied upon few rules of evidence besides the rule treating parties to an action as incompetent witnesses. Thus, in passing the Statute, Parliament sought to minimize the abuses possible under the trial system by providing that virtually no important contract would be enforceable unless reduced to writing.
Michigan Law Review,
Statute of Frauds--The Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel and the Statute of Frauds,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol66/iss1/6