after stating the facts. It is to be observed in the first place that the assumption of the plaintiffs as to the differences existing in the character, scope and purposes of the several actions waged between the parties in regard to the land in question, is not strietly accurate. So far as the present action and that which terminated in a verdict and judgment for defendant at spring term, 1878, of the same court, are concerned, they seem to be identical as to the parties, the alleged causes of action, the defences relied upon, and the relief demanded ; and it being admitted that they both related to the same subject matter, and the judgment in the prior action being rendered upon the merits of the case, it must follow that such a judgment is a bar to the second action. t
In such a case the judgment operates as an estoppel upon parties and those in privity with them, not only as to such matters as were actually urged to sustain or defeat the claim *461asserted in the action, but as to every possible matter that might have been so Urged.
The two actions now referred to- were purely equitable in their nature. They both allege the existence of an agreement between the parties with reference to the same land, the promise of the defendant to convey the same to the plaintiff Tuttle, the performance of his part of the agreement by said plaintiff, and the refusal of the defendant to perform his promise. The effort of the plaintiff Logan to establish the validity of his purchase at sheriff’s sale, is the same i» both, and the prayer that the defendant may be directed to execute a deed for the premises made in both, is such as only a court of equit}' can give. Thus it is that the scope of the two actions so far as they relate to the 86 acres, is identically the same. It is true that in the prior action there was a prayer for the reconveyance of the 150 acres to the' plaintiff Tuttle, in case the defendant should not be held to perform his contract as to the smaller tract, but the plaintiff Logan sets up no claim to that land, and as this action is prosecuted solely for his benefit, and in spite of the effort of his co-plaintiff to dismiss it, that difference cannot enter into this case.
Having reached this conclusion, which fully supports the instructions given by his Honor to the jury who tried the cause, we might stop all further consideration of the question, but we are of the opinion that if the defendant's plea of the estoppel had been confined to that growing out of the judgment of the McDowell court, the consequences to the plaintiff would have been the same. That was an action at law, it is true, being for the possession of the land upon the strict legal title of the then plaintiff (now defendant). Still, constituted as our courts now' are, it was open to the defendant in the action to set up any equitable defences he might have, and if able to show a perfect equitable right in himself (such as he seeks to assert in his present action), to de*462feat-a recovery upon the legal title of the plaintiff. It was his folly not to have asserted this claim, (if, indeed, he did not do so,) and he must be concluded by the judgment rendered in the cause.
Except in special cases, says Taylor in his work on Evidence, the plea of res ■adjudícala applies not only to points upon which the court was actually required to pronounce judgment, but to every point which properly belonged to the subject of the issue, and which the parties, exercising reasonable diligence, might have brought forward. 2 Taylor Ev., § 1513. As to the right of a party to defend upon an equitable right and to defeat the legal title, and the reasons for permitting the same to be done, we refer with satisfaction to the able opinion delivered by Mr. Justice Dillard in the case of Farmer v. Daniel, 82 N. C., 152.
No error. Affirmed,