Legal Subject: Damages

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Macindoe v. Cowley, Wallace, Crawford, and French 1780 Military, Optima Fide, Jurisdiction, Mala Fides, Damages, Wrongful imprisonment, Freemasonry This case concerns the forced enlistment and imprisonment for desertion of John Macindoe, Glasgow hair-dresser. In February of 1777, while in a drunken state, John Macindoe pledged himself to the army in exchange for a shilling from Ensign Hugh Wallace. A few weeks later, upon the order of Captain William Cowley, Macindoe was seized by a group of soldiers and imprisoned for refusing to enlist. Macindoe applied to the Court by a bill of suspension and liberation, and Lords Covington and Kennet ordered Macindoe set at liberty. Macindoe then brought action for damages and expenses against Wallace and Cowley, and against the bailies who had ordered his imprisonment. He claimed that his false imprisonment had led to the ruin of his business, and that he had been forced to enlist in another regiment out of necessity. Bailies French and Crawfurd, on the other hand, argued that because Macindoe was presently a soldier, therefore "the only consequence of his not being found a soldier in one regiment, was, that he would soon be a soldier in another.” They also argued that as bailies they had merely judged erroneously, and not acted out of malice. The Court assoilzied Crawfurd and French, as well as Cowley. Ensign Wallace then petitioned the Court for assoilment as well, stating that he had "innocently and bona fide" believed that Macindoe's enlistment was legitimate.
Wilson and Scott v. Alexander 1779 Damages, Property, Animal Welfare, Trespass, Boni Mores In November 1777, Jean Alexander of Rosebank had some nux vomica (strychnine) put into her swine and poultry's meat. A few days later her neighbor James Wilson's dog died "after suffering the greatest agony." After Wilson discovered that his dog was likely poisoned by his neighbor, he confronted her and she responded with contempt, saying that the poison had been to stop her livestock's food being eaten by his dog. Wilson, filed a complaint with the Sheriff of Edinburgh, who found the complaint relevant. Alexander then brought the process by advocation to the Court, and Lord Westhall assoilzied (absolved) her, determining that she was entitled to lay poison in her property in order to protect it. Wilson then petitioned the Court to alter this interlocutor. His advocate, David Armstrong, argued that Alexander's actions had gone against the common good, and that Alexander should have trusted in the law to protect her from Wilson's dog. In response, Alexander said there was no proof that her poison had caused the dog's death, and that even if it had, "what she did she was entitled to do in virtue of her right of property, and in defence of that property." She also disputed the basis of Wilson's claim to damages - that his dog was valuable to him as, among other things, a protection from thieves. Finally, in an illuminating turn of events, Alexander responded to a rumor that she had also poisoned the Duke of Buccleuch's dog. Rather, the defender insisted, Buccleuch's dog had been killed by a mob at Loanhead.