Legal Subject: Elections

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Magistrates and Town-Council of the Burgh of Pittenweem v. Robert and William Alexanders, Thomas Martin, and Others 15 Jul 1774 Elections, Corruption, Burgh Robert Alexander and his brother, William, attempted to take over the burgh magistracy of Pittenweem in the mid-1760s, after the death of Sir Harry Erskine. They were successful and assumed power in 1765. Former magistrates of the burgh of Pittenweem filed suit against the Alexanders, alleging that the Alexanders and their agents engaged in undue influence and corruption during the election process. They alleged that some of these corrupt transactions were between the Alexanders and bailie Thomas Martin, defender. During the lawsuit, the Alexanders apparently used burgh funds to cover the costs of the litigation. The magistracy of Pittenweem also took out a loan from Robert Alexander. The former magistrates won the lawsuit, returned to power, and then challenged the burgh debt to Robert Alexander in the Court of Session, arguing that it was not validly procured.
Shaw v. Fleming 1 Aug 1776 Elections, Burgh This case concerns a disputed election in the burgh of Rutherglen. Different trades (including deacons, masons, and weavers) would meet with members of their industry and submit lists of candidates for the elections, a common election practice of the period. Pursuers George Shaw et al. lodged a complaint against the town council of the burgh of Rutherglen. Apparently the town council adopted a practice of restricting voting to resident masons and wrights, and disallowed non-resident masons and wrights from voting. Shaw et al. alleged that this attempt to disenfranchise the non-resident masons and wrights was unlawful.