Legal Subject: Estate

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Alexander Irvine of Drum v. The Earl of Aberdeen, &c 26 Jun 1776 Debt, Estate The estate of Alexander Irvine of Drum was heavily burdened with debts at the time of his death. The estate went through a series of family members. Through this process, some debts were relieved but others were added. The estate was sold in 1736 to cover the debts. A small part of the estate was set aside for the Irvine family, but most of the estate went to the Earl of Aberdeen or Patrick Duff of Premnay. After John Irvine of Drum's death in 1737, the successor to the estate, Alexander Irvine of Crimond, mounted a legal challenge to the settlement of the estate. The pursuer in the present case was Alexander Irvine of Drum, grandson of Alexander Irvine of Drum. The 3rd Earl of Aberdeen, taking up a cause inherited from his father, and Patrick Duff argued that the Irvine family has no valid claims against them.
Belchier v. Palmer 5 Mar 1776 Debt, Estate In 1759, William Belchier purchased the estate of Grange in Scotland. Belchier died without children, leaving his estate to his older brother, John Belchier, in liferent and to his nephew, James-William Belchier, in fee. Several creditors of the decedent William Belchier brought actions of constitution and adjudication against his estate. Defenders Charlton Palmer and William Walker, creditors of William Belchier, sought a sale of William Belchier's estate and a ranking of the creditors. (The defenders mistakenly brought the action only against the liferenter, John Belchier, but later amended the action to include the apparent heir, James-William Belchier.) To expedite the process and reserve some of the estate for themselves, the pursuers also brought an action for the sale and ranking of the estate. This led to a dispute concerning which action—the creditors' or the apparent heirs'—should proceed.
Colebrooke v. Hamilton Nov 1803 Teind, Estate, Sale, Valuation In 1749, the Earl of Selkirk, then titular and patron of the parish of Crawfordjohn, sold his lands and teinds of Gilkerscleugh to James Hamilton. At the time, the two wrote up informal documents outlining the current teinds' value. Daniel Hamilton inherited these lands from his grandfather, but was concerned that the teinds had never been formally set at the value stated at the time of the initial sale. He brought the matter to court, asking that the teinds be officially valued at the amount stated in the old documents, which the court granted. George Colebrooke, the current titular of the teinds, opposed this result, and subsequently petitioned that the decision be overruled on the grounds that the original agreement between the Earl and James Hamilton had only constituted a sale of the lands and teinds, and was not meant to permanently establish the value of the teinds. He petitions that the past value of the teinds should not stand for all future teind duties because the agreement had "fallen asleep," or the statute of limitations had passed, and also because the original agreement was a contract of sale, and not a formal valuation.
Fraser v. Fraser 1803 Retour, Freeholder, Estate Dr. William Mackinnon Fraser of Lower Grosvenor's Street, London, petitions to be enrolled as a freeholder of the lands and barony of Durris for the county of Inverness, and to serve in Parliament on behalf of Inverness. Simon Fraser protests approval of Dr. William Mackinnon Fraser's enrollment as a freeholder on the grounds that the source Dr. William Mackinnon Fraser uses to prove his title and the value of the land is inaccurate. The others overrule him and approve the enrollment. Simon Fraser subsequently files a complaint with the Lords of Council and Session to dispute the sufficiency of Dr. William Mackinnon Fraser's claim to the lands, and thus his claim to a position on the roll of freeholders. In the course of the proceedings, Simon Fraser dies, and his case is taken up on his behalf by his uncle, William Fraser, Esq. of Queen's Square, Bloomsbury, London.
John Skeill v. Humphry-Bland Gardiner 1775 Debt, Estate John Skeill, pursuer, provided horses for Robert Gardiner, father of the defendant and Commissary for British forces in Scotland. Skeill contends that he was paid for the use of his horses in the summer of 1759 but not for the period of November 1759 to March 1760. Gardiner claims that he was very young when these transactions took place, but that there is ample evidence that the troops had been removed from their encampment by early November 1759, so that his father would no longer have needed Skeill's services. Case documents include depositions and accounts.
Ker v. Creditors of Sutherland 1772 Debt, Ranking of Creditors, Estate Alexander Sutherland of Kinminity granted a bond to the late Alexander Gordon of Garty. Gordon used this bond as collateral in dealings with other persons. Pursuer Elizabeth Ker's late husband, James Ker, was one of Gordon's creditors. Ker sought to collect on the bond, and he obtained for himself, and as assignee on behalf of certain other persons, a decree of adjudication against Alexander Gordon's son. Elizabeth Ker sought to collect on the bond on her late husband's behalf. Creditors of Sutherland, including George Dunbar, also sought to collect on the bond. At issue was whether Ker's claim could be treated pari passu (on equal footing) with the claims of Sutherland's creditors, such George Dunbar. Elizabeth Ker maintained that her husband's adjudication was timely, within a year and a day of another creditor's adjudication, so she should be ranked in her due order of preference. The creditors of Sutherland maintained that they had priority over Ker.
M'Whinnie v. Goldie 1802 Estate, Freeholder, Property William M'Whinnie had claimed to be enrolled in the roll of freeholders of Kirkcudbright, and had presented documents to support his ownership of the estate of Dunjarg in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. At the meeting of the Kirkcudbright freeholders, Major-General thomas Goldie objected to M'Whinnie's enrollment, arguing that there was no evidence that the lands of Dunjarg were a five-merk land of old extent, and also that the title Mr. M'Whinnie claimed was nominal and fictitious due to the fact that the name of the estate was spelled differently in the older documents. Due to an indisposition, Mr. M'Whinnie was not at the meeting, and could not answer the accusations. Major-General Goldie believed that Mr. M'Whinnie was not in ill health, but had missed the meeting intentionally to avoid interrogation. The freeholders decided against enrolling him due to his absence, and Mr. M'Whinnie then took the case to the Lords of Council and Session, including written answers to the freeholders' questions. In his reply to the petition, Major-General Goldie requested that the Court ordain Mr. M'Whinnie to undergo oral examination and answer the interrogatory accusations in person as to the integrity of his claim upon the Dunjarg estate, because he believed that Mr. M'Whinnie had commissioned others to draft his responses for him.
MacDougall's Creditors v. MacDougall 31 Jan 1804 Bankruptcy, Estate, Creditor Mr. Allan Macdougall made advances to his son John to help him to get the position of lieutenant in the army. Two year after the disbursements, Mr. Macdougall became bankrupt and ceased the payments of his debts. Mr. Macdougall’s creditors brought an action against John Macdougall for repayment of the sum advances by his father. The Lord Ordinary found that the creditors were not entitled to claim the sums from John because their debts were separated from John estate.
Mary Muir v. Isobel Buchanan 1771 Debt, Estate, Compensation, Oath of Party, Intrinsic and Extrinsic In connection with the marriage of James Taylor and Mary Muir, Mary’s brother James Muir agreed to pay a tocher, or dowry, of 2000 merks. The debt went unpaid for several years. However, shortly after James Muir’s death, Taylor sought payment from Muir’s widow, Isobel Buchanan, and her children. (James Taylor died during the litigation, and the case was taken up by Mary Muir acting as his executrix.) As defender, Buchanan claimed that the tocher debt was more than offset by various sums that James Muir had advanced to his sister and brother-in-law over the years. In considering the parties’ competing claims, the court addressed a number of questions about which debts could properly be used to offset each other and what evidence was competent to prove those debts. Case documents discuss various commercial pursuits by the parties, including Mary Muir.
McHarg v. Dunn 1771 Debt, Estate Pursuer Agnes McHarg sought to collect from defender William Dunn on a bill payable to her late husband, Alexander McCredie. Dunn challenged the authenticity of the bill, relevant dates, and the rate of interest. McHarg maintained the bill was authentic and properly dated from 1748. McHarg also cast doubt on Dunn's testimony and allegations.
Trustees of Batties-mains v. Armadale 1801 Trust, Roup, Estate, Roads Mr. Carmichael left the lands known as Batties-mains in his trust for the education of poor scholars at a public school located there. The trust required that the land not be sold, so some of the trustees agreed to rent out parts of the land for a fixed time period to other parties. They subsequently agreed to allow Lord Armadale to build a road through the lands of Batties-mains to his own estate of Smyllum, on the condition that after the renting period was up, he would destroy the road and return the ground to its prior condition. The final trustee to review the agreement, Minister Fergusson, disapproved of a clause which stated that the road would be Lord Armadale's property, and disputed it based on his belief that it undermined the true intent of the original trust.