Legal Subject: Reduction of a Trust Deed

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Walpoles v. John Walker 10 Mar 1778 Reduction of a Trust Deed, Fraud, Commission of Bankruptcy In England This case concerns a trust disposition granted by William Alexander to John Walker in September 1775, shortly before an English commission of bankruptcy was awarded against the former. The largest English creditors of William Alexander held mortgages on two Grenada estates jointly owned by him and his brother. They brought an action to have the above-mentioned trust-deed reduced. In January of 1778 Lord Monboddo assoilzied (absolved) the defender. The pursuers petitioned the Court to alter this decision. They argued that the trust was voided by a petition for a sequestration brought before Lord Gardenstone by William Alexander in April 1777. In addition, the pursuers argued that the trust-deed failed under the statutes 1621 (relating to conjunct and confident persons) and 1696 (regarding diligence), "or, at least, that they ought, without hesitation, to be reduced, on the head of fraud, at common law." Regarding this charge of fraud, the pursuers claimed that they had an indisputable claim to the proceeds of the Grenada plantations, but that the Alexander brothers, aided by the defender, went through elaborate lengths to conceal these profits from their creditors. They further accused William Alexander of sending his trunk of papers to Edinburgh, so as to prevent the pursuers from discovering this fraud. The Court altered Lord Monboddo's interlocutor, sustaining the reasons of reduction. William Alexander then petitioned the Court to alter this interlocutor, which it refused. Similarly, the defender petitioned the Court to either allow the trust to subsist in the person of another trustee, or to declare as bona fide his prior actions as trustee.

The circumstances surrounding this case are covered extensively in Jacob M. Price, France and the Chesapeake. In particular, see volume 2, pages 691-700.