Legal Subject: Tutors and Curators

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Agnes Watson, and James Taylor, her Husband v. Agnes Mathie, and James Weir, her Husband 14 Nov 1776 Debts to estate, Tutors and Curators Greenock merchant James Watson, the father of pursuer Agnes Watson, died leaving three minor children. The children chose several curators to manage their affairs, including two of James’s business partners, Robert Rae and Gabriel Mathie. Robert Rae took on primary responsibility for the curatorship. After the Watson children came of age, they sued the curators for mishandling the estate. The proceeding stretched over many years, and after the curators died, Agnes Watson continued the action against their representatives; one such representative was defender Agnes Mathie, daughter of Gabriel. Agnes Mathie initially failed to participate in the case, but after being held liable in a sheriff’s judgment, she raised several defenses. First, Mathie claimed that the pursuers had orally renounced any claims against her father. Second, Mathie argued that certain sums were received by Robert Rae without the authority of a quorum, and that the other curators should not be held responsible. Finally, Mathie argued that Rae had received certain payments in his private capacity as manager of a mercantile venture with James Watson. According to Mathie, Rae had good credit, so there was no reason to punish the other curators for failing to collect what he owed to Watson. In response, Agnes Watson argued that the curators were liable for failing to exercise diligence in collecting open debts.
Mackenzie and Husband v. MacLeod and Cuthbert 1774 Tutors and Curators, Bonds David Mackenzie left his estate to his children, while reserving a liferent for his spouse Isabel Macrae and naming her the children’s tutor. The estate included a bond granted by Roderick Macleod of Cadboll. After David died, Isabel demanded payment of the bond. Roderick, however, feared that Isabel’s limited rights to the estate would prevent her from effectively discharging the bond. To resolve this issue, it was agreed that James Cuthbert, a creditor of Isabel’s second husband, would indemnify Roderick against other claims on the bond. Isabel discharged the bond, and Cuthbert drew the proceeds in satisfaction of the debt that was owed to him. Many years later, Ann Mackenzie, the daughter of David and Isobel, raised an action against Roderick to collect on the bond. In response, Robert Bruce Aeneas Macleod (Roderick’s son and representative) argued that his father had already paid Isobel Macrae, who was the proper creditor.