This case was about the ability of minors, when choosing their own curators, to agree that those curators would not be liable for omissions (as opposed to active interference with the minors’ property). 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 James’s business partner Robert Rae. The “act of curatory” that empowered these curators included a clause absolving them of liability for omissions. 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 of these representatives was defender Mary Rae, daughter of Robert, who contested a number of Agnes’s claims. In particular, Mary argued that she could not be held responsible for the curators’ failure to collect certain debts, because the act of curatory shielded the curators from liability for omissions. In response, Agnes argued that minors could not elect curators subject to such a condition.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 16369
Sir David Dalyrymple of Hailes, Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session, from 1766 to 1791 (1826), pg. 534

Locations

Repository & Extent