While his natural son William was abroad in Jamaica, John Duncanson of Maxpoffle executed a settlement. The settlement granted Maxpoffle to certain trustees for William’s benefit, and failing William, for the benefit of John Chatto. The settlement also provided that the trustees should denude themselves of their right to the land, in favor of William, upon his return to the country. William returned to Scotland after his father’s death, and the trustees transferred Maxpoffle to him. William later died without issue, and his wife Gallacina Potts was advised that the estate fell to the crown. She therefore applied to the Barons of Exchequer for a gift of bastardy. John Chatto intervened, laying claim to the lands by virtue of John Duncanson’s settlement; Chatto was later permitted to bring a declaratory proceeding before the Court of Session. There, Potts argued that Chatto was a conditional institute rather than a substitute, meaning that he was entitled to inherit only if William predeceased John.

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