This case was about liability for a bill, and the manner in which that liability could be proved. For reasons that were disputed, defenders Thomas Hunter and James Edmund became drawers on a bill that was accepted by pursuer John Houston. The bill was then discounted at a bank to raise money for one James Osburn. At the same time, a back-bill from Osburn and his business partner was placed in the hands of Edmund. Houston alleged that he, Hunter, and Edumund had agreed to take on joint liability for the bill he accepted; Hunter and Edmund denied this. Additionally, Hunter and Edmund challenged the propriety of examining Osburn as a witness, on the ground that he was too closely connected with Houston.

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