Actor George Anne Bellamy granted four promissory notes to pursuer Hugh Baillie but failed to make timely payments. Subsequently, Bellamy and actor West Digges granted Baillie a bond of corroboration, promising to pay the accumulated debt. Bellamy and Digges again failed to make all necessary payments, and Digges was charged with horning. Digges obtained a suspension of the charge, but while the suit was pending, Digges went to England, where Baillie had him arrested. Digges, Baillie, and defender John Bland then entered into an agreement in which Digges and Bland agreed to pay the remaining debt. Bland granted Baillie two notes for 50 l. each, but payment was refused on one of them. Baillie protested the note, and Bland brought a bill of suspension. Bland argued that Baillie’s decision to effect Digges’s imprisonment constituted contempt of the Scottish Court. He also argued that the agreement among Digges, Bland, and Baillie was obtained metu carceris—that is, in fear of prison—and therefore was not actionable at law.

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