Archibald Marcfarlane married Elizabeth Spence as a result of a contract entered into between both spouses and Elizabeth's father William Spence. Archibald Macfarlane became bound to provide for his wife and future children. Archibald Marcfarlane made a further settlement of his estate, with a disposition in favor of his wife and children, and failing of them, to the petitioner Jacobina Macfarlane, his only sister. When Archibald Macfarlane died, Elizabeth Spence, his widow, took the whole of her husband's writs into her possession. When Elizabeth Spence died, Jacobina Macfarlane, pursuer, claimed that by Spence's death the right of succession devolved upon her. However, Elizabeth's brothers and sister, Alexander, Richard and Janet Spence, seized the writs and confirmed themselves executors. Thus, the pursuer claimed her right to be the heir of her brother and alleged that defenders have no foundation to alter the effects of her brother's disposition.

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