On January 26th, 1775, Janet Robertson appeared in front of the kirk-session at Perth and accused James Allan of fathering her unborn child. Shortly after the birth of her daughter she brought action against Allan before the Magistrates of Perth for aliment. After a number of witnesses were called, most of whom testified in support of Robertson, the magistrates ruled that Allan was the father of her child. James Allan then appealed to the Court of Session, and Lord Auchinleck assoilzied (absolved) him, stating that due to lack of evidence and the supposed dishonest character of the pursuer, she was not entitled to her oath in supplement. Auchinleck based his judgment that Robertson "has no regard to truth, nor to honesty" upon the fact that she had originally accused John Allan, the nephew of the defender, of fathering her child. Upon petitioning the Court to alter Auchinleck's interlocutors, Robertson claimed that James Allan, who was married, had persuaded her to name John Allan, who was unmarried, as the father. A number of witnesses supported her claim that before giving birth she had met with the defender one night in the North Inch, where he had given her a 20-shilling note and half a guinea, "in order to induce her to give the child to his nephew, or to any body, except himself." The Court adhered to Auchinleck's interlocutor, determining that an oath in supplement may not be admitted in cases of adultery.

Published Reports

Mungo Brown, Supplement to the Dictionary of the Decisions of the Court of Session (1826), pg. 555


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