A Scotsman named Daniel Morgan went to London and purchased goods on credit from John Boog, a merchant. Morgan then departed for India as steward on an East India ship, leaving his wife Margaret Watt in Dundee. Morgan died during the outward passage, and Boog eventually sought payment from Watt. Watt argued in court that Boog’s claim was barred by the “triennial prescription,” a statute of limitations, but Boog secured a “decree in absence” after Watt exhausted her ability to pay for a legal defense. Other creditors of Watt initiated a ranking and sale of her heritable property. In that proceeding, the common agent renewed the defense of prescription against Boog’s claim. Boog answered that English law—which had no triennial prescription—should apply because Morgan never returned to Scotland.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 15