This case was about the right of the residents of Dumbarton to receive fish from the rivers Clyde and Leven. Dumbarton’s crown charter conferred the right to certain salmon fishings on “the bailies, burgesses, counsellors, community, and inhabitants” of the town. For more than a century, the town had let the salmon fishings to tacksmen, who were required to sell their catch in the town market at a low rate. In 1783, the magistrates decided to issue tacks with no such restriction. Certain residents of Dumbarton sued, arguing that they had a personal interest in the salmon fishings. The magistrates responded that the new arrangement would benefit the town.
William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 2002