A ship belonging to pursuer Thomas Wake, "The Mary of Sunderland," was captured by a French privateer and taken to the Netherlands. The French Commissary of Marine and Commerce, sitting in Amsterdam, condemned the ship as a lawful prize. The ship was re-named the Stettin of Embden and sold to Defenders Hillary Bauerman and Son, who were subjects of Prussia. Subsequently, the ship sailed to the Firth of Forth, where it was seized and taken to Leith on suspicion of being enemy property. When Thomas Wake learned of the ship’s capture, he sought to reclaim it, arguing that the commissary had lacked jurisdiction to issue the condemnation order. Hillary Bauerman and Son argued that ownership of the ship was legally transferred by possession, and that in any case, the condemnation order was sufficient.
William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 1