Legal Subject: Adultery

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Houston Stewart Nicolson, Esq v. Mrs Stewart Nicolson 6 Dec 1770 Adultery, Divorce Houston Sterwart-Nicolson was married to Mrs. Sterwart-Nicolson in 1764. Mr Nicolson having brought an action of divorce against his wife for adultery, supposedly with William Grahame a employee and servant of Sir William Maxwell of Springkell, brother-in-law of the pusuer. Mrs Nicolson made a declaration of her innocence, and she insisted that the pursuer misled the situation and created artful stories about his adultery. She, as the defender, objected to the charges and questioned the competence of the witness that her husband, Mr. Nicolson, presented because all of them were servants of Sir William Maxwell, pursuer's brother-in-law.
Janet Robertson v. James Allan, Messenger in Perth 27 Feb 1777 Paternity, Adultery, Oath in Supplement 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.
Lockhart v. Henderson 7 Dec 1799 Divorce, Infidelity, Adultery Jean Lockhart sought a divorce from James Henderson on grounds of adultery. Henderson counterclaimed that Lockhart had committed adultery. In 1793, the couple reconciled from a previous split over accusations of infidelity. In the new case, Henderson allegedly resumed his adultery, whereas Lockhart denied any extramarital affairs. Lockhart accused Henderson of marrying for her money. The legal proceedings hinged on whether Henderson's claim that Lockhart continued her adulterous activity barred her divorce proceedings.