Legal Subject: Contract

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Alexander v. Montgomery 1772 Contract Robert Alexander, the pursuer, owned property in the town of Ayr that contained coal deposits. On behalf of his brother Robert Alexander, William Alexander exchanged letters with James Montgomery, Dr. John Campbell, and the other partners of the coal company at Newton of Ayr. Through this series of letters, the parties apparently agreed that Montgomery would deliver and the coal company would purchase the coal from Montgomery's property. Montgomery et al. denied the existence of a formal contract. Montgomery et al. also argued that Alexander was late delivering the coal.
Campbell v. Campbell 1786 Contract This case was a dispute over the sale of a horse. The pursuer, Dugald Campbell of Craignish, alleged that Neil Campbell of Duntroon sold him a horse that turned out to be lame. Case documents include a number of depositions by witnesses.
Hamilton v. Hunter and Co. 1782 Insurance, Contract This case was about the purchase of an insurance policy by a broker. Robert Hunter and Company, in Saltcoats, asked James Hamilton, an insurance broker in Glasgow, to procure an insurance policy for a ship sailing to the Firth of Clyde. Hunter and Co. specified that the policy should not cost more than eight guineas per cent. However, Hamilton was unable to find insurance at this price, so he procured a policy at nine guineas per cent, paying the difference himself. He then wrote Hunter and Co. to inform them of the action he had taken. In the letter, Hamilton stated that if Hunter and Co. did not approve of the policy, they could have it vacated by sending a return letter "in course of post." Hunter and Co. wrote back two days later to reject the policy; in the meantime, the ship in question had arrived safely. Hamilton sued for payment of the premium. In response, Hunter and Co. argued that their rejection of the policy was valid.
Mrs. Julian (Steel) Porterfield v. Boyd Porterfield 1770 Marriage, Contract, Obligations Defender Julian Steel was married to William Porterfield, the uncle of pursuer Boyd Porterfield. William Porterfield died without children, leaving Boyd Porterfield as his only heir. The marriage contract between Steel and Porterfield stipulated that, should Steel survive her husband, Steel would receive an annuity of 2,000 merks and a dwelling house (or the financial equivalent) from the Porterfield estate. Following the death of William Porterfield, Steel and Boyd Porterfield entered into a contract regarding rents from the lands of the estate. Steel alleged that she should have received more from the rents from the lands.
Robert Armour v. James Young 1774 Contract Defender James Young ordered a quantity of superfine black cloth from pursuer Robert Armour, who routinely sold fabric at fixed prices on behalf of a merchant in Worcester. Armour claimed that the parcel of cloth that was delivered to Young included an invoice specifying the price. However, Young refused to pay that price, and Armour brought suit before the magistrates of Glasgow. Young objected that he never agreed to a particular price, and further claimed that coarse cloth was delivered to him instead of superfine cloth. The magistrates admitted proof regarding the price of the disputed articles, and Armour appealed. The Lord Ordinary not only affirmed the price-related proof, but also directed that proof be allowed regarding whether or not Young had “complained of the bad quality of the cloth recently after delivery thereof.” Armour once again sought review, arguing that the case should be decided based on questions of law.
Scrimgeour and Son v. Alexander and Sons 15 Jun 1769 Contract, Affreightment, Ships In March 1765, Edinburgh merchants Alexander & Sons contracted with the Borrowstounness merchant house of James Scrimgeour & Son to freight the ship the Duke of Athol for a voyage to Grenada—after considering a trip to Maryland or Virginia—with a cargo of herring, staves, and green linens. Due to a variety of accidents, the ship did not make it to Grenada until after the end of sugar season. Having no sugar to collect and bring back to Scotland, the agent at Grenada for Alexander & Sons convinced the ship’s captain to sail for (North) Carolina. Within days of the ship’s arrival in Wilmington, protests broke out over the Stamp Act, delaying the ship’s loading and departure for months. When the Duke of Athol finally returned to Leith, Alexander & Sons brought a legal dispute against James Scrimgeour & Son over the respective financial obligations of the parties due to the ship's delay.