Legal Subject: Trade

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Duncan v. Maclintock and Smith 1778 Copartnership, Trade, Bill of Lading In November 1774, Robert Maclintock Jr. freighted the brigantine Rainbow to carry goods to Virginia and return a cargo of wheat. His father and David Smith joined in the adventure, and the three wrote Virginia merchants Charles Duncan and John Brown, empowering them to draw on Maclintock jr. for the price. According to the defenders of this action, Smith and Maclintock Sr., in the summer of 1775, when the Rainbow returned to Clyde with the cargo of wheat, Maclintock jJr. informed his co-adventurers that the cargo was not for them, but solely for himself. Two years later he stopped paying his bills and left the country, and the defenders received a demand from Charles Duncan for the unpaid value of the Rainbow's cargo. Duncan, the pursuer of this action, argued that as co-adventurers the defenders were liable for the price of the cargo, and that the bill had been drawn solely on Maclintock jr.'s account out of secrecy: Maclintock Sr. was a principal in the Merchant Bank, and it was convenient for him that his name did not appear on the bill. Duncan further accused the defenders of obliterating evidence of a copartnership contained in documents possessed by Betty Maclintock, the aunt of Maclintock Jr. The defenders argued, on the other hand, that they were not co-partners with the younger Maclintock, and were therefore not liable for his debts. The bailies of Glasgow, who first heard the case, repelled the defense, and Lord Braxfield refused the defenders' bill of advocation. They then petitioned the Court to compel Lord Braxfield to pass the bill.
Eimbeke v. Morison, Taylor, and Company and Buchanan, Morison, and Company 1777 Trade, Foreign Trade, Wheat Buchanan, Morison, and Company was a trading firm with operations in Glasgow and Greenock. Two of the company's partners in Greenock, William Morison and James Taylor, were also partners of a separate firm, named Morison, Taylor, and Company. In the fall of 1774, Morison, Taylor, and Company commissioned George Henry Eimbeke, Hamburgh merchant, to send them several shipments of wheat and other grains. One of these shipments was placed on the George, a trading vessel owned by Buchanan, Morison, and Company. The latter company paid Eimbeke for half of this shipment, and Morison, Taylor, and Company were invoiced for the second half. The George arrived in Bristol in May 1775 and the wheat was discovered to have overheated; it was later sold at a great loss. Eimbeke brought action against the two firms, suing for the unpaid half of the George's wheat shipment. While Buchanan, Morison, and Company claimed that Morison, Taylor, and Company had expressly ordered Eimbeke to send them a shipment of wheat on the George, the latter company argued that no such order had ever been given. On November 14, 1777 the Court pronounced Buchanan, Morison, and Company liable for the value of the wheat and expenses. They then submitted a reclaiming petition, which was refused, according to handwritten marginalia on the case documents.
Robertson v. Craig 1777 Bill (Financial Instrument), Trade, Calico This case concerns a dispute over two bills drawn upon Robert Craig by Williams, Tebb, and Williams, in favor of their trustee Alexander Robertson. Both bills were for the value of calico received by Craig, a merchant in Perth, from Williams and Company, merchants in London. Craig claimed to have already paid one bill, and to have returned the calico for which the second bill was charged. Alexander Robertson brought action against Robert Craig in August 1773. Lord Coalston ordered an information, but later retired from the bench. The cause was remitted to Lord Covington, who found the defender liable for the bills and for expences. Craig then petitioned the Court to alter this decision, explaining that "he had the misfortune not to have been regularly bred to the business of a merchant, and did not keep a copy-book of letters." He argued that despite his inexact record-keeping, he had provided enough evidence to support his claim to have already paid one bill, and to have returned the calico charged by the second one. Alexander Robertson answered that the defender had failed to produce any evidence, and that even if what he claimed was true, "as he took it upon himself to return these goods, without orders, he must be considered as running the risk of their being safely delivered to Williams and Company.” According to a handwritten note on Robertson's Answers, the Court adhered.