In 1764, Alexander M'Kechny became a tenant of a dwelling-house and offices in Port-Glasgow, which had been the property of James Hynd. Hynd, a land-waiter, died in debt. In 1770 Hynd's son renounced his claim to his father's estate and Hynd's effects were then sold to pay his creditors. In June 1775, a remit was made to Lord Stonefield to divide the funds from the sale, and at this time Stonefield discovered that no rents had been paid on the property occupied by Alexander M'Kechny. The creditors of John Hynd brought action against M'Kechny, and various facts of the tenancy were disputed: The year M'Kechny took up residence in the dwelling-house, the yearly rent, and the sums expended by M'Kechny on repairs and legal defenses against encroachment. While M'Kechny was eventually vindicated in court, he argued that the verity of his claim had been known to his creditors from the beginning, and that they were therefore responsible for his legal expenses. The pursuers, on the other hand, argued that M'Kechny was at fault for providing incomplete records and making himself unavailable to be deponed.


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