Legal Subject: Seat in a Church

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
The Earl of Home, and other Heritors of the Parish of Eccles v. The Earl of Marchmont, &c 7 Feb 1777 Valuation, Seat in a Church, Heritor In 1774, the parish kirk of Eccles was rebuilt and the heritors of the parish disagreed over the division of the seating areas of the church. In short, the Earl of Marchmont and others argued that the seats should be allocated to both heritor and their tenants at once, with order of preference given to those heritors with the highest valuation. On the other hand, the Earl of Home and others argued that such a procedure would force the lower-value heritors to be placed "in the inferior seats of the church ; that is, either in the back-galleries, or in the long seats below, under the galleries ; and thus give place, not only to the meanest tenant, but to the cottars and tenants servants on the lands of the six heritors of highest valuation ; a thing in itself altogether unreasonable and indecent . . ." Rather, they argued that the seats of heritors and their tenants should be allocated separately, in order to prevent the mingling of the classes. The case was brought before the Sheriff of Berwick, who found "that each heritor's share must be allocated and set apart by itself." Lord Gardenstone remitted the cause without qualification, and the Court adhered to Gardenstone's interlocutor, with some extra provisions.