Legal Subject: Succession

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Archibald Craig v. Emilia Brodie 1773 Succession Archibald Craig obtained a court order for payment of a debt owed to him by Emilia Brodie. After Emilia died, Craig sought to collect the funds from her daughter, Margaret Brodie, who had intromitted with the estate.
Binning v. Binning 21 Jan 1767 Succession, Testament, Aliment The Pursuer, Helen Binning, sought 500 merks (Scots) willed to her father as aliment by her grandfather in a 1733 deed of settlement. The Pursuer's father, Patrick Binning, died young, after marrying at age sixteen. The parties in this case disagreed over whether or not Patrick married with the consent of his father. Helen, the only child of the marriage, was raised in her grandfather's home after the death of her father. The Defender, James Binning, was Helen Binning's uncle, eldest son of James Binning the elder. The Defender claimed that since his brother, Patrick Binning, died before reaching majority and before his father's death, Helen Binning's claim to her father's aliment payment was invalid. Upon the death of Margaret Binning, Helen's grandmother, in 1762, Helen brought action before the sheriff of Linlithgow against her uncle for payment of the 500 merks.
Durham v. Durham 24 Nov 1802 Heir, Succession, Prescription Thomas Durham, brother of Sarah and Janet Durham, died without issuing any settlement of disposition over the lands of Foulshiells. The lands of Foulshiells belonged formerly to Thomas Hamilton of Boghead, who was the great-grandfather of Thomas, Sarah and Janet Durham. Sarah claimed that she was the only one entitled to inherit the lands before mentioned without division, as heir-female and older sister, in virtue of the language of the old title-deeds. Also, she pointed out that Mr. Hamilton's intention was to transfer the land to anyone called to succeed (heirs in line) without division. He expressly mentioned it in the deed and it had been transferred like that. On the other hand, Janet argued that she had a joint right to the lands before mentioned with her sisters, as heir-portioner. Finally, the Court found that Sarah had the sole right of the lands as the older sister of Thomas.
Elizabeth Wallace v. William Gordon and Others 1767 Succession Janet Buchanan executed a settlement that made her niece Grizel Gordon the residuary beneficiary of her estate. The settlement provided that if Grizel died before marrying, the substitute beneficiary would be Elizabeth Wallace, Buchanan’s first cousin once removed. Buchanan died in 1762, and Grizel took possession of her effects, including a bond granted by Robert Dundas, Lord President of the Court of Session, for £200 Sterling. In 1763, Grizel discharged the £200 bond and lent the same amount to Charles Dundas, Robert’s brother; for the second loan, Charles and Robert gave their joint bond. After Grizel died, a dispute arose between Elizabeth Wallace and Grizel’s half-siblings, children of Robert Gordon, over who should succeed to the estate. The Gordon siblings claimed that language in the second bond, making it payable to Grizel, “her heirs, executors, and assignees,” altered the substitution in their favor. According to marginalia on the case documents, the court preferred Elizabeth Wallace.
George Mackenzie v. Henrietta Cockburn 1767 Succession William Alves, a doctor in India, left his entire estate to defender Henrietta Cockburn, his aunt. However, William’s will provided that if Cockburn predeceased him, the estate would go to Basil Alves, his brother, with legacies to other relatives including pursuer George Mackenzie, William’s uncle. Although Cockburn survived William, Mackenzie sought to collect the legacy.
Jacobina Macfarlane v. Alexander, Richard and Janet Spence 1770 Contract of marriage, Succession Archibald Marcfarlane married Elizabeth Spence as a result of a contract entered into between both spouses and Elizabeth's father William Spence. Archibald Macfarlane became bound to provide for his wife and future children. Archibald Marcfarlane made a further settlement of his estate, with a disposition in favor of his wife and children, and failing of them, to the petitioner Jacobina Macfarlane, his only sister. When Archibald Macfarlane died, Elizabeth Spence, his widow, took the whole of her husband's writs into her possession. When Elizabeth Spence died, Jacobina Macfarlane, pursuer, claimed that by Spence's death the right of succession devolved upon her. However, Elizabeth's brothers and sister, Alexander, Richard and Janet Spence, seized the writs and confirmed themselves executors. Thus, the pursuer claimed her right to be the heir of her brother and alleged that defenders have no foundation to alter the effects of her brother's disposition.
Kibble v. Ross 4 Dec 1804 Lordship, Succession, Register of Sasines (Deeds) After the death of Mr. Robert Corse, disputes arose regarding his succession. One of the disputes was over the property rights of some lands of Eastern Greenland that he had supposedly granted to his wife Elizabeth Ross (Defendant). Mr. Kibble, as the pursuer, questioned the title (life-rent-investment) that conferred the right to Mrs. Ross. He argued that it was null and void because it lacked the required formalities to constitute such right. After the proceedings, the Lords found the life-rent-investment over the lands of Greenland to be valid and effectual.
Murray v. Earl of Breadalbane 1767 Exhibition Ad Deliberandum, Heir-apparent, Entail, Tailzie, Succession Pursuers Mary and Margaret Murray, who claimed to be heirs apparent to the estate of Shian, brought an action of exhibition ad deliberandum; that is, they sought the production of documents to help them decide whether to take up the succession. The Earl of Breadalbane claimed that he had obtained good title to Shian, blocking the Murrays’ succession. Therefore, he sought to avoid producing additional documents.
Thomas Wright v. John Ure 1767 Deathbed, Succession James Ure of Shirgarton, W.S., executed a settlement of his estate in favor of his nephew James. The settlement also named a series of substitutes, including any heirs-male born of John Wright of Easter Glinns and Christian Ure, Shirgarton’s sister. After Shirgarton died, his brother John challenged the settlement on the ground that it was executed on deathbed. With the settlement’s validity in question, John and young James came to an agreement that gave John a life rent and promoted Mary Ure, young James’s sister, in the line of succession. Mary eventually succeeded to her brother’s fee. After many years, however, Thomas Wright, the son of John Wright and Christian Ure, sought to void the titles held by John and Mary. In response, John renewed his action to void the alleged deathbed deed. Case documents discuss issues relating to the proof of certain facts, including Shirgarton’s health when the settlement was executed and alleged efforts to influence witnesses.
William Wright v. Mary Ellis 1767 Succession Alexander Wright, brother of pursuer William Wright, died without issue in 1747. His widow, Agnes Ellis, was entitled to an annuity and a sum of money; additionally, Alexander left a small heritable subject and about £200. Although William was Alexander’s heir at law, he decided not to claim these subjects while Agnes lived. Upon Agnes's death, her niece Mary Ellis took possession of the subjects, and William sued. He prevailed, leading to the question of how much interest Mary owed.