In January 1770, Andrew Stalker accepted a bill for £42 sterling payable to his sister-in-law, Rebecca Spreull. Both of them died shortly afterward. Spreull's husband, John of Milton, sued Stalker's nephew, Samuel, for payment of this bill. The Sheriff of Lanark found Samuel Stalker liable, but around that time (March 1771) John Spreull died. The trustees of Spreull's son, who had been abroad, then obtained confirmation and charged Stalker upon the Sheriff's order. The case went dormant for several years, but in January 1777 Lord Kennet found Stalker liable. Stalker then petitioned the Court to alter this interlocutor, claiming several additional grounds of compensation. He also contended that the confirmation of John Aitcheson, the surviving trustee, was inept, for the person in whose name it was given - John Spreull, junior - had perished in a shipwreck shortly before his father's death. Furthermore, Stalker claimed that the original decreet charged on was null and void, for John Spreull, senior, had died shortly beforehand. John Aitcheson countered the suspender's various pleas of compensation, and declared that Stalker's contention regarding the death of Spreull, senior, was clearly false. He also claimed that there was no evidence that Spreull, junior, had been lost at sea, and that he was merely "abroad on business."

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