The Magistrates of Canongate, defenders, were authorized by statute to levy customs duties at the Water Gate with respect to certain articles at particular rates. For many years, the Magistrates had charged higher rates and levied duties on articles not mentioned in the statute. In 1795, the Magistrates published a new table of duties that served to increase rates and to add new articles. Pursuers Andrew Wauchope, the Trustees of the Post Road District, and William Scott (Procurator-fiscal of the County of Edinburgh) challenged the Magistrates’ authority to charge duties not specifically authorized by the statute.
William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. App. 1, No. 1