The pursuer, Richard Brown, was a minister in Lochmaben. He claimed that the magistrates of the burgh harbored ill will towards him and sought to inconvenience or harass him. Among other actions, the magistrates ordered a barn on Brown's property to be destroyed, removed trees from his glebe, and reduced his seating in the kirk (church). The Lord Ordinary found that the destruction of the barn was a legitimate action authorized by the parish of Lochmaben's heritors. Brown sought a review of the Lord Ordinary's interlocutor. He argued that while he had struck an agreement with the defenders to remove the barn, they had agreed to do so at a later date. The defenders sought to avoid liability damages by claiming that they had only followed the heritors' instructions.

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