Sir William Forbes, along with many others, were proprietors of feus (a type of land tenure) in the extended royalty of the city of Edinburgh. The properties at issue were located on Princes Street, George Street, Queen Street, and near St. Andrew's Square. Forbes and his fellow pursuers claimed that the town council had imposed some sort of restrictive covenant, prohibiting construction south of Princes Street, which would have given them an unobstructed view from their properties. John Homes and his fellow defenders secured permission, apparently from the town council, to construct houses, warehouses, and other buildings south of Princes Street. Forbes and the other pursuers sought to stop the construction while the defenders argued that they had permission to build.

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