This case involved a dispute between women who sought to inherit property as heirs of line and another relative who sought to inherit under an entail. Near the end of his life, Bailie Charles Gordon executed an entail granting the lands of Pitlurg and Achorties to his son Alexander or, in the alternative, to a series of substitutes. Alexander inherited the property, but rather than claiming it as heir of entail, he took the lands under a precept of clare constat (a type of deed). Alexander also obtained a decree voiding the entail on the ground that it was completed on deathbed. Alexander held the property for more than 40 years, the length of the statutory prescription (limitations) period. When Alexander died in 1783, his sister Janet Gordon and niece Magdalene Grant claimed the property as heirs of line. Another relative, George-Alexander Gordon, claimed under the entail. Janet and Magdalene defended their claim with two arguments: (1) the entail was void; and (2) Alexander had defeated the entail by possessing the property for more than 40 years under an unlimited title. George-Alexander argued that the prescription period had been interrupted because he was a minor when he became the immediate substitute. He also challenged the decree voiding the entail.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 10968
Sir David Dalyrymple of Hailes, Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session, from 1766 to 1791 (1826), pg. 960

Locations

Repository & Extent