Robert Gibb had given heritable securities of his land to certain merchants in Paisley. In order to retrieve these securities, Gibb ventured to sell part of his land, Laigh-lyon-crosses (Lower Lyoncross) to Alexander Speirs. He sent Speirs a valuation, and after not receiving a reply, visited him the evening before his own lands were to be auctioned. The two verbally agreed that Gibb would sell his lands to Speirs and then hold a twelve-year lease on the lands; Speirs wrote a letter to Hugh Snodgrass, his agent in Paisley, saying as much. When Speirs later refused to carry out this agreement, Gibb presented a petition to the Sheriff of Renfrewshire, requesting that the defenders be compelled to produce the letter and the initial valuation. When the Sheriff's summons went ignored, the case came before the Court. Speirs argued that his agreement with the Gibb was merely verbal, and he was therefore in locus poenitentae (not yet legally obliged to stand by the agreement). He further argued that Gibb's lands had in fact been conveyed to his creditors, and they were no longer his to sell. Gibb disputed both of these claims.

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