This case was about the effect of a testator’s handwritten markings on his duly executed deed of settlement. David Simpson executed the deed in question, naming his cousin William Simpson of Pendreich as the general disponee. The deed also included a £3000 bequest to David’s uncle William Ferguson of Raith, which offset a bond that Ferguson owed to David. William Simpson predeceased David. When David died, it was discovered that he had marked on his deed of settlement, apparently intending to substitute Ferguson as the general disponee. Pursuers David and Agnes Kemp, the children of David’s late sister, were his heirs-at-law. Arguing that David’s markings invalidated the deed, they proceeded as if he had died intestate and brought an action against Ferguson for payment of the £3000 bond. Ferguson admitted that the pursuers were entitled to the residue of David’s estate, but he argued that David’s specific bequests—including the £3000 in his favor—remained valid. Therefore, in Ferguson’s view, his debt had been satisfied.
William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 16949