Robert Alexander and his brother, William, attempted to take over the burgh magistracy of Pittenweem in the mid-1760s, after the death of Sir Harry Erskine. They were successful and assumed power in 1765. Former magistrates of the burgh of Pittenweem filed suit against the Alexanders, alleging that the Alexanders and their agents engaged in undue influence and corruption during the election process. They alleged that some of these corrupt transactions were between the Alexanders and bailie Thomas Martin, defender. During the lawsuit, the Alexanders apparently used burgh funds to cover the costs of the litigation. The magistracy of Pittenweem also took out a loan from Robert Alexander. The former magistrates won the lawsuit, returned to power, and then challenged the burgh debt to Robert Alexander in the Court of Session, arguing that it was not validly procured.
William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 2527
Dalrymple, Decisions of the Lord of Council and Session, from 1766 to 1791, pg. 586
Mungo Brown, Supplement to the Dictionary of the Decisions of the Court of Session (1826), pg. 402