Dougal Macfarlane, merchant in Dumfries, died in debt in 1730 shortly after purchasing Auchendennan Dennistoun. George Buchanan, Glasgow merchant, became factor for the estate in 1746, and in 1761 he secretly obtained a charter of confirmation and adjudication from the superior of Auchendennan. Sixteen years later, John Macfarlane, the nephew of Dougal, brought action against Buchanan before the Sheriff of Dunbarton, asking for exhibition of all bonds or other writs wherein his uncle had been bound to Buchanan. Buchanan countered that because forty-seven years had passed since Dougal Macfarlane had died, his nephew's right of insisting in a court-enforced delivery of documents was lost by barred claims. The Sheriff rejected Buchanan's defenses, and after Buchanan applied to the Court of Session, Lord Barskimming accepted the cause through a Bill of Advocation. In his argument to the Court, Macfarlane argued that because Buchanan had originally possessed the lands in question as a factor, he could not invert his possession without communicating this fact to their heir. In obtaining the charter of confirmation in secret, therefore, Buchanan had carried off Macfarlane's unclaimed estate. Buchanan, on the other hand, argued that Macfarlane must produce relevant grounds to challenge his right as heritor before gaining access to his charter-chest. Barskimming ordained Buchanan to produce the adjudication and factory in his possession, and the Court adhered to this interlocutor. Nevertheless, Buchanan's charter was never revoked; in 1784, he entailed his estate of Arden, formed from the lands of Auchendennan Dennistoun and Bannachra.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 3991
Sir David Dalyrymple of Hailes, Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session, from 1766 to 1791 (1826), pg. 815


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