The suspender, James Reid, rented the lands of Lethem from Thomas Sharp of Houston. Reid’s “tack,” a type of lease, contained a clause that would nullify the agreement if he fell behind on his rent. Reid did fall behind, and Lethem’s new owner, Sir William Cunynghame, initiated a process to have him removed from the land. When Reid failed to appear in court, a decree of removing was entered in his absence. However, Reid sought a suspension of the decree, arguing that several factors militated against his being removed. First, Reid alleged that he did not receive a proper citation; instead, a short copy of the citation had been left in an out-building on his farm. Second, Reid claimed that his son, John, attempted to deliver the rent to Sir William’s agents while the process was pending, but the agents did not accept it until more than a week had passed. Finally, Reid claimed that the parties typically used a different payment schedule than the one specified in the tack. Thus, according to Reid, he was justified in believing that he owed less rent than Sir William alleged. Arguing that the equities weighed in his favor, Reid sought the opportunity to pay his rent—thereby “purging the irritancy”—and remain in possession of the land.

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