This case involved a dispute over bills obtained as payment at a debtor’s auction. David Miller, one of the defenders, was a tenant of Major General John Scott of Balcomie. After General Scott died, William Robertson, the pursuer, became the factor for Scott’s minor children. In this capacity, William obtained a warrant to sell Miller’s crops, stock, and farm implements as payment and security for overdue rent. An auction was held, giving rise to a dispute over certain bills that were collected as payment for crops. The bills in question had been given by Miller to one Thomas Robertson, his man of business and creditor. William Robertson sued Miller and Thomas Robertson for possession of the bills. Although Thomas Robertson eventually handed them over, he and Miller were found jointly liable for the balance of rent due, plus litigation expenses. William Robertson argued that this was just, because they had wrongfully deprived him of security for the rent. Miller and Thomas Robertson raised different arguments in response: Miller argued that he was entitled to certain deductions from the rent claimed by William Robertson, while Thomas Robertson argued that he was not a tenant and had not otherwise bound himself to pay the rent. Both Thomas and Miller argued that they should not be found liable for expenses.

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