This case concerns a disputed election in the burgh of Rutherglen. Different trades (including deacons, masons, and weavers) would meet with members of their industry and submit lists of candidates for the elections, a common election practice of the period. Pursuers George Shaw et al. lodged a complaint against the town council of the burgh of Rutherglen. Apparently the town council adopted a practice of restricting voting to resident masons and wrights, and disallowed non-resident masons and wrights from voting. Shaw et al. alleged that this attempt to disenfranchise the non-resident masons and wrights was unlawful.