Finlay Ferguson, George Ferguson, and James Wallis all served in the British Army, and they all had daughters who married journeymen tailors. After their marriage, the three men: Hugh Mackechnie, Christopher Taes, and Peter Clydesdale, set up as master tailors in Glasgow. Not being members of the Incorporation of Tailors, they based their right to practice tailoring upon the statute 3d Geo. III. c. 8., which declared that soldiers, their wives, and children, were entitled to "set up, and exercise such trades, as they are apt and able for, in any town or place, within the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, without any let, suit, or molestation, of any person or persons whatsoever.” The Incorporation of Tailors brought a complaint against these men in 1776. The Magistrates of Glasgow ruled that they must pay 5 s. sterling, cease from working as master-tailors under penalty of 100 merks Scots, and be imprisoned in the tolbooth until they should make payment and grant bond. Arguing that this incarceration was "violent and illegal," the defenders obtained letters of suspension and liberation. The case came before Lord Stonefield, who ruled against them. They next petitioned the Court for review. The Court adhered to Lord Stonefield's interlocutor, and decided that the statute in question "does not entitle the daughter of a soldier to confer that privilege upon her husband."

Published Reports

Sir David Dalyrymple of Hailes, Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session, from 1766 to 1791 (1826), pg. 782
William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 2014


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