Petition: protection granted

Petition by Patrick Steel, vintner, read, and the summons at his instance against his creditors being called and none compearing, protection was granted him from personal execution for payment of all sums of money for a year and a day after this date, in manner particularly following:

Protection in favour of Patrick Steel

Anent the summons and action raised and pursued before her majesty's high commissioner and the estates of parliament at the instance of Patrick Steel, vintner, burgess of Edinburgh, against Hugh Cunningham, writer to the signet, Mr James Graham, senior advocate, Sir Robert Chiesley, late provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Menzies of Gladstains, late bailie there, Mr John Duncan, merchant in Edinburgh, Andrew Sutherland, writer to the signet and [...] Guthrie, his spouse, [...] Deans, children to the deceased Alexander Deans, merchant in Edinburgh, John Marjoribanks, late bailie in Edinburgh, James Gordon, senior, merchant there, John Russell, writer there, John Hamilton, bailie of the abbey of Holyroodhouse, David Denoon, bailie in the Canongate, and [...] his spouse, Henry Bothwell of Glencross, Robert Watson of Muirhouse, merchant in Edinburgh, [...] widow of Mr William Bullo, minister, and [...] Bullock, her daughter, and James Johnston, messenger in Edinburgh, her husband for his interest, [...] Ross, widow of William Allan, writer in Edinburgh, and William Allan, his eldest son of the first marriage, Mr George Douglas of Friarshaw, advocate, Hugh Somerville, writer to the signet, Alexander Deuchar, writer in Edinburgh, factor for Colonel John Buchan, Henry Burn, merchant in Edinburgh, Sir Patrick Home of Lumsden, advocate, Robert Forrester, late bailie in Edinburgh, [...] Merrilees, children of the deceased James Merrilees, writer in Edinburgh, Mr Walter Stirling, writer there, Jean and Elizabeth Brown, daughters to the late John Brown, merchant in Edinburgh, James Clelland, merchant there, Andrew Kerr in Dysart, David French, writer in Edinburgh, and Elizabeth Thomson, his spouse, John Graham of Dougalston and his co-partners Matthew and Daniel Campbell, merchants in Glasgow, Andrew Houston, writer in Edinburgh, Mr Andrew Mortimer, late minister of the Gospel, Barbara Forbes, widow of James Allan of Sauchlane, Robert Milne of Balfarg, mason in Edinburgh, Robert Welwood, merchant in Edinburgh, Mr James Smith of Whitehill, [...] Stevenson, children to the deceased Hugh Stevenson of Montgreenan, Archibald Nisbet of Carfin, Walter Porterfield, apothecary in Canongate, James Brown, apothecary in Edinburgh, [...] Scott, children to the deceased [...] Scott, farmer in Dean, James Fairholm, merchant in Edinburgh, Gilbert Stewart, merchant there, [...] Rochead, daughter to the deceased Sir James Rochead of Inverleith, Stephen Cuthill, vintner in Edinburgh, Mr George Suttie, son to the deceased [...] Suttie, late dean of guild of Edinburgh, James Graham, late bailie there, Alexander Baird, late bailie there, David Mitchell, baker there, Thomas Fisher, chamberlain to the good town of Edinburgh, Patrick Carfrae, mason there, William Gordon of Bridges, merchant there, Andrew Paterson of Kirkton, Gavin Plummer, merchant in Edinburgh, Harry Lockhead, vintner there, Andrew Tennant, vintner there, John Callander of Craigforth, John Steel, brewer in Edinburgh, Alexander Dunbar, merchant there, James Nicolson, one of the clerks of the bill chamber, Samuel MacLellan, merchant in Edinburgh, George Lawson, merchant there, Mr [...] Stewart, collector in Glasgow, David Gourlay and Alexander Dunbar, factors to the deceased William Dunbar, merchant in Edinburgh, Elizabeth Peter, lady Whitsley, James Brown, tenant in Stanhopemills, Robert Darleith, son to the deceased John Darleith, writer in Edinburgh, Andrew Simpson, farmer at Pendreich of Lasswade, George Ledington, tailor in Inveresk, Sir Thomas Young of Rosebank, indweller there, Thomas Todd, skipper in Fisherrow, James Marjoribanks, merchant in Edinburgh, Mr Robert Norwell, advocate, and Alexander Tait, skipper in Leith, all creditors to the said Patrick Steel; mentioning that where it has been the pursuer's very great misfortune, partly by cautionries for persons who proved insolvent, losses at sea and bad debtors for considerable sums and unfaithful servants, and partly by the rigour of some of his creditors to be forced from the management of his affairs and the capacity of making the same effectual to answer his credit, notwithstanding of his having at their first question thereupon made an ample and voluntary disposition of all his means in their favour without exception, which, according to the report of some of the most judicious among them to whom the rest had committed the consideration thereof, exceed all his debts by £19,120 Scots money, besides £12,000 of bad debts which the pursuer did not offer to them, so that, in the event, it might prove an act of justice to his creditors as it would be an act of the greatest favour and compassion to the pursuer if the parliament would be pleased to enable him by their protection to make good his effects for the common benefit of all the persons concerned, and anent the charge given to the said defenders respectively in manner after-mentioned to have compeared before the said estates of parliament at a certain day now passed to answer at the said pursuer's instance in the action and cause foresaid, and to hear and see the benefit of her majesty's protection from the rigour of his said creditors granted to him for such time as should be judged requisite for the effect libelled, conforming to the laws and acts of parliament made thereupon and the practise in the like cases, or else to allege and give in their reasonable objections why the said protection should not be granted, with certification if they failed protection would be granted in manner foresaid, as the said summons and executions thereof in themselves more fully bears. The said Patrick Steel, pursuer, compearing through Sir Archibald Sinclair, advocate, his procurator, who produced in the presence of her majesty's high commissioner and the said estates the disposition and assignation above-mentioned granted by the said pursuer on 1 December last, under the provisions therein mentioned, to the above-named John Marjoribanks, late bailie of Edinburgh, Robert Watson of Muirhouse, James Gordon, merchant in Edinburgh, and to Alexander Glass, writer to the signet, and John Hamilton, merchant burgess of Edinburgh, for themselves and as trustees and managers for their own use and for the use and behoof of the whole creditors therein specified, whereof any three of them are by the said disposition and acceptation thereof declared to be a quorum, and failing of them or a quorum by decease, to the said whole creditors their heirs, executors or assignees according to their respective rights and interests, of all the debts and sums of money, liquors, household furniture, goods, gear, accounts, writs and others whatsoever pertaining and belonging, or any manner of way due to him, and particularly and generally therein mentioned as the same bears. And also there being a petition given in and presented for the said pursuer, humbly showing to her majesty's high commissioner and the said estates of parliament that the pursuer's credit, having fallen short in the vacance last when there was no trade and his creditors having all at once attacked him by legal diligences, he was forced, for security of his person, to retire to the sanctuary, but that his grace and the honourable estates of parliament might be satisfied of the petitioner's fair and upright dealing he begged leave to inform that upon the first breaking out of his condition the petitioner convened his creditors and all of them gave in lists of their debts, and he offered to discover to any committee they should appoint funds for satisfying these debts. And accordingly Sir Patrick Home and Mr James Graham, senior advocate, bailies Marjoribanks and Gordon and Robert Watson of Muirhouse were appointed as a committee to examine his effects, which were found to be £12,120 above his debts, besides £9,000 of suspected debts, as is instructed by a stated account written with Robert Watson's hand. And the same being reported to the general meeting, they ordained him to denude himself of his estate and thereby most of them were so fully convinced of the pursuer's honesty that they immediately signed a supersedere, but it being impossible to satisfy all he was concerned with, some proved refractory, which obliged the pursuer to retire until they could be brought to a more calm and reasonable temper. The pursuer, as a token of his willingness to satisfy his creditors and in obedience to their sederunt, granted two dispositions of his estate heritable and moveable in favour of the creditors' trustees mentioned in the disposition for their common behoof, which is all he could do in his present circumstances and all the law requires in like cases. And seeing the pursuer has made no fraudulent conveyances of his means and estate, but that his misfortunes have happened by loss at sea, cautionary for persons who became insolvent, by ill debtors and negligence of servants and other accidents incident to the pursuer's employment and calling, and that in such cases his grace and honourable estates of parliament are in use to interpose their compassion and justice to mitigate and put some stop to the rigour of law which will be a justice done to the pursuer and contribute much to the creditors' behoof by recovering the effects made over, therefore, humbly beseeching his grace and honourable estates of parliament to take the circumstances to their serious consideration, and in regard the pursuer has cited his creditors conforming to the act of parliament for preventing the pursuer's utter ruin to grant their protection to him for such a competent time as their wisdoms should think fit that he may be enabled to follow his trade, make his debts effectual and do everything that may contribute to the payment and satisfaction of his just creditors, which his confinement hinders him to do to his and their great loss and prejudice, all his business running into confusion by the pursuer's want of liberty to attend it, as the said petition bears. And the whole forenamed defenders, being lawfully cited to this action, often called and not compearing, the foresaid summons and executions thereof, with the calling thereof this day in manner after-mentioned and that no compearance was made for the defender, together with the disposition above-mentioned libelled on, and the petition above-written given in for the pursuer and read in plain parliament, being all at length heard, seen and considered by his grace her majesty's high commissioner and the foresaid estates of parliament, and they being therewith well and ripely advised, our sovereign lady the queen's majesty, with advice and consent of the said estates, has granted and hereby grants to the pursuer protection from personal execution for civil debts and payments of sums of money for a full year and a day from and after the date hereof, but without prejudice of execution upon warrandice of deeds and such prestations as may be done and performed without payment of sums according to the law, because all the forenamed persons, defenders and the tutors and curators, if they any have for their interests, being lawfully summoned by several messengers at arms to have compeared at certain days now bygone before the said estates of parliament to have answered at the instance of the said pursuer in the foresaid action, with certification as said is, the said summons, being this day called by a macer at the great door of the parliament house, no compearance was made for the defenders or any of them. In respect whereof and upon advising of the said whole process, there was protection granted to the pursuer in manner and for the time foresaid. Extract.

  1. NAS. PA2/38, f.116v-118v. Back
  2. Not clear if this means suspension of trade or vacation, as in holidays. The former appears more likely. Back