Date of Decision: 25 Apr 1793
Abstract: Suit over fees for repairs of houses on the lands of Scraesburgh, part of the estate of Hunthill. In 1787, James Bell (Petitioner) signed a tack to lease the lands in Scraesburgh from Captain Rutherford (Defender/respondent). He signed a clause which stipulated that he accepted the houses “in a habitable and tenantable condition” as they were left by Robert Dickieson, the previous tenant. Mr. Bell argues that this clause was fraudulent because Mr. Dickieson did not leave the homes in a habitable condition. Bell received a judgment against Mr. Dickieson to pay for the repairs, but Dickieson went bankrupt, Dickieson’s trustees refused to pay, and the houses remained in disrepair for three years. In February, 1790, Captain Rutherford sold his estate to Benjamin Bell, who then sued James Bell for the condition of the houses. James Bell sued to hold Captain Rutherford liable for the repairs. In 1792, Lord Dunsinnan found for defender, and James Bell appeals.

Published Report

Not Reported


James Bell, Tenant of Captain Rutherford in Scraesburgh, Estate of Hunthill
Captain John Rutherford, Esq., Late owner of Hunthill; landlord of James Bell; sold the Estate to Benjamin Bell

People or Organizations Associated with Case

Advocate for Petitioner:
George Fergusson, of Hermand, Lord Hermand
Advocate for Respondent:
Alexander Ferguson, of Craigdarroch
William Riddell, W.S., of Camieston
Charles MacKenzie
Named in case documents:
John Lillie, at Oxnam, Arbiter for Captain Rutherford in earlier proceedings between petitioner and respondent
John Thomson, at Muirhouselaw, Arbiter for James Bell in earlier proceedings between petitioner and respondent
Benjamin Bell, Purchased the estate of Hunthill in 1790; brought suit against James Bell for failure to keep the cottages in good repair
Robert Dickieson, Co-tenant of Scraesburgh with Robson, prior to petitioner Bell
William Oliver, Overseer of Hunthill, charged with carrying out the repairs
John Robson, Co-tenant of Scraesburgh with Dickieson prior to petitioner
Lord Ordinary:
William Nairne, Lord Dunsinnan