Date of Decision: 1766
Abstract: Petitioner George Trail exhibited a libel charging Thomas Lyell, minister at Lady, with fornication, attempted rape, attempted assassination, and other crimes. Trail, who was both the minister of Dunnet and a heritor in Lady, sought to have Lyell deposed from his ministry. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland initiated a process regarding the libel, but many witnesses refused to appear on the ground that ecclesiastical courts could not compel their testimony. Trail therefore petitioned the Court of Session for letters of diligence (i.e., warrants) to force the witnesses to testify.
Subjects: Ministers, Witness

Published Report

Not Reported

Litigants

Pursuer:
George Traill, of Hobbister
David Dalrymple, of Westhall, Lord Westhall, Procurator for the Church of Scotland
Defender:
Thomas Lyell

People or Organizations Associated with Case

Named in case documents:
Janet Westness, Witness
Richard Spence, Witness
William Nisbet, Deposed minister
Margaret Groat, Witness
Barbara Reid, Witness
Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck
Barbara Strang, Witness
Thomas Hepburn, Witness
George Broun, of Coalston, Lord Coalston
William Strang
Alexander Fraser, Witness
Malcolm Groat, of Warse
Barbara Dennison, Witness
Hew Mowat, Minister
Thomas Lindsay, Witness
John Brock Sr., Witness
Hugh Sutherland, Minister
Robert Laing, Witness
Janet Thomson, Witness
Alexander Oliphant, Minister
John Miller, Witness
John Brock Jr., Witness
Alexander Nicolson, Minister
Barbara Smith, Witness
James Mill, Witness
James Taylor, Minister
Barbara Peace, Witness
Thomas Grieve, Witness
Martin Macpherson, Minister
James Fotheringham, Witness
Janet Paul, Witness
George Macculloch, Minister
Barbara Spence, Witness
Barbara Fotheringham, Witness
James Graham, of Graemehall, Ruling elder and sheriff-depute of Orkney
Bessie Skea, Witness
Jean Yorkston, Witness
James Blaw, Commissioner
Thomas Brock, Witness
Jean Dreaver, Witness
Andrew Ross, Commissioner
Helen Cock, Witness
Mary Reid, Witness
Drummond Ross, Commissioner
Katherine Westness, Witness
Elspeth Maxwell, Witness