In 1739 James Findlay entered into a partnership with John Graham, James Stirling, Alexander Wotherspoon, and John Buchanan for the slaughtering and selling of cattle. Wotherspoon was appointed clerk, bookkeeper, and cashier of the partnership. Findlay was responsible for purchasing cattle and selling live cattle that were not fit for slaughter. Findlay was illiterate so he relied on Wotherspoon to keep proper accounts of the business. The partnership dissolved shortly thereafter, in February 1740. The partners sought to settle all the accounts of the business. Findlay alleges that Wotherspoon was negligent in maintaining the company's accounts. Findlay argues that the partnership owes him money for fifty cows he purchased in 1739 for the partnership. The defenders claim that Findlay is actually in debt to the company. They argue that Findlay was reimbursed for the payment for fifty cows, or that he made this payment using company funds rather than his own funds.