In 1763, Glasgow merchant James Dunlop, whose affairs at the time were in a state of confusion, arranged for Alexander Speirs, Andrew Blackburn, and Andrew Syme to become his trustees. Under this agreement, the Speirs et al agreed that all debts they recovered on Dunlop's behalf would go first to paying for the duties Dunlop owed on imported tobacco. In July 1763, the ship Betsy arrived in Greenock from Virginia with tobacco belonging to James Dunlop and 16 hogsheads of tobacco consigned to Thomas and Alexander Peters of Glasgow by Walter Peter and Company in Virginia. Dunlop traveled to Greenock to enter his tobacco. At the request of Thomas and Alexander Peters, Dunlop entered in their 16 hogsheads well and was repaid the import duties. When Thomas and Alexander Peters could not secure the delivery of their 16 hogsheads from Dunlop, they brought action against Dunlop in the Court of Session, and as a result the tobacco was arrested in the hands of Josiah Corthine, collector of the customs at Port Glasgow. In August 1764, Dunlop and his agents William Wallace and William King exported 89 hogsheads of tobacco in the ship Hero for Bourdeaux, and they were to receive payment from Corthine on this shipment as a drawback. The Pursuers claimed a right to this sum as repayment for their tobacco, and Speirs et al claimed a right to this sum under trust-right from Dunlop in bankruptcy.