Gray, defender, is a native of Cork, Ireland who attended university in Scotland. Scruton, pursuer, claims that she and Gray married in Glasgow while he was attending the Colleges there. Scruton now seeks a "decree of declarator" from the Commissary Court of Edinburgh, finding them to be husband and wife. (Commissary Courts were established in Scotland in the 1560s and had exclusive jurisdiction in marriage and divorce cases.) Scruton also seeks alimony from Gray. Gray denies that any marriage took place. There was no public solemnization of the marriage, nor any cohabitation as husband and wife. According to Gray, there was only a "private interview" between the two. Gray also denies that the Commissary Court of Edinburgh has jurisdiction over him as a foreigner.