Pursuer David Jones, merchant in Glasgow, imported quantities of lint-seed from Carolina and Pennsylvania. The goods arrived in Greenock bound for Glasgow. Two dealers in Glasgow whose business would be affected by the influx of lint-seed lodged a complaint about the quality of the lint-seed with the trustees for improvement of fisheries and manufactures. The dealers maintain that the lint-seed is bad, and therefore should not be imported. Defender Hugh Smith is a surveyor for the trustees for improvement of fisheries and manufactures. Receiving a report that some of the seed was bad, Smith ordered the condemnation of the seed. Jones challenges the grounds and process by which Smith seeks to condemn his cargo.