Pursuers Clay and Midgley, merchants in Liverpool, purchased tobacco on several occasions from McKittrick and Company, located in Virginia. To pay a balance due to Clay and Midgley, McKittrick and Company sent a shipment of tobacco to them in November 1761. Clay and Midgley obtained insurance on this shipment from defender James Coulter, a merchant in Glasgow. The ship sailed from Virginia for Liverpool but was captured by a French privateer in February 1762. Learning of the capture, Clay and Midgley sought to recover their losses from the insurance policy. Coulter insists on retaining the sums he underwrote in the insurance policy, claiming that he is also a creditor of the McKittrick Company. Coulter maintains that the insurance payments are payments of the debts to him. He argues that the cargo remained the property of McKittrick and Company until it was delivered at Liverpool to the consignees. As such, the cargo was attachable by creditors. Clay and Midgley respond that, under the established law of merchants, the consignees have an exclusive interest in the goods that cannot be claimed by creditors of the consignor.