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wine, bread, baken meats, and lend hir money, which the said complainer is altogither unable to pay, and whilk will tend to the ruine of him, his wife, and children, and the litle fortune whilk it has pleased God to bestow upon him, without remeid be provyded as is alledged. OUR WILL IS THEIRFOR, and we charge you straitlie and comand that, incontinent thir our letters seen, ye pass, and in our name and authoritie, inhibite and discharge the said Katherine M‘Kenzie, the said compliner his spous, that she on nawayes sell, analyie, dispone, hypothecat, nor put away any of his said houshold plenishing, goods, geir, inshight, abulziements, nor others pertaining to him ; nor yet contract nor ontake debts, sowmes of money for merchand wair, wine, aill, bread, baiken meats, or others, whereby the said complainer may be driven in debt or compelled to pay the same ; nor yet contract, block, nor bargin with any persone for that effect; and sicklyke, that ye, in our said name and authoritie, inhibite and discharge all and sundrie, our leidges and all others whom it effeirs, be open proclimation at the mercat croses of our burghs of Elgin and Forres, and other places neidfull, within this our kingdome, that they, nor none of them presume, nor take upon hand, to take or receave, be dispositione or hypothecatione, nor pledge, fra the said Katharine M-Kenzie, any of the said complainer's houshold plenishing, goods, geir, inshight, abulziements, or others pertaining and belonging to him; nor yet lend to hir sowmes of money upon band, ticket, acompt, or otherwayes; nor yet furnish to hir merchand wair, wine, aill, aquavitæ, brandie, baiken meat, nor other liquors, whereby the said complainer may be driven in debt; nor yet contract, block, nor bargin with hir, any maner of way, to the said complainer his prejudice : certifieing them, and ilk of them that failzies and does in the contrair, the samen shall be decerned to be null and of no availl. And the said complainer shall not be holdin to pay any debts, sowmes of money, or others, furnished to his said spous, eftir the publicatione of thir presents conform to the lawes and practiqe of this kingdome in all points. And that ye cause registrat thir our letters, with the execution therof, within fourtie dayes nixt eftir the execution of the samen, conform to the act of parliament, according to justice, as ye will answear to us therupon : the whilk to do we committ to you, conjunctlie and severalie, our full power be thir our letters, delyvering them be you, duelie execute and indorsit again to the bearer. Given under our signet, at Edinburgh the third day of September, and of our reigne the threttie fift yeir, 1683.
XIV. OFFICE OF HERITABLE SHERIFF
SIR ALEXANDER DUNBAR of Westfield was, about the
year 1446, created Heritable Sheriff of Moray, and the office continued with the descendants of his eldest son, who either acted themselves or by depute, for nearly three hundred years.
Order to the Sheriff regarding the County Member :
“ To The High Sheriff of the Shire of Elgin, “ Free.
“ FROM THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
“the 22d of May 1721. SIR,—- I am commanded by the House of Commons to acquaint you that you are immediately, upon receipt of this, to summon the Representative of your Shire to attend his service in Parliament on Monday the ffifth day of June next, and you are to give me an account of the receipt of this, and what you have done thereupon, upon pain of incurring the displeasure of the said House.--I am, Sir, your humble servant,
“SP: COMPTON, Speaker.”
Even the ducal house of Gordon paid deference to the Sheriff of Moray. Thomas Miller had been assaulted by dependants of the Duke, who wished to settle the matter in his own Regality Court. The delinquents were, however, seized and imprisoned by the Sheriff :
- Mr. James ffRASER, Sriff-Clrk. of "Elgine and fforres,
"GORDON CASTLE, 230 June, 1720. “SIR,—The Sheriffs of Murray have always observed a strict decorum and a neighbourly way with the Duke of Gordon, with reguaird to his and their jurisdictions, which is cumulative. The present Duke, my master, will cultivat frindshyp and good correspondence with the present Sheriff of Murray, not doubting but he will receive just returns.
“A little, fantastick, nonsolvent, and troublesome animal, Thomas Miller, no weaver, no prentise, no inhabitant, yet maliciously takes upon him to raise vexatious processes against some of my master's servants: I humbly expect my Lord Sheriff will deal tenderly in this matter. I dare not pre-limit his judgment, but I say to you that the matter pursued ought to be remitted to the judge ordinary of the place.--I am your most humble servant,
Ludovic Dunbar of Westfield, in 1724, being in reduced circumstances, sold the jurisdiction for two thousand pounds to the Earl of Moray. Against this sale Thomas Dunbar, D.D., Vicar of Little Bustead, Essex, the nearest heir-male, had entered an inhibition, but it was found that “ Westfield,” the seller, was “absolute ffiar, and under no prohibitory, irritant, or resolutive clauses, by the rights and infeftments of the estate and office, to bar him from selling.” To his kinsmen in Moray, who wished him to redeem the property and to prevent a sale, Thomas Dunbar sent an answer which proves that he could feel, act, and write like a scholar and a gentleman :
“ LONDON, July 29, 1723. “GENTLEMEN,– I received your favour of the 20th of May, by the hands of the Right Honble. the Lord Lovat, for whose generous condescention and kind concern and endeavours I have the greatest defference and regard. But as to the subject matter of
your letter, (not to trouble you with the unkind treatment I mett with from those of your name I had the honnor to be presented to, and particularly from the present Shereff's father when I was in that countrey,) I must beg leave to enquire what power the late Sheriffe James, or his brother, had to lay so great a burthen of debts, as you mention, upon an entailed estate ; and who they were that encouraged, countenanced, or connived att their so doing; for I have seen an instru