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The high estimation in which the following Work has ever been held, as an authority in the Law of Scotland, is well known to the Profession. But, since its first publication in 1773, the many alterations which have necessarily taken place in the system, render Mr Erskine's InstITUTE a much less satisfactory and secure guide to the student or practitioner than originally. It is the object of the present Edition to remedy these imperfections, without diminishing the authority of the principal work. Accordingly, the Editor has been careful to preserve the original Text without alteration; while, in the Notes, he has adverted to every material circumstance in which our law or practice has, since the days of Mr Erskine, been modified or affected by special Statute, by Acts of Sederunt, or by the Decisions of the Supreme Court.
The present undertaking appeared to argue so much presumption, and was found upon trial to be so difficult in the execution, that the Editor would probably have abandoned the task in despair, had he not occasionally obtained access to superior information, which he is proud to acknowledge with respectful gratitude.
The concluding title of the Institute, “ On Crimes,” being comprised by Mr Erskine in a very small compass, and the late publication of Professor Hume having nearly exhausted all that could be said upon that department of Scottish Jurisprudence, little more remained than to make such annotations as appeared to be called for by subsequent entries in the criminal record. For that purpose, the Éditor has carefully searched the Books of Adjournal ; and he is not aware that any entry of importance, since the date of Mr Hume's valuable work, has been overlooked.
In the Appendix are inserted several late Statutes, of general application, and of frequent occurrence, together with such of the Standing Orders of the House of Lords as seemed most likely to facilitate the practice of business before that most Honourable House.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIFTH EDITION.
This Fifth Edition has passed through the press under the superintendence of the Editor of the DICTIONARY OF Decisions, 4to.
While the former mode of reference to the cases is retained, they are likewise referred to according to their distribution in that Dictionary.
The Notes of the fourth edition are reprinted, with such alterations merely as obvious mistakes rendered necessary, and such additions as happened to occur to the recollection of the Editor while reading the proof sheets; for, as the former edition was exhausted, and it was necessary that this one should be prepared in the course of a few months, it was not his object, nor was there time, to attempt premeditated improvements.
W. M. M. November 12. 1811.
1. Of be perfected record and by writing, cercessory obligations, 609
1. Of obligations and contracts in general, and of contracts to
8. Of succession in heritable rights,
2. Charter by James IV. to Lady Margaret Stewart, by which as well
as by the charter mentioned in Mr Hay's Vindication of Elizabeth
was rejected by the ancient law of Scotland, - - ib.
7. Abstract of the act 10. Geo. III. c. 51, for encouraging the im-
provement of lands in Scotland held under settlements of strict en-
NOTE of ABBREVIATIONS, and of the manner of referring
Acts of Sederunt of the Session, edition 1790.
tutes in Skene's collection.
edition 1732, fol. Sir Thomas Hope's Minor Practics, sometimes by page
and section, sometimes only by section, of edition
1726, 8vo. Visc. Stair's Institutions, by book, title, and section,
of edition 1759. Lord Bankton's Institute, by the book, title, and sec
Printed collections of decisions observed
by President Gilmour, from July 1661
to July 1666, Pr. Falc.
by President Falconer, from Novem
ber 1681 to January 1686, · Harc.
by Lord Harcarse, from 1681 to 1691, Dalr. . . by President Dalrymple, from June
1698 to June 1720, Br. . . by Mr Alexander Bruce, from Nov.
1714 to July 1715, Kames,
by Lord Kames, from Nov. 1716 to
· Nov. 1768,
by Mr Alexander Home, from Nov.
1735 to July 1744,
Nov. 1744 to Dec. 1751,
pointment of the Faculty, which commence in 1752,
by Sir Robert Spottiswoode, Fount.
by Lord Fountainhall, in 2 vols. from
Referred to Durie, by Lord Durie, from July 1621 to
by the date July 1642,
of the deciStair, by Lord Stair, in 2 vols. from June
sion and the 1661 to July 1681, Forbes, by Professor Forbes, from Feb. 1705
name. to Nov. 1713, Edg. - - by Mr Edgar, from Jan. 1724 to July
1725, Balf. . . by Sir James Balfour, referred to by the page and
Manuscript collections of decisions observed
by Mr William Forbes. Br. MS. . . by Mr Alexander Bruce, from June 1716 to Jan.
1717, (afterwards printed). Tinw. . . by Lord Tinwald.
N. B. The cases referred to as in these MSS. which are
in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, (except Lord Tinwald's, which has not been preserved,) will now be found printed in the Dic
tionary of Decisions, 4to. Steu. Ans. . Sir James Steuart's Answers to Lord Dirleton's
Sir John Skene, De verborum significatione. Mack.
Sir George Mackenzie's Institutions, referred to by
the book, title, and section. Mack. Ob
Sir George Mackenzie's Observations on the acts of
parliament. Mack. Crim. . Sir George Mackenzie's Treatise on the Criminal
law, referred to by the part, title, and section.
The decisions from 1621 to 1713, referred to by the date of the decision and the pursuer's name, without any distinguishing mark, are to be found in the
printed collections by Lord Durie, Viscount Stair, or Mr Forbes. The decisions after 1719, which are neither to be found in any printed col.
lection, nor in the Dictionary of Decisions, were observed by the author. The acts of parliament before the reign of James VII., are quoted by the
year of God, and the number of the act. The quotations from the Code of the Roman law are marked in the usual way
by the letter C. Those from the Pandects have no distinguishing letter. The references from one part of this work to another, are marked by the book,
title, and section; but if the reference is from one part of the same book to another, then it is marked only by the title and section.