Poser 262 – High Court Book of Adjournal, 1677

This poser is the second part taken from the High Court Book of Adjournal and relates to a case of wilful fire raising brought by the Earl of Kinghorn against Alexander Cuninghame, his cook in 1677 (Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, JC2/14, page 335).

The passage follows poser 261, in which different arguments were given why James Swan should not be called as witness. This week we will find out why he could give evidence. It mentions the phase 'Crimen domesticum [ac vernaculum]' which means 'invented by the accuser himself'.

The handwriting is slightly rushed but the clerk is consistent in the way he forms his letters. Watch out for numerical abbreviations, abbreviations, the clerk's capital letters, his letters s and d. Tight binding leaves some words on the right margin uncertain. The words affected are: The words affected are: offered (line 1), appears (line 2), unlawe (line 3), his (line 4), Earls (line 5), and (line 6), o[ught] (line 7).

Extract from High Court Book of Adjournal, 1660 (National Records of Scotland, JC2/14, page 335

Question: why was James Swan acceptable as a witness?


For help with reading the poser, use our coaching manual. The following area may be of particular assistance.

Capital letters
Letter s
Letter d