25.1   The Hunter Case.

The Hunter Case was a long running litigation regarding the Heirs of Polmood that took place between 1780 and 1814. see page 25 Hunters of Polmood.  This action was brought principally by an Adam Hunter who had several attempts, and also Robert Taylor.  Both men attempted to prove that they were the rightful heirs of Polmood but both failed in their endevours.    The reasons for the doubt of the lineage was that George Hunter (1650-1721) was illegitimate even though he had been legitimised.  However, the Lord Lyon may have had something to say about George styling himself of Polmood.   Another reason for the doubt was that the deed serving heir by Thomas Hunter - The Last of the Old Line  - was carried out on his death bed and therefore should be considered invalid.  Also there appeared to be a measure of deviousness and underhand tactics in the serving of the deed.(1)   This deed indirectly bequeathed the Polmood lands to an Alexander Hunter, merchant in Edinburgh, who was not related in any way to the Hunters of Polmood although he was a creditor on the estate.  His nephew Walter succeeded him.  The descendants of Walter remained firmly ensconced at Polmood in the belief that they were there by right and that possession was nine tenths of the law and they remained in possession of a title that in the words of Buchan/Paton was undoubtedly questionable.(2)  See basic pedigree chart for the Hunters of Polmood below followed by pedigree charts of the Claimants.   Both Adam Hunter and Robert Taylor claimed that they were descended from Walter a son of James Hunter d 1620.   However you will note different death dates for Walter the son of James.(2) A chart for the ancestors of Robert d 1587 can be found on page 25 Hunters of Polmood.



What went against the Adam Hunter claim was that he had changed the name of the father of Old Shank from John that was on the first application to James on the final application.  Also there was no proof that the James married to his cousin Elizabeth was in fact the James known as Old Shank.   One can see why Adam was confused.  It would appear from Buchan/Paton(2) that he was researching the records for the information for his claim.  This would have been difficult due to the large number of Hunter families in Tweedsmuir Parish - there were recorded 33 births and 25 marriages between 1648 and 1700.  It looks as if the claim by Robert Taylor was not really considered - Lady Elizabeth Forbes was also flexing her muscles at this time and doing her best to influence the proceedings.(1)  More about Elizabeth married to James (Old Shank) oand more about the Tweedsmuir Parish records on page 9 Covenanters in Upper Tweed 


1)    Chambers, William; A History of Peeblesshire, William & Robert Chambers, Edinburgh, 1864. pp 426-429

2)   Buchan J.W & Paton, Henry, Rev; History of Peeblesshire, Jackson & Wylie, Glasgow, 1927.   Vol 3 pp 457-461.



or return to Tweedsmuir Parish History page.