John Fea VII of Clestrain
Traill v Rev Thomas Lyell
This case was brought by Mr George Traill, Minister of the Gospel at Dunnet against Mr Thomas Lyell, Minister of the Gospel at Lady Parish in the Island of Sanday.
There are eight printed documents relating to the case which was an attempt to get the Rev Traill out of his charge. The action continued for some years and happened after the death of John Fea VII of Clestrain.
The pursuer's proof runs to some 96 pages and the Heads contained therein give some indication of the scandalous nature of the affair, reflecting on either the character of the Rev Lyell or the sensationalism of the actions taken against him or perhaps both:
Christian Manson was one of five individuals named under Head III and, as such, was a small player in the attempt to blacken the name of Rev Thomas Lyell.
She appeared on both 18th October and 20th October 1766 at Kirkwall. The objections against her evidence on 18th October do everything to blacken her character and that of her illegitimate children, Henry and Alexander Fea. She was so distraught by this that the Commissioners agreed to delay the hearing of her evidence.
It is noted that one of the objections was that she was a "pensioner or dependent of the family of Stove in Sanday, of which Thomas Traill of Westove, a party against Mr Lyell, has great management and direction." Christian Manson was still living at Stove some six years after the death of John Fea VII of Clestrain.
She subsequently gave evidence of the advances made by the Rev Lyell while, at the request his request, walking him home through the corns to show him the road.
The action in Traill v Rev Thomas Lyell continued for some years.