Author Topic: Minimum Age to Witness Legal Doc  (Read 170 times)

Offline castlebob

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Minimum Age to Witness Legal Doc
« on: Thursday 07 October 21 09:48 BST (UK) »
Hello All,
Can anyone tell me what the minimum age to witness a document was in late 17th C Scotland, please?
Cheers,
Bob

PS I've just posted this on the 'Scotland - General' board, too.
Armstrongs of   Bedfordshire, England & Canonbie ,Scotland

Online PaulineJ

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Re: Minimum Age to Witness Legal Doc
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 07 October 21 09:58 BST (UK) »
old enough to understand what's going on.
so 10y and upward, depending on the child
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Offline Kiltpin

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Re: Minimum Age to Witness Legal Doc
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 07 October 21 10:15 BST (UK) »
old enough to understand what's going on.
so 10y and upward, depending on the child
 

I have no evidence to the contrary, but I think that 10 is far too young. The age of majority was either 25 or 21 at that time. If a person could not legally enter into a contract till their having reached the age of majority, how then could they witness another document? 

Regards 

Chas
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India - Scotland - Australia


Online PaulineJ

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Re: Minimum Age to Witness Legal Doc
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 07 October 21 13:43 BST (UK) »
https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/registration/getting-married-in-scotland/minimum-age-for-marriage-in-scotland

So you could get wed pre-teenage, but not bear witness to a document before you reached 21/25?

Not convinced of your logic.

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Offline Vance Mead

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Re: Minimum Age to Witness Legal Doc
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 07 October 21 14:25 BST (UK) »
It's not a matter of logic, it's a matter of law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Legal_Capacity_(Scotland)_Act_1991

"Under the previous Scots law (derived from Roman law), a child to the age of 12 if female, or 14 if male, had legal status of "pupil" and was under legal control of an adult (usually parent or parents) deemed "tutor". From that age until the age of majority the child had legal status of a "minor", and might have a responsible adult deemed "curator" or have no responsible adult (being referred to as "fors familiated"). The Scottish age of majority was originally 21 until reduced to 18 by the Age of Majority (Scotland) Act 1969. Pupils lacked any capacity to enter into legal contracts. Minors had capacity to enter into contracts, which included the capacity to make a will, but subject to rights to have these reduced by a court in certain circumstances, and sometimes requiring their curators consent. The rules as to when contracts did or did not require consent, and which were potentially reducible by court were complex. The age to enter into marriage was originally the age of minority, but this was raised to 16 years by the Age of Marriage Act 1929, and confirmed in the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977."

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