A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Cavill, Cavell, n.1 Also: cavyll, cavil, cavel; cawill, -el; pl. caflis. [ME. cavel (c 1300), MDu. cavele (Du. kavel) lot, MLG. kavele small stick used in casting lots. Cf. ON. kafle, a piece cut off; kefli, a round piece of wood. See also Kavill, Kevill n.]

1. A small piece of wood used in the casting of lots: a. To cast (rarely draw) cavillis. (a) Latt ws … caflis cast quha sall our master be; Wall. vii. 378.
Caflis to cast about thir v began; Ib. vii. 383.
Power … deuisione to mak, cavillis to cast; 1493 Lennox Mun. 146.
The toune salbe quarterit in four partis, and cauellis castyne for the wechin of the tone; 1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 61.
To dele and caus be delt … be castine of cavillis, [in] equale porcions and diuisione, … the five merkis worth of land; 1506 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II. 162.
The landis of Kyttady … the said Ianat is befalline be cavillis cassine in iugement hereupone; 1522 Fife Sheriff Ct. 253.
Thay kest cavillis, quha suld be first devorit; Bell. Boece I. 145.
Cavillis war cassin quhay suld cheis the dictatour; Id. Livy II. 88/15.
Ane vaiche of tuenty personis to enter this nycht … the bailȝeis to cast cavillis quhair the same sall begyne; 1549 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 268.
Iohn Allan drew cavillis for his fourt pairt of a tenement of land; 1555 Stirling Ant. IV. 219.
Ilk quarter to haf the schip that chances to thame, and cavillis to be casting quhat quarter sall begyn and quha sall fallow; 1561 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 335.
Sua that ilk ane … may have and gett thair parte … be cutt or casting of cavills; 1577–8 Glasgow Chart. II. 559.
(b) That the … conuent haid richt to a ferd parte of the said landis and that cawillis suld be castin tharapon; 1488 Acta Aud. 125/1.
Twa merk land … that he aucht, and suld be kennit thairto as vse is, be diuisioun of cawillis to be cassin thairvpone; 1551 Prot. Bk. R. Lumsdane 18 b.
We dessyirrit them to dail and gif ws wr chois, or cast cawillis; 1552 Corr. M. Lorraine 358.
Cawillis being cassin, … scho fell hir terce to the schadow; 1557 Inverness Sheriff Ct. 59 b.

b. Be cavill(is), by lot. Eneas … Be cavillys syne the tenementis dyd depart; Doug. v. xii. 169.
Fergus be cavill gat ane schryne full of bukis to his parte; Boece vii. iii. 224 b.
It is nocht schawin … gif thai wer chosin allanerlie be cavell; Bell. Livy I. 37/11.
Ilk tent man [was] hedit be cavil; Ib. 234/2.
The tennentis of Gallow rig quhilkis has fallen ther landis be cavill and dule; 1563 Dumfries Town C. 10 Feb.
The odman salbe chosin be cavill; 1587 Acts III. 446/2.
Quhen the king and the earle be caueills divides betwix them; Skene Reg. Maj. Table 82.
Quhat ever syde of the said mos sall happen to fall be cavill to the east syde of the said toune; 1678 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 132.

2. Division or assignment by lot. Sciendum est quod stallangiator nullo tempore potest habere loth cut neque cavyl de aliquo mercimonio cum burgense nisi infra nundinas quando quilibet potest habere loth et cavyl; ? a 1200 Acts I. 31/1.
Non habebit loth neque cauel cum confratre nostro; a 1300 Ib. *93/1.
Quod nullus burgensis rure manens habeat lot neque cavil equaliter cum burgensibus inhabitantibus; 1405 Ib. 340/1.
All the landis of Scotland war cassin in cavill amang the nobillis thairof; Bell. Boece I. 26.
Be the first cavill, fell to Cornath … , the landis of Cathnes; Ib.
Becaus the cavil fell to Horacius, … Valerius past … aganis the Veanis; Id. Livy I. 142/21.
Caius Julius … dedicate the tempil of Apollo … but ony cavill; Ib. II. 92/19.
I think that sevin men … sall mak cavillis quhareby euery man sall resaue his parte; Boece I. viii. 51 b.

3. A portion (esp. of land) assigned by lot. [Of the cavilis … quhair the Kyng and the erl dividis betwixt thaim the Kyng and the erl sal haf the ta half and the thayn the tothir half; Acts I. 68/2.]
To Scottis in thare cavill of the pray assignit war chareotis and were cartis; Boece ix. ix. 309.
My oyis … till haif the ane half of the foirsaid ten merkland as sall fall to thame at the ane end be thair cut or cavill; 1582 Edinb. Test. X. 325.
[The rigs] beand baith on ane cavell … suld be equall in breid & lenth; 1607 Melrose R. Rec. I. 35.
Terras de Myresyde … cum duobus lie daillis … et 4 lie caviliis extenden. ad 4 acras; 1622 Reg. Great S. 125/2.
The salmond fishers of both the cavels of Don compeired and payit … ilk man 10 lib.; 1644 Rec. Old Aberd. II. 19.
The names of these that were found guiltie at this tyme, viz Robert Proctor and all that cawell; 1655 Ib. 50.
It being … proved that the brome swa cutt … doeth belong to his pairt and cavill thairof; 1657 Melrose R. Rec. I. 146.

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"Cavill n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Aug 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/cavill_n_1>

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