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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

*Helter, n.2 [? Special use of Helter n.1 (a halter): see Helter,n.1 and quot. 1475.] In Ayr and Prestwick in the 15th c.: The possession of an animal or article by one person which is formally challenged by another; also, the animal or article the possession of which is challenged in this way. Freq., in helter, also in helter of wrang. To tak the helter of (an article) to claim it formally as one's own in face of such a challenge. — 1431–2 Ayr B. Ct. 10 Feb.
Willam Red callit to the chalans of Henry Hyndman for to enter a blak kow in helter to the chalans of the said Henry. . & than the said Henry chalansit the said Wil that he wrangwisly & agans the law held fra hym that kow. .the qwylk wrangwys haldyn the said Wil denyit & ȝed til assys the qwylk sis aquitit Will Red of the said wrangwis haldyn
1432 Ib. 12 May.
Callit. .for to entir vi pesis of a bruche & brokyn silver as helter
The qwylk day Jhon Dawyson askit Andro Ped with sax pesis of a bruche & of othir brokyn siluer in helter to the chalans of the said Jhon the qwylk day the said Andro Ped enterit with the said helter
Ib.; Ib. 16 June, 28 July.
The helter ȝed owt of this cowrt [it was apparently referred to the court of Prestwick]
1435 Ib. 3 Oct.
For that Thom Manson enterit nocht a kow in helter the quhilk was clemd at the bar ii tymis befor as a helter
1439–40 Ib. 18 Jan.
Callit to the folowin of iiii fete of a kow in helter in the handis of Patrik of Dalrimpil of wrang
Callit to folow Mechel Mason with a pan in helter of wrang
1475 Prestwick B. Rec. 25.
Thar comperit in curt Jok of Gaustoun and tuk the heltir of a suerd arestit to the said curt witht Jok Cristole as the first warand to the chalans of Johne Blak wrangwisli haldin fra him for the termes of a ȝer and mar
Ib. 26.
The suerd prisit xx d. and borcht of the entre of the said Jok of Gaustoun with the said suerd and heltir Alexr. George

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"Helter n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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