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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mark-, Merkland, n.1 Also: marke-. [Mark n.2 4 a.]Common in the Highlands and Islands and the West, Southwest and South, but appar. absent f. the South-east and the East coast generally.Following a cardinal inumber the plur. is regularly without inflection.

A piece of land assessed as having an annual rental value of one mark at the time of assessment (viz. chiefly, Old Extent).See espec. A. McKerral in Soc. Ant. LXXVIII. 60 f. 1296 Facs. Nat. MSS. I. lxxiii.
[Decem marcatas terre cum pertinentiis in tenemento de Colbanistun
1329 Soc. Ant. LXXVIII. 62.]
Duas schanmarcatas terre in Kentyr
(1) 1499 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 625.
Wyth the medow of Lothnair and the half markland of the milnland
1515 Wigtown B. Ct. 49 a.
At ilk markland pay ane mark and ilk akyr xii d.
1518 Hist. Glasgow (1881) 73.
Wat Stuart rentallit in ane mark land off Gwuan
1525 Exch. R. XV. 630.
De firmis duarum marcatarum terrarum de Daumanwyside [etc.] … et duarum le markland antiqui extentus cum suis pertinentis
1541–2 Ib. XVII. 649.
North ile of Oyest extendens ad xlv mark land
1549 Ib. XVIII. 376.
1550 Black Bk. Taymouth 406.
The markland of Arrecastellan
1550 Glasgow Prot. I. 23.
In sex mark land of Trehorne
1559 Reg. Privy S. MS. XXX. 19 b.
All and haill the aucht mark land of auld extent of bordland
1565 Glasgow Chart. II. 523. 1566 Reg. Privy C. I. 465.
[They] offerit him in compositioun xxx markis for ilk mark of maill, howbeit the extremitie of the law gevis bot xx markis for ilk mark land in heretage
Ib. 484.
(Redden, Roxburghshire)
1573–4 Ib. II. 336.
1592 Glenorchy Ct. Bk. MS. (Reg. H.) 34.
Sevin markland of the clachane of Killin
1594 Acts IV. 90/1. 1609 Ib. 444/1.16.. Hist. Kennedy in Paterson Ayr & Wigt. II. 24. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Extent.
The lordes of the session esteemis ane marke land of auld extent to foure marke land of new extent
1642 Argyll Synod I. 38.
The tuentie markland of Lochbuy
(b) 1500 Acta Conc. II. 468.
The thrte merkland of ald extent callit the Largwrek liand in the Rinnis of Galloway
1529 Crosraguel Chart. I. 89. 1531 Reg. Privy S. II. 90/2. 1538 Boyd Fam. P. No. 15 (26 Oct.).
Aucht merk land and xl d. … liand within my … lordschipe of Glennassill
1552 Reg. Privy C. in T. Thomson Memorial on Old Extent (St. S. 10) 162.
Of ewerie fowrtie merk land of awld extent in this realme
1552 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. in Ib. 323.
Ogiface and Quenisfaire adiunt togidder extendis to iiijxx merk land of auld extent quhilk makis tua men
1556–7 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 15/2. 1562–3 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 20 Mar. 1563 Inchaffray Reg. 89. 1563 Reg. Privy C. I. 242.
1563–4 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 446/1. 1580 Edinb. Test. VIII. 64. 1582 Ib. X. 324. Ib. 325. 1587 Acts III. 436/2.
1590 Ayr Chart. 116. a1595 Descr. Isles 430 f. 1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 21. 1600 Grant Chart. 196.
1606 Chart. Coupar A. II. 220.
(Lands of Coupar Abbey)
1613 Highland P. III. 127. 1613 Bk. Dunvegan I. 53.
Extending to twentie twa merkland being ane pairt of his twentie pund land in Arrasyle
1615 Black Bk. Taymouth 52. 1618 Ib. 34. 1621 Ib. 354. 1627 Rep. Parishes 211; etc. 1630 Inchaffray Reg. . 1635 Edgar Old Ch. Life I. 353.
1636 Galloway P. 25 March.
The merkland of Benbreck … for the payment of … 250 merkis with a lairdner mairt kow [etc.]
1643 Baillie II. 79.
Their lands [sc. of the westerin shires] are so high retoured that a forty merk land with us [sic] will not oft pay so much rent as a two merk land elsewhere
16.. Abercrummie Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 7. c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 514.
Ib. 532.
The countrey of Vaternes … is 32 merkland that is four daachs of land
1662 Sc. Hist. Rev. IX. 344.
The extent of Tirie is 20 tirungs or 120 merkland and 5 shillings more
1671 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 28 Jan.
Lochfergus [alleged] to be ane nyne pund land … [is] but ane nyne merkland
1671 Samsons Riddle 131. a1721 Wodrow Hist. (1829) II. 427.
[In 1678] the small parish of Dalmelington had nine hundred Highlanders quartered upon them. Every merk-land had twenty for their share
(2) 1532 Treas. Acc. VI. 114.
The bailȝeis of Carrik and Kyle to tak cognitioun of all merk landis of auld extent within the boundis of thair office
1594 Acts IV. 75/2.
That all few landis … be retourit and avalit to mark or pund landis
1627 Rep. Parishes 83.
The parochoun [Kirknewton] is divydit in merklandis so callit becaus every sic portioun off land off old payit a merk of maill albeit in old extent it will nocht farr exceid a fyve lib. land … Leithisheid is a fyiftene merk land lyand runrig [etc.]

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"Merkland n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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