Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sur(e)té, n. Also: sur(e)ty, -tye, -tie, suirté, suyrtie, swirtie, swyrtye, suerté, -ty, swertie, seurte(e, -tie, -ty(e, seuretee, seuerté, seortie, sourté, -tie, soureté, -tie, suritie, suiritty, souritie. [ME and e.m.E. surté, suretee, seur(e)té, (all Chaucer), suertee (1387-8), sewrté (14th c.), sewertie (c1450), OF seürté (c1130), seureté (15th c.). Cf. Securit(i)ee n. and Soverté n.]

1. Safety.(1) 1456 Hay I 242/24 (see (d) below). a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1015 (Asl.).
And at that moder seike succour & surete
1490 Irland Mir. III 163/21.
The prince … suld consider of quhilk counsale is abill to folow maist surté, honour, & proffit, and with les perell or danger
1513 Doug. vi v 128.
And tho almaist in surte cummyn I am [L. iam tuta tenebam]
1513 Doug. x iii 76 (Ruddim.).
1546 Corr. M. Lorraine 170.
For surte the armye off Ingland is cumand be sey
1549 Compl. 100/29.
And sa ȝe maye lyif in pace and surete ane lang tyme
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary I 96.
[Bothwell] could not find himself in surtie without he were assurit of oure favour
(b) a1500 Colk. Sow ii 203.
Bot quho so will cowardly hyd his face … Quhen he trestis him for such fowll affectioun Most in surty suppressit sone salhe be
(c) a1570-86 Maitl. F. 324/7.
Lowthiane quhair sum tyme hes bene … Grittest suirte for king and quene Befoir this troublous tyme
c1650 Spalding I 231.
Seing he culd not leive in suirtie at home
(d) 1456 Hay I 242/25.
Lat us behald wele than, quhen a place, castell, or wallit toune is tane be leddering, quhat suretee the persouns ar in, first and formast; syne, quhat seurtee the gudis are in
(e) 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 159.
Vpoun the keiping of the kingis grace in suritie
(2) 1521 Doug. in Facs. Nat. MSS III xv.
Concernyng the weylfar and surte of his derrest nevo
(b) 1540 Crim. Trials I i 229.
His death … was lamentid of verrie few, except of his awin freindis and the preistis, who had fixt the hoip of the suretie of thair hail [ed. haif] estait in him
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 107.
To his honour and suretie of his lyfe
(c) 1565 (1583) Reg. Great S. 171/2.
In danting of lymmeris, swirtie of passingeris [etc.]
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV i 115.
For the promoting of Gods glorie and thair awin suirtie
1600 Crim. Trials II 193.
They suld leave na sort of tryell ontane as they respectit thair awin suirtie
1610 Reg. Privy C. IX 1.
[They have] so freelie … behavit thameselffis, to the credite … of the natioun and suirtie of the personis, schippis and goodis of all the trafficquaris of this kingdome
1632 Red Bk. Menteith I 364.
Albeit they [sc. the writs and charters] were found, being in private mens handis, it is lyklie that the samen concerns the subjects havears thairof for the suirtie of thair awne lands
(d) 1456 Hay I 115/21.
To mak castell, or fortres for sekernes, or seurtee of men or contree
1569 Cal. Sc. P. II 643.
Gyf her hyghness feryd her seurty I showld fynd a remed tharfore suffycyent
1570 Leslie 21.
Ane parliament … quhair syndre actis wais maid … speciallie concerning the seurty of the Kingis majesties persoun
1584 Gowrie P. 75.
1588 Lethington in Laing MSS 76.
Affecting the seurtye and well of that state no les than his owne
1590 Warrender P. (SHS) II 137.
The king of Spaine … is enforced at exorbitant chairges to keepe a stronge navye for the seurtye of intercours to and frome the same [sc. Indes]
(e) 1600-1610 Melvill 521.
The seortie and priviledge of your Majestie's crowne

b. Assurance or certainty of safety. a1500 Lanc. 2386.
What souerte schal I have for to gone At libertee out of this danger free?
1571 Bann. Memor. 157.
Hostages, in equall number … can import no suirtie … in consideratioune that the one will ever contravaile the vther
1589 Warrender P. (SHS) II 106.
And that his [sc. James VI's] so kyndlie carying him selfe … be more respected, which will breade more suirtye and quyet to both the states

2. Secure imprisonment; safe custody.(1) 1426 Acts (1597) i 14b.
The officiares of the burgh … sall take him gif he may be ouertane and put in suretie
1576 Dundas Fam. P. Royal letter No. 11 (1 Nov.).
And keip him in gude suirtie that he on na wys eschaip
(2) 1612 Conv. Burghs II 365.
For putting of the haill guids … and merchandice vnder swirtie vnto the tyme the merchants of the natioun for quhom he wes factour be first satisfeyet of all the debts and sewmes of money thain restand awand to thame be the defunct
c1650 Spalding I 332.
Oure marchand Scottis schippis … takin … to Bervick, … thair goodis liverit, inuentar takin of thame, and all put wp in suirtie

3. a. Certainty, reassurance, in respect of (with) a person, his motives, future actions, or the like. b. Assurance (that another will or will not do something). 1521 Douglas Corr. 81.
Swa that thai may be in sourete of the Kingis grace that he sal tak na peax, nor abstinence of were with the Duke of Albany
1571 Bann. Memor. 151.
Thow ansuered, … that thow wald send me … a band of all the noblemen … pairtie in Leyth, for suirtie, that na vther suld medle in the mater bot our selfis
1612 Conv. Burghs II 366.
That the saids magestrats beand requyret be my lord Conseruatour or his deputs sall concur with thame for putting of the natioun in suirty with the saidis factouris

4. For (of) surety, for sure, for certain. 1524 Douglas Corr. 89.
I cann nocht sa it for surte [etc.]
1567 G. Ball. 67.
I traist to God of suretie Be Christis blude sauit to be
1567 G. Ball. 68.
Fyre without heit can not be, Faith will haif warkis of suretie
a1578 Pitsc. II 63/20.
This we knaw for suirtie

5. Sureness of resolve; resolution, determination. 1456 Hay II 48/19.
For throw seuretee of a gude hardy knycht mony gude dedis ar done, throu gude hardy men of armes

6. Binding assurance that some action will be taken, etc. = Soverté n. 3. Also, under (upon) surety ((the) sureties). Also fig.(1) 1456 Hay I 242/28.
Seurtee ryall suld be but barat and male engyne, fiable and traist as stele
1516 Acts XII 37/2.
Gif forthir provisioun and surty can be divisit
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 305 (see Soverty n. 3 b (1) (b)).
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I 269.
For suirtie … to causs the provest … give … their band … to the effect above wreiten
1681 Stair Inst. i xvii § 12.
If they become cautioners at divers times, … so are they all liable in solidum; but when they oblige together, … the nature of the deed importeth no more than surety
(2) 1585 Warrender P. (SHS) I 196.
For the better maintenance of the religion which I do tak to be the fondamentall suirtye wherupon boyth their crounes ar setteled
1596 Anal. Scot. I 298.
His chairge alwayis conteining a warrand and seurtie unto him
1638 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 208.
To relieve the said James Broun his cau[tiouna]r forsaid anent his said souretie
1653 Dumfries Kirk S. 5 Feb.
A band with a suretie that he sall disburdine the woman of the chyld
1673 Culross II 174.
Ane sufficient bond and seurtie
1682 Cullen Kirk S. 23 April.
Compeared Isobel Imlach and confessed she brought forth a chiel to Alexander Williamson and was ordeaned to provid a surty for hir penalty
(3) 1617 Acts IV 537/2.
Thair be a gryit manye of prissoneris … who … in regard of the crymes they haue comitted can no wayis be put vnder suretye
16… Chron. Kings 177.
Thay war releiffit, wnder suiritty to pey the byrun dewitteis
(4) 1640-1 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 137.
To lend him money upon suirtie
16.. Herries Mem. 121.
The Counsell being mett at Edinburgh released Secretarie Maitland upon surtie to enter upon citation
c1650 Spalding I 318.
Thay had no moneyis left thame to len out vpone suirtie
(5) fig. 1568 Cal. Sc. P. II 524.
I fynd men to be men, and the most part of the warld to propone sensyble swyrtye to conscience and honour boyth

b. In various collocations and formulae.(1) 1529 Rec. Earld. Orkney 58.
To find sourtie to underlie your lawis for the said crewell slauchter
1538 Crim. Trials I i 207.
Suerte being first funding to the justice clerk, and actitate in the bukis of adiurnale, that he sal nocht breik his ward
1558-66 Knox II 394.
Andro Armstrang [etc.] … to fynd suyrtie to undirlie the law, for forethought fellonie, hamesukkin [etc.]
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. I 10.
And that he find the said sourtie in maner foirsaid … under the pane of rebellioun
1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I 27.
1594 Acts IV 72/1.
That all landislordis and baillies be chargit to find suirtie to releve the king and wardane in the bordoris
1609 Crim. Trials III 17.
1644 Laing MSS 216.
(2) 1456 Hay I 247/34.
Gif twa lordis in were had gevin trewis and seurtee for certayn tyme, ilkane till othir
1671 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. 11 Oct.
Giving new suirtie for payment therof James Robsone is to gett wp the fyftie pund band
(3) 1571 Laing MSS 23.
And quhar ye desyre to have swirtie for the same of the town of Dundie
1625 Bk. Carlaverock II 75.
The creditouris hes ane sufficient suirtie, … and so can not be disapointit of thair just debt and interes
(4) 1586 Reg. Morton I 147.
In caice ȝe be nocht content of the suirtie that he may mack ȝow, I wilbe cautioun and dettour for him
1615 Highland P. III 221.
[I] sall mak gud suirte to truble no man
(5) 1622-6 Bisset II 256/18.
The maister may retene of the hyre till the schip … gif they put nocht guid surtie to furneis there weyaig to ane end
(6) 1540 Edinb. Chart. 212.
To heir and se sourte ressauit of the said Thomas
(7) 1581 Acts III 216/1.
That euerie custumer and clerk of cokquet in time cuming sall tak sic suirtie or plageis as he will anser for
1632 Lithgow Trav. viii 358.
Hauing obtayned my pasport from the Bassaw there, and surety taken for my life and moneyes
1633 Lithgow Poet. Remains 109.
The vsrer will take suretye, bonds, and bills, Or els morgadgement, at disposers wills

7. A person standing pledge for another, as surety. Also, to be, becum (or to cum) surety, and to find (another) surety (to do something).(1) 1550 Corr. M. Lorraine 339.
The towne hes dissayrit that tha ma hawe ther provest fredde … apon surtes or plegis
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. I 10.
To find sufficient and responsall sureties actit [etc.]
1587 Carmichael Etym. 18.
Praes, a suretie in a money matter
1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1743) 230.
The broken man and the surety are in law but one person, one party adebted
(b) 1593 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I 64 n.3.
The suirtie maid be the landis lordis … sall not … stop the suirtis to be maid be the chiftanis [etc.]
(c) 1584 Gowrie P. 40.
To cause the skipper found suertyes … that he should not land ather in England, Irland, or Scotland
(d) 1539 Treas. Acc. VII 161.
For the executioun of lettres maid … upoun the slaaris of reid fische … and having agane of uthiris lettres to charge thame to fynd sourteis
1539–40 Treas. Acc. VII 282.
For thair expensis passing to Dunbertane to resave sourteis and mak compositioun witht the men that wer put in the castell
1548 Treas. Acc. IX 246.
To ane boy send to Lanark with certane names to Mungo Stratherne commanding him to take sourteis of thame
1552 Treas. Acc. X 85.
For the away putting of ane theif quhome he had apprehendit and his wage becaus he remanit upoun the sourteis
1551–2 Treas. Acc. X 55 (see Soverty n. 3 (4)). 1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. I 69.
To Robert Grahame and his sourteis, James Adamsoun and Robert Flemyng
1561 Treas. Acc. XI 56.
The said Thomas as sourtie for him to have incurrit the pane of vc li.
(2) 1509 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 72.
[The sureties to compear] to heir and se thame be adiugit … in the sovme of ic marks as thai that com sourte and lawe borrowis for Dauid Lyoun that [etc.]
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII 108.
Dischargeit to the laird of Knok, for the quhilk he wes sourte for his tenentis in the last air of Drumfreis … xviij li. xiij s. iiij d.
1554 Carte Northberwic 69.
Deym Margret … causit … Thomas Carrig to becum cawsionar and seuerte … to … pay to the said hyr predecessour the swme off threttye pundis
1592 Bk. Islay 97.
1596 Dalr. II 302/7.
Huntlei procures monie manis libertie, for his charitie, pitie and gentilnes, for quhom he becam suertie
1638 Moses Bundle No. 25, 1033 in Bk. Old Edinb. C. XXXI 176.
John Eistoune is become cautioner sourtie and full debtour
1664 Stitchill Baron Ct. 31.
The quhilk day James Lowry became cautioner, surety and law burrows for the said Edward Thomsone
(3) 1606 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 12.
Jhone Rogear in Redpeth … quha fand Sande Anderson thair catioun and seurte to persew him criminalle under the pane of v c [sic]

b. fig. Said of Christ. Also attrib. 1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1743) 228.
Christ was pursued as paymaster and surety for us
1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1743) 229.
You will not confess your guiltiness, o sinners in Christ! … But the surety Christ was craved, and all your accompts demanded of him
1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1743) 232.
The surety as a satisfying surety … removeth not formally injustice except he be such a surety as Christ who can both pay the debt and so remove the ill of punishment
attrib. 1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1743) 223.
It is only the cautionary, the surety-righteousness of Christ God that is made ours

c. Also said of two or more persons, collectively. 1646 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 66.
[He] heirof binds and oblissis him, his aires and executoris, as cautioners and swertie for John Keillo

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Surté n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: