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Swesch(e, Swasch(e, Swische, n.1 Also: suesch(e, swesh(e, suesh, swech, suech(e, swes(s, suesse, schues, suasche, swash, swache, suache, swatch, swas, suas, squasch(e, squache, squash, swysche, suishe, swiche, swych(e, suis, suys(e, squys, sweische, sweis, scosche, schosche, saesche. [? Originally Swesche taburn (see 1 b), f. as Swesch(e n. and Taburn(e n. the Swiss tabor.]

1. A small drum, esp. one used to alert public attention. For further examples see Swescher n. (a) To the boy that playt of schues; 1524 Edinb. Hammermen 113.
To ane France child quhilk playit on the swes; 1529 Mill Mediæv. Plays 233.
Swesche; Treas. Acc. VIII 250.
To twa men that playit upon the swesche quhilkis had thair tabronis brokin … be the Inglischemen; 1544 Treas. Acc. VIII 278.
To ane to play throwch the toun of Leith upoun ane swesche, to wairne the hors tocum and ressave thair charges; 1547 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I lxxix.
For playing vpone the swesche and quhissill befoir the nychbouris of this burgh twa dayis quhen thai wer in armorie; 1560 Edinb. B. Rec. III 63.
Suesche; 1561 Edinb. B. Rec. III 107.
Suechis; 1561 Edinb. B. Rec. III 118.
Swesch; 1561 Kennedy Aberd. Ann. II 487.
Suesch; 1568 Lanark B. Rec. 42.
Quhen the Alderman, Thesurare, Farthingman or Dene, will call and convene the gild brether for the commoun affairis, thay at the sound of the suesh sall compeir; Balfour Pract. 77.
That Troylus … sall nocht pas throw this burgh in playing with grett pyk or swesche vnder silence of nycht or vtherwayis … vnder the payn of tynsall of his office; 1579–80 Crail B. Ct. 22 March.
James Ros, thesaurer, to pay for a drwm or swesche to serue the guid town; 1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 307.
That thair be provydit for service of the tounschipe ane commoun swesche; 1584 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 84.
For 9 feldom of 1 cord to the swesche; 1586–7 Dundee Treas. Acc.
Item for ane heid to the swesche & mending of the lytell svesse 17 s.; 1586–7 Dundee Treas. Acc.
For the heiding of the swech; 1589 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1921) 29.
Sweshe; 1601 Stirling B. Rec. I 98.
Sueche; 1604 Stirling Ant. III 304.
To ane boye to pas throuche the town witht the swess to proclame the fast, 1 s. 4 d.; 1605–6 Misc. Spald. C. V 79.
To David Semple for hame bringing the saidis sweshis; 1606 Dunferm. Treas. Acc. in Sc. Ant. IV 39.
To Trupe, the cwik, for playing on the swesche; 1607–8 Misc. Spald. C. V 82.
(b) To the man that playit on the new swas; 1529 Mill Mediæv. Plays 233.
For puttin one of the heid of the swas and grathin of it to Jakis for his lauboris & for cordis & taggis to it iij s. vj d.; 1530 Edinb. Hammermen 130b.
xxij s. gevin to twa men to play on ane swas and ane trumpet to the men of weir; 1544 Edinb. Old Acc. I 16.
To taxt the remanent of the haill borrowis as use is provyding alwayis that it sall nocht be ane tabroun or suasche to gang throw ony burch for sutting of men to the rest of the ansaingyeis; 1552 Reg. Privy C. I 131.
That nane … remane within the toun … quhill four houris in the mornyng that the suasche strek; 1569 Edinb. B. Rec. III 261.
To Johne Hoip for strykin on the swatch quhen thai yeid of the toun to gadder the nyghbours; 1571–2 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 60.
Immediately the swash, tabron and drums were stricken or beaten; Knox II 496.
Suache; 1572 Reeves Sc. Prose bef. 1600 81.
To the ȝoung boy that played vpoun the swasche … a syide coit of his awin [sc. his master's leveray]; 1581 Treas. Acc. MS 60(2).
Ane swache, and ane veluote belt, with ane dager [for a child]; 1602 Treas. Acc. MS 189.
[They] passit all to Thomas Hardeis hous and dancit ther with ane lad quha playit wpone ane swasche ther; 1615 Mill Mediæv. Plays 241.
Sevin dussoun of bairnes suasses; 1632 Edinb. Test. LVI 24.
(c) Squache; 1539 Edinb. Hammermen 154b.
For … paynting of the squasch; 1550 Edinb. Hammermen 183.
Squasche; 1555 Edinb. Hammermen 199.
With trumpet, schalme, drum, squasche & clarioun; Rolland Seven S. 626.
(d) Swysche; 1541–2 Ayr B. Acc. 89.
James Frank to schoit ane govne, and thairafter the swiche to cum to the gait, and all nychtbouris convene weill armyt to the said swiche with thair baillies; 1557 Peebles B. Rec. I 240.
Suis; 1570 Lanark B. Rec. 51.
That euery nychtbour compeir to the Hie Gait with thair armour quhosone the swische strykis; 1570 Peebles B. Rec. I 318.
That thei nychtly wache with the balleis fra the strak of the second strak of the suishe; 1571 Lanark B. Rec. 55.
Ane man to gang ilk day at four horis in the morning and sewin horis at ewin with the comoun suys; 1591 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 131.
Suyse; 1596 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1921) 28.
To John Robeine and John Billie, for playing and stryking of the swych 24 s.; 1624 Peebles Gleanings 48.
To mend the swyche that Traquairs man pat his nyffe in at the croce; 1627–8 Peebles B. Rec. I 415.
(e) For playing on the sweische the tyme of the wappin schawing … xx s.; 1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. I 205.
Sweis; 1559 Edinb. B. Rec. III 42.
(f) For saufte … of the toun … that at the knhell of the bell and squys, gef ony fray cumis to the toun, that ilk persone cum and meit [etc.]; 1571 Lanark B. Rec. 63.
(g) For ane perchement skyn … to cover the scosche; 1575 Glasgow B. Rec. I 455.
(h) Saesche; 1579–80 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 153.

b. attrib. With heid (Hede n.1 5 d), a drum-head; taburn (Taburn(e n.) = 1 above. See also Swesch(e)man n. (1) To Thomas Downy for inputting of the schoscheheid; 1575 Glasgow B. Rec. I 455.
(2) For ane swasche talburne to the futmen … xx s.; 1533 Treas. Acc. VI 159.
Gevin to twa mynstralis that plais upoun the Swesch talburn for thair ȝeirlie pencioun; 1539 Treas. Acc. VII 199.
Gevin to … the twa Toddies, playeris on the Swesche taburn; 1539 Treas. Acc. VII 271.
Swische; 1540 Treas. Acc. VII 334.
[For a] swysche tabroun, [¥1 2 s.]; 1543–4 Ayr B. Acc. 93.
Ane thousand hakbuttis gar schute al at anis, With swesche, talburnis & trumpettis awfullie; Lynd. Test. Meldrum 184.
Swyse; 1559–60 Ayr B. Acc. 30.
Tympanum, a squash tabret or drum; a1650 Buchanan's Hist. MS Index (Edinb. Univ. Lib. *R. 20/12).

2. Apparently used, erroneously, in the sense of horn or trumpet (tr. L. cornicines horn-blowers or players). He … causit horsmen with swasche [B. swache], and taberne to play [L. cornicines tubicinesque … canere … iubet] all nycht; Bell. Livy I 238/13.

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"Swesch(e n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/swesche_n_1>



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