A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
Tocher, Tochir, n. Also: tochyr, -ar(e, toucher(e, -ir, towcher, -ir, -yr, toocher, toichar, -er, -ir, -yr, toquhe(i)r, -ir, -yr, -ar, towquhair(e, tochquhair, touchquhare, tochter, -yr, touchter, togher, tougher, towgher, tocchir, thocher, -ir, -yr, thowquhar, thouquhhar, thocthyr, thowar, -or, thouor. [Ir. and OGael. tochar. Cf. north. e.m.E. and 17th c. Eng. towher (1568), towcher (1569), towgher (1674).]
1. Marriage portion, dowry paid by a bride's family, chiefly her father, to the groom or his family. Without article, chiefly following a preposition. Also, in tocher with (the bride) and in name of (= as payment of) tocher (with the bride). Also without const. See Dote n. 1 for further examples.
(1) The said William Preston sal give in tochir … the soume of sex hundrith markis; 1469 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 64.
Sex hundreth merkis, … payt till him by me in tochyr, for the mariag of my dochtir; 1479 Douglas Chart. 110.
Promittit to me in tochir for the mariage completing betuix ane nobil domicell … and … my sowne; 1500 Montgomery Mem. 59.
He … cheisit the said Lady Magdalane … contract of mariage wes maid, in the quhilk their wes promeist in tocher ane hundreth thousand crownis of the sone, thirtie thousands frankis of pensione duringe his lyftyme; Leslie 152.
Your Bordouraris hes tane thair dochteris in a maner without tochir; 1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 78.
Bestowit in mariage, with doitt & tochir sufficient according to hir wmquhill fatheris qualitie; 1609 Inverurie B. Ct. 3 Aug.
His daughter … is married to one Simson and in her contract of marriage the father contracts 3000 merks of tocher, but the said contract bears not that it was in satisfaction of all she could crave; 1684 Decis. Lords F. 64.
(b) The samyn Androw spousit Margaret Cambell Schir Duncane Lord Cambellis douchter and tuke viijc merkis of touchere; Asl. MS I 226/17.
Toucher; 1509 Buccleuch Mun. II 117.
Touchir; 1518 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II 20.
James the fourt tuik to his wyfe Margarit the first [borne] douchter of the king of Ingland, and was marieit with hir and … witht great soumes of money gevin to him of toucher; Pitsc. I 245/28.
The Laird of Pittewcher … married Issabell Alexander … Ther was betuixt 5 and 6 thousande markes of towcher promised him; 1659 Lamont Diary 112.
(c) Thre hundretht merkis … in part off payment of ane mor soume, aucht to me for touchter; 1509 Douglas Chart. 190.
(d) The douchter of Charlis, Erle of Vallance and Angeos … sal be maryit on Edward the Balliollis son, and sal haif all the landis quhilkis the Balliol possedit in France … for quhilkis King Johne sall ressave lx.m crounis of towquhair; Bell. Boece II 365.
(e) Now Dido may be tyed to Trojane mate, And thow [sc. Venus] receave, in tougher, Carthage great; Mure Dido & Æneas ii 192.
(2) He acht him xv merkis … restand of a certane soume of mone he promitit him in tochir with Marioun his dochtir; 1487–8 Prestwick B. Rec. 32.
The said Sir Duncane Campbell … gave in tocher … with his secund dochter … the some of elevin thousand merkis; 1520 Black Bk. Taymouth 56.
To Johne Pipar of Sanctjohnestoune, in toquher with Katherine Sinclair, jcxxxiij li. vj s. viiij d.; 1532–3 Treas. Acc. VI 95.
The said Lord Governour sall gif in tocher with his said dochter to the said eirle and his airis the soume of twa thousand, thre hundreith, and thrette thre pundis vj s. viij d.; 1546 Reg. Privy C. I 43.
Tochar; 1552 Treas. Acc. X 77.
I … suld be separated and divorced fra him … and als the said sowme of twa hundreth markes gevin with me in tocher refoundet, restored, and payed agane to me; 1560 St. A. Kirk S. 37.
The soum of aucht li. of tocher quhilk wes restand of ane gritter soum quhilk the said Thomas promesset to haf peyit me in tocher with his sister Katrin Grub; 1569–70 Lanark B. Rec. 47.
[He] gat witht hir the lordschipe of Frendreich in toucher; Pitsc. I 64/26.
The said Ser Patrik obleissis him … to … pay … ane thousand merkis money as tochir with the foirsaid Ewffame his lauchfull dochtir; 1591 Waus Corr. 486.
That the king of France in toucher with his douchter gyue til our king an hunder thousand goldne crounes; Dalr. II 236/27.
(3) [Action by Patrik Dunbar … against Uchtre Makdowell … ] for the wrangus … withhalding fra him of the soume of sevin hundreth merkis … aucht to him in name of dowry and tochir for the completing of matrimony betuex Patrik of Dunbar younger son … of the sade Patrik and Cristiane Makdowell sister to the said Uchtre; 1501 Acta Conc. III 8.
To Rollo the dochter of Charlis was gevin in mariage … The emprioure syne to Rollo … gaif ane parte of Gallia … in name of drowry and tochir with his douchtir; Boece 397b.
Towchyr; 1543 Douglas Chart. 233.
George Fordice … obleist hym self … to … keip skaythles [four persons named] … as cautionaris … for the payment of ane hunderit pundis to be payit to Johne Forsyth … in name of tochir with Margaret Fordice his syistir; 1587 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 28 April.
If the heretadge be sought in name of tocher, the action is to be decyded be the ecclesiasticall judge; Hope Major Pract. II 48.
Tougher; 1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 618.
(b) King Charlis douchter sal be gevin in mariage to Rolland; and Rolland … in the name of touchquhare, sall have al thay landis, quhilkis wer namit afore; Bell. Boece II 194.
Gevin in name of tochquhair with his graces cousingnes Gene Lyle, mareit upoun Neyll Montgomerie … jm li.; 1549 Treas. Acc. IX 336.
Quhilkis tua roumes … Walter Maule geawe in nem of towquhaire withe his daughter Margaret Maule to the first lard of Kellie; 1611 Reg. Panmure I xcix.
(c) The landis … to cum to the sayd Wylȝem aeris … in name of thocthyr; 1536 Prot. Bk. M. Fleming 115.
[Arran is obliged to pay to Huntly 5000 merks] in naim of thochir; 1547 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 569.
(d) Toichyr; 1546 Misc. Spald. C. II 274.
Thair wes pait … the soume of twelf thowsand merkis in name of toicher with his said dochter; 1581 Acts III 267/1.
(4) King Williamis twa dochteris … sall mary twa sonnys of King Johnez … for quhilkis King Williame sall geif sufficient tochtyr; Bell. Boece (M) II 214.
Maister Dauid, [Seytoun] … mariit all his eldest brotheris dochteris … on landit men and payit tocheris; Maitland Ho. Seytoun 25.
For resonable tocher and gratuiteis; Maitland Ho. Seytoun 43.
Of tocher-gude. Tocher properlie is that quhilk is gevin with ane woman to a man, the quhilk utherwayis is callit … maritage. And it is leasum to ony havand landis to give a part thairof in name of tocher, with his sone, or his dochter, or with ony uther woman, albeit he have ane air or not, as we have said in ane uther place tuiching the alienatioun of heritage [marg. It is leasum to give landis in name of tocher]; Balfour Pract. 99.
To be tocchir to ȝow and ȝour sistiris; 1593 Maxwell Mem. II 175.
Gif the superiour requiris not ane aire to marie and the aire marie without his consent, the superiour suld obteine allanerlie for his mariage … sa meikle as may be ane competent summe or tocher to the said aire conforme to his ȝeirlie rente; Skene Verb. S. s.v. Maritagium Hæredis.
That quhilk is giuen be the womans friends with her, to the husband, and commonlie is called maritagium (or tocher). … Ilk frie man, haueand land perteining to him, may giue ane parte thereof, with his dochter, or with anie other woman, as tocher, in name of maritage; quhither he haue ane heire or not; Skene Reg. Maj. i 29b.
My bairn has tocher of her awn … Twa kits, a cogue, a kirn there ben [etc.]; Watson's Coll. iii 47.
2. With article, or possessive denoting the person on whose behalf the dowry is paid. Also in fig. context.
In some circumstances also paid on the marriage of a son, see Buccleuch Mun. quot. in (c) below. Cf. Balfour Pract. quot. in 1 (4) above. The Buccleuch Mun. quot. in (e) below carries the implication that the dowry could be paid by the bridegroom.
(a) For the restitucione off my touchyr; 1463 Wemyss Chart. 83.
For the towchir promittit be the said Schir James … to me … for the matrimone to be finaly trettit betuix my son … & Cristiain Crechtoun dochter to the said Schir James; 1491–2 Acta Aud. 166/1.
He payit the towchers of the lard of Panlathys tua dochters; c1563 Reg. Panmure I xxxi.
Wiliam refusis … to geve his dochter in mariaige to Wyliam Peblis, and becaus he hes nocht in geyr to paye hyr towcher, it is … aggret … that Wiliam Peblis sall resave the barn begottyn betuix him and Besse … , [and] accept upon hym the burding and charge of upbryingyn of the sam; 1564 St. A. Kirk S. 224.
Towgher; 1583 Cal. Sc. P. VI 340.
Be contract of mariage endit betwixt … George McMichaell and … Agnes McGawchein … he is bound … to provide the sowme of 400 merkis of his owin meanes quhilk with the tougher mentionat in the contract extendis to 600 merks; 1679 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 2 April.
(b) Quhilkis landis and house war assignit and gevin to hir for the contentacione of hir tochir for al the dais of her life; 1498 Acta Conc. II 264.
To Katrine Ballantyne to help to pay hir tocher for the gude and thankfull service done be her moder Marioun Dowglas to the kingis hienes iijc li.; 1527 Treas. Acc. V 330.
Scho mareit hir said dochter … first on the maister of Borthuik syne on the erle of Eglintoun, and payit bayth the tocharis; Maitland Ho. Seytoun 38.
[William Sutherland … married Margaret, the daughter of John Williamson … receiving as her] tocher thrie skoir of greit ky; 1562 Prot. Bk. William Gray in Orig. Par. II ii 713.
[John Strachan in Goisseslie, Kincardineshire] To my dochter Katrene viijc merkis for hir portioun naturall & tocher; 1591 Edinb. Test. XXII 318b.
Findlay McEwen persewis Andrew Dow for iij li. money for ane gift to help his dochters tocher; 1595 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 85.
To content and pay to the bairnis fameill, giff thair be bot ane, the sowm off threttein thousand markis, quhilk is equivalent with the said tocher; and giff thair be tua, the sowm off tuentie thousand markis: and giff thair be thre, the sowm off tuentie-four thousand markis; and giff thair be ma nor thre, than the tocher to be measourit at the discretioun of the bairnis maill; 1595–6 Frasers of Philorth II 250.
Anent the mariage of the quene, of the tocher, of the giftes and quhat maner of gyftes the king suld present her with, worthie of that mariage; Dalr. II 379/1.
He offerit his eldest sone … to have been mareit to any kynniswoman of Mortons, gratis without any tocher; Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 182.
The tochir gevin with his dochtir Jeane to the Laird of Calder was sevintene thowsand markis; 1601 Black Bk. Taymouth 30.
That gif onie man maries ane wife and dies within the space of yeir and day, having na bairnis procreat betwix them, that the wife receives na pairt of hir husbands lands, heritages nor giere bot onlie the tocher given with hir; 1604 Paisley B. Rec. 260.
She caused her husband giue a frie discharge to her brother, … of her whole tocher, being about 20 thous. marks Scots, before any of it was payed to him so that he is not to receiue a farthen token of it; 1652 Lamont Diary 40.
The term of payment of the tocher comes not till the occasion of a marriage offer, and the sum returns back failȝieing of her by decease without heirs of her body; 1663 Decis. Lords G. 56.
Tangier … the tocher and dowry of our Queen Catharen; 1683 Lauder Observes 114.
The Roman law gives privilege and preference to the tochers of women in competition with the creditors of their husbands: for by that law their tochers return to themselves at the dissolution of the marriage; Stair Inst. iv xxxv § 5.
(c) The said Johanne Gledstanis … sal … mary … Jonet Scot, douchter to the said Waltyr Scot … and failȝeand of hir … Cristiane Scot, douchtyr alsua to the said Waltyr Scot … and failȝand of thaim tua … ony vthir gentyl woman quhom it sal ples the said Waltyr Scot … For the quhilkis … mariagis the said Waltyr Scot … sail … pay to the said James Gledstanis the soume of thre hundretht markis … and gyff it happynnis the said Johanne Gledstanis … to deces, and the said lardschip of Coklaw to cum to the airis famail … the said Walter Scot … to haiff the mariagis of the air famail to Johanne Scot, his son … the said Waltyr Scot … payand the toquhir to the said James in lykwis at the compleitting of the mariagis of the airis famail as he suld do of the airis mail; 1519 Buccleuch Mun. II 138.
(d) In plege of the tocthir and obseruacion of all the promises, nyne of the nobillest men of Scotland salbe deliuerit to King Johnne; Bell. Boece (M) II 214.
(e) Hes promisit … geyf the lard … paes nocht … the rest of the thochyr at Martymes cum ane yeyr that he [etc.]; 1534 Lamont P. 41.
(f) George Ker … sall … compleit the band of matrimony … with Jonett Scott … but payment of ony tochter to be payit be him or vthir hir freindis with hir, and gif it sal happin the said George to deceis … his nixt bruther … sall marie the said Jonet, tochterfre; 1504 Buccleuch Mun. II 447.
fig. The kirk has no toocher of her own … all the toocher is Christ's, and the inheritance is Christ's; the kirk has nothing; Rutherford Christ & Doves 9.
Togher; G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 30.
b. With possessive denoting the person to whom the dowry is paid or owing.
The Maitland Ho. Seytoun quot. may refer to a previous marriage settlement.
I sall at the feist be in that hall, To mak seruice to Cleopateras, And till hir eame, the Senescall Jonas, That better war thai haid nocht cumin thair I sall pay thame thair tochir or thai fare; Hay Alex. 2112.
[They] sal … met … to mak compt raknyng & payment of ale sovmez of money batht for the toichir of James Campbell & for the malez of the landis of Dalruskane of all termes by gain pertenyng to the said Margaret be resone of ters; 1488 Acta Conc. I 93/2.
Giffin to Robert Lile in his toquhyr jc markis; 1496 Treas. Acc. I 276.
To the Erle of Mortoun in his toquhir of his sonis mariage vcxlvij li. ij s. viij d.; 1507–8 Treas. Acc. IV 101.
The fyrst payment of my sonys toicher; 1511 Lennox Mun. 190.
This lord gave to his thré sisteris that wes to marie ane thousand pundis to thair maryage of his tochar quhilk was mekle to him to forbeir, his guddame and his faderis secund wyf haveand the tua part of his leving; Maitland Ho. Seytoun 39.
[800 merks] promittit … to me … for the mereage and tochir of my sone Robert for the completing of the mereage be the said Robert with Helene Ros; 1566 Fam. Rose 247.
Matrimonie being lauchfulie contractit betuix his said dochtir … and Johnne Dunlop … to quhome alswa ane grite pairt of his tocher wes pait be the said Johnne Boyd; nochtwithstanding quhairof, … the said Johnne Dunlop … maryit ane uthir woman theireftir; 1586 Reg. Privy C. IV 73.
You have a son … His tocher yet may make all matters good … Go match him with some wealthy merchant's child … Thus shall you have some twenty thousand pound; Copie of a Baron's Court 22.
[He] bowght the lands of Randerston … from Mr. Sharpe, … and Alexander Ingells … , the two sonns in law of the deceassed laird of Randerston … There was as much gotten as payed the old mans debt, the sellers tochers and ten thowsande marks more, which was to be giuen to the young man … to helpe his portion; 1663 Lamont Diary 167.
To William Huntar resting of his tougher 100 merks; 1675 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 6 Jan.
c. specif. In reference to the dowry received by James VI on his marriage to Anne of Denmark.
I am holden, perplexed, and encumbered to conserve his majesty's tocher, which moved me chiefly to be so far opposite in opinion to his majesty and others here; 1589–90 Wodrow's Life of Bruce 162.
The anualrent and profite cummand of the money deliverit in the handis of the provest and baillies of certane burrowis of this realm as ane pairt of the kingis majesteis toquher; 1590–1 Exch. R. XXII 102.
To Daniel Boill … for collecting and inbringing of the anual of the kingis grace toquheir … ¥55; 1590–1 Exch. R. XXII 161.
I sent for the advocat baith Fryday and Setterday—nather met nor answer. Siclyk efter the bailies of this toun for the matter of the tocher—the lyk answer; 1591 James VI in
Purves Revenue Crown xxxvii.
[Seytoun of Parbrothe acknowledges 400 lib. Scots for the] annual of his majestie's toquher in thair hands; 1593 Aberd. Council Lett. I 53.
We haue assignit to him that sowme of a thowsand pundis of our tocher extant in your handis; 1594 Aberd. Council Lett. I 57.
3. attrib. Tochter fre, without a dowry. Tocher geir, tocher gud(is), property or money given as a dowry, = 1, 2 and 3 above; tocher gud(is) is a common alternative for tocher. Tocher money, money given as a dowry.
(1) Tochterfre; 1504 Buccleuch Mun. II 447 (see 2 (f) above).
(2) Ane certane sovmez of monye, quhilk the said Huchon is oblisist to hef payet me as doit and tochir geyr; 1522 Fam. Rose 197.
In pairt paiment of my tocchir geir; 1568 Old Ross-shire I 325.
That na nychtbour of this burght persew ane uther befoir the Commissar of Abirdene … for ony ciuill caus … except it be for deidis, geir, tochir geir, and sic as belangis to testamentis; 1581 Aberd. B. Rec. II 42.
Quhilk Isbell was … bestowit in mariage with sufficient dott & tochirgeir; 1609 Inverurie B. Ct. 3 Aug.
The sowm of fyftie merks money promesed be thame to him in name of tocher gere; 1613 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 114.
His journey the next harvest to Chauroy to meet Fowles anent his tocher gear; Fraser Polichron. 219.
proverb. There are manie fair words in mariage making, bot few in the tochergeir paying; Carmichael Prov. No. 1511.
(3) Til pay the sade Jonet the sade soum in hir tochir gude; 1502 Acta Conc. XII MS 129a.
Sex hundreth merks claimit … for the rest of the tocher gud of the said Schir Alexander with the forsaid Beatrix; 1505 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 404.
The said Robert sall content and pay to the said Sir James in name of tocher gud the soum of twa thousand merkis; 1524 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXVIII 60.
This inquiest ordines Jhone of Bellenden to preiff this day xv day with hyme that coft the grownd quhidder it is towcher gud or nocht; 1526–7 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 83.
xijc merkis for the tochir gud of the said mariage; 1538 Renfrew Arch. Coll. I 177.
To the lord Sympill, and Robert, maister of Sympill … in name of hale toucher gude with his gracis sister … the spous of Robert, … the soume of jm li.; 1543–4 Treas. Acc. VIII 263.
He gat na uther towcher gud with me bot the said land; 1562 Edinb. B. Deeds 32b.
My bairne hes tocher gud annwch to ge ȝow; Jok & Jynny 12.
Dos, tocher gude; Despauter (1579).
I am sa far inrwne in dettis … be the pament of my dochteris tochergudis [etc.]; 1581–2 Waus Corr. 238.
jc thovsand lib. of the kingis tocher guid wes givin to the burrowis in bank for ten of the hundrethe, quhilk extendit to ten thovsand pundis yeirly; Moysie 84.
Tocher-gude, maritagium, is that quhilk is given with the woman in respect of marriage, in Latin, Dos; Skene Reg. Maj. ii 103b (Table).
1614 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bks. 1.
We are married, and our tocher-good is paid; 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 516.
That the tocher-goods of all the noblemen & gentlemen's daughters be determined upon, as an earl's, lord's, baron's, or according to their rents & revenues; Drummond Wks. (1711) 106.
Tochare; Mure Hist. Rowallane 252.
My tougher … geud is spent and gane; G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 48.
We have no tocher-good to give Christ; Presb. Eloq. (1789) 131.
(b) Thocher guidis; 1550 Prot. Bk. J. Cristisone 100.
(c) The xl merkis … vas and is thoworgud in band of maryage; 1552–3 Crail B. Ct. MS 9 Jan.
Alevyne pound … mony … in complayt payment … of thowargud with his dowhtter Katyryne; 1565–6 Notarial Instrument 17 Feb. in Yule Collection (Reg. H.).
In complyt payment … of thouor guid viht his douthour; 1566 Crail B. Ct. MS 14 May.
(d) Toichar; 1547 Anal. Scot. II 214.
The said Walter hes resauit in name of toichirgud & mareage ger the sowm of thre scoir … merkis; 1555 Prot. Bk. D. Gray 5.
(e) I man pay for ȝour L. sisteris thowquhar gud xijc lib.; 1569 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 27.
Thouquhhar gud; 1569 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 38.
The said Johne … sall … pay in name of toquhar gude with the said Margret, his doghtar … the sowme of [etc.]; 1585 Wemyss Chart. 215.
The kings grace hes requyret the toun to ressave ane part of his toquher guid … to mak him proffeitt; 1590 Edinb. B. Rec. V 21.
proverb. Thair ar many fair words in the meriag making but few in the tocher good paying; Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1308.
(4) 400 merks for tocher money to Margaret Glas now wife to Norman McLeod; 1664 Bk. Dunvegan 179.
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