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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Tuto(u)r, Tutoure, n. Also: tutowr, -ur, -er, twtour, tuttar, -our, -or(e, tuetour, tuittur, touto(u)r(e, touttour, towto(u)r, tewdor, tytor. [ME and e.m.E. tutour (1377), tutor (1425), tutur (c1425), tutowre (Prompt. Parv.), tuter (1526), OF tutour, L. tūtor.] A guardian, protector, custodian, specif. a guardian who is the legal administrator, or one of a group of administrators, of the estate of a minor, failing the father. Chiefly const. to (for) the person in minority. Also applied to the guardian(s) of a ruler in minority. Also fig. and attrib.The collocations with active and passive quoted in (3) apply not to the tutor but rather to the status of pursuer or defender in a case at law. A tutor was co-pursuer or co-defendant with a minor by virtue of his status as legal guardian. (Cf. Passive adj. 3 b and 1681 Stair Inst. iv xxxviii § 18-23.)For further information see 1681 Stair Inst. i vi and Bell Dict. Law Scotl. s.v. Tutor. 1286 Reg. St. A. App. xxxix.
[Johannem de Blar eiusque tutorem
1402 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 205.]
Dominus Robertus Dux Albanie … locumtenens et tutor domini nostri regis
(1) 1416 Maxwell Mem. I 150.
The said Jamys [to act] as tutowr to the perfyt eld of the said childir
1474 Acts II 107/1.
He that is nerrest agnet and of xxv ȝeiris of age … salbe lauchfull tutour
1515 Reg. Privy S. I 405/1.
A respit maid with avis and consent of the said tutour and governour [sc. the Duke of Albany] to John Erle of Levinax, Lord Dernlie and [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Gallath. iv 2.
Als lang tyme as the aire is a litil child … he is vndir keparis and tutouris, till into the tyme determinit of the fader
1533 Bell. Livy II 64/25.
This virgine plebeane was desirit be two ȝoung men in mariage … ane was ane plebeane of the same lynnage as scho was, and was gretelie favorit be hir tutouris
c1575 Balfour Pract. 114.
Tutoris are gevin to pupillis, viz. to ane pupill beand maill, untill he be fourtene ȝeir auld, and unto femellis untill thay be of twelf ȝeiris
1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII 288a.
It salbe lesum to ony of the saidis tutouris … to leif the said office … to ony vther freind quhom thai think meittest to intromet with my bairnes
16… Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 392.
The neerest male of the blood royall, who wes of perfyt age, tooke the government upon him not as tutor but with full power
1665 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II 418.
A woman being left tutor to her children, and thereafter marrying, and so losing her tutory, her husband behaves himself as tutor and administrator
1681 Stair Inst. i vi § 5.
There be three kinds of tutors … , tutor testamentar, or nominate; … tutor of law; and … tutor dative; all which follow in course in the same order
1684 Decis. Lords F. 62.
That if any was lyable, it was the intrometting tutor
1698 Acts X 146/2.
Act against tutors or curators their marrieing their pupills &c.
(b) 1523 Wigtown B. Ct. 144b.
a1578 Pitsc. II 233/32.
The Erle of Lennox of new approveit constitute and maid regent toutour and governour … causit mak proclematiounis … that [etc.]
1659 Douglas Corr. 267.
That parte of the testament wherin yow are named toutors
(c) 1596 Milne-Home MSS 61.
I leawe the affoirsaids eqwally twtouris
(2) 1425 (1431) Reg. Great S. 45/1.
We oblys us that quhat tyme at thar be tutoris ordanyt for the barnys … of our sayd son of Angous and [etc.]
1457 Peebles B. Rec. I 119.
The sayd Wil Mowat mayd his wyf in his testment lachful towtor tyl hys ar
1491 Acta Conc. I 213/1.
The said Marioun allegiit that scho wes of ȝong age & vnder tutory and that Robert Fowlis wes tutour to her & aucht to haf bene callit for hir defence
1526–7 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 84.
Robert Trumbull tutor to the lard of Philophaucht
1540 Renfrew Arch. Coll. I 189.
Henry lord Methven … generale tutour gider and governour to his darrest sone James prence of Scotland
1542–3 Acts II 411/2.
The lordis sperituale and temporale … to be lele and trew to the said lord governour, tutur to the quenis grace
1573 Prot. Bk. Gilbert Grote 88.
[He appointed him] tutour, reulare, and gidare to his bairns
c1575 Balfour Pract. 265.
In time of parliament the kingis tutour, governour or regent, sall wear ane mantle of ane duke
a1578 Pitsc. II 3/19.
1607 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 33.
The saidis personis fand that the balke without the dyke foirsaid … apperteinis justlie to the said Johne Hall as his propper heritage and to the said James Hall as his tuttor for his entres
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 104 (Table).
Tutour to the heire of ane soccoman, may not analie the lands perteining to the pupill: nor waist them, but keipe them to him, vntill he come to perfite age
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 104 (Table).
In ane action of warrandice, quhen the pupill is called, his tutour sould be alswa called
1610 Inverurie B. Ct. 15 May.
The saidis personis aucht nocht to be comburges of the said bruche … till the saidis personis athir be thame selfis or be thair towtouris & curatouris performe the petitionis following
1641 Acts V (1817) 521/2.
The infeftment … grantit be our said soverane lord as father, tutor, guyder, and lawchfull administrator to his hienes darrest sone Charles prince & stewart of Scotland
1655 Douglas Chart. 340.
1687 S. Ronaldshay 115.
I nominat and appoint Mr. Alexander Pitcairne, Deane of Orknay, James Young [etc.] … to be tutors to such of my children as shall be within the yeirs of thair tutorie during the haill tyme of their tutorie
(b) 1522 Maxwell Mem. I 250.
Johnne Duk of Albanye, tuetour to our souueraine lord and guuernour of his realme
(c) 1530 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 107.
The haill inquest sais fathly that Voll Loremer vas the vor xx lib. that ever he vas tutor [MS tytor] to Jhone Moss barnes
(d) 1694 Fraser-Mackintosh Lett. Two Cent. 130.
George Duffus, tewdor to my lord Duke of Gordon
(3) 1586 Reg. Privy C. IV 66.
The said Timothie wes forceit … to persew the ordour of law aganis the said Johnne … and Thomas … his tutour … befoir the lordis of Sessioun and obtenit … ane decreit of translatioun of the said first obligatioun in the said present erll and his tutour, passive
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 276.
The estats … transferrs the summonds of forfaltor … in our soveraine lady the quein's grace, and James Earle of Arran her tutor active; and in Alexander Lesly … and George Hendersone of Fordell his tutor passive
(4) fig. 1590 Burel Pilgr. i 380.
The hobie and the hedder bluter, Aloud the gae to be thair tuter, Thame to conduct and gyde
1638 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 554.
Green and young heirs, the like of sinners, have now a tutor that is God
(5) attrib. 16.. Hist. Kennedy 21.
The laird … deltt with all the moyane he culd … to gett his tutour compt maid
1661 Decis. Lords G. 2.
The mother being tutrix to her son, she had a process depending against him for tutor-compts

b. The guardian, etc. of (in) the estate of a minor, also applied to other sorts of property or institution, passing into merely titular use.(a) 1444–5 Peebles Chart. 9.
The burges and the hale communite of … Peblis, keparis vphaldaris and verray lauchfull tutowrys of the landis annuale-rentis and possessiownys … that the said Sir Wilyham … has gefyn … to the altar of Saynt Michaele
1462 Peebles B. Rec. I 147.
The chapellane … sal be tutour and oursear of the sayd almushous
1529 Reg. Privy S. II 53/1.
William Makclellane, tutour of Bomby
1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 119.
Robert Turnbull, tutor in Philophaugh
1532–3 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 87.
Payand for the saidis five ruggis ȝeyrly to the chakar thre penneis ob. and to the tutor of Sanct Androwis alter ixs iiijd
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 250.
The saids lieutennentis wes myndit to haue put the tutour of Pitcur … to death
1618 Sutherland Bk. II 136.
Efter resollowtioune with the towtour off Kentaill … I ame resolffit to sell the landis
1638 Adamson Muses Thr. I 39.
Robert did claime, As uncle, and as tutor of these lands, To have the charge devolved in his hands
1666 Jurid. Rev. XXIV 15.
I geyd to the tutor of Lagg to see if he had gotin any intelligence
(b) 1626 Black Bk. Taymouth 316.
The tuittur of Crumartie

c. Tutour testamentar (nominate), a tutor who has been appointed by the father of the minor in his testament or similar document. Also in reference to a woman, cf. Tutrix n.For examples of tutor nominate, see (1) above and e below. 1478 Acta Conc. I 12/1.
The summondis persewit be maister James Anderson & Thomas Anderson as tutouris testamentar to Thomas Grundistoune
1531 Bell. Boece I 34.
That he wald … support his nevois, quhill ane of thaim war abill to succeid; and becaus he was left tutour-testamenter be thair fader, he wald leif na thing undone that micht avance the commounweill
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 84.
His majestie being informed that his father had left him tutor testamentar to his grandchild
1565 Reg. Privy C. I 358.
Quhatsumevir persoun or personis that happynnis to be slane … in thair hienessis army … that the proffeit of his ward landis be tane up be the moderis gif thair be na tutouris testamentaris als lang as scho remanis wedo
c1575 Balfour Pract. 115.
The tutor testamentar, beand man or woman, sould be preferrit to the tutor of law
1591 Edinb. Test. XXIII 326b.
I leif Thomas … in Newtoun tutour testamentar and gydar to thame during thair minor aige
1613 Crim. Trials III 262 (see Tuto(u)ry n. 1 (1)). 1623 Misc. Bann. C. III 204.
I nominat James Cathkine my loving brother, tuttour testamentar to Margaret Lausone, my dochter
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 331.
The father may nominat ane tutor testamentar to his bairne in his wyfe's bellie
1672 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 22 Nov.
[He] appoints … the foirsaid Elizabeth McClelland his wyfe executrix forsaid onlie tutor testimenter (induireing hir widdowhood) to Elizabeth McClean his dawghter
1681 Stair Inst. i vi § 6.
A tutor testamentar by the civil law behoved to be either named in the testament, or codicils confirmed by the testament and could only be given to such as were in patria potestate … But by our custom a father may nominate tutors to his children in any writ he pleases; but it is of a testamentary nature
1688 Lauder Notices Affairs II 861.
He was cited, and the affair was civill; and they were tutors-testamentar, which needed no prævious solemnity; and if they maleversed, they were responsall

d. Tutour of (the) law, tutour in law, also tutoure legittime, a tutor who holds his office by mere legal entitlement, where a tutor testamentar is not available. 1517 Acts XII 37/2, 38/1.
To … Johnne Duke of Albany … and man tutoure legittime to oure soverane lorde the kingis grace governoure and protectoure of his realme … the auctorite real of this realme throw minorite of oure soverane is in ȝoure handis as tutoure and immediate successoure to the king and crowne
1518 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 229.
Schir Williame Elphinstoune … tutour of law to the said Lord Elphinstoune has … nocht fundin cautioune of the said office sen the deces of his fader in Floddoun
1534 Wigtown B. Ct. 304a.
Jhone Mcilhans & Anne Mcgarue to intromet wyth the barneis geire … & behuif of the forsaid barnis aye & quhill a tovtovre of lav entyre
1571 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 136b.
Edwarde Waus tutour of law to Robert Waus
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 132.
What impediment is that whidder he be an Englishman … or Italian, gif he be lawchfull tutour of the law and hes the rycht thairto?
c1575 Balfour Pract. 115.
Gif thair be ane tutor testamentar, the tutor of law hes na place: And siclike, the lauchfull tutor, or tutor of law, sould be preferrit to the tutor dative
14.. Acts (1597) Table.
Tutour of law suld be the nearest agnat, and kins-man of the father side, to the pupill, and xxv ȝeires of age
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 331.
The goodshire is tutor of law to his oye; and wil be preferred to the tutor dative albeit he be not serued tutor
1657 Sc. Ch. Hist. Soc. Rec. V 81.
Robert Bethune of Bandone, tutour-in-law … to Androw, John, David, Margaret, and Marie Bethunes, children lawfull to the defunct

e. Tutour dative, a tutor appointed by the court in the absence of a tutour testamentar or tutour of law. 1488 Acta Aud. 116/1.
Anselame Cessandris tutour datiue to Ewfame Adornes
1500 Acta Conc. II 465.
The sade Jhone, allegiand him tutor dative to Robert Galloway
1518 Fife Sheriff Ct. 99.
Mastir Dauid Spens … producit … ane lettir of the kingis of tutour datiue of Johnne Orrok
c1575 Balfour Pract. 115.
Gif thair be ony tutor of law lauchfullie servit and admittit the tutor dative sould na wayis be admittit
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 331.
The tutor dative should be preferred to the tutor of law who hes not found caution within yeir and day
1664 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I 503.
There was compearance made for the tutor-dative, who alleged, that he being tutor-dative, the writs ought to be exhibited to the tutor-in-law
1681 Stair Inst. i vi § 11.
Where there is no tutor nominate, nor the tutor of law claimeth right within the year, there is place for a tutor dative; which, though by divers municipal customs may be constitute by the ordinary magistrate of the place, yet is most fitly constitute by the supreme magistrate; and so with us is given by the king in exchequer
1695 Fountainhall Decis. I 672.
Cumming of Culter, the Tutor-dative, now nominate by the Exchequer
16… Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. III 74.
[The King] only can remit crimes, legitimate bastards, name judges and counsellours, give tutours dative and naturalize strangers

f. Tutour administrator, someone appointed to administer the affairs of one unable to do so for himself. 1562 Montgomery Mem. II 191.
The saidis Thomas … is wexit with franessy, and is nocht perfyte in his wittis … and swa can nocht … gowarne him self, his landis [etc.] … quhairfoir the saidis Robert is seruit and retowrit tutour administrator during the tyme of his seiknes

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"Tutor n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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