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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Beseke, Beseik, v. Also: besek, beseike, beseak, beseek, besik, besyk, besick; p.t. besocht, besoucht (besowth), besoght; p.p. besocht. [ME. beseke (biseke), beseyk, besike, var. of beseche, early bisechen, bisecen, f. sechen Seke v.]

1. intr. To make entreaty or supplication. a1400 Leg. S. ix. 32.
Thai speryt Quhy Astarothe, thare god, wald nocht Answere thame as thai besocht
c1475 Wall. v. 699.
Her I beseik … Yhe charge me nocht with no wngudly harmys
a1500 Bk. Chess 1554.
For his deid I besocht
1513 Doug. iii. ix. 26.
I beseik, tak me with you
Ib. xi. xiii. 107.
As he besocht for grace with gret request, Scho dowblit on hir dyntis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 34/20.
Schaw me of lufe sum takin, I beseik

2. tr. To beg or ask earnestly for (something). Also with double object. c1420 Wynt. i. Prol. 126 (C).
The helpe besek I of that rois
1483 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 47.
Beseikand reformatioun and remeid of the greitt iniuris … done to thame
1504 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 90.
Jhonne Kintor … complenit to the Schireff … besekand justice
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxiv. 20.
Beseikand grace, on kneis ȝow befoir
1513 Doug. xiii. ii. 90.
A thing … I ȝou besekyng, and I ȝou requer; Bair ȝour myndis equale
1532 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 231.
Your Lordischippis ansuer I humelie besekis
1596 Dalr. I. 199/6.
Thay begin … to beseik and craue the succour … baith of God and man
1608 Crim. Trials II. 561.
Your lordschipis ansuer humlie I beseik
1644 Acts VI. i. 226/1.
Your Lordships ansuer humbly we beseike

3. To beg or entreat (a person) to do something.(a) c1450-2 Howlat 862.
Thai wald Nature beseike … To discend
1492 Myll Spect. 277/13.
I desyr & besekis ȝow … to opyn & schaw [etc.]
1533 Gau 98/11.
Ve beseik thé to help vs
15.. Clar. v. 1940.
Scho … Did them beseik to go
1562-3 Winȝet I. 13/24.
We … ernestlie beseikis thy Maiestie … to luke [etc.]
1585 Misc. Spald. C. II. 193.
I besyk yow to schaw yow [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset II. 355/3.
I beseik thé … to cum unto me
(b) c1515 Asl. MS. I. 326/4.
Beseking the redaris to pardon me
1533 Bell. Livy I. 41/23.
Besekand him to stand … propitiant
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 43.
Beseikand thame all lawis to suppresse
1560 Rolland Seven S. 21/31.
Beseikin ȝow to fulfill my desire
1570 Sat. P. xii. 147.
Beseikand ȝou to short it
1606 Highland P. III. 88.
Beseiking ȝour Ma'tie … to respect my aige
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 49.
Beseikand … the counsell to tak to their consideratioun …
(c) c1420 Wynt. ii. 786.
Partoloym … besoucht the kyng … Tyll tak thame tyll hym
c1475 Wall. v. 667.
Wallace scho besocht To dyne with hyr
1513 Doug. ii. x. 161.
We … Besowth my fader to salue his wery banys
a1578 Pitsc. II. 50/25.
Thay besocht the governouris grace … to continew the erle of Angus

b. Followed by that (or at) and clause. 1444 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 10.
We … beseikis humeli yhour lordschip … that [etc.]
1462 Peebles B. Rec. 145.
Schyr John … humely besocht the balyeis … at thai wald [etc.]
c1475 Wall. viii. 1452.
Besekand thaim hyr frend at thai wald be
1513 Doug. iii. ii. 35.
We thé beseik that schaw alsso thou wald [etc.]
1562-3 Winȝet II. 71/16.
I beseik ȝow … that ȝe al say the samin self thing
1607 Highland P. III. 105.
I will beseik your grace … thatt your grace will gett me thatt fawor

c. Followed by independent clause. 1513 Doug. i. xi. 75.
We thé beseik, this day be fortunabill To ws
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1246.
I ȝow beseik … Gif me luging
1558-66 Knox II. 368.
I beseak your Grace, cause not me [etc.]
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxviii. 100.
I ȝow beseik, be movit with my wound
1608 Haddington Corr. 119.
I besick you beliue I am … your affectionat frind

4. To beg, request, or entreat (a person), esp. for (or of) something.(1) c1450-2 Howlat 853.
Thir lordis … He besocht of sucour
a1500 Rauf C. 942.
I beseik him of grace
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lix. 14.
Ȝour grace beseik I of remeid
1513 Doug. vi. ii. 27.
Quhat pepill … salt thou beseik of supplé
1529 Rec. Earld. Orkney 60.
I beseik your … lordschips of remeid
(2) 1473 Acta Aud. 29/1.
[He] humbly … besekis his gratnis herefor
a1500 Bk. Chess 879.
Thai besocht … hevynnis king … For grace
(3) 1513 Doug. ii. ix. 60.
Quhen that I come hym lawly to beseik
Ib. iii. ix. 84.
We the gret goddys besocht
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 258.
Beseikand als his souerane sonne, Iesu

5. To beset; to assail. a1500 Henr. III. 107/10.
False is this warld. … Besoucht with syn
a1500 Bk. Chess 1233.
[Scho was] so besoucht that no fude brocht scho thar
Ib. 1371.
He was … all with sleipe besocht

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"Beseke v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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