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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.

Borch(t, Borgh, n. Also: borwch, -vch, -och, -ouch, bowrch(e, borrghe, bourghe; borght, bourcht, bowrcht, bourth. [ME. borgh, early borh, OE. borh, borᵹ. In ME. more usually boru, borwe, etc.: see Borowis, n. pl.1]

1. A person standing as surety for another.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 770.
Wald thu … For me tak borch sancte Nicholas?
14.. Acts I. 355/2.
That a burges aw to be borche for ane other burges … quhill he ony thing tyne for him, and than he is halding to be borghe for him na langar
c1420 Wynt. v. 1130.
Quhilk is he … That thi bowrche wyll thare-off be
1444 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 12.
Borgh for William Mathouson, John of Scrogs
1458 Peebles B. Rec. 127.
Henri Bochan was in an onlau to the balyeis, borch hymself for the onlau
1468 Ib. 157.
Ilk an of tham is the otheris borch
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 172.
For the mar sykyrnes Siluester of Retra … is … cumyng borch onder his sele for tham
1474 Ib. 215.
Dauid Blar … borch and dettur to us
1483 Acta Conc. II. Introd. 13.
Robert … as principale dettour, and John … as borgh for him, sal content and pay [etc.]
1529 Stirling Ant. IV. 203.
John Cowane … becam borgh and dettor to the said Cristane for multyeir
1562 Edinb. B. Deeds 68 b.
Williame Ogill … as souertie, borgh, and dettour for me
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 80.
Gif the borgh may proue that the principall debtour is vailable
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 768.
Na man wil for me Borcht, na detoure nothir be
1387 Edinb. Chart. 36.
Till thire thingis lelely to be fulfillit ilke ane of the forsaide masounys is othiris bourcht
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 200.
Siluester of Retre … is … becvmyng borcht onder his sele for the said Robert and Thomas
1497 Halyb. 141.
Sald to Lambrecht the Crok, draper off Brugis, and Jacop Van Mair his borcht … a sek of woyll for 26 mark
1523 Carnwath Baron Ct. 8.
Will Graham borcht for Rob Graham
1561 Edinb. B. Deeds 5 b.
Payand yeirlie … seruice of bourcht aucht & wont allanerlie

2. Something given or offered as a pledge.Borch of hamehald: see Hamehald. 1410 Brechin Episc. Reg. I. 30.
The quhilk borch David Panter [etc.] recontret: the quhilk recontre thai affermyyt with ane borch
14.. Acts I. 362/2.
And he haf nocht a borgh til fynde bot profferis his fut in borgh, he that is actor folowand [etc.]
1459 Ayr Burgh Ct. 19 Nov.
The court ryply auisit fand at the borch & counterborch was of vale
1473 Prestwick B. Rec. 21.
Borcht of the vnlaw his hand and his gud
1497 Dunferm. B. Rec. 77.
It is fond be assis that the borcht of fif crovnys is avale
1538 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 159.
This my petitioune … to haf the stryntht of ane borght. gyf neid beis

b. A statement or agreement constituting a pledge. 1504 Dunferm. B. Rec. 144.
Tweching the vrangvis withthaldin of twa bollis of ber … as wes at lentht contenit in ane borcht funde … herapon
1517 Fife Sheriff Ct. 69.
Like as is contenit in ane borgh fundin in the handis of Alexander Lindesay officiar be the said Charlis

3. a. To draw in (to) borch, to put in pledge. 1375 Barb. I. 625.
Thar-till in-to borwch draw I Myn herytage
Ib. 628.
Sen he in bowrch hys landis drewch
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 113.
Sym Conno … drauis his land in borch

b. To borch, as a pledge or security. a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 739.
That that I to borch thé tuk
1389 Charter (Reg. H. Sup.).
To gyve tha landis to borch as lauch wald
c1475 Wall. iii. 336.
Thar leyff thai tuk, … Sanct Jhone to borch thai suld meyt haille agayne
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 701.
We sall … mak ȝow saif; we fynd sanct Blase to borgh

c. To lat to borch, to allow security or pledge to be given for a person or thing. Also to ask, or seke, to borch.(1) 1397 Acts I. 208/1.
He sal lat thaim to borch til apper at the next iustice air
1398 Ib. 211/2.
The schirefys … sal latte thaim to borch
1454–5 Edinb. Chart. 81.
The persoun … of Lestalrig salbe fauorably arrestit and … lattyn fauorably to borgh
1456 Hay I. 229/24.
Sen God has lattyn him to borgh, gevand him his hele
c1475 Wall. vii. 434.
Lat ws to borch our men fra ȝour fals law
1510 Fam. Rose 181.
The thane of Caldor has takin his sone … and will nocht lat him till boroch
c1575 Balfour Pract. 340.
That na … liege of this realme … sall replege, or seik to borgh ony persoun [etc.]
(2) 1418 Liber Melros 540.
Be it knawin … us Archibald erle of Douglas … til haf lattyn to borch … tha landis qwhilkis lyis in debate
1466 Acta Aud. 5/2.
Andro Vrre askit the landis of Forglen to borgh at the abbot of Arbroth
1478 Acta Aud. 79/2.
For ij hors takin and puyndit be the saide Robertis seruituris and nocht lattin to borghe quhill thai deit
1496 Acta Conc. II. 28.
Gif the sade fisching be askit to borch be owther of the sadis partiis
1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 41.
The mylne of Orkye was replegiate be Iohnne Seitoune … and lattyne to borgh to hyme
1548 Lanark Sheriff Ct. 13 b.
The hors was … lattin to borght to him self … the said day
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Plegius.
The superior thereof, may … then let the lands to him to borgh, and vnder caution, as said is
1622-6 Bisset I. 303/37.
There to tak ane distres and lat it to borgh gif it be asked
Ib. 304/23.
The latting of it to borgh in maner abonewrittin

d. Latting to borch; a document relating to the giving of security. 1477 Stirlings of Keir 250.
With al and syndry richtis, … evidentis, lattyn to borchtis, actis, … documentis … that we haff

4. To find, to streke (= put forward), to follow or persew, a borch.(1) 1389 Reg. Cambuskenneth 261.
We ordane that he sall fynd certane borouchis for till appere in the said abbotis court
1411 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 30.
That reuerend fathir … fand ane borch in our hand as schiref
1444 Ayr Burgh Ct. 18 Jan.
The court awardit … that the borch that the said John fand was of valow & the borch that the said Newin fand was of na valow
1478 Acta Aud. 66/2.
The bourghe fundin be Alexr. Spens … vpoun the breve of morthancestre
1505 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 50.
Johnne of Mar fand ane borgh in the hands of Thomas Bisset … that [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 15.
Ane borgh to be found be him for his man
(2) 14.. Acts I. 378/1.
Tharto I streik a borch and that I will preiff
1429 Acts II. 18/1.
Qwhare twa pertiis apperis at the bar and the tane strek a borgh apon a weir of law
1433 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 389.
Richard of Rutherford ... strekit a borch in Alexander of Kintoris hand
1489 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 416.
Ane assyse … to decide the borrghe strekit upone Thomas Mar be Alexander Rede anent the payment of ane susplat of wool
(3) 1456 Peebles B. Rec. 114.
Aperit in curt Rob Percle to folou a borch that he fand on Wil Geddes
1488 Lanark B. Rec. 2.
John of Heboun fallowit a borch apon Andro Fidlaris dochter for the sclander of his wif
1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. 53.
A part of the conuent comperyt in the towbutht … to folow a borvch of warning apon Thome Smytht
1545 Stirling B. Rec. I. 40.
The inquist findis the borcht persewit be Elspeth Mukkart aganis Katherine Jak of avale
1565 Ib. 83.
[I give] ane borcht to follow this my borcht

5. Borch row, a roll or list of pledges or sureties. c1575 Balfour Pract. 38.
The Serjand aucht to present attachiamentis and borghrowis that ar fundin in his handis

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"Borch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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