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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.

Burges, n. Also: bwrges (burches), burgi(e)s, bowrges, borges (berges). [ME. burges (14th c.), variant of burgeis Burgeis n.]

1. A citizen or freeman of a burgh. 1375 Barb. xvii. 23.
A burges, Sym of Spaldyng
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii. 207.
God steryt the hart of a burches That in Ephysy dwelland was
14.. Acts I. 21/2.
Ilke burges may punde ane uplandis man
Ib. 340/2.
With burgesses dwelland within burgh
c1420 Wynt. ix. 972.
Wyth the assent off the thre Comownys, Bychapis, burgesses and barownys
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 112.
John Tyry was mayd burges on Sant Lukis day, and sal pay his fredom xxti s.
c1475 Wall. xi. 968.
Nane suld gaynstand, clerk, burges, no barroun
1491 Acta Aud. 153/2.
Alane Wyndeȝettis, berges of Edinburgh
1497 Dunferm. B. Rec. 75.
Jon Flemen [was] enterit to the fredwm off bowrges be resson off hys fadir
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 87.
That the burgessis folowand sude be maid for the reparing of the toune, the honour and profit of the Kirk [etc.]
1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 85.
Burgessis bryngis hame the bothe to breid in thar bawkis
1539 Maxwell Mem. I. 279.
Georgis Wr, bwrges of Edinburgh
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2366.
Sir., we ar heir, ȝour burgessis and merchands
1573 Sat. P. xl. 318.
He wald not wane … for na mannis will For to rebuke erle, barrone, or burges
a1578 Pitsc. II. 315/3.
Ane burges and ane merchand of Edinburgh beand in Flanderis
1596 Lett. & State P. Jas. VI 15.
Thomas Fowlls, borges in Edinburghe
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 36.
All they quha buyes victuall … fra burgessis at thair granares
1631 Lanark B. Rec. 128.
Thair saidis antecessouris, deacone, … burgessis and friemen
1661 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 199.
Sieing he wes ane burges of gild and tounes barne
1662 Ib. 202.
All entering burgessis, als weill burgessis of gild as craftsmen
1684 Peebles B. Rec. II. 112.
The great prejudice … to the old burgessis of this toun through admitting of burgessis … to easily
transf. a1500 Henr. Fab. 297.
The burges [sc. the town-mouse] had ane hoill, and in scho gois

2. As pl. The class or body of burgesses. 1375 Barb. xvi. 80.
A full gret cheuelry Of squyaris, burges, and ȝemanry
1402 Dundee Chart. No. 22.
The burges of the burgh of Dunde sayand … that thai had [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. viii. 783.
Bischoppis, erlis and barownys, Honerabil burges awenande
Ib. 2152.
The burges off Dunde
1445 Peebles B. Rec. 9.
The balyheis, the burges and the hale communite of the burgh of Peblis
1472 Edinb. Chart. 134.
Our welebelouettis the burges and communite of Edinburgh
The burges, nychtbouris and induellaris [of] the said toune
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 83.
The king him self come to thire burges bene, And … said: ‘Welcome, my burges, beild and blis’
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxvii. 10.
And first hir mett the burges of the toun, Richelie arrayit as become thame to be
1535 Stewart 11428.
With barronis bald, burges and bachleir
Ib. 32765.
Mony burges that war clad in steill
1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii. 58.
Lythquo, lament, ȝour burges may luke bauch
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xv. 61.
God send our burges wit and skeill For to set furth the commoun weill

3. Attrib. or appositive with air, athe, barne, carle, dochter, innis, lade (load), mous, raw, silver, son, stuff, ticket.See also Burges-man, -wyfe. 1450 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 8.
The burges air payis for his burgesschip vj s. viij d.
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 112.
That day was mayd burges Lori Lauson and sal pay for his fredom has a burgis ar
1549 Compl. 143/4.
The preist of Peblis speris ane questione, … quhy that burges ayris thryuis nocht to the thrid ayr
1606 Peebles Gleanings 21.
All ... that mareis burges airis to do the lyk
1620 Conv. Burghs III. 104.
To the grit hurt of the haill trafficquers … and bretch of his burges aith
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 94.
To ȝow I haue ane questioun to declare, Quhy burges barnis thryffis nocht to the thrid aire
1508 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 112.
That in tyme cuming the priuilegis of burges barnis be … kepit in this wis
1535 Ib. II. 71.
Burges bairnis till bruik thair awld priuelegeis
a1568 Pedder C. 39.
That … custroun Will mary nane bot a burges bairne
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 258.
Schoe was lyklie to have ... become burdeinsome to the towne, being ane burges bairne
 — 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 11.
Thir noblemen … and riche burges carles
c1420 Wynt. vi. 471.
Scho wes … A burges dochtyr, and hys ayre
1508 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 112.
The burges doichteris … to haue the priuilege of the secund son
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 816.
Vnto ane burges innis he maid him boun
1590 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 150.
Fyftie markis money togidder with foure dousane burges ladis coilis
a1500 Henr. II. 14.
The taill of the uponlandis mous and the burges mous
a1568 Pedder C. 69.
I ȝow exhort … ȝe … him requeir That he will geif thir coffis the law And baneis thame the burges raw
1460 Peebles B. Rec. 137.
He sall pay for his burgis syluer x s. in hand
1555 Ib. 220.
The thesaurare chargit him … with xxxiiij s. … of annuellis and burges siluer
1510 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 128.
Burges sonis of this tovne to pay twa merkis
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 23.
With wob yarne or vther hew of burges stuff
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. 14.
Iames Stevinsone, … hes promeisit … to tak no benefit of the burges ticket receivit be him from the toun
1680-6 Lauder Observes 254.
Burgess tickets ware not regarded wheir their residence before the war was elsewheir

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"Burges n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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