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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.

Charge, Chairge, v. Also: charg(h, charyge, cherge; p.t. chardit. [ME. charge, -gen (a 1225), OF. charger, -gier.]

I. 1. tr. To load, laden, or burden with something; to furnish with a load or burden. 1375 Barb. iv. 406.
Soyn fra the batis saw thai ga Of Ynglis men thretty and ma, Chargit all with syndry thing
Ib. xi. 114; etc.
Of cartis als … So feill, that … Four scor wes chargit with fewale
a1400 Leg. S. ix. 110.
Than gert the kynge, … His men of gold & siluer charge camelis
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 313.
One thousande … Of hors chargede of full goode quhet
1456 Hay II. 5/33.
A grete tre … chargit full of fair fruytis
Ib. 55/35.
Quhen a glutoun has chargit him our mekle with metis and drinkis
1474 Treas. Acc. I. 52.
To fee vj hors with cariage, … chargit with erras clathys [etc.]
c1475 Wall. ix. 1626.
He … Graithyt him a drawcht, … Chargyt a hors, and to the hous can caw
1513 Doug. xi. i. 114.
Chargeand the altaris oft with hys awyin handis
a1586 Lindsay MS. 61 b.
Ane tree weill ladin and chairgit of frute

b. To load (a ship); to furnish with something as cargo. 1375 Barb. xv. 108.
To the castell … come schippis xv [= fiftene], Chargit with armyt men bedeyne
a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 214.
He herd say That in the hawine schipis gret Ware arywit, chargit with quhet
1405 James of Douglas Letter to Henry IV in Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Yhour men … hade takyne … certayne Scottis schippis chargit with marchandis
1482 Edinb. Chart. 168.
Of ilk bait chargit in the havin to pas to the rade
1506 Ib. 190.
That na skipperis … saill … with thair schippis chargit with any merchandice or guidis quhill the samyn be lelely enterit
1513 Doug. i. vi. 100.
The schippis … Thai tuke, and chargit full of gold

c. To fill or stuff up. 1375 Barb. xiii. 337.
Banokburn, betuix the brais, Of hors and men so chargit was

d. To press heavily upon; to charge in battle. 1375 Barb. xiii. 317.
Thai with speris swa him met, That he and hors war chargit swa, That bath doune to the erd can ga
?1438 Alex. i. 2782.
His fellowis oft delyuerit he Quhan that he saw thame chargit be
1558-66 Knox II. 59.
The haill troupis durst not charge
a1578 Pitsc. I. 97/16.
They come mare fercelie wpoun them … , and namelie wpoun the place that was sarest chairgit

2. fig. To burden with something felt to be oppressive or irksome. 1375 Barb. iv. 344.
The pouir folk of this cuntre Ar chargit apon gret maner Of vs, that ydill lyis her
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 54.
For wondir war [that] man suld wyne Til hewine that is chargit in syne
1456 Hay I. 132/32.
My conscience sall nocht be chargit tharewith
Ib. 265/21.
Ilke man in generale may nocht be chargit with athe
c1475 Wall. xi. 272.
Be the faith I aw the croun off France, I thocht neuyr to charge you with sic chance
1519 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 193.
Nane of the craftis to be chairgit thairwith
1521 Liber Melros 631.
We sall neuer … hwrt, herry, nor charge … the landis … with na tailȝeis, … nor dew service
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 94.
Than neid thai not to charge the realme of France With gounnis, galayis, nor vther ordinance
1562-3 Winȝet I. 50/8.
Neuir wes ane quha attemptit to charge thair subiectis with the burden of an uther religioun
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxv. 43.
And ȝe thame charge with besines, [thai] ar abill to misknaw ȝowe clein

b. To cast upon (one) as a fault. 1386 Rotuli Sc. II. 85/2.
So that the wardeins be noght charged befor the warnyng be made
c1420 Wynt. v. 5716.
A fellowne man … confessyd hys trespas, And quhen throwch that he chargyt was, This Empryowre … Gert slay this haly Pape Martyne
c1475 Wall. v. 700.
Her I beseik, … Yhe charge me nocht with no wngudly harmys
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxix. 174.
Thay sall me burding als with monie lie In chargeing [Q. chairging] me with that quhilk never I ment

c. To make one responsible or answerable for; to lay to the account of. (Cf. Charge n. 2 b.) 1553 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 333.
I am to be chargit with the four grete goldin candilstikks
1556 Ib. 362.
I am to be chargit with Sanct Gelis peice

3. a. To impose as a duty or command. ?1438 Alex. ii. 2363.
For the great bounte ȝe bere That ȝow is chargit [F. enchargie] of rialte
c1460 Consail Wys Man 3256.
Gang nocht fra hym murmurand, Quhen he thé chargis his erand
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 244/29.
A Franche man … falȝeit na schot within a faldome quhar it was chargit him to hit

b. To convey or discharge (an errand). c1420 Wynt. vii. 1927.
Abbotys twa … The Kyngys erandys specyally Chargyd to this Pape

c. To put or take as a load or freight. 1513 Doug. xii. xiv. 35.
Scarsly twys sax … hes sik mycht To charge it on thar schuldris or to beir
1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 409/1.
He … may discharge and charge … v townis of quhat merchandis it sal ples hym
1533 Boece xv. vij. 586 b.
Edward … chargeing his folkis with ane flote of lxx sailis … arrive[d] in Forth

d. To load (a gun). a1578 Pitsc. I. 143/9.
The king … commandit to charge all the gunnis to gif the castell ane new wollie

II. 4. To impose upon (one) as a task or duty; to order, command, or commission (one) to do some thing.(a) 1375 Barb. xx. 202.
He prayit thame in hy till do The thyng that thai war chargit to
1405 James of Douglas Letter to Henry IV in Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
The qwhilk skathis our lege lorde … chargit me til aske … redresse tharof
c1420 Wynt. v. 4944.
Wyth hym twa carlys chargyd was To se and here and bere wytnas
Ib. viii. 3013.
Thai ambassatowris war chargyd … to the Court to ga
1455 Edinb. Chart. 80.
Als oft as thai pas thairto and chargis him to pas with thame
1459 Peebles B. Rec. 134.
The balye chargit the forsad Adam to … pruf his pament
c1475 Wall. viii. 635.
Wallace thaim chargyt his presens till absent
a1500 Seven S. 6367.
He chargeit was, suith for to pas Out of the realme
1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 425.
That all licht weman be chargit … to decist fra thar vicis
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 242/12.
This parliament … chargit all maner of man till be at Edinburgh baith on fut & horse
1533 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 65.
Oure Souerane Lordis lettres … chargeand ws till consent to the samyn
1543 Reg. Cupar A. II. 25.
All tymmis quhen he is chargit to ryde and mak seruice to the abbot
1561 Reg. Privy S. I. 163.
To charge all maner of personis … to desist and ceise fra all accepting of the samyn [commissionis]
a1578 Pitsc. I. 53/3.
All men war chargeit to pas fordward witht displayit banner
(b) 1552 Reg. Cupar A. II. 107.
At all tymes quhene we cherge thame to pas with ws to the hountis
1561 Misc. Maitl. C. III. 289.
That thai lawfullie chergit the said Mr. Thomas Meffen … to compeyr
a1578 Pitsc. I. 115/33.
He send and warnit all his kin … chairgand thame to meit him at Douglas
1600 Misc. Bann. C. I. 174.
He chairgis me to enter in waird
1603 Moysie 28.
The maister of Olyphant wes chairged to ansuer … afoir the counsell

b. With that and subordinate clause. 1500 Conv. Burghs 1506.
The provost chairgit the hale skynnaris craft that thai occupie na merchandice
1567 G. Ball. 44.
Iesus … chargeit thame … That lufe amang thame suld incres
1575 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 419/1.
I man chairge you … that … ye address you to be heir … the 28th of this instant October

c. With to (a thing) or without construction. 1436 Acts II. 23/2.
The assisouris … quhen thai ar chargit to the assise
1450 Reg. Great S. 84/1.
Full powar … tenandis to charge, gressummys alswa to raise [etc.]
c1450 Cr. Deyng 239.
He suld … haf his hart rady to do thar-to, as his curat chargis hyme
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 176.
Payand … of ilk man in cariagis in the ȝere efter as tha ar chargyt
1510 Reg. Privy S. I. 308/1.
To … wirk in oure conȝe and do sic uther … besynes as we will charge him
1548 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 140.
The nychtbouris … refuissis to cum quhen thai wer chairgeit
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 210.
[He] requirit tham quhat thai wald chairge him lefulle with
1596 Highland P. I. 181.
Then I employed Gilmertine … quho flatly refused; thairefter I chairged Gillipatrick … qho accepted
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. II. 1.
Bischops, abbates, earles, … being charged conforme to the kings precept, sould be present
1614 Highland P. III. 146.
They haue nominate domicilis within the burghe … whairat they sall be chairged in all tyme cuming
1627 Bk. Carlaverock II. 90.
Thair must be letteris raised to arrest them, and to chairge for redelyverie of them

d. Coupled with command. See also Command v. 1434 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 314.
We charge yhu and commandez that yhe content and pay yherly … ten markkis
1506 Edinb. Chart. 189.
We charge ȝow straitlie and commandis incontinent … ye pas and in our name [etc.]
1555 Glenartney Doc.
We charge ȝow straitlie and commandis that … ȝe pas to all and sindrie the paroche kirkis and townis [etc.]

e. intr. To give a command or charge. c1475 Wall. xi. 1313.
I charge, … Nane be sa bauld ȝon tyrand for to schrywe
1513 Doug. iii. iii. 27.
Apollo, certis, … chargit neuer in Crete thou suld remane
Ib. iv. 109.
He … thairwith chargit ankyrris [to] haill
1532 Peebles B. Rec. 57.
We pray you … and als chargeis, that ye kepe and defend the said Sir Iohne [etc.]

5. To send with a commission or errand. 1375 Barb. xvi. 10.
He … him chargit to the king Till pray him specialy that he Suld cum in Irland
c1420 Wynt. v. 3882.
The byschope chargyd till hym than The archedene
1456 Hay I. 111/15.
The said pape … ordanyt and chargit agayn him the gude King of Fraunce
c1450-2 Howlat 205.
That come the Curlewe, a clerk, Chargit as chancillar
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 340.
Thai ordanit that thre To the schore chiftane, chargit fra the kyng

6. To order or commit (one) to or in ward or prison. 1471 Acta Aud. 19/2.
That lettres be writin to charge him to warde to the castel of Edinburghe
1489 Acta Conc. 100/2.
That lettrez be writtin to charge the persons … to ward in the Blaknes within viij dais efter thai be chargeit
1497 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 71.
The provest to charge the fermorar and his souerteis in waird … quhill it be payit
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 68.
Ȝour mylk quhyt handis we sall bind, … Chargeand ȝow to prwsoun
a1578 Pitsc. II. 218/14.
The Secretar … was taine in Stiruiling … and chairgit to vaird within the castell thairof

7. To address or request strongly. c1475 Wall. ii. 92.
A hetfull man the stwart was of blude; And thocht Wallace chargyt him in termys rude
a1578 Pitsc. I. 179/8.
They had chargit him sindrie tymes for support and gat nane

8. a. To incite (a horse) to speed. a1500 Lanc. 3398.
His hors than can he with his spuris charg, … And in the thikest of the pres is gon

b. intr. To make a rush or onset. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3102.
In bote, in balingar, and bargis, The twa armyis on vtherris chargis
1558-66 Knox II. 59/11.
Quhen thay persevit that the greit force of the horsemen stuid still, and chargeit not

9. intr. To care, to reck. a1500 Lanc. 2453.
He chargit not bot of encres and fame, And how his puples hartis to emples

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"Charge v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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