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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.

Chemis, Chemys, n. Also: chemise, -ys(s)e, -yis; chemes, -eis(e, -ois; chemmi(e)s, -es. [Late OF. chemois, earlier chef més ‘chief mansion’. See also Chymmis and Schemis.]

1. The principal dwelling, the manor-house or mansion, of an estate. 1408 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 175.
xxti markis worth of lande within his landys of Glencharny outtakyn his chemys and his demayne
1410 Reg. Great S. 398/2.
Excepta una domo cum una acra terre magis prope domui antedicte jacente que vocatur le chemyse
c1420 Wynt. vii. 3542.
That erldwme to be delt in twa Partys, and the tane of tha Wyth the chemys assygnyd he Till Waltyr Stwart
1427 Melville Chart. 21.
His consent optenyt, the forsaid Mergret sal upgyff … hir chemys of the Wemys
1437 Reg. Dunfermline 285.
The oxgang of land of the chemis pertenand to the said Abbot
1457 Stirling of Keir 232.
Ten markis worth within my landis … outtakand my manys and chemys
1480 Douglas Chart. 112.
That he sal nocht analy … the castell and chemis of Auchlek … fra his sone
1498 Reg. Morton II. 250.
The said Iohne Elphinstoun sall have with the saidis twa mydmast sisteris and dochteris the … hale chemys and towre
1514 Rec. Earld. Orkney 89.
To be at the arff house and chemois betuix this and Alhalow evin
1539 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. 67.
James Noble is rentalit in tuenty penny land in Stobo lyand besyde the chemysse
c1575 Balfour Pract. 38.
Within ane certane place, within the lordschip of the baronie, that is callit the chemyis
Ib. 109.
The chemise or principall messuage sould not be devidit
1622-6 Bisset I. 291/12.
This summonis suld be execute at the chemise of baith the landis that are in pley
1646 4th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 534/1.
[Donald McLauchlane … had been captured within the] chemmies [of Kandrochat]

b. With addition of cheif or principal. 1456 Douglas Chart. 85.
Tyl hafe giffyn … the landis of Ewisdale … at the cheife chemes
1488 Acts II. 202/2.
I … personaly past to the cheif chemis of Bothuile and thare summond Iohne lord Bothuile
1505 Lennox Mun. 170.
Thare at the principale chemmes of the said landis … to giff heretabile staite and sesing
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xxxviii.
Dunbar wes sum time the cheif chemis of the Erlis of Marche
1570 Leslie 115.
Farnyhirst keipit court … at the principall chemise of Jedburgh forrest
attrib. 1514 Orkn. & Sh. Recs. I. 255.
The principale chemeis place in Tollop
1579 Rec. Earld. Orkney 146.
The chemeis hous of the samin

2. A principal place of residence. c1420 Wynt. iv. 1299 (W).
Thar chemys and thare cheif tovne Than to the erd wes castin dovne

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"Chemis n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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