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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Fredom(e, n. Also: fredoum(e, -dowme, -dume, -dwme, freddome, frei-, free-, frie-, fridome. [ME. free-, fre-, freodom, OE. fréodóm.]

1. The state of being free from subjection to an alien ruler or power. 1375 Barb. i. 220.
That folk, that euir was fre, And in fredome wount for to be
1398 Acts I. 211/1.
The fredume & the rycht of the kirke to kepe wndamyste
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1847.
Sum chesid errare to de Than thai walde fra thare fredume fle
Ib. vi. 27.
For this fredwme … mak we defens
1456 Hay I. 62/25.
The mony bataillis that he did for the fredome of Rome
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 264/29.
Jhon Baliole grantit thairto contrar the fredome of the crovn
1558-66 Knox II. 45.
To … mainteine the libertie and fredome of the realmes committed to thair charge

2. Liberty to live or act without restraint or compulsion. 1375 Barb. i. 226.
Fredome mays man to haiff liking, Fredome all solace to man giffis
c1420 Wynt. i. 76.
Quhare bowsumnes mays fredwme threlle
Ib. vi. 757.
That electyowne to be ay In all kyn fredwme fra that day
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 150.
Thar is na thing thai cowet mare Na fredome, fauore, and gud fair
1490 Irland Mir. I. 72/18.
The presciens of God is nocht presciens be necessite, bot be fredome and contingent
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxi. 28.
On fredome is laid foirfaltour
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 38.
I luif fredome, ȝit man I be subiect
c1600 Montg. Suppl. 199/24.
My freddome thow dar nocht defaice

b. Liberty to do something. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1002.
The quhilkis … Suld haue fredome … To pas or than to dwell thar still
c 1400 Wemyss Chart. 37.
Ilke part sal haf fredome to distrayne in the lyke maner
1443 Ayr Chart. 28.
Clamand fredome … to tap bradeclaith and narow
1461 Peebles B. Rec. 139.
The nychtburris … sal haf fredom … to cast turris and pwl hedder
1498 Reg. Morton II. 253.
With fredome to hald ane horse … summyr and wyntyr

c. Liberty to engage in business or trade as a recognized member of a community or society; the privilege or right arising from this. 14.. Burgh Laws xiv.
He sall nocht ioyse the fredome of the burgh bot gif he by it and be maid fre man
1436 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 5.
Thai byares sall pay the merchant as thai haif bocht at, and tyne thair fredome for a yeir
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 112.
That ilk day was mayd burges Lori Lauson and sal pay for his fredom has a burgesar
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 181.
The hostlary of the hale tonys … , is grantit to John Olyuar, with al fredomis in bakyn and bruyng
1520 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 199.
The craft of bonetmakaris vsand merket and fredome of the said burgh of Edinburgh
1556 Inverness B. Rec. I. 3.
Nocht to … gyf fredome of burgesrie … to oney manyr of person excep allanerlie ane burges son
1609 Stirling B. Rec. II. 123.
[He] actis himself gif heireftir he be fund giltie of the lyk crime he sall … tyne his friedome
1657 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 385.
His freidom to be cryd doune, … and his name to be scorit out of the book

3. Personal liberty; deliverance from confinement. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 990.
Elenus for the sonnes twa … Preyed the kynges … To graunt hem fredome & mercye
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1583.
Thewys that he in presowne hade … All wnpunysyd he lete ga In fredome
1456 Hay I. 111/18.
The quhilk King of France … restorit the pape agayn in his fredome
1493 Acta Aud. 184/2.
To put him to liberte and fredome sa that he may commoune with his moder and frendis
1524 Douglas Corr. 89.
The Bechep of Sanct Andros is put to his fredoume
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 32.
The Lord Hereise was set at fredome a litill befoir

4. An exemption or immunity attached or pertaining to lands, corporations, or burghs. c 1380 Charter (Reg. H.).
I sall gif hym my chartyre … wyth al clavse & al fredome pertenand to blancheferme
1393 Reg. Morton II. 192.
The saide landis … to be anext to the barony of Dalketh with sic fredome as the saide barony is haldyn … of the king
1406 (1427) Reg. Great S. 17/2.
Landis … to be haldin … wyth bludewite. merchet and herielde and wyth al other fredomys … at to that landis pertenis
c1420 Wynt. vii. 708.
That to the Kvrk that tyme he gave Wyth wsualle and awld custwmys, Rychtys, essys and fredwmys
1454–5 Edinb. Chart. 80.
That he sal gif tham the best counsale that he may … to the gouernance of the fredome and the worschip of the toune of Edynburgh
1493 Acta Conc. 287/1.
Vsurping apon the fredomez & priuilegis of the said burghe
1516 Reg. Cupar A. I. 297.
The brewland of Auchinlech with the fredom, is set to Donald Thom for … fif ȝeris
1575 Rec. Earld. Orkney 137.
The talis, yairdis and fredomes pertening athir of the saidis tennementis
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 41.
That land sall remaine in that friedome vntill his thrid heire

b. The area over which the immunities of a burgh extend. 1492 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 47.
A lettre to eschete al wol that gais oute of the fredome
1497 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 71.
All maner of personis, being within the fredome of this burgh
1512 Reg. Privy S. I. 367/2.
Makand him custumar of the burgh and fredome of Dunde enduring the Kingis will
1564 Reg. Privy C. I. 280.
At the fre bnrrowis abonewrittin, or within the fredomis thairof
1577–8 Misc. Spald. C. V. 113.
For our disiones, or we passit to visie the fredome of this toun
1591–2 Ib. 115.
For passing thryis thro the fredome
c1650 Spalding I. 267.
The toune wes compellit to compone, for welth and tred within the brughe and portis thairof, and friedome of the samen
1662 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 202.
To deliver to Robert Burnet … the draucht and stans of this burghe and fredome

5. Full membership of a gild or trade. 1456 Peebles B. Rec. 115.
John Dekyson enteris Sym Bron to be his man in plan curt, to be lel and treu to the fredom qwyl he and his master can acord
1520 Stirling B. Rec. 2.
That na man enter to the fredoum of the gild bot he that sall pay v li.
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 223.
The baillies and counsale … grantis to the prouest ane fredome of gyl[d]ry to be distribute and gevin be him as he sall think expedient
1574 St. A. Baxter Bks. 21.
All on-fre man that sall happin to … ressaue the fredome of the craft … sall pay … ten pundis mair for thair fredome, togidder with ane dennar as efferis
1604 Stirling B. Rec. II. 383.
Quhatsomever gild brother wretis cartallis … sall … tyne his fredome
attrib. 1633 St. A. Baxkter Bks. 95.
That all prenteis … sall be receavit for na les fridome silver nor i c. lib
1684 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 354.
That ilk prenteis … after his prenteiship … shall be obleiged to pay ten merkis for his freedome fyne

6. Free, open-hearted, or generous disposition. c1475 Wall. vii. 910.
Fredome and treuth he had as men would as
Ib. viii. 1453.
Quhen Wallace saw the fredom off the queyn
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 119.
Sa worthie Lords … , Sa full of fredome, worship, and honour
c1500-c1512 Dunbar Tua Mar. W. 299.
We no fallowis war in freyndschip nor blude, In fredome nor furthbeiring
a1570-86 Maitl. Fol. lx. 35.
Treuth, mercie, fredome, and iustice, Thir four makis ane nobill king

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



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