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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hede-, Heid-court, n. Also: hed-court, -curt, headcourt. [e.m.E. head-court (1545), supreme court.]

1. One of the three principal sessions in each year, of a burgh-, sheriff-, or baron-court.The head-courts were the first meetings of the court after Michaelmas, Christmas, and Easter, respectively. 1410–11 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 30.
We assignit til the partieis the law day and hed court nixt eftir Michelmes nixt to cum
1430 Acts II. 19/2.
It is statute … that all frehaldaris duelland within ony schirefdomis compeir at the hede courtis in thar propir personis
1489 Dunferm. B. Rec. 6.
The hed court of Pas baldyn in the tolbutht
1538 Soc. Ant. II. 392.
John Gothra … sall cum at the next heid court eftir Ȝowll bairhedit in face of court
1597 Misc. Spald. C. II. 135.
The Heid Court of the … Regalitie of Spyne, haldin … The nynt day of Apryle
1616 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 141.
The petitioun of the Provest [etc.] … presentlie assemblit at thair Michaelmes heid court
1644 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 215.
That the thrie yeirly head courts sall be constantly upon the thrid Thursday of January, the secound Teusday of Junii and the secound Teusday of November
1663 Decis. Lords G. 48.
The son is not obliged to keep the superiors head courts, during the fathers lifetime
1679 Cunningham Diary 112.
Given to answer at the head court and regalitie court upon proxie 13 s.
attrib. 1456 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 15.
Ay vpoun the hede cort day the baillies war chosin
1586 Digest Justiciary Proc. L. 26.
The said aucht day of Januar being the heid court day of Pettinweime
1646 S. Leith Kirk S. 71/2.
This day being ane head court day all uthyr processes were conteinued

2. The supreme court. a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxxix. 233.
Be it in heid court of our souerane lord Quhilkis signifijs jugement superlatiue
1576 Orkney Oppress. 44.
At the last Lawting haldin in Scalloway, quhilk is the heid court of the cuntrie
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 55.
Bot gif ane pley is advocat to the kings heid court (before The Justiciar), the Lord of the inferiour court may not [etc.]

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



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