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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
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Heritag(e, Heretag(e, n. Also: heritadge, herytag(e, -aig, herietaig, hartyage; herretage, heretadge, -aige, hæritage, -etageheratage; heryrstagye. [ME. herytage, heritage (a 1225), OF. (h)eritage. Cf. Eritage.]

1. Property, esp. landed property, which descended by succession to the heir-at-law on the decease of the possessor; heritable estate.Sometimes distinguished from movable property, which did not descend in this way. c1420 Wynt. viii. 725.
Quhat man bot sone off case beis dede Hys douchtyr succede sall in his sted And hald hys herytage hyr allane
1456 Hay I. 122/28.
He sall nocht be at his scathe of his moble gudis na heritagis
Ib. 292/11.
Ane Emperour may mak testament of his meubles bot he may nocht mak heritage of the empire
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 231/2.
Failȝeand … the mariage of the … airis male or femel succedand to the said umquhil Johnis heretage
1541 Stirlings of Keir 368.
Ane grett part of the auld heretage … annalyit and put away, swa that the samin was likelie to haif dekeit
1546 Soc. Ant. XVI. 196.
All maner of heryrstagye and ayrschipe that [she] and the sayd Thorrald had call or clayme to
a1578 Pitsc. I. 47/17.
Thinkand it was wicious to denude the auld herietaig of ane house
1596 Dalr. I. 17/19.
In the same hæritage ilke hes rychteouslie from age to age succeidet till vther, that … thay may be called perpetual heires

b. Property of this kind, inherited by a person as rightful heir; an inheritance, birthright.Sometimes distinguished from conquest: Land Inherited, not acquired by purchase.(a) 1375 Barb. i. 420.
This child … pray[i]s ȝow … That ȝe resave her his homage And grantis him his heritage
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 763.
Al this landis are myne here & is my herytag al
Ib. xxxix. 21.
For tha had na heritage … Thar modir til a crafte thaim set
c 1442 Coldingham Priory 141.
It is to me and myn herytaig and malyng
1454 Mun. Univ. Glasg. I. 14.
To tak vp the said tenement … as thair awin propir grovnde and heritage
1456 Hay I. 189/4.
To conquest land and heritagis fra Cristin folk, … to mak thame pure and disheris thame
1539 Peebles B. Rec. I. 57.
Thare landis, baith commoun propirte, rentis, possessiounis, heritagis, mylnis, [etc.]
1553 Reg. Privy C. I. 140.
How he … hes sumpert hurt his leiving and heritadge, be reassoun of his yowtheid
a1578 Pitsc. I. 257/10.
[The King] wowit to god that he sould neuer bruik herietage in Scottland efter that day
1627 Orkney Rentals III. 54.
Thair arr few heritors amangest us, and thair heritadge is so little that it is not worthie to be called heritadge
(b) 14.. Acts I. 359/2.
Ony maner of landis in the quhilkis he is in possessioune in burgh, heretage or conquest
Ib. 389/2.
Twa sisteris fre women hes an heretage as rychtwys ayris
1456 Hay II. 31/15.
To tak fra lawar na himself outhir moble gudis or possessiouns, and hald it as heretage till him
c1475 Wall. x. 1123.
He delys myn heretage, To Sotheroun part, and sum to traytouris wage
1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 408/2.
Gyf … William had ony landis, annuellis, fyschingis or heretage haldin of utheris ourlordis
1549 Compl. 167/6.
Men … inuentand … wrang titilis to hef ther nychtbours heretagis that lyis contigue besyde them
a1578 Pitsc. I. 194/15.
Thir men quha hes nocht beine discendit of auld antient housis nor ȝit succeidand to na grett heretaige
1613 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 133.
Ilk man throw his awin heretage sall clange the wattir gate
1622-6 Bisset I. 107/8.
Unto the quhilk decisioun, thair haill heretaiges, levingis, landis, … ar subiect
1649 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 107.
Ane difference amongis the stentaris of this brughe … anent the … proportion betwixt heretage and merchand traid
fig. a1568 Scott xv. 8.
Having thy ladeis hart as heretaige in blenche ferme

c. Of heritage : possessed of, or heir to, an inheritance. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2734.
The thrid uolf are men of heritage, As lordis that hes land be Goddis lane
1570 Leslie 240.
Sic fassione of dealing was not the nerrest way to cunques a lady and princes of heretage in mariage

2. A person's or nation's native land, considered as inherited from their ancestors. c1420 Wynt. vi. 15.
The Scottis fowndyd off thare rycht … Recoweryd swa thaire herytage, Ewyr to lest wyth thare lynage
c1475 Wall. iii. 18.
Bot Inglismen … Demaynde this land as thair awne heretage
Ib. vi. 293.
Crystyne thai ar, ȝone is thar heretage
1513 Doug. xi. vi. 83.
We cachyt ar to syndry costis, far by Our natyve bundis and ald heritage

3. fig. The inheritance of Christ or man in the world to come. a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 253.
That thu … ma … wyne to that herytag That to man I hicht and his lynag
Ib. xli. 108.
My spouse [sc. Christ] … has giffine me in mariage That neuir sal falȝe. his herytage
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 552.
Quhiddir hevyn or hell for fynale heretage
1490 Irland Mir. I. 6/24.
[To] bring thame … to the hevinly heretag abuf
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvi. 106.
Except a menstrall that slew a man, Swa till his heretage he wan, And entirt be breif of richt
1580 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 300.
Endit salbe oure pilgremage And brocht hame to oure heritage

4. a. Possession of lands by heritable right. Chiefly in heritage.Fe and heritage, see Fe n.2 2 b and 3 b. In few ferme and heritage. see Fewferm(e n. 1 b (b). 14.. Acts I. 25/2.
And he … hafe nocht assignyt his landis … befor his dede, his sone … sall cum in the herytage of the landis
c1420 Wynt. ii. 755.
Thus all that land in herytage He wane all hale
Ib. v. 5075.
Ilkane efftyr othire successywe … Held all thai landys in herytage
1483 Acta Conc. II. cxxxii.
The lordschip and landis … gevin of befor to … James Duc of Rothissay … in properte, principalite and heretage
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2181.
Thair he gat till his wage The Empreours douchter, & realme in heritage
1584 Fam. Innes 142.
The toun and landis of littill Kylmuire … pertening to him in fewferme and heretaig

b. Heritable right or title (to lands). Of heretage, by heritable right.(1) 1390 Acts I. 216/2.
The half of the fornemmyt erldome … perteignys to my wyfe of richt of heretage
c1420 Wynt. v. 2438.
For nowthir be rycht off lynage, Na be laucht off herytage, Off Rome he wes Empryoure
1483 Acta Conc. II. cxxvi.
A charter of resignatioun in ourlordis handis … quhilk was nocht charter of ald heretage
1514 Rec. Earld. Orkney 87.
Ane certane of famous … persouns … admittit to decide in ane mater of heretage
1555 Peebles B. Rec. 216.
Except it he brevis raisit of heritage alanerlie
(2) 14.. Acts I. 359/1.
Ony landis that he is in possessioune of conquest or of heretage
c1420 Wynt. vi. 2479.
In dysherysown Off thame that suld … Have had the crowne off herytage

c. Said also of an office. 1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 405/2.
Robert Huntare, … forestar of heretage of the said ile
1622-6 Bisset I. 57/21.
Na office salbe gevin in heretaige, bot during the kingis plesour

5. Hereditary succession, inheritance. a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 640.
Na … consent wald he, That Jhesu Cristis patronag Succed suld be harytage
1456 Hay I. 215/27.
Fyve syndry kingis of Fraunce, efter him succedand doune be lyne of heritage
1562-3 Winȝet I. 115/15.
Lat ws posseid be hæretage the sanctuarie of God

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"Heritag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2023 <>



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