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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.

Latter, Letter, adj. Also: lattere, -ir, -yr, later, -ir, -yr, lathyre; lettir. [ME. lattre (Orm), latter, latere, -yr, OE. lætra compar. of læt Lat a.]

1. The last in a series or succession; the final; also, contextually, the second.Common in Douglas.See also Latter-meit(t.(a) 1509 Lennox Mun. 188.
Granttys … ientres in the pament of the lattyr twa honder mark that is contenyt in the endentoris betwyx the sayd lord and me
1513 Doug. ii. x. 121.
The lauboreris … hew A mekil ayk … Quhil finaly it get the lattyr straik
Ib. iv. viii. 43.
Beseik hym grant ontil his wrachyt lufe This lattir reward, sen algatis he wil fle
Ib. xii. xiii. 29.
Desist heirof, now at last, … For now is cum the extreme lattir punct
Ib. xiii. i. 1.
Turnus, in the lattir bargan lost … ȝald furth the leand gost
Ib. iii. vii. 24, 35, vi. iii. 146, x. i. 135, etc. 1524–5 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 221.
Quhilk sowme the said … counsall constitutis and grantis to be allowit … to the saidis fermoraris in thair latter quarter
1535 Stewart 40572.
Emma his latter wyfe … Ducke Richardis dochter wes of Normondy
1538–9 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 35.
He and the said barnis behufit to enter in the kirk to Goddis service at the latter peils on festuale dais
1557 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 3.
And gif it comes to ony mair it will be rebatit of the latter payment of the taxation
1560 Rolland Seven S. 575.
Thay … wist not quhat wald be the latter fine
1562–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 114.
In full payment and recompance of his fyrst arff eftyre his wmquhile sayd fathyre; and as twching the rest … of all … landis pertenyng to thar fathyre and mothyre falland to the latter arff betuxt the sayd Janote … and hyre brothyre bayrnis, … thyre forsayd landis of the lathrye [sic in pr.] arff … consyddrit [etc.]
(b) 15.. Clar. iv. 811.
Of the letter course they servit ware, All be sex plesant ladyis
1622-6 Bisset I. 287/19.
Gif it be sa that he fals that lettir dome gevin in courte

b. The last in one's life. Freq. the latter hour, also latter age, elde.See also Latter-day, -end, -mynd, -will. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 2122.
In his letter age
c1508 Ch. & M. Pr. vii c. 20.
Thou gert hym err in to his latter elde
1513 Doug. ix. viii. 70.
I, thy moder, layd not thy corps on beir … Nor drest thé in thy lattir [Sm. lettir] clathis meyt
c 1525–35 Glasg. Dioc. Reg. I. 55.
The barnis modir … at hir latter hour left hir kyndnes of the samyn [land] to Andro Clerkson
1531 Bell. Boece I. xxiv.
Thow sall find thaim, throw thair intemperance … sa fowsumlie growin in thair mid or latter age that [etc.]
1533 Boece ix. xix. 338 b.
Quhare euer he … closit the lattir houre
1580 Hay Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 45/2.
Our lord Jesus Christ … said in the latter supper, tak eat
1586 Edinb. Test. XV. 148 b.
In respect of his … seruice done to me … be the said Robert vntill my latter hour
1592 Acts III. 619/2.
During the lettir aige of our souerane lordis … grandschir
16.. Hist. Kennedy 14.
He allegitt that my Lord maid ane letter testament in the quhilk he left him tutour

c. Pertaining to the end of the world.Also Latter-day 1 c. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4905.
Quhow sum suld ryis, in to the latter aige, That frome the trew faith sulde depart
Ib. 5309.
Mathew … doith report That … The letter tyme sall schortnit be, For plesour of the chosin nummer
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 147.
In the latter tyme sum sall fal fra the faith
1600-1610 Melvill 18.
Concerning the letter judgment, the peanes of hell

2. a. Our latyr day, lettir lady day : see Ladyday, Maryday, Our lady day. 1545 Prestwick B. Rec. 21.
At thar sal na geys be haldin in the town fra our lady day in lentryn quhyl our latyr day in erwest
15.. Chron. Perth 1.
Flowden vas in September, on the lettir lady day in anno 1513 ȝeiris

b. Latter fair: in Stirling, the last of the annual fairs; in Dundee, ? a fair held on Latter Ladyday. Also in Dumfries.(1) 1581 Acts III. 239/2.]
[Our said souerane lord … hes … changit the said fair [of Stirling] haldin of befoir … vpoun the said xiiij day of September to be haldin … vpoun the xxij day of October … and the first fair vsit of befoir vpoun the said viij day of September to stand
1596 Stirling Chart. 223.
Rewynwies of the Latter Fair sett to Stewyne Aikmane for aucht pondis monie
1641 Reg. Great S. 379/1.
Cum quatuor liberis nundinis annuatim … quarta 22 Oct. et per 8 dies lie Latter-fair-day de Stirling nuncupanda
1672 Stirling Common Good 80.
For proclaming the setts of the letter fair [4 s.]
1678 Ib. 128.
For righting the calsay at the later faire
(2) 1595 Wedderburn Compt Bk. 44.
Nyn barrel hering to be payit at the Lettir fair nixt
1596 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIV. i. 33.
Setterday eftar latir faire in Dondile
(3) 1641 Dumfries Treas. Acc. 4 b.
Fra Andro ... and Dauid ... for thair custome at the lettir fair

3. Belonging to the recent past or the present; recent. latter-day; most recent, last.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 457.
For Adame … ete of that forbodine met … thar-for suld this latir mane … The self bittirnes taste of gall
1592 Acts III. 569/1.
The corruptioun increscand in the said college in this later and declyning aige
1596 Dalr. I. 4/7.
The lattir historiographors [called us] Albians, and the realme Albanie
(2) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 57.
I resauit twa pair of lettres of you sens my latter wryting to you

4. Hindmost, rearmost. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 233/16.
The Wolschis … followit feirsly on the lattir skirtis of thare armye

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"Latter adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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