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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.

Levy, Leavie, n. Also: levé, levey, levi(e, leviey, lewie; leavy; livvee; leivy, -ie. [e.m.E. and late ME. leve(e (1427), levy, -ey, -ie, leavie (17th c), F. levée. In Sc. only 17th c., after e.m.E.]

1. The action or an occasion of raising troops; a levy.(a) 1643 Acts VI. i. 34/1.
The act of the saidis estaits … anent the levie of some horse and foote
1648 Elphinstone Mun. 38.
The comitte of estates, without whose order nothing can be altered concerning the levi
1649 Acts VI. ii. 465/1.
That no master shall for … private revenge put forth any tenant or servant in levies, but that … the Commissioners … shall judge of the fitness of the person
1651 Elgin Rec. II. 364.
That this levey was like to proue another unlawfull ingadgment
1694 Glasgow Burgesses 231.
His voluntar ingadgeing to goe out as ane souldier as ane of the proportioun of this present levie of foot for the burgh
(b) 1646 Acts VI. i. 582/2.
The estates … have remitted the list of a new leavie of the numberis to be put out for euerie shyre
1649 Ib. ii. 225/1.
Act aganst runawayes of this present leavy
1651 Montgomery Mem. 314.
Misunderstanding the true sense, meaneing, and end of the Act of Leauie
1670 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 26 March.
For ane trew … extract out of the books anent the charge given for the leavies at Sir Adam Blairs instance
(c) 1645–6 J. Hope Diary (1958) 143.
I had ane praecept from the Committe for livvees in Scotland
1648 Ib. (1919) 146.
Warre against England … which … would be the upshott … of our present livvees, thogh pretended for defence allanerlie
(d) 1641 Acts V. 349/2.
Our soverane lord … dischairges all leivyes and recrues of souldieres within this kingdome
1672 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 160.
Anent the outreik of the tounes pairt of the leivie of foot

b. A body of troops levied. 1627 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 38.
This service whairin thir leveis ar to be imployed
1631 Justiciary Cases I. 178.
That the purpoise of Marques Hammiltons leveis, as divers of his commanderis and followeris had informed him, was [etc.]
1639 Johnston Diary (1896) 52.
Telling of … the hinderance that Lambingtoun had made to that leavie, and of the want of amunition
1672 Rothesay B. Rec. 227.
The towns proportione of ane presse or leavie to be sent to Leith for the Kings assistance

c. Levy-money (also -silver), the bounty paid to newly enlisted recruits. Levy-man, a man recruited for a levy.(1) 1646 Army of the Covenant II. 375.
Paid … in pairt of the leve money and pistoll money dew to his troupe six thousand merks
1648 Acts VI. ii. 53/1.
The heretouris … [to] putt out thair proportione of horse and foote weell armed … with two dollouris for leavie money and 20 dayes provisioune to each souldiour
1648 Peebles B. Rec. I. 382.
[The Council] considdering the leavie moneyis [etc.] … to be gevin to the persones to be sent furth be this burgh hes statute [etc.]
c1650 Spalding II. 320. 1664 Lamont Diary 173.
They raised 500 seamen … .Ther levie money was 40 s. sterl. a peice out of the exchaker
1670 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 27 Apr.
To compone … with Sir Adam Blair anent the leavie money now sought off this toune
1690 A. Shields Grievances and Sufferings 40.
We … made up the E. of Angus's regiment, all in one day, without beat of drum, or expence of levy money
1647 Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. VIII. 75.
Quherof I hauld me weill content … for suldior siluer, lewie siluer and for … abulȝiements
(2) 1697 Fountainhall Decis. I. 805.
The question was about a man whom Ker of Cavers had hired to be his levy-man … , whom afterwards the parish of Abbot-reul took on, and put out as their man, and forced Cavers to conduce with another to be his militia man

2. The raising of money by taxation. 1650 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 607.
You … by the lewies, Kinges rewenewes, fynnes [etc.] … haue drawin vnto yourselues … that wich did belonge to the publicke wsse

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"Levy n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Mar 2024 <>



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