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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Martinmes, Martimes, n. Also: Martine-, Martyn(e)-, Marten(e)-, Martein-, Martain-; Mertin(e)-, Mertyn(e)-, Merten(e)-, Mertain-, Merting-, Mertne-; Mairtin(g)-, Mairtyn-; Marty(m)-, Marte(m)-, Marto-; Merti(e)-, Merty-, Merte-; Mertis-; Mairti(e)-, Mairty-, Mairte-; Mearti-; Mirti-, Myrti-; Mert-, Mairt- and -mes(s, -mes(s)e, -mez, -meys, -mas(e, mass(e, -mais, -mies, -mis. [ME. Martinmasse (1297), Martynmesse (c 1330), Martymasse (15th c.), Myrtynmes (1472), e.m.E. Martin-, Martilmas(se, -mes: cf. OE. Martínes mæsse.]As with many other words in mar-, the earlier occurrences of mer- are doubtless often (? or always) editorial.

1. The feast of St. Martin, 11th November, one of the term-days or quarter-days.Freq. Martinmes in winter, for distinction from the feast of the translation of St. Martin, 4th July.(1) 1400 Maxwell Mem. I. 138.
At the nest vsuale terme of Martynmes or Wytsunday
Ib. 140.
At … Witsonday and Martinmes in wynter
1407 Bk. Carlaverock II. 418.
1413 Frasers of Philorth II. 201.
1494 Halyb. 85.
To pay at Martynmes
1507 Reg. Dunferm. 361.
At four termes in the ȝhere … Witsonday, Lammes, Martynmes and Candilmes
1519 Selkirk B. Ct. MS. 70 b.
At tua wsuel termes … Wytsondaye and Martynemeys in wynter
1522 Ib. 94 b.
At the fest of Sanct Martyne callit Martinmes
1537–8 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 31.
Quha deit at the fest of Martynmes last bipassit
1614 Aberd. Council Lett. 129.
To Martenmas nixt
1666 Galloway P. 25 Sept.
Beginning … payment of the … rent at Martain masse 1668
1668 Ib. 14 Feb.
Martein masse
(b) 1594 Paisley B. Rec. 157.
That scho had feit herself with them fra Mertinmes last to Witsonday tharefter
1622 Galloway P. 6 March.
At Mertingmes 1622
1640–1 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 134.
viij libs at Mertenemes and viij libs at Whitsonday
1671 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 97.
At Merteinmes last bypast
(c) 1624 Melrose P. 580.
About Mairtynmes last
1646 Melville Chart. 174.
(d) 1389 Wemyss Chart. II. 24.
At twa termys of the yhere, that is to say at Qwhyssonday and Martimes into wyntyr
1393 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 28. 1438 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 48.
Martymmes in wynter
1445 Melville Chart. 30.
1455 Liber Scon 185.
At Witsondai and Martimes
1465 Liber Dryburgh 278. 1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 107.
And will I sell it [meal] to Martymes I will get for the boll [etc.]
1530 Reg. Soltre 98.
In dewiteis … betuix Martimes and Yhoull
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary I. 101.
This last ȝeir about Martimes
1587 Maxwell Mem. II. 162.
Quhill Martemes nixt
1599 Stirling B. Rec. II. 93.
1630 Acts V. 219/2.
To propone for the changing of the termes of Witsonday and Martimes to Lambmesse and Candlemesse
c1650 Spalding I. 49.
Jonet flowris … springing at Martimes
1655 Mouswald Kirk S. MS. 9 Dec.
Ane visitatione of the elderis … to be betuixt Martemmes and Ȝuill, and the other to be betuixt Whittsonday and Lambes
1673 Galloway P. 7 Apr.
(e) 1531 Glasgow Prot. IV. 31.
1540 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 99.
To flyt at Mertymes nixt to cum
1554 Liber Dryburgh 292.
At … Witsonday and Mertymies in wynter
1562 Maxwell Mem. I. 298.
Mertimes is nocht the terme at quhilk possessouris sould be remufit … commownelye
1571 Dysart Rec. 29.
a1578 Pitsc. II. 190/17.
The Quein … remanit thair quhill Mertymes
1598–9 Edinb. Skinners in Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 98.
1612 Prot. Bk. W. Leslie 7 a.
1629 Justiciary Cases I. 97.
About Mertimes 1600 ȝeiris
1637 Lanark Presb. ii.
1649 Cupar Presb. 138.
The last yeir save one, in the goesommer betuixt Michelmes and Mertimes
1654 Fam. Innes 174.
1663 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 206.
(f) c 1580 Douglas Corr. 237.
I am warnit be my uncle to resaue my siluer at Mertismes nixtocom
1636 Galloway P. 15 Apr.
The first termes payment at Mertismes
(g) 1480–1 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 38.
The customes of Leith ar sett … to Jhone Young … fra Mairtymes to Mairtymes
1551 Ib. II. 155.
The sum of xii merkis for his fie sen Mairtymes last to Mairtymes nixttocum
1607 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. 232.
Fowrtie dais befoir Mairtiemess or Witsonday
1653 Lamont Diary 69.
Mr Thomas Wilsone, scholemeaster for the time, to stay no longer then Mairtimis 1653
(h) 1646 Grant Chart. 241.
At the feast and terme of Meartimais [1647]
(1) 1675 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. 14 Jan.
The termes of Lambmes and Myrtimes last bypast
1688 Weaver's Acc. Bk.
To be payed at or abowt Mirtimis
(j) 1585 Maxwell Mem. II. 159.
To repay the samin at Mairtmes nixt
1605 Dundonald Par. Rec. 88.
Scho sall satisfie the Kirk for hir relapse … betuix and Mairtmes nixt
(2) 1375 Barb. ix. 127 (E).
This wes eftyr the Martymes Quhen snaw had helyt all the land
1396 Soc. Ant. XIV. 218.
Intrand in payment at the sayd Martymes
c1420 Wynt. vii. 1132.
Efftyr that at the Martynmes Qwhyt chanownys to Dryburgh commyn wes
1438 Lennox Mun. 68.
At the fest of Wytsonday … and syn at the Mertynmes next eftyr hend folowand … and at the Wytsonday next thareftyr
1457 Reg. Dunferm. 344.
Enterand in payment at the Martimes in vyntyr next folowand
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 33.
Stevin Loremer vii s., the last Mertymes iii s. vi d.
1561 Treas. Acc. XI. 95. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 5.
At the Mertymes in the said ȝeir
1673 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 182.
At the Mairtingmes nixt therefter
1697-1707 D. Hume Accompt of Estate 10.
If she shall survive the Martimass
(3) 1527 Selkirk B. Ct. MS. 123 b.
Scho … grantit, this nixt Martinmes beand rown, awand thre termes
1541 Maxwell Mem. I. 285.
[Grace] quhill this nyxt Mertimes
1640 Dunferm. Kirk S. 8.
His fee … for this last Mairtymas
1670 Soc. Ant. XXX. 20.
This Mertnemes being the first terme of payment of the said soume

2. Attrib. a. Martinmas day, evin, fair, sett and Tuesday. 1419 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 299.
On Thurasday next befor Martynmes-day
1485 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 51.
Ilk Martymas day at xij houris
1496–7 (c 1580) Ib. 70.
At the Mertymes day at none
1560 Admir. Ct. Bk. (Stair S.) 171.
In respect that Mertymes day is na feriat in respect of the practik of this realme now observit anentis feistis
1679 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 383.
The elevinth … of November … being Mertimesday
1429 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXI. 146.
On Martymas ewyn
1540 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 99.
Prouiding that thay … compeir euerilk Mertymes evin
1555 Ib. 213.
To be rentalit yeirlie thairin on Mertymes evin
1560 Ib. III. 86.
Be yerlie roupit vpone Mertymes evin
1564–5 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 481.
Upoun Mairtemis evin at the rouping of the commoun gude
1641 Acts V. 540/2.
[Fairs at Inverness:] the fyfte the tent day of November callit Mertimes fair
1661 Stirling Common Good MS. 3 b.
To Jon Buchanan for proclaiming the touns Mertmes setts [4s.]
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 611.
[Markets at Brechin:] Martimas Tuesday one day yearly

b. Martinmas term.Also Martinmes terme(s) fe, male, pensioun: cf. next. 1389 Reg. Cambuskenneth 260.
The tane half as for the Martymes terme last bipast, and the tothir half at Witsonday nixt for to cum
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II. 372.
That the sade Oswald was awand him the Mertymes terme male efter his entre quhilk was at the feist of Lammys
1516 Treas. Acc. V. 94.
For his Martimes term pensioun
1541 Ib. VII. 480. 1558 Ib. X. 401.
For his Martinmes termes fe
1565 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 496.
To the maister of the hie scole as for the Mertimes terme of his pentioun
1571–2 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII. 60.
For the multur of the mylnis for the Mertymes terme
1592 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 79.
The Martomes terme
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 216. 1670 Glasgow Weavers 79.
Receavit … the Mertimes and Whitsonday termes maill of his hous

c. Martinmas (fee, maill, pensioun, wages), = payable at Martinmas. 1473–4 Treas. Acc. I. 66.
Gevin to Henry Litstare for his Mertimes fee
1494 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 69.
Gif he be superexpendit that he remayne with the Mairtymes maillis
1551 Treas. Acc. X. 31.
His Martymes pensioun
Ib. 127.
Thair Martymes feis
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 354. 1560 Old Ross-shire I. 10.
For the Mertymes maill of the few lands
1570 Boyd Fam. P. No. 58 (22 Feb.).
For the Weitsounday and Mertemais maill
a1650 Row xxix.
His Mertimes vages

d. Martinmas (coddoch, cow), = killed or to be killed at Martinmas. 1638 Dumfries Test. I. 40 b.
Twa Martinemes coddoches pryce of the peace ourheid 10 merkis
1662 Sc. Hist. Rev. IX. 344.
Each tirung a Mertimes cow

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"Martinmes n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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