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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Perambulatio(u)n, -acio(u)n(e, n. Also: pere-, peir- and -ambulatio(u)ne, -ambulacone, -ambwlatioun; also Preambulation. [med. L. perambulatio (1183 in sense 1), AF. perambulation (Eng., 1373 in sense 1 b), e.m.E. perambulation, in sense 1 (1540), in sense 2 (c 1485), f. as Perambulat(e v., Perambule v.]

1. The procedure of perambulating, in sense a of Perambulat(e v., Perambule v.On breve of perambulatioun see (4) and (5) below, and b. 12.. Reg. Dunferm. iii.
[Perambulacio inter terras abbatis de Dunfermelyn et terram David hostiarii
1395 Reg. St. A. 2.]
Instrumentum perambulacionis
(1) 1425 Liber Melros II. 544.
That thai suld … bute fraude or fauour tyle owthyre party make perambulacion … betwyx the sayd parteis debatabil of the sayd marchis
1478 Acta Conc. I. 6/1.
On to the tyme that the marchis be red be perambulacion
1480 Ib. 62/1. 1550 Cupar B. Rec. 9 Dec.
Quhilk personis … passit to the ground of the said dyk & efter lang perambulation thairon deliuerit and fand [etc.]
c1575 Balfour Pract. 438.
Gif ony of the parties happinis to poind ony gudis beand upon the saidis debaitabill landis the samin aucht to be restorit to the ground quhill it be declarit be perambulatioun
1577 Reg. Privy C. II. 629.
For perambulatioun of the debettabill methis and marches of certane landis
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 119.
Perambulation may not be led against a minor
(2) 1472 Reg. Cupar A. I. 162.
Be the last perambulatioun ryddyn and made betuyx the Abba of Scon and ws
1479 Acta Conc. I. 29/1.
Efter the perambulacion be past [etc.]
1495 Acta Conc. I. 416/1.
To here & se the said perambulacion led on the saidis landis
1496–7 Ib. II. 62.
Anent the divisione and perambulacione made betuex the baronryis of Kelly and Carnebee
1542 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 518. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 40 b.
The absence or inlaik of the justitiar annullis the perambulation
1662 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 203.
Bearer of the tounes standart … at ther … perambulatione of the utter land merches
1670 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 82 (28 June).
That this pereambulation sould not be prejudiciall to … his pupill
(3) sing. 1447 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 244.
Eftre debate … ane perambulation was tane to the quhilk thar wes chosyn juge … Sir Alexander of Forbes
1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 151.
Eftir the tenor of ane perambulatioune maid tharupon
1498–9 Acta Conc. II. 306.
That thair was ane perambulatioun procedit and past in this mater
1614 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 127.
To saiff ȝour w. fra ony cognitioun or perambulatioun
1648 Edgar Old Church Life II. 309.
A division of the paroch of Mauchline and … the parishioners were preparing themselves to have a perambulation for that effect
1670 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 82 (28 June).
Ane peirambulation betuixt … his guidsir and … his grandsir betuixt the lands of Maynes and Boirland in Suithwick
1686 Lauder Notices Affairs II. 746.plur. 1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 116.
Accusit for usurpatioun of the Kingis auctoritie in halding of ogangis and perambulatiounis upoun the twelff merk land Kingis land in Stromfirthe
1622-6 Bisset I. 137/23.
Summonis upoun the ground … is used in perambulationis, comprysingis of landis, schawing of haldingis and sic uther actionis
(4) c1575 Balfour Pract. 434.
At the instance and desire of ony partie that thinkis him hurt in the marchis of his landis, the breve of perambulatioun sould be direct furth of our soverane Lord's chancellarie to the Justice-general and his deputis, chargeand … thame that thay be gude leill and the eldest of the countrey, cause justlie be ane assise of the landis perambulat the richt meithis marchis and divisis [etc.]
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve. 1622-6 Bisset I. 289/33.
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 54. 1681 Stair Inst. iv. iii. § (1832) 576.
The fourth unretourable brieve is the brieve of perambulation which is for clearing controverted marches
(5) 1451 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 163.
The quhilkis [landis] war deuidit … be breuis off perambulacioune off our chapell
1478 Acta Aud. 78/1.
Gif ony person be hurt … in making of ony dykis vteuth the said ald boundis that breuis of perambulacioun be gevin to thaim
1480 Acta Conc. I. 72/1. 1492 Reg. Episc. Morav. 244.
Ay and quhil brevis of perambulacioun or arbitrouris be schosin
1471 Acta Aud. 18/2.
Be a breif of perambulacion
1493 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 212.
In sic effect fors and strynth as proces of breyff of perambulacioun
1537 Ib. 366.
For the serveing of ane breve of perambulacioun rasit at the instans of [etc.]
1577 Reg. Privy C. II. 629.(6) 1492 Liber Aberbr. II. 276.
At the decret … off certane assysowris of perambulacione
Ib. 277. 1494 Acta Aud. 193/2.
And manurit … efter the forme of the instrument of perambulation maid to him therapoun
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. (M.C.) 16.
The court of perambulatioun of merchis of the burght
c1575 Balfour Pract. 435.
All processis and decretis of perambulatioun
1575 Reg. Privy C. II. 465.
In ane actioun and caus of perambulatioun
1579 Acts III. 144/2. 1587 Rec. Earld. Orkney 312.
Evictit … be his lordships courtis of perambulationis and ogangis haldin thereupon
1590 Reg. Privy C. IV. 515.
Ane court of perambulatioun haldin mair nor ane hundreth yeiris syne
1622-6 Bisset I. 315/27.
The proceses of perambulation and division … beand baytht eftir ane forme and style quhairof perambulatioun is almoist worne out of use [etc.]
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 14.
Ane decreit of perambulation

b. transf. A writ or deed initiating a perambulation or recording the decision of a court of perambulation; a breve an instrument, or a court record, of perambulation: see (4), (5) and (6) above. 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 154.
Gif he agaynis quham the perambulacone is purchasit be within elde the perambulacione sal ses
1557–8 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII. 54.
For extracting of the said decreit and perambulatioun of Glaidismure under the quarter seill
c1575 Balfour Pract. 363.
Because the meithis and marchis … cannot be provin sufficientlie bot be ane perambulatioun and boundand chartour or uther sufficient document in writ

2. The action of walking about. 1618 Stirling Kirk S. 456.
Ane ungodlie custume … in ganging in the uttir kirk … befoir the minister enter in the pulpet … the present assemblie dischairgis all sic perambulatione in tymes cuming

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"Perambulation n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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