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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Servand(e, -ant(t, Sarvand, -ant, n. Also: servaund, serveand, -iand, -iant, (serant), serwand, -weand, -ant, scherwand, serwent, sirvand, syrvant, schirwand, survant, sarwand, -antt, sarvend. Pl. also servanse, servanes. [ME and e.m.E. servant (Ancr. R.), seruand (Cursor M.), saruaunte (a1340), servaunte (Chaucer), saruand (Wyclif), serwand (1574), OF servant (c1112 in Larousse), pres. p. of servir.]Forms in sch- may simply be due to editorial expansion of an initial long s.

I. A person in the service of another and obliged to obey him or her.

1. One in the employ of another for the purpose of carrying out various duties, esp. of a domestic or personal nature, sometimes distinguished as receiving wages, an employee.Not always clearly distinguishable from other senses, esp. sense 2 in which some examples may belong.See also Man-servand n., Woman-servand n.(1) a1400 Leg. S. ii 99.
Quhen Nero hard say That his seruand [L. pincerna] sa wes dede
a1400 Leg. S. vi 79.
A seruand of the hous
a1400 Leg. S. vi 576 (see sense 8 (1)). c1466-80 Letter from Lord Hamilton.
Gif my seruande … mystaris other lettiris … thrucht the lande to conwoye hym I requer ȝour ladischip hartly therof
1490 Irland Mir. I 131/17.
The haly lady and virgin … prayit … that sche mycht be ane humyl seruand … to that haly lady
1498 Acta Conc. II 173.
Al utheris injuris or wrangis committit or done be the sade Schir James his men and servandis to the sade Margret hir tennandis, men and servandis, inhabitantis the sadis teyrcis
a1500 Rois Garlandis 104.
The quhilk wes led bundin till Annas, and be a vile seruand tuke ane gret straik
1501 Treas. Acc. II 86.
To Johne Polworth, servand to the lord of Sanct Johnis, … xiiij li.
1528 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 415 (see 2 below). 1530 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 30.
Thar is diuers seruandis that hes thar masteris and hussis claithis to the walter
1533 Boece 464.
Makbetht … slew … the childer of Makduff his lady familiaris and servandis
1542 Reg. Privy S. II 692/2.
Gilbert, servand in the kingis wyne-sellar
1551 Hamilton Cat. 10.
Defraudaris of waigis fra servandis or labouraris
1558 Edinb. B. Rec. III 23.
Euerye man to be haldin to ansuer for his awin seruand and haue him sufficientlie prouidit for defence of this burgh
1558 Misc. Spald. C. IV 59.
That … his lordschip … caus his lordschipis seruandis to reforme thame selfis becaus nixt him self it semis him to begyn at his awn houshald
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2026, etc. 1561–2 Treas. Acc. XI 110.
To Robert Fraser, induellare of Dunfermling and serviand to hir grace [£30]
1564–5 Reg. Privy S. V i 549/1.
Robert Cuninghame of Montgrenane, hes bene peage and servand to hir grace
1566 Sources and Lit. Sc. Law 300.
[Alexander Heuch] … tuk done the caile pott quhilk was sethand on the said fyir to the said Gilberttis servand dennaris
1602 Elphinstone Chart. 166.
Thair is nevir ane servand that will byid with him, he hes sa misvsit the servandis
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 99.
Domestick servands sould reveale the crime committed be their maister or els pas fra his service
1621 Acts IV 623/2.
Servandis who … refuis to be hyired without gryit and extraordinarie waiges
1648 Acts VI ii 68/2.
Actis for restrayneing the flytting of servandis at Witsonday
(b) c1420 Wynt. v 3922.
Scho … serwyt thame wyth hyr awyne handys, Lypnand noucht till hyr serwandys
c1475 Wall. ii 90.
Gud freynd, pray I thé, The schireffis serwand thow wald lat him be
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 33.
Geiff … the woman was nocht his serwand the tyme scho tuk the malt fra Williem Ker, … the said Allane maye nocht be compellit to the pament of the samyn
a1568 Scott Bann. MS 254b/63.
Thay [sc. women] wald haif reddy serwandis ay But reconpans thank or rewaird
1591 Maxwell Mem. II 166.
Kyn, freyndis, varsallis, serweandis and dependaris
1597 Swintons App. clii.
To flitt and remove thame selffis thair wyiffis, barnis, scherwandis, famelie [etc.]
(c) 1527 Wigtown B. Ct. 201a.
For trublans … of his saruand in his avyne hovs
1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 182.
The sacreteris sarwand that brocht hayme thir last writyngis
1549 Compl. 63/3.
The scheiphirdis, ther vyuis and saruandis
(d) 1597 Household Bks. Jas. VI and Anne 31 March.
For hous maill and schirwandis drinksiluer quhair his majestie ludgeit thair
1671 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 26 April.
His familie sirvands goods and geir
(e) 1685 Dunlop P. III 17.
A frieman's survant that is carfuell about his measters busines
(f) 1386 Rot. Sc. II 85/2.
And the castel thar garrisons servantz guydes & catel
1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 44.
Yhour saufconduyt … fore a hundreth knichtis and squiers & seruantȝ gudes hors and hernais
?1438 Alex. ii 10768.
Thay sat … quhill it was nicht, Than seruantis can grit torchis licht
1563 St. A. Kirk S. 161.
Jhone Gawy, domesticall servant to Arthur Forbes of Reres
a1578 Pitsc. I 325/9.
The king … tuik tuo servantis witht him to wit … ane ȝoung man of the stabill with ane secreit challmer boy
1617 Acts IV 537/2.
The ordinary hyir … of laboreris workmen and servantis
1621 Acts IV 626/1.
That no servantis men or wemen weare anye cloathing except those that ar made of cloathe fusteanis canves or stuffes made in the cuntrey
1681 Stair Inst. i ii § 15 (1981) 99.
Servants with us, which now retain that name, are judged free persons, and have at most but hired their labour … to their masters for a time
1696 Acts X 64/1.
That if any servant being Protestant shall go to a popish familie and there be perverted and become papist the said servant shall be proceeded against and punished
(g) a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 44.
A cairle sould not ken a gentilmans servanse
(2) 1542–3 Corr. M. Lorraine 6.
Madame … I convoyit your gracis servant Anatint to Carlell … and ilikwis your wther servand Otinze come to Carlell and the warden causit ane servand of his to … conwoye him to the Duke of Suffolk

b. specif. One engaged in farm work, a farm servant, ? also one who owes agricultural service to an overlord. 1493 Acts II 235/1.
The pure bodyis that dwellis in malingis and ar bot seruandis to thair lordis that awe the malingis and dois it [sc. heather burning] of thair bidding & command
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 106.
Your lordschipe knavis that ther is nocht ane servand in the Knokhall that aw seruice to your lordschipe sene tha ar fermouris and the toune sett in steilboo
1576 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 19b.
Quha evere of payd seruandis tennenttis cottars or utheris servandis that feis thame selfs with doubill maisters sall [etc.]
1627 Orkney Rentals iii 84.
The rowmes … if they were … considerit without the stealbow guidis and servauntis bollis could hardlie pay the rentall
1636 Misc. Spald. C. V 225.
That ilk tenent … desist tham selffes, thair serwents, cottars, and grasmen, from all holling of firr [etc.]

2. a. A person, freq. of (high) standing or social status, engaged in some service for a king, magnate, etc. b. A person holding office under a king, magnate, etc. c. A person bound to a superior by a bond of manrent. d. A retainer, dependent, one loyal to a superior.Also servand to the crown, servand to the toun; and man and servand (servand and man), in sense c.The Henr. Fab. quot. in (3) may belong in 1 above or 4 below, the collocation man and seruand, however, suggests its location here, though the restriction ‘for ane ȝeir' might suggest otherwise. A different view has been taken at Man n. 5.a., b., c., d. (1) ?1438 Alex. ii 11080.
Before the king war seruandis thare Gaudefeir and his brothir Betys [F. Pardevant les ij rois servirent gentement Gadifers et Betis]
14.. Burgh Laws c. 104.
It is to wyt that summondyng made til a burges thrw the kyngys se[r]vandys [Adv. the kingis mar] for owtyn a sergeand he aw nocht to be herd
14.. Burgh Laws c. 12 (A).
Giff a man of ane erl or of a baroune or quhat maner of seruande … wonnis in his burrouagis a xii moneth & a day withoutyn chalangis … he salbe als free burges
1456 Hay II 68/14.
And alssua all lorde that of a wise knycht makis him a servand … ; and quhat lord … that encresis the honoure of a wise knycht in his service [etc.]
1456 Hay II 16/13 (see 3 below). c1475 Wall. ix 417.
Fyfteyn hundreth was left in the Rochaill; Gert cry thaim fre, trew serwandis to the king
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 209/38.
Sum givis to strangeris with faces new … And to awld servandis list not se
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 135/31.
Welcum … My awin dear maister to ȝour man And to ȝour servand singulair Welcum my awin lord thesaurair
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 138/27.
I me commend … Unto thi bewty … To quhome I am and sall ay servand be [sc. the Queen]
1526 Reg. Privy S. I 518/1.
Thair tressonable … withhalding of the kingis castell … of Dunbertane fra his servandis keparis thairof
1528 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 415.
Fordir I mon haue ane gud halk … that slais the heroune. Your seruand Maister Alexander Forbes saw how I was scornit with herounis … and had na halkis for thaim. Praying yow remember the halk and send hir with ane seruand of your awin
1533 Boece 522.
For how beit the tyrannye be intollerabill that ane prince … may exerce it is mekill mare importabill gif oure servandis … mak insurrectioun contrare ws
1543 Misc. Spald. C. II 270.
To ane rycht nobill … lorde George Erle of Eroll … to be leill trew and awfald seruand to the said erle for all the dayis of my lyf … Alexander Chamer of Balnacrag
1546 Corr. M. Lorraine 162.
My lorde I … wilbe als trew to your lordschip as ony kynnisman or servand your lordschip hes
1549 Compl. 142/11.
Gyf … ony … successours of mecanyc men (that is to saye the successours of lauberaris to burght ande land) be promouit til ony stait abufe there faculte, as to be saruandis to men of autorite or to be courticians ande officiaris to princis [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10578.
Sa in that place he [sc. the king] left certane seruands To reule & gyde thair rowmes thair rents & lands
1570 Sat. P. xxiii 12.
To the quha was his [sc. James V's] tender seruand deir
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 35/49.
Madame I wes trew servand to thy mother [sc. Mary of Guise] And in hir favour stude ay thankfullie
a1578 Pitsc. I 22/29.
Content baith to rander my sellff and the castell … willinglie to be ane trew faithfull seruand and subiectt to the prince
a1578 Pitsc. I 39/29.
No man wist quhair to seik refuge wnles he had sworne him self ane servant to sum … bludie tyrant
a1578 Pitsc. I 319/8, 11 (see 3 c below). 1579–80 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 151.
Allaster McGregour, seruand or dependare vpoun the laird of Gairdne
1581 Sempill Sat. P. xliii 176.
At [the] Langsyde feild … Mortoun was thair [etc.] … . In Edinburgh Castell … He them desplaced that purposit to undo ȝow [sc. James VI]. Quhan ȝe grow auld I wait ȝe will confest Mortoun hes bene ane faithfull saruand to ȝow
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 114/12.
But speciallie take goode heade to the choice of youre seruandis that ye præferre to the offices of the croune & estaite
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 117/2.
Chose the borne men of euerie cuntrey to be youre cheif counsallouris thairin, & for conclusion of my aduyce anents the choice of youre seruandis, delyte to be seruid uith men of the noblest bloode … for … thaire seruice sall breid you greate goode uill
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Liberatio.
Ane fee given to ane servand or officiar … is called ane liverie
c1610 Melville Mem. 4.
When it chancit me efterwart to serue princes of yonger yeares … I … be the lyk diligence … obtenit ther fauour abone many of the rest of ther saruandis
a1610 Noltland Castle in Kirkwall Chart. 152.
Ane gentilman Androw Crafurd, sumtym servand and maister of vark to the Earl of Orkney
1618 Haddington Corr. 135.
The bisschop be his seruand, the comiserr of Caithnes, hes [etc.]
(2) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 33.
For na vther cause bot for being ane gude seruand to the croun
1672 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 13 May.
In respect the said John Mertin was ane old servand to the toun
(3) 1466 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 391.
Ane letter of assidacion … maid to oure seruande and man Thome Covpland
a1500 Henr. Fab. 574.
The tod … said, ‘Gude Chantecleir, Cum doun … and I but meit or fe Salbe ȝour man and seruand for ane ȝeir'
1491 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 327.
Johone Stalkar man and seruand to the said Lorde Erle Marschale
1518 Sutherland Bk. III 70.
I, the said Johne McKy, is cumyne mane and seruand … . To be leill and trew and afald to the said lord of Huntlie
1519 Thanes of Cawdor 131. 1520 Thanes of Cawdor 137. 1530 Lamont P. 38. 1551 Grant Chart. 103.
Forsayemekill as my cusing … is becummyne man and serwand to me

3. In various uses in senses 1 or 2 above. a. Of the rank or status of servant. b. In generic use, one who owes obedience to or is under the authority of another.a., b. c1420 Wynt. v 3699.
Ar we Ay lyk till men in oure nature For all the hycht off oure honure. Thow art bot serwand yhit, I wys, Of swylk serwandys as thow is; A lord is God
1456 Hay I 223/32.
Quhethir the servandis suld jois the privilegis of thair maisteris
1456 Hay II 16/16, 19.
A knycht suld lere his sone to be … servand to sum lord and use him in armes lang or he tak the ordre for unworthy war he suld be a lord or a maister that knew never quhat it is to be a servand, for he may never wele tak na knawe the suetenes that it is tobe the lord, bot gif he had sum knaulage of the sournes that it is and payne … to be ane underlout or a servand
1490 Irland Mir. I 24/16.
Thocht He [sc. God] gowerne all creaturis, ȝit the laif He gouernis generaly as seruaundis and ws specialy as his propir childer
1490 Irland Mir. II 136/1.
Quhat euir thou be clerk or temporale man lord or saruand man or woman
1490 Irland Mir. III 67/25.
The haly sacrament of pennaunce … plesis gretlie to the hie maieste of God, to the angellis, to all the freyndis, seruaundis and creaturis
1490 Irland Mir. III 26/18.
It is euill ordour quhen the lord obeyis to the seruande
a1500 Bernardus 389.
And gef ther faderis war seruandis or hwsbandis, Lat tham ga seike sic laboris in the landis
?1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 226.
Quhet your masterschip wyll hyf doun … writ to me, and I sell do it as one sarvend wyll I lef efter my power
1549 Compl. 11/9.
Nature hes maid ane man abil to be ane prince, ane abil to be ane seruand
1549 Compl. 15/20.
Or I hed ane beyrde, I vas seruit lyik ane captan, ande nou, quhen my beyrd is be cum quhyt, I am be cum ane seruand
a1568 Bann. MS 44b/58.
Do for thy freind as it effeiris Chaistyn thy serwand with mesure
a1568 Bann. MS 15b/7.
For he that is faithful … Hes michtyar servandis than lordis or kingis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 437/10.
The haill pepill of Ruglingtoun Burges merchantis … Seruandis and sic as luifis on fie
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 401.
As for kingis, queenes, politickes in the eirth, all ar bot servandis onlie … of the Kirk of Jesus

c. Familiar (secret) servand, a servant in a position of particular intimacy or confidentiality, also ? belonging to one's household. See also Familiar(e adj. 1.For an example of seruand familiar see also sense 8 (1) below. 1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 347.
The sade Jhone of Gordoun, his propir men and familiare servandis, household men
1549 Compl. 132/8.
There is nocht mony men in this varld bot sum vil schau there secret to ther brother or to there companȝone or to there vyfe or to there familiar seruandis
1562-3 Winȝet I 5/15.
Ȝour [sc. the bishops', etc.] wyse, saige, and grave familiar servands, void of al vanitie [etc.]
1563 Reg. Privy S. V i 391/2.
Hir hienes majestie and hir familiar servand [sc. Helenor Stewart, Countess of Erroll]
a1578 Pitsc. I 2/11.
Androw Wood of Largow principall and familiar serwand to King James the Fyft
a1578 Pitsc. I 90/34, 91/4.
The Erle of Douglas … heirand tell that Schir Patrick Gray the kingis familiar seruant was lichtit at the ȝett. The Erle … met the said Schir Patrick with grett reuerence and humilitie because he was the kingis principall captaine and secreit serwant and familiar to his graice
a1578 Pitsc. I 175 marg.
They … tuik all his [sc. the king's] servandis and familiearis … and hangit all his servandis [marg. How all the kingis secreit servandis was hangit]
a1578 Pitsc. I 172 (h. of ch.).
a1578 Pitsc. I 319/14.
The king … cryit on all his serwandis … to ryde to the feild and stanche slaughter … . Witht this the kingis serwandis and sindrie gentillmen passit … witht Androw Wood of Largo quhilk was … [ane of his [sc. the king's]] famellear serwandis and carwer to him
a1578 Pitsc. I 391/4.
How he was handlit and put in pressone be the kingis fameliear serwantis and his awin companeounis … . [The king] … wrait to the captane of the castell to deliuer him … . Bot quhen the secretar, thesawrar and maister houshald hard thir wordis … they war sair affrayit to mell witht ane great man
1581 Acts III 245/1.
Landis … grantit to our familiar and domesticque servandis in rewaird of thair service

d. In figurative or allegorical contexts.Ratis R. quot. may belong in e below. c1420 Ratis R. (STS) 1228.
God, that ordanyt hire [sc. Dame Reason] seruande To man & woman here growand
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 177/20 (A).
Bot gif thow will knaw hir [sc. Worthiness's] seruandis thai haue nother hasty hed nor hand
1540 Lynd. Sat. 190 (B).
My servand Sollace, quhat gart ȝow tary?
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1409.
Ane ladie [sc. Chastity] That in this cuntrie can get na ludging … Without the king of his speciall grace As ane servand hir in his court resaif
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus I 455.
To schame & lak thir twa [sc. Fornication and Adultery] thair seruand drawis
a1568 Bann. MS 144b/39.
Wyisly can Ser Penny wirk And als Ser Symony his serwand That now is gydar of the kirk

e. predic. In ambiguity with the present participle of Serv(e v.1 1582 Bk. Carlaverock II 492.
I leue my bastard sone James to my sone William to be seruand to him
1593 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 24 Dec.
Grantit to the said Williame Purves for his support ten merkis money of stipend be ȝeir … salang as the said Williame dwellis within the said burgh … and usis said craft … and that upoun conditioun … that the said Williame salbe serviant to all the inhabitantis of this burgh in the doing of his cure and office, at ressonable pryces

4. One who serves or assists a craftsman, tradesman, ship's master or member of a profession in the practice of his craft or calling; an assistant, apprentice, clerk, or the like. ?14.. Ship Laws c. 15 (B).
The maystyr of the schip aw to be honowryt befor hys servandys; and gyf ony of thaim be rebelland agaynys hym he aw to put hym owte of the schyp
14.. Burgh Laws c. 71 (B).
Nane sal hafe in his ovyn ma servandis na iiii, the maystyr and twa servandis & a knafe, the lorde of the ovyn [etc.]
Burgh Laws c. 94 in 14.. Acts I 39/2.
Nothir lytstar na fleschwar na soutar may be wythin the fredome of the gylde bot gif he sal forsuer to do that craft wyth his awne propir handis bot wyth servandis [Hope Major Pract. I 35, servants] undir hym
1483 Edinb. Hammermen's Seal of Cause.
Na hammirman maister feit man seruand nor vtheris … tak vppon hand … til excers … ony maa craftis bot alanerly ane
1574 Acts III 93/1.
The pan maisteris … had … set mony ma seruandis to werk nor heirtofoir thay wer accustumat to do quhen thay onelie travellit to serue the realme it self
1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 288.
Thairfore thai [sc. the bailies] haif dischairget … thair fermorers of thair customes … thair seruands or substitutes from taking of any maner of custome fra the said William
1584 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 381.
That thai [sc. the taverners] haif na persouns to … vent thair wynes … bot sic as ar thair feyet seruands remaning actuallie in thair howssis at bed and buird
1602 Haigh Mining P. 12 Oct.
Payand to the servandis meltaris and fynneris thairof … waigeis
1608 Conv. Burghs II 262, 263.
Dyuerssis burgessis quha had sent dyuerssis persounis to the said fischeing quhome thai alegeit to be thair seruandis to pack and peill and ȝitt duelt in vnfre tounis … for remeid quhairof … Dumbar to acknawledge nane to be ane seruand of ane fre burges bott sic as sall bring … the attestatioun of the brugh … that thai ar actuall seruandis to the saidis burgessis, haifing meitt and fey and in hous with them
c1610 Skene in Misc. Stair Soc. I 154.
All comptis in the chekquer sall be made be them wha are comptabill … and that they compeir personallie … and send na boyis, agentis, nor servantis to men of law … to make thair comptis in thair name
1611 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 336.
To the scleters and hes sarvantis for ther morning drinkes
1624 Edinb. Test. LII 331.
Gilbert Duncane to be hir servand … in bowercraft
1622-6 Bisset I 157/6.
The advocattis servandis with thair polkis and letteres
1638 St. A. Baxter Bks. 104.
That na friemen wyff nor bairnes nor serveandis sall carie any bread … vndesyreit to sell vnder the paine of xl s.
1639 Lanark B. Rec. 133.
That nae friemen of the said cordoner craft, tyse … the servand or prenteis of ony wther frie men … without the said prenteis or servand have obteinit libertie of his last maister
1639 Lanark B. Rec. 133.
That nae friemen receave any servand with him to work in the said craft that hes not bein ane prenteis within the said burght of Lanark … except he … caus him be buikit servand or jurnay man for the spaice of ane yeir
1646 Dunferm. Hammermen 71.
David Bell is cautioner for the said Robert [Lawson] that he sall be ane leall and obedient servant till his said father
1657 Glasgow B. Rec. II 365.
The haill mylinars and onder myliners of the touns mylines … with thair servandis that callis the malt
1658 Writers Signet 279.
That young wryters sall not keip old servants for collouring of thair ignorance
1675 St. A. Baxter Bks. 139.
And that nae brother or any comone servant of traid shall help the said Wm. Kinlowie in baiking of ane bread
1697-1707 D. Hume Accompt of Estate 84.
I ordered my servant, Mr. Thomas Buchannan, to search the register of allowances of apprysings

b. Const. to, of, in (a place, office, manufactory, etc.), belonging to his work, a craftsman, functionary, etc. or his assistant working in the particular location, etc. specified; also gild seruand (cf. Servand-ship n.).(1) 1463 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 21.
Johne Mawar wricht and seruand to the mylne
1460–70 Liber Aberbr. II 106.
Ane officeman quhilk was ane commoun smyth and seruand bath to the baronye of Taruas and Meldrum
1488 Lanark B. Rec. 3.
To the mason and serwand to the kirk gawill, ix s. iij d.
1530–1 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XI 121.
That na materis be callit by the ordour of table be tikket … except the materis concerning our daly servandis in offices
c1545 Reg. Cupar A. II 297.
His grantschir and fader has bene seruandis and balȝeis of oure abbay of Coupar of langtyme bigane
1551 Reg. Privy S. IV 213/2.
The pynaris and uthiris servandis of the trone of the said burgh
1661 Acts VII 262/1.
The servants or apprentises of the manufactories
1685 Rec. of Old Tolbooth in Bk. Old Edinb. C. XII 175.
Thomas Gow wryter heirof and syrvant in the said tolbuith
1701 New Mills Manuf. 263.
For charges paid out … for requyreing some servants in Glasgow and Hamiltone manufactories that had desearted the work at Neumilnes [£23 8 s. 4 d]
1701 New Mills Manuf. 264.
That Mr. Maxwell thinks it fitt to gett back the servant belonged to his work that runn away
(2) 1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II 271.
To the twa gild servands for thair fee [£3]

c. Buike servand, ? one who has been enrolled in the register of the craft as an assistant. Cf. 1639 Lanark B. Rec. in 4. 1637 Edinb. Surgeons p. 129.
Johne Vrock is become buike servand to Dauid Pringell for ane ȝear to come

5. attrib. and comb. In senses 1-4 above.See Las n. 3 (2) for further examples of servant-las.attrib. 1642 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 24 March.
To Niniane McIlnae of servand fies [£8]
comb. 1593 St. A. Test. II 350.
John Pittillok seruand boy
c1600 Pont Cunningham 183.
To Thomas Blair his servand-gentilman of fie [£40]
1593 St. A. Test. II 350.
James Millar seruand hyreman
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 16.
Giffin upe to be the brekar of his nychtbouris skeois, verefeit be ane servand lass of his
1620 Grant Chart. 323.
To the servand las of drink siluer
1640 Dundonald Par. Rec. 481.
For directing his wyfe and his servant lasse to spred downe the cloath for sifting of the meill
1694 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 315.
That in all tym comyng noe servant lass goe in to the pews of either churches vnder the faillie of fourtie shilling Scots each servant
a1700 Greyfriars Interments 683.
Elizabeth Weston, a poor servant lass
1577 Edinb. Test. V 338.
He left to … his seruand madin xl s.
1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 354 (1 and 3 Nov.).
For stryking and blooding of Issobell Kirkcoe his servant maide
1685 Rec. of Old Tolbooth in Bk. Old Edinb. C. XI 71.
You are to … suffer non to speike to hir save hir servant maide
14.. Acts I 67/2.
And gif he be servandman or husbandman or ȝit bondman
1532 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 124.
All men … to be reddy … to red … our common … vnder the pane viii s. the burges, ii s. the stallanger and xii d. the servand man
1567 Regester at Taymouth in Orig. Par. II i 143.
[He should always have under him a sufficient] servantman [in the keeping of the forest]
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 107.
Williame Hutscheoun to … pay to Johne Oswalde baillie xxvj s. viij d. money for ane half yeris fie of ane servand man as he that conducit him self servand with the said Johnne … conducit him self with ane uthir to mak service in the same tyme
1580 Edinb. Test. Index I 179 (25 May).
John McKie, servant-man in Cormulagyn
1627 Melville Chart. 161.
To Johnne Lockard, servandman, … to the chalmerland of Dunfermling
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II 520.
Servant man to ane fleshour and fied with him
1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 107.
And at na maner of seruand wemen madynis or vthers tak in wed or ley in wed any maner of claythis
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II 27.
Thar is na seruand woman or nurys that gettis in ane gud manis hous throw hir seruice v or vj merkis bot scho will tak ane hous of hir awin and be ane broustar or hukstar [etc.]
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II 45.
That nane seruand woman within this tovne tak ony maner of clais to wesche fra ony persone quhen thai pas to the waltir bot thar awin masteris claithis
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 145.
That Nicholl Ker suld pay his servand voman hir fee
c1550 Edinb. Univ. MS No. 553.
[Payit to] the seruand wemen of my lordis lugin v crouns
1557 Digest Justiciary Proc. B 141.
He straik and dang hir seruandis woman
1574 Edinb. Test. III 211.
Cristiane Scheild seruand woman
1580 Inverness Rec. I 279. 1596 Elgin Rec. II 45.
Elspet Beig seruand woman affirmes the same
1640 Cardross Ch. 41.
Servand women to pay only the half penalties
1645 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXX 149
To the servant womans apron
1658 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 200.
The goodwyffes servand woman
1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 9.
Being in company … with several servand women
1664 Peebles B. Rec. II 58.
The magistrattes … inflictes upon Agnes Bell, for … ryot committed be hir upon … hir servant woman, thrie punds Scottes money

6. Put for: A slave, or serf. Also comb. as seruand woman a female slave. 1375 Barb. iii 220.
Serwandis and threllis mad he fre
c1420 Wynt. iv 1871.
Thretty thousand off men … That come and yhald thame in thrillage, Servandys for tyll be alway To the Romanys
c1420 Wynt. iv 1932.
Thai that off kynd suld be Threll serwandys in tyll powerte, Thow sall relew thame to na hycht
c1420 Wynt. iv 1992.
[Sicily] Till tyrandys quhilum wndyrloute, And quhill wytht serwandis in gret dowte
1533 Bell. Livy II 113/29.
To the servandis that schew this tressoun was gevin xm brasin pennyis, … and … thai war made fre men for thare rewarde
1533 Bell. Livy II 54/26.
Quhidder ane servand or ane libertyne war made consull
1549 Compl. 96/33.
[Edward I] ordand that … the Scottis men … suld be partit in thre partis … the sycond part suld be send in Ingland to be seruandis to laubyr thair grond
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 436.
The natural man, gif he have na mair bot nature, he is ane slave and servand coft and sauld
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 98b.
Ane servant hes na proper gudes and therefore he may not buy his liberty with his awin geir and gudes
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 99.
Servant, bondman, slaue … Ane servand being manumitted [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 99.
Ane villaine or servand hes na heire nor may not be ane heire to anie man
comb. 1513 Doug. v v 73.
To hym a servand woman [L. servatam], hayt Pholoa, Was geyf

II. In transf. uses.

7. Ȝour (humble, etc.) servand: common as a formula of deference used by a petitioner or in the subscription of a letter or the like.(1) 1438 Reg. St. A. 430.
Rycht worschipfull lord and derast maistir Jamys of Kyninmond of that ilke yhoure humble seruand rycht mekly besekis yhoure hee lordschip that yhe wald [etc.]
(2) 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 49.
I sal be at yowr g[r]ays on Tayesday, wel God, qwa hef yowr grays in kepen. Be yowr grays sarwand of Glengarnok
1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 183.
Your gracis hwmyll and radye sarwand, Marscheall
a1568 Scott i 223.
This dull indyte, … Send be thy sempill servand Sanderris Scott
1600 Dundee Shipping P. 68.
Yowr neichbour and serwand to comand Jhone Wallwood
1607 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 105.
Your graces serwand duiring lyfe
?1616 Melrose P. 620*.
Your … maiesties most humblie, faithfull, and bund seruand
1633 Maxwell Mem. II 247.
I … humblie restis, your honoris loveing couseing and serveand
1642 Annandale Corr. 299.
Till that tyme and euer I rest, your lordships cusin and seruand
1644 Red Bk. Menteith I 385. 1651 Hist. Carnegies II 445.
And euer witnese how mutch I am your trewlie louing wyfe and humble seruand, Ka. Traquaire
1660 Maxwell Mem. II 296. 1685 Rec. of Old Tolbooth in Bk. Old Edinb. C. XI 51.
This being the desyre of the tacksmen is signefyed to you by your humble servant. Ro. Mylne

8. One who serves God, the church, a saint, the Devil, etc. as faithful follower, disciple, believer or worshipper. Also transf. of the human race as a servant of God. b. A pupil.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii 626.
Of Cristis croice seruand am I
a1400 Leg. S. vi 575.
God luffis the sammynne In His serwandis as thu [sc. a king] will Thi serwandis trewly serwe thé till
1490 Irland Mir. III 4/17.
It … is necessar … that the persoune that Jhesus redemyt … be vnyt to him and maid his member and seruand familiar and luffit with him and … resaue his grace
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1034 (Asl.).
O God … Conserf thi seruand plungit in strang distres
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 14/22.
I seruand and place haldand of God assolȝeis thé fra thi synnis
1551 Hamilton Cat. 52.
A constant faith … quhairby we may be trew servandis to God
Arundel MS 238/8.
And I knaw Thé my Lord God, … maker of … me Thy pure creatour, subiect and seruand
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 127/16.
Moyses quho, beand ane sympil seruand of the Lordis, chaunged ane vand in ane serpent
1562-3 Winȝet I 79/6.
Reiosit … David to be callit the sone of Godis damicell, quhilk is the haly kirk, sayand, ‘I lord, I thi seruand and the sone of thi damicel’
1567 G. Ball. 23. a1578 Pitsc. II 53/24, 25.
Thir iudgementis war gevin wpoun the servantis of God be the Earle of Argyle sitand in iudgement
a1578 Pitsc. II 115/18.
Gif ȝe suffer the servanttis of God this wyse to be handlit and put to deid [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 388/20.
Bot God … stanchit his [sc. Hamilton's] furie … contrair His servandis
c1590 Fowler II 39/5.
Quhilk infirmityes … sal na way preiudge thair saluatioun. As by monye hundereth examples of the seruands of God is prouin
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxiii 19.
Ȝit sawitt I my sarwantt Noy
transf. 1490 Irland Mir. I 115/20.
This messingare … 'deuot prayere and orisoune' send fra … all gud persounis … desirand … the birthe … of thi blist sone, Jhesus, to peis thi ire … agane thi auld seruand humane linage
1490 Irland Mir. I 121/4.
Thi humyll seruand mankind
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xviii 392.
Dere modyr, I [sc. Zosimus to St. Mary Egyptian] thé pray … That thu hele na thinge fra me Thi serwand
c1420 Wynt. v 2378.
But ony serwand swa anyrly, Thow wes wownt on nakyn wys To do but dekyn thi serwys?
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 165/4.
Me thocht Sanct Francis did to me appeir With ane religious abbeit in his hand And said, ‘In this go cleith thé my servand'
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 85.
Lo, quhou Venus kan hir seruandis acquyte!
1535 Acts II 342/1.
Ony bukis or werkis of the said Luther, his disciplis or seruandis
(3) c1600 Montg. Suppl. v 3.
King Cupaid … Sen thou takis pastym for to pyne Thay sarwandis that sick plessur takis To leif lyk sempell slaives of thayne [etc.]
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxv 13.
And I sall be thy [sc. Cupid's] seruand, in sik sort To merit thy mantenance
(4) 1590 Crim. Trials I ii 210.
Sathane commandit him to mak homage with the rest of his serwandis
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 211. 1590–1 Crim. Trials I ii 238.
The dewill … sperit gif thay had been all guid seruandis
b. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5562.
I sall send my cousing and seruand, Quhat I will bid that he sall tak on hand. Sa Galiene obeyit his vncles will

c. One who serves (God) as a minister or priest in the church.(a) 1490 Irland Mir. III 6/2.
The synnar is the seik man, the prestis and kyrkmen ar seruandis to this noble medycinar
1558-66 Knox II 263.
Thou may clearlie see … the promisses that is maid to the servandis of God
1581 Calderwood III 531.
And all uthers that bearis office [in the Kirk] … aucht not to … be callit lordis, bot onlie ministeris, disciples and servantis
1642 Kirkcudbright B. Rec. II 670.
Shee spak misreverentlie to the servant of God in the kirk he being in the exerceising off his office
(b) c1680 Bothwell Lines 22 in Fugitive Poetry I.
[Prelates] did discharge us for to hear His honest servanes preach

d. One who serves as chaplain at a particular altar.Cf. Servito(u)r(e n. 6 b. 1481 Peebles B. Rec. I 188.
Chaplanis serwandis at the saidis altaris

9. One who professes his service to a woman as a lover or paramour. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 466.
I have ane secrete servand rycht sobir of his toung
15.. Clar. iv 1457.
Sen first I did promit To be ȝour servant and ȝour [ain] trew knight
a1568 Bann. MS 226a/34.
Than hes scho seruandis that ar sweit

10. In pejorative use: Put for a woman's husband. a1568 Bann. MS 263b/30.
Than is he [sc. a hen-pecked husband] baith hir servand and hir knaif

11. fig. a. One who serves or gives himself up to some (usu. undesirable) end or object. b. One who lacks control or initiative with regard to something.a. a1400 Leg. S. xliii 568.
For-thi is thu seruand but wene Of doulful ded & nocht of lyfe
a1400 Leg. S. v 208.
For he that mony heppis ay Is seruand Thare-to
1456 Hay I 28/10.
Sa has the avaricious man tynt his fredome of free will … And tharfore is he callit a servand to fals goddis
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 64/19.
He that dois syn is seruand [L. seruus] to it
a1578 Pitsc. II 69/17.
As money as beleif nocht in Christ Jesu thay ar bund seruandis to sin
b. c1460 Consail Vys Man 263.
Set neuir thi hart one cowatice … cowatice … makis obediens to the deuill. Thai [sc. cowards] ar bot seruandis to thar gud And sugettis for thar lyvis fud

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"Servand n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Feb 2023 <>



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