A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
Staf(f)man, n. Also: staf(f)e- and -mane. [Staf(f n. 4. Cf. 17th c. Eng. staff-man (once, 1659) a wielder of a staff.] A town officer or constable, charged with maintaining the peace, executing sentences and the like; later, including the execution of offenders.1646 S. Leith Rec. 74 (see Staf(f n. 4 b (3)). 1658–1700 Greyfriars Interments 309.
Stafman 1660 Edinb. B. Rec. IX 188.
Thomas Herroun … and Richard Jonstoun to be twa ordinarie staffmen … for apprehending of all stranger beggers and vagabounds 1672 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 6 May.
That James Porterfield … be committit to the keiping of the present staffman 1676 S. Leith Rec. 135. 1679 Stirling Common Good 129b.
Ane bed covering to the stafman 1683–4 Stirling B. Rec. II 325.
To the staffman for whipeing one man and tuo women throw the toune 1684 Lauder Notices Affairs II 552.
Monro, hangman of Edinburgh, and Mackeinzie his stafman 1689 Stirling B. Rec. II 335.
To the stafemane for executing ane shoulder 1690 Foulis Acc. Bk. 122.
To the 4 staffmen a day £2 16 s. 1698 Stirling B. Rec. II 342.
To the officers for standing at the cross … till Margaret Graham … was cowed in the head 1698 Stirling B. Rec. II 343.
To the staffman for coweing hir 1701 Foulis Acc. Bk. 293.
To the staffmen kept away the poor folk 1708–9 Stirling B. Rec. II 349.
Money to the staffman … to him as his dews in executing Elspeth Park … For putting ane English strumpett out of toune 1709 Stirling B. Rec. II 349.
For sueping the staffmans lum 1733–4 Stirling B. Rec. II 359.
To them and staffman for burning a book … publicklie
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