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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
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Stelebow, Steilbow, n.1 Also: steill-, steile-, steel-, stealbow, steilbo(o, steil(l)boll, steylebole, also, appar. by elision, teilbow. [Stele n. and Bow n.2, corresp. to F. cheptel de fer (Littré), e.mod.Germ. stählin vieh, eisern vieh (Germ. Law Latin pecora chalybea, ferrea).] Tenure of land whereby stock, implements, etc., were supplied by the landlord, the tenant being bound to return them, or their equivalent of the same value, at the end of the tenancy; the stock, etc. so held. b. In (of, as) steilbow, also, once, without construction, referring to land or stock, etc. held under this system of tenure. Also fig. c. attrib. With gudis, etc., also, males, payment. Also ellipt. c1575 Balfour Pract. 468.
The actioun of spuilȝie concerning the steilbow gudis pertenis to the said tenent allanerlie; because the samin is his awin, be nature of the contract of steilbow
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 870.
I will warrand it & that is better nor steilbow
1627 Rep. Parishes 197.
As for the manse of Ednem the teand and stok was never separat. It was sumtyme set for tua thousand markis with sum steilbow of corne and cattell
b. (1) 1264–6 Exch. R. I 32.
Qui terras vastatas ceperunt ad Stuth [marg. Steilbow]
(2) 1503 Exch. R. XII 141.
In le stelebow
1507 Reg. Privy S. I 221/1.
His ground and Manys of Dunbar, quhilk the said reverend fader had in tak and stelebow of his hienes
1542 Exch. R. XVII 581.
De firmis terrarum de Threipwod assedatarum tenentibus in stelebow
(b) 1434 Exch. R. IV 596.
Pro herbagio nonaginta sex vaccarum domini regis, locatarum in steilbow infra dominium [pr. -inum] de Stewartoun, viij li. iiij s. viij d.
1481 Exch. R. IX 136.
De firmis quatuor locorum … assedatorum in steilbow David Crechtoune
1487 Exch. R. IX 470 n.
Wit yhe ws to have set … and be thir our lettrez … to male lattis in steilbow to … Patrik of Crechtoun … all and hale our stedis of Catslak, Estirmontbernger [etc.]
1487 Exch. R. IX 471 n.
Kepand the said stedis forest like and oure said gudis being tharapon to ws in steilbow sic like as uthiris sic gudis ar kepit in steilbow within oure realme
1498 Acta Conc. II 213.
And has takin fra him xij ky quhilk the sade Jhone had in steilebow of the sade Peter
1507–8 Rentale Dunkeld. MS 55.
xiiij bollis pisaris receptum tenentibus de lie manes de Crammound tempo receptionis de lie steilbo
1508 Exch. R. XIII 640.
Quinque bovate earundem, j bovata ejusdem xx s. ij bolle brasii, in steilbow cum sex bobus et ij bollis ordei viij celdris xij bollis avenarum solvendo annuatim xx s., vj celdras farrine j celdram viij bollas ordei
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 106.
Ther is nocht ane servand in the Knokhall that aw seruice to your Lordschipe sene tha ar fermouris and the toune sett in steilboo and thai haue samekill wark ado of thair avin about the labouring of that toune to pay thair ferme that I ame rycht evill taryit to get men to threis the cornne
1540–1 Reg. Privy S. II 574/1.
viii bollis of beir, tua bollis of quheit, and viii oxin, quhilkis pertenit to umquhill James Hammyltoun of Fynnart, knycht, and wer sett be him to the said Thomas in steilbow, upoun the Manis of Murhous
1559 Inchcolm Chart. 97.
[They] protestis that thai suld nocht be astrictit to pay the ȝeirlie fermis … be ressone that albeit it vas sett in steilbow wytht seid stra hors oxein
1565 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 97.
In steilebow, 8 bollis aitis, price of the boll 26/8 … 20 thraffis ait stray, 19 thraif beir stray
1629 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 16 July.
To ressave the said Reidland and fulȝie with the plenissing quhilk he hes in steilbow vpoun the saidis landis of Nether Coldoch conform to the tak of the samin And the varing to be made at Candilmes ȝeirlie quhairto the said Jon Dog sall mak the said varing
(c) 1681 Stair Inst. ii iii § 80.
So the hereȝeld was found due to the lady liferenter, though the defunct had the room in steel-bow
(d) 1597 Fam. Rose 283.
Sawin vpone the landis of Kilmonie in teilbow with the tennentis threttie bollis aittis
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 44.
Johne Chalmer hes enterit … the said Thomas in and to aucht oxingait of the said towne and lands of Waster Disblair … as greif and servand to him thairof … and siclyk the said Johne hes … delyuerit … to the said Thomas sewin oxin thrie ky [etc.] … the oxin pleuche [etc.] … cruik saiddels spadds fiftie four bollis aitts … ane almerie ane auld lang sadill bedd ane weschell bink tua standing bedds ane wairstaw … sex peutir plaitts [etc.] … To be keipit in teilbow be the said Thomas … for labouring of the saids lands … And as concerning the guids and geir gewin in teilbow as said is the same ar lauchfillie compryisit be Johne Gilgour [etc.] … and of the said pryces and according thairto resauit by the said Thomas Arthour to be restorit as thay be requeirit equivalent thairto
fig. 1662 Sel. Biog. I 205.
My Master hath given me assureance his flock shall not want: nothing shall ail them: he hath given them (as ye say) in steelbow
(3) 1570 Black Bk. Taymouth 413.
He sall leafe of steilbow at his furtht passing … twentie fyve bollis eatis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 401.
The obtenar … aucht … on na wayis poind and distreinȝie ony gudis or geir pertening to the tenentis of him aganis quhom the decrete is obtenit, as their proper gudis, be ressoun of steilbow, for termis ȝit to rin
(4) 1649 Thanes of Cawdor 302.
20 bollis seid aittis quhilk wes givin as steilbow
1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 226.
Fourscoir threave good strae as steilbow
c. (1) 1542 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I 70.
Archebald Dunbar is rentallit in the steidyng callit the Layncoyt with the steylebole gudis tharwith payand ȝerley xxti lib.
1542–3 Reg. Privy S. III 7/1. 1567 Edinb. Test. 51.
Aucht chalder of steilbow aittis sawin on the ground
1571 Reg. Privy S. VI 258/2.
[The escheat of the] steilbow nowt, scheip, horse, cornis, cattell [etc.] … [fallen to the crown]
1578 Wemyss Chart. (Abridgment) 303.
[Make their son and his heirs assignees to the] steilbow [goods]
1583 Reg. Privy C. III 596.
To … tak triell … quhat steilbow guidis or uther guidis the said Johnne Cunynghame hes presentlie upoun the ground of the saidis landis
1607 Red Bk. Grandtully II 133.
The steilbow goodis and aittis belonging to our landis and barony … ar still extant on the ground
1627 Orkney Rentals iii 84.
Iff some rowmes be … extendit till any greater dutie then the rentall bearis, it is in respect of their stealbow guidis and servauntis bollis
1627 Rep. Parishes 193.
The landis perteaning to the Laird of Houstoune … a pairt thereof being sett with steillboll gear
1629 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 16 July. 1640 Black Bk. Taymouth 351.
Thair is presentlie on the landis … Of steilbow corne, sexteine chalders small aittis; and of steilbow beir fyve chalders; and of strenth silver and steilbow hors [etc.]
1663 Red Bk. Menteith I 389.
Which paroch of Aberfoyle wes stocked with steilbow corne for want of the steilbow seid corne wherwith the petitioner had his rowmes … stocked
1673 Stirlings of Keir 468.
1681 Stair Inst. i xi § 4.
Oxen, kine, and sheep are mutuable, as is ordinary in steel-bow goods, which are delivered to the tenant with the land, for the like number and kind at his removal
1682 Fountainhall Decis. I 203.
By having so much steelbow straw upon the ground
(b) 1574 Edinb. Test. III 99.
Of teilbow geir aucht oxin … foure chalderis teilbow aittis … teilbow beir
1576 Edinb. Test. IV 220b.
In the handis of William Henrysoun … of teilbow vittall foure bollis … price of the boll … xxx s.
1588 Colquhoun Chart. II 350. 1591 Edinb. Test. XXIII 293.
The stray of the said teilbow cornes
1594 Black Bk. Taymouth 276.(2) 1550 15th Rep. Hist. MSS App. viii 22.
[His wife to remit to persons having his goods in] steilbow [a part of their] steilbow males
1553 Prot. Bk. J. Colvill 50.
[The remainder of the lands set to them] in furthtcumand bow [as they have the same at present and for all the years that they make good payment to George Kennedy] at termes of steilbow payment usit and vount
(3) ellipt. 1532–3 Crim. Trials I i 162.
Gudis, steilbow [Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 396, stelebow] and ferm … except
1565 Reg. Privy C. I 410.
The cornis cattell and gudis being upoun the landis of Baddinhaith, steilbow and utheris
1627 Rep. Parishes 185.
Item of few dewtie to the Bischope of Dunkell xx bollis hawing steilbow and silver
1642 Durie Decis. 889.
The lords … found this steil-bow corn and straw pertained to the excutors of the defunct … for the defunct had not set any tack … in writ to the tennent of these lands with these steil-bow goods … that set could not indure any longer than the setter lived, after whose decease the heretor might use the ground as he pleased, and the executor might seek the steil-bow
1682 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. III 444.
And found, since it was the straw of the crop 1676, that Mr. Pillans … ought not to be liable for the said steelbow, in so far at least as the rent was meliorated and improven the following years, by having so much steelbow straw upon the ground

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"Stelebow n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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