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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Testament, Testment, n.1 Also: testement, testiament, tes(s)ment. [ME and e.m.E. testament (Cursor M.), testement (1463), OF testement, L. testāmentum.]

1. a. A person's intentions as to the disposal of his (moveable) property or his wishes as to other aspects of his affairs after his death, chiefly recorded in writing. b. The document recording these intentions, etc. = Latter-will n. Also attrib. and transf.Freq. to mak (one's) testament.‘In the strictly legal acceptation of the word … a deed in writing, by which the granter appoints an executor … A testament may thus consist merely of the nomination of an executor, or it may contain, along with such a nomination, clauses bequeathing, in the form of legacies … the moveable estate … In its more common meaning, however, a testament is a declaration of what a person wills to be done with his moveable estate after his death.' Bell Dict. Law Scotl., s.v. Testament.See also Balfour Pract. 216ff. and Bisset II 65ff.a., b. 1375 Barb. xx 164.
The king … tuk sa fellely The seknes … That … His testament than has he maid Befor bath lordis and prelatis
1375 Barb. xx 319.
His testament diuisyt he And ordanyt how his land suld be Gouernyt quhill his gayn-cummyng
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 3. c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 193.
Nocht-aganestandand testament or othir disposicione at the law lewys, may be maid
1456 Hay I 144/11.
Rycht thus say we of testament, and thingis left to men be testament
1456 Hay I 292/10.
Ane emperour may mak testament of his meubles bot he may nocht mak heritage of the empire
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 576.
With paper scho sat doun, And on this maneir maid hir testament
1488–9 Acta Conc. I 112/2.
The thrid parte of the gudis contenit in the said vmquhile Williamz testament the dettis except
a1500 K. Hart 896.
Go send for deid thus said he … for I will dispone of my thesaure Vpon this wyse mak I my testament
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 52.
The copy autentik of the sade umquhile Lowrence testament
c1550 Lynd. Test. Meldrum 12. 1551 Prot. Bk. Sir Wm. Corbet 15. c1560 Aberd. B. Rec. MS XXIV (Jam.).
Ane testament maid be vmquhill Alexander Kay baxter in his leg powster
1562 Inverness Rec. I 79.
Producit in jugement the testament and inwytour of wmquhill James Cuthbert … maid be him self at Innernes
1565 Instit. Ct. Sess. 27b.
To bring … the register of all testamentis quhilkis thai sall happin to confirme to … Edinburgh
1565 Edinb. Univ. MS La.iii.388a, 28a.
That the commissar within his iurisdictione confirme testament of sameakill gudis
1570 Leslie 169.
Allegeing that the King be his testament nominat four regentis
1571 Reg. Privy C. II 82.
That thairwith she may satisfie hir dettis and legaciis contenit in the testament
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 317.
Lord Erskene … deceissit … And in his lettre and testament, he left the keiping of the kingis grace and castell of Striueling to Alexander, his brother
c1575 Balfour Pract. 216.
It is leasum to all fremen … to mak ane just and ressonabill testament in time of seiknes and dispone upon thair movabill gudis and geir … Bot na man in his latter will … may mak testament or ony dispositioun of his heritage … in hurt of his air
c1575 Balfour Pract. 370.
Ministeris may not be notaris, except in testamentis
1583 Montg. Suppl. 301.
We … ratifeis … this present testament … in sua far as the samyn is dewlie & lauchfullie maid
1585 Edinb. Test. XIV 193.
I can nocht subscriue this my testament becaus of the inhabilitie in my handis
1606 Reg. Privy C. VII 173.
Pryces … for forming of testaments. For small testaments quhairin thair are litle gear xiij s. iiij d. … For the testaments of erles, lords and grite barrouns … xxx s.
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 34b.
All frie men, not being burdened with great debts, in time of seiknes (or in time of health) may make ane lawfull testament of his gudes and geir
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 35.
Ane woman being frie and subject to na man, may make ane testament
1613 Edinb. Test. XLVII 252.
To mak … ane iust inventer of testament
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 288.
That the husband of the samen daughter might persew for the legacy left to her in her mother's testament
1681 Stair Inst. iii viii § 33.
The nomination of executors is properly called a testament. Additions thereto or alterations thereof are called codicils. Legacies may be left whether there be testaments or not, and either in the testament, codicils or apart
1684 Mackenzie Inst. (1694) 212.
A testament … does require to be in writ
(b) 14.. Acts I 90*/2.
Off testmentis of the gylde [L. Quod fratres gilde legent aliquid ad gildam]. We haf ordanyt that the brether of this gyld in the dispocisioune of testment [L. testamentorum] [etc.]
1484–5 Acta Conc. I *112/1.
His assignacioun maid to the said Dauid in his legacy and testment
1530 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 107.
This inqueist ordines Helyne Mos, douchter and nerest air to Jhone Mos, to preif with testment that the kyst scho clames Voll Loremer of is detles and tak it tyll hir
1545 Elgin Rec. I 83.
Money left be the said wmquhill erle in his testment to the said Mathew
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 96.
The expenssis of his buriall … being deduceit and allowit to him in jugment according to the said Jhones testment and compt wretin upoun the bak thairof
(c) 1568 Waus Corr. 42.
Hir wnquheill husbandis thrid left to hir in tesment, or ony wder thingis [she] … haes rycht and tytill to, in tesment or owt of tesment
attrib. a1568 Scott i 133.
Teindis ar vptane be testament transgressouris
1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 267 (3 Jan.).
Any richt or pretence of richt that the said James … can have … is only by vertew of ane pretendit testament creditor which is foundit upon most gross and patchid up grounds
transf. a1500 Seven S. 1108.
Richt heir I mak my testament To God … I leif my saull
1567 G. Ball. 156.
I [sc. Christ] leif in testament My body in sacrament
1567 Sat. P. iv 185.
To ȝow … of my deid innocent, For to reuenge I leif in testament My saikles bluid

c. Testament dative, see Dative adj. 3.

d. Testament testamentar, a testament in which the nomination of executors, disposal of goods, etc. is specified by the person whose testament it is. Also absol. c1575 Balfour Pract. 663.
That na debtis, as awand be the deid, be insert in the testament testamentar, without thay be given up be the deid
1580–1 Crail B. Ct. 5 Feb.
Guidis and gair pertening to him the tyme of his deceise contenit in his testament testamentar
1588 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 425.
The testament dative and inuentar of the guidis … omittit … of his principall confermit testament … in the first … therof is confermit in the said … principall testament testamentar xxiiij drawin oxin [etc.]
1597–8 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 349.
The guidis and geir contenit in the inventar of the testament testamentar of the said vmquhill Hendrie McKessog
1601 Sc. Ant. IX 1.
The testament testamentar lattir will and legacy of me Dame Annabell Murray
1624 Misc. Maitl. C. III 489.
The testament testamentar and inventar of the guidis geir sowmes of money and dettis pertening to vmquhile … George Heriot
1622-6 Bisset II 77/19.
Statutis … anent confirmation of testamentis, testamentaris executouris and datives
c1630 Hope Minor Practicks (1726) 23.
Defunct's testaments were of old confirmed by the officials, … whither the samen were testaments testamentar or dative
1643 Grant Chart. 236.

2. transf. A literary work concerned with the wishes of the author or protagonist after his death. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 115 title.
The tesment of Maister Andro Kennedy
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. Title.
Heir follouis the Testament, and Complaynt, of our Souerane Lordis Papyngo … quhilk lyith sore woundit, and may not dee, tyll euery man haue hard quhat he sayis
a1568 Bann. MS 155b/117.
Heir endis the tesment of Master Andro Kennedy, Maid be Dumbar quhen he wes lyk to dy
1585 James VI Ess. 67.
For tragicall materis, complaintis, or testamentis, vse this kynde of verse following
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 9/8.
Uellcome this booke then as a faithfull … counsailloure unto you [sc. Prince Henry] quhilke … I ordaine to be a … faithfull admonisher of you & because the houre of death is uncertaine … I leaue it as my testament & latter uill unto you

3. ? A statement of belief, witness, testimony. Perhaps erron. for Testimony(e n. 1456 Hay I 8/23.
The pape convertit sanct Tiburce, [and] sanct Valere be his testament, the quhilk was wele blawin the blast of the troump

4. Each of the two main divisions of the Bible, specif., the Alde and the New Testament, thir twa Testaments. Also the (Christis) Testament, ane Greek Testament, the New Testament, sometimes with specific reference to the teaching of Christ as recorded therein. Also a volume containing these.(1) 1456 Hay I 104/29.
Gevis oure Lord ane example in the alde testement, quhen [etc.]
c1515 Asl. MS I 330/22.
Heir endis the figuris of the ald testament conforme till the new testament
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 309.
c1515 Asl. MS I 327/4.
Quhilk ald testament and new Crist … ioynit in ane
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2051 (B).
I gif to the divill … This wofull wicket new tessment With thame that it translaittit
1542–3 Acts II 425/1.
The act maid for having of the New Testement in wulgare toung
1542–3 Treas. Acc. VIII 178.
Williame Champnay, messinger, passand witht lettres to proclame the Act annent the having of the New Testament in Inglis in the westland
1551–2 Treas. Acc. X 50.
Thre Inglis bukis … viz., ane Perraphrasis upoun the Ewangelistis, ane New Testament, and Hopper upoun the Commandmentis
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 155/26.
Nevir ane of thir thre termes is expreslie contenit in the new testament
a1578 Pitsc. I 308/13.
Thow said it was lesum to reid the word of God and in spetiall the new Testament
1606 Misc. Bann. C. II 224.
xxij New Testamentis, in saxtene, Romane letter
1622 Edinb. Test. LI 247a.
New testamentes psalme buikis dowbill cattichisholmes historie buikis [etc.]
(2) c1515 Asl. MS I 327/14.
The fulfilling & ioynyng of thir twa testamentis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xiv 14.
So many preistis cled vp in secular weid … So quhene the Psalme and Testament to reid Within this land was nevir hard nor sene
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 646.
Thocht we in to our vulgare toung did knaw Off Christ Jesu the lyfe and testament
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4381.
Christ … left, in tyll His testament, Mony ane deuote document
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4468.
Abusyng the commandiment, Quhilk Christ left in his Testament, Usyng thare awin traditioun More than his Institutioun
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5799.
Bot lawit men pat to gret torment, Quhilk vsit Christis testament
1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 20 (1 Feb.).
Ane Greek Testament 40 s.

5. The covenant made between Christ and man and celebrated in the Eucharist. a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 113/6.
This is my bluid of the new testament
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 113/12.
This cwpe is the new testament in to my bluid

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"Testament n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Sep 2022 <>



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