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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Testimonial(l, -ale, n. (adj.). Also: testimonyall, -yale, -iell, -iel(e, -el, testymoniall, testymonyal(le, testamonall, (testiomall). [Late ME and e.m.E. testimonial (Lydgate), testimoniall (1439), testymonyall (1461), OF testimonial, late L. testimōniālis.]

1. A document attesting (the truth of) something, a guarantee, proof, affidavit, certificate, etc. Also letteris testimoniale(s, letter of testimoniel.Also const. dependent clause.(1) 1467 Acta Aud. 7/2.
Eufame sall brouke and joyse hir juntfeftment … efter tennoure of the testimoniale of sesing
1489 Acta Aud. 130/1.
A testimoniale of the adiurnale vnder the subscriptioune of Maister Richard Lawsoun Clerk of the Justiry
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 65.
Gif the saide Patrik had payit the sade money for the redemyng of the sadis landis and brocht sufficient testimoniale thareuppone, that he suld mak him be ansuerit and obeyit in the saidis landis efter the forms of the sade decret
1498 Acta Conc. II 269.
In witnes of the quhilk thing to this our testimoniale we haf hungin to our selis
1511 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 183.
Schir Jhonne Robertsoune … producit a testimonial of saising wndir Wilyem Spittail seill
1521 Dundee B. Ct. I 51a (21 Oct.).
That the witnes contenit in the testiomall of the balȝeis of Dunfermlynn betuix hym & Jhon Robertson has na strynth
1540–1 Linlithgow B. Ct. 26 Jan.
This testamonall or preiff to be producit in jugment betuix and fasterewin nixt cumis
1540–1 Reg. Privy S. I 581/1.
To bring hame with him all thame of his cumpany that ar on live and ane testimoniale of thame that ar deid
1552 (c1650) Dundee B. Laws 15.
That all testimonialls passand furth of this realme vnder the common and secrets sealls … be registrat
1562 Prot. Bk. Gilbert Grote 52.
[The evidents of the said tenement] extending to thre pece, viz., twa instrumentis of sesing and ane testimoniall all writtin in parchement, togiddir with ane testimoniall in paper selit and subscrivit
c1575 Balfour Pract. 176.
Quhen ony over-lord gevis sasine of ony landis to ony persoun with his awin handis, without ony precept, he aucht and sould give a testimoniall theirupon under his seill and subscriptioun manual … in maner and forme efter followand: ‘To all and sindrie [etc.] … In witnes of the quhilk thing, to this my testimonial, subscryvit with my hand, … I have hung my seill'
1592–3 Misc. Spald. C. II 121.
Quhilk assyse … pronuncis the said Alexander acquyte of the alledgit slauchter … Quharvpone the said Alexander requerit rolment of court and ane absoluitour to be giffin to him in forme of testimoniale
1607 Dundonald Par. Rec. 156.
Ane testimoniall of the deith of his wyf
1608 Douglas Corr. 193.
The principall doctouris of medeceane in this cuntrie, be thair testimoniall vnder thair handis, testefeit to your majestie [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 15b.
He sall verifie the samine be the testimoniall of leill men, quha knew the samine to be of veritie
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 26.
The ordinar … should designe the manse and gleib for the minister … and upon the testimoniall of his designation letters should be direct against the possessors … to remove
(2) 1611 Scrymgeour Invent. 6.
Ane testimoniall that John Balfour, schireff of Fyffe, gaif seising to James Scrymgeour
(3) 1420 Reg. Episc. Morav. 476.
Apon the quhylkis thyngis the sayde Willȝame … requirit vs in witnesyng be our lettris testimoniale and our selis
1431 Liber Melros II 623.
Prufit be actentik letteris testimoniale
1519–20 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 55.
Andro Sandersoun deit vestit and sesit of ane tenement of land … as ane letter of testimoniel under the common seill and the balyeis seill proportis
1569 Q. Mary in Facs. Nat. MSS III lix.
Instrumentis to tak … Letteris testimoniallis of the decreitis … to … obtene and generallie to do all maner of thingis in persewing of the said cause of diuorce
1622-6 Bisset II 134/27.
The forme of letterris testimoniales gevin furth of auld be the baillies of burrowes under there seillis … upoun the domes of propirtie within burgh
1622-6 Bisset II 136/16, 25.
Thair [is] neided na seasing upon thir domes of propirtie and literas testimoniales … because the … possessioun is adiudged judiciallie upoun the erd & stane produced … And forther it is to be remembred that sic literas testimoniales and all uthir wreittis … under seillis withtout subscriptionis of clerkis notaris or pairties … is … abolisched … be the act of parliament. Jac. 5. parl. 7. act 117 [1540]

b. ? A foundation charter. c1420 Wynt. vi 238.
Sa mony abbays fowndyde he, As lettyrys ar in the ABC; And ay a lettyr capytale, To byde thare testimonyale [C. testymonyalle, W. testimoniall], Off fyne gold … made

2. The testimoniale of the grete sele, the quarter-seal. (Quarter-sele n.). 1491 Acta Aud. 159/1.
The lordis of consale & auditouris of causis riply avisit the richtis & ressonis of the said Arthure togidder with a lettre vnder the testimoniale of the grete sele [etc.]
1494 Acta Conc. I 335/1.
A commission vnder the testimoniale of the grete sele makand William lord of Sanct Johns schirref of Ranfrew
1517 Fife Sheriff Ct. 74 (see Notes p. 296).
Lettres of tutory wnder testimoniele of the grite sele
1515–6 Reg. Privy S. I 413/1.
In punissing of commoun theves [etc.] … efter the forme of commissioun of justiciary gevyn to hym under the testimoniale of our grete sele
1526 Reg. Privy S. I 512/1.
Patrik Houstoun … directour of the chancellary and kepar of the testimoniale of the grete sele
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 557.
Mongo Tennent producit the testimoniall of the Greit Seill and protestit that the deliverance thairof wer nocht prejudiciall to his office of the keping of the samyn
c1575 Balfour Pract. 651.
A letter of captioun under the testimonial of the greit seill, for apprehending of persounis denuncit rebellis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 654.
Upon the charter thair is gevin furth ane precept of sasine, under the testimonial of the greit seill
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
Gif the landes be halden of the king in chiefe, the directour of the Chancellarie commandis his clerkes to direct ane precept vnder the testimoniall of the great seale, called the quarter seale, in quhite walx
1622-6 Bisset II 37/5.
His maiesties letteres of grace, gevin under the testymoniall of his greit seill
c1630 Hope Minor Practicks (1726) 84 (see Quarter-sele n.). a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 275.
Sumonds for reduceing of doomes of forfaltrie ar past under the testimoniall of the great seall
1685 Lauder Notices Affairs II 600.
The citation to the Parliament is directed by order of the king and his counsell … under the Quarter Seall, which is the testimoniall of the Great Seall

3. (A piece of) evidence; a token. a1500 Colk. Sow ii 173.
Experience and testimoniall Off the saidis fules my sone consaif thow sall
1533 Bell. Livy I 9/1.
Sic thingis … be decorit mare be poeticall fabillis than ony incorruppit testimoniall of trew historiis
1533 Bell. Livy I 222/17.
Als Virginius … stude in testimoniall of his meritis and loving
1549 Compl. 113/7.
Annibal send … thre muis of gold ryngis quhilkis he hed gottin on the fingaris of the maist nobil Romans that var slane for ane testimonial of his grit victorie

4. A document testifying to a person's origin, qualifications, good character, etc. Also letters testimoniall(s.Esp. as required, after the Reformation, by persons moving from one parish to another.Also const. dependent clause.(1) 1546 Reg. Privy C. I 41.
Haifand salf conductis, attestationis, or testymonyalis of the Quene of Ungarie
1560 Admir. Ct. Bk. (St. S.) 175.
Ane pretendit testimoniale allegeit gevin be ane James Bartoun … to certane marinaris
1558-66 Knox II 215.
That nane be admittit to the classe of the Medicine bot he that shall have his testimoniall of his tyme weall spent in Dialecticque, Mathematique and Phisicque
1569 Reg. Privy S. VI 118/1.
Williame Melrose … examinat and admittit to the personage of Dipline be the superintendent of Stratherne as … is contenit in the superintendentis testimoniall and presentatioun
1570 St. A. Kirk S. 338.
Maister William Ramsay had desyrit ane testimonial of the verite of his doctrine lyiff and conversatioun … heirupon [the session] decernit testimonial to be gevin in dew form
1572–3 Reg. Privy C. II 176.
Herauldis, maseris, [etc.] … to compeir … bringand with thame thair admissionis, instructionis, and minuttis of thair executionis … to the effect that the personis being fund worthy and qualifiit may be continewit in thair offices and thairupoun ressave new testimoniallis
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. (MC) 28.
That na travelloure be ressauit in this towne … but ane sufficient testimoniall of the burght quhair he duellis … that all testimoniallis beir the names of, number of the persones, quhairfra thai cum, quhat tyme, to quhat purpos, quhat ladinnyng thai bring, how mony horsis [etc.]
1575 Reg. Privy C. II 447.
He wes … lyand bedfast; and for verifeing thairof producit ane testimoniall of the minister of Glammis
1587 Perth Kirk S. in Spottiswoode Misc. 259.
David Baxter … declared to Margaret Ruthven that if she would not get her testimonial, he would in no ways marry her
1590 Sc. Ant. VIII 86.
This bairne undirwrittin was baptesit … upon sicht of ane testimoniall … testifeand the parents undirwritten to be parochinars of Glenquhon in Coklane, laufullie mareit [etc.]
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 104.
I … hes bene vrgit … to gif my testimoniall of hir behaviour
1604 Elgin Rec. II 124.
Sic persones as remowis out of onie uther paroche to this paroche sall bring a testimonyall of the minister … undir the paynes of excommunication and a pecuniall penaltie
1608 Kinghorn Kirk S. 12.
Margaret Symsone … wes ordanit to pay 20 d. for setting ane house to ane woman without ane testimoniall
1671 Salmon Borrowstounness 95.
Testimonialls … bearing … them to be frie of any knowen or publict scandell
1673 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXV 264.
For ilka marriage testimoniall six shillings Scots and for ilka ordnar testimoniall for flitting servants two shillings Scots
(b) 1691 Kingarth Par. Rec. 159.
Katrine NcKaw did cary with her a counterfit testimonel
1692 Kingarth Par. Rec. 161.
He did get a testimoniel from Jonat NcCirdie, who was instantly to be his mother in law
(2) 1519–20 Stirling B. Rec. I 2.
The commoun seill was granttit to be appendit to ane testimoniall that Thomas Buchane was nebour
1529 Aberd. B. Rec. I 125.
To lat nane our the said brig without testimoniall quhat place thai come fra
1577 Reg. Privy C. II 658.
Ane testimoniall that thay wer marchantis
(3) c1630 Scot Narr. 36.
The visitor … shall give letters testimoniall to him that is presented … provyding … that the consent of the flock where he should be appointed be had … and in caise he hath been a minister befor, that he receive his letters testimonialls upon the presentation
1681 Dunkeld Presb. II 435.
To authorize him with your letters testimoniall of admission

b. A licence giving permission to do (something). 1565–6 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 37.
Andro Thomsone biand … accusit quhy he compleittis nocht the band betuex him and Margrat Monipenny … ansueris: I am willing to compleit it bot I desir your testimoniell to do it in Sanct Johnstone
1584 Perth Kirk S. in Spottiswoode Misc. 249.
No testimonials shall be given to marry a landward
1696 Sc. Ant. IV 84.
A testimoniall to begg out of the paroshin in respect he said he could not get a liveliehood here

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"Testimonial n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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