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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Upset, n. Also: upsett, -sed, -sete, wpset(t, -sete. [Late ME and e.m.E. upsett (1463-4), vpset (1607); Set v.]

1. An insurrection, revolt. c1420 Wynt. v 3648.
Offycerys that off hym bare Cure or state thai slw all downe In to that wpset [C. vpset] rycht fellowne
c1420 Wynt. viii 697.
[That] wpsete … That Chore agayne Moyses wroucht

2. Entrance-money paid on becoming freeman of a craft guild and setting up one's booth (Buth n. 1); the action or occasion of setting up one's booth in order to commence trading. 1496 Edinb. Hammermen 17.
Thir ar my ressaits of the wpsettis & prenteschippis deliuerit & gadderit
1496 Edinb. Hammermen 17.
Fra Johne Farule for the half of the wpset of his butht
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I 80.
At euery freman of our saidis craftis pay for the vpsett of his buthe five croonis vsuall mony of Scotland
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I 83.
For his upsett, to pay forty schillings to the reparatioun and uphalding divine service at oure said altar
1503 Edinb. Hammermen 46b.
For auld Johne Smythis pot at was tane for his wpset for v s & ane quarter payment
1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 102.
Oure [sc. the Barbers'] sober oulklie penny and vpsettis, quhilk ar small in effect till sustene and vphald oure said altar
1509–10 Edinb. B. Rec. I 128.
That nouthir thir prentissis nor nane vthir persoun of the said craft be sufferit to sett up buith within this said burgh without he be fundin sufficient habill and worthi thairto in practik and vthir wayis, and admittit thairto first be the sworne maisteris of the said craft, and maid freman and burges of the said burgh, and than for his vpsett to pay four merkis, except burges sonis of this tovne to pay twa merkis
1515 Dundee B. Laws 95.
[Freemen's sons] sall pay sex schillingis aucht pennies, that is born within this brugh for thair buith upsett
1552–3 Edinb. Skinners in Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 65.
1600 Glasgow Wrights 42.
Sumptuous bancattis quhilks ilk freman of oure craft wes wont to mak at thir entre and vpsett of thair buythis quhilkis we ar willing to remitt and discharge as vnprofitable
1608 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 283.
For the payeing of his upsett which extends to £37 13 s. and every 20 days following 40 s. is payable
1615 Glasg. Arch. Soc. I 425.
Ordenis James Gib [etc.] … to be wairint to Tysday next, to hear thame decerint in ane new upset for unsufficient malt melting
1639 Lanark B. Rec. 133.
That nae persone … be admittit … frieman for any les wpsett nor is abone wryttin
1675 (c1650) Dundee B. Laws 62.
Enacted that those who get ther burgesships gratis shall pay for ther buith upsets 80 merkes
possess. 1601 Edinb. B. Rec. V 284.
Borrowed from the red box, called the ‘upsets’ box, 640 li. to pay the town's share of the King's tax

b. A levy exacted from unfree craftsmen practising their trade in a royal burgh. 1636 S. Leith Rec. 25/2.
The dewties dew be the tailȝours of Lyth to the tailȝours of Edinburgh & quhilk they ar oblegid to pay … for thar upsetes … and that ȝeirlie

3. ‘A kind of mop for cleaning bore of cannon’ (M. Works Acc. II Glossary, s.v. Outsetter (onsetter, upsetteris)). = Onsetter n., Outsetter n., Upsettar n. 1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 42.
For fyve upsettis maid be the turnour vj s.

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"Upset n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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