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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).

Wedo(w)hed(e, Widowheid, n. Also: wedoue-hed, weddowhede, wedowheid(e, wedo(u)heid, vedohed(e, vedo(w)heid, vedowhude, weiddowheid, -head, weedowhead, weidowhood, wydohed, widowhedd, -head, vidowhead, (wididowheid), widoued. [ME and e.m.E. widewe-had (c1175), viduid, widowhede, wodewehode, (all Cursor M.), wedewehed (Chaucer), weduhod (c1450), weddewede (c1460), widowed (1530).] The state or condition of being widowed; the period of time during which a person lives as a widow or widower. a. Of a woman. b. Of a man.a. 1381 Douglas Chart. 29.
Our systir, in hir wedowhed, has set to ferme till vs … all hir thrid of the landes
1456 Hay I 140/19.
1476 Acta Aud. 54/1.
The band & obligation maid be hir in hir pure wedohed
1492 Myll Spect. 289/25.
1513 Doug. iv i 67.
Gif thou wilt … in wedowhed … thus waist away thy ȝowthed
1515–16 Reg. Privy S. I 415/1.
With … consent of our derrest moder the quene, our tutrice and governour in hir wedoheid
1520 Douglas Chart. 218.
1527–8 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 94.
The forsaid Katerin cleyth hir nocht with ane uther man bot kepand hir into hir vedoheid
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 146.
Elesabetht sal haif the tenement of the northt syd … for all the dais of hir vedoheid
1551 Hamilton Cat. 89.
Thame that levis ane chast lyfe in the stait of wedohede [marg. vedohed]
1558 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I 169.
Elizabeth Riche, hys modre, brukand it during hyr vedohede
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 24.
1561 Glasgow Prot. III 9.
The reycht and entres quhilk scho had … in and to the stedinge of Litill Kowcaldennis … be ressoune of wedowheide
1567 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 558.
Hir Majestie … [is] levand solitary in the state of wedoheid
1567 Edinb. Test. 143b.
My wyfe … to haf the erd hous … with this restrictioun that scho keip hir wedoheid
15.. Sym & Bruder 50.
Hir wedoheid fra the begynning Wes neir ane moneth tyd
(b) 1638 Dumfries Test. I 11b.
I nominat Thomas Makburnie … and Marione Makburnie my spous during hir weiddowheid tutoris testementaris to my said bairne
1683 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 13 Aug.
1698 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 10 March.
(c) 1551 Hamilton Cat. 10.
1631 Stirling's Royal Lett. II 533.
1631 Stirling's Royal Lett. II 542.
1643 Soc. Ant. IV 229.
1653 Elphinstone Chart. 270.
(d) a1400 Leg. S. xxiv 54.
As of Margret, of Scottis quene, In widoued hyre lyf led clene
(e) 1517 Wigtown B. Ct. 66a.
1679 Coll. Witchcraft 96.
The tyme of your weidowhood, befoer yow was maried to your last husband
b. a1400 Leg. S. xxiv 41.
Symeone, that in wedoue-hed, That lang tyme that his lyf can led
c1420 Wynt. vi 1540.
Sone efftyre that this wyff wes dede He bade noucht lang in wedowhede [C. wedowheide]
1576 Edinb. Test. V 4a.
Robert Peblis my spous sall haif the haill … vsing of my gudis … during his wedoheid
1611 Reg. Panmure I xxix.
To quhome his sone Sir Thomas … dois succeid … Alexanders vyf, Elezabethe Guthrie lewit efter him longue, and continewit in his vidowhead

c. transf.The right of a widow to hold her husband's lands while she remained single.An entitlement held by widows of rentallers in the barony of Glasgow. St Mungo's widow, quot. Acta Conc. & Sess. s.v. Wedo(w n. 1 (d). Cf. also quots. 1558 and 1561 in a (a) above. 1557 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I 214.
Is rentalit George of Dundas … in the fyfte s. land of Bordland … vacand be deces of wmquhill Schyr James of Dundas … Dame Margarit Sandelandis, his mothyr, brwkand hyr wedoheid thairof

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



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