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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Quarter, -ar(e, n. and adj. Also: qwarter(e, -are, quharter, quartor, quartir, quatir, and pl. quatris. [ME and e.m.E. quarter (c1290), quatre, quartere (15th c.), wharter (15th c.), qwatteer (14th c.), coter (17th c.), OF quarter, -ier (12th c. in Littré), L. quartār-ius.]

A. noun. 1. The fourth part of anything. 1375 Barb. xix 326 (E).
A quartar [C. quartir] of a myle weill ner
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1904.
[He] Hit him on the ouir cantell of the scheild Quhill ane quarter flaw out
c1475 Wall. ix 979.
Than off the day thre quartaris was went
1506 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II 153.
The said Michell sall hafe fourty merkis, ay according to the werk, ane quarter beforehand
1536 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 77.
That the said persoun sall haif the quarter of the escheitt for his lawbouris
1566 Perth Hammermen 99.
To be gadderit four tymes in the yeir, that is, ane quarter at Midsomer [etc.]
1602 Dundee Shipping P. 75.
Y ame at the lawe heir for the quarter of the schip
1622-6 Bisset II 224/18.
And of the thrie quarteris restand, the victuallaris sall have ane quarter and ane half
1626 Banff Ann. I 55.
Giff the knok happin to be ane quarter ane hour out of temper
1627 Rep. Parishes 190.
& the breid of it frome the sea in mur & daill is fywe quarteris of a myle or thairby

b. A fourfold or other subdivision of a body of persons.Cf. senses 5 c and 6 with which there is sometimes ambiguity. 1455–6 Ayr B. Ct. 20 Jan.
The inquest has ordinit & departit the town in four quarteris … And thir men ar ordinit in the first quarter [etc.] … to serch the town euir ilk nycht
1561 Aberd. B. Rec. I 335.
The haill brethir of gild … to be dewydit in four quarteris and euerie quarter to haf ane schippis laydning thair tyme about
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 512.
Hir hienes … hes dividit the saidis lordis in quarteris
1589 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II 111.
[The barons and lairds of Lothian, Fife, Stirlingshire and Strathearn to be divided] in foure quartaris [each quarter in turn giving attendance of fifteen days]

2. a. One of the four parts into which the carcase of an animal was divided. 1503 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 133.
iij quartaris of ane schepe and ane quartar of ane lame
1504 Exch. R. XII 226.
ij marte ij quarteris ij mutones
1512 Household Bk. Jas. IV 1a.
Coft ix mottoun pryce xxx s. & spendit ii mottoun ii quarteris & restis vi mottoun & iii [? read ii] quarteris
Ib. 1b.
Keiching spendit ½ a quarter beif & restis ½ a quarter
1549 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 434.
Half ane quarter of ane mart
1570–1 Elgin Rec. I 126.
To pay … xij s. vi d. for the pryce of fyve quarteris muttoun
1598 Household Bks. Jas. VI 24–25 April.
Ane venysoun quhairoff spendit in his majesties hous ane quarter

b. Applied to a human body similarly divided. c1420 Wynt. iii 829.
And syne gert hym be set Before his fadyre at the met, In quartarys lyand on a weschelle
1531 Bell. Boece II 251.
Thay war drawin out of the loch … and thair quarteris houng up in sindry townis of Scotland in punition of thair cruelte
1549 Compl. 162/16.

3. a. The fourth part, or other sub-division, of an escutcheon. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1538.
Ane duk … The quhilk ane egill in his blasone bare A lioun als into the tother quartare
1494 Loutfut MS 59b.
Whan cotearmures ar ix quarteris diuers colouris

b. ? One of the four pieces of cloth which together made up a whole garment; also, ? one of the skirts of a garment. 1501 Treas. Acc. II 34.
For ane elne wellus to be bakquartaris of the kingis wellus cote, that wes our litill
1538 Ib. VII 20.
For ane lynyng of toddis to the bak quarteris of the kingis nycht goune, and lynit with lucharis in the foir quarteris
1539 Inv. Wardrobe 36.
Ane uthir coit … , lynit the forthir quarteris with blak taffiteis and the hinder quarteris with blak bukram
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4119 (Bann.).
I leird telȝeouris in every toun To schaip fyve quarteris fra [Ch. in] a goun

c. Some part of the works of a clock. 1673 Leith Customs 7.
1 dozen long quarters, 1 jack & a knocker, 4 wheell pinns [etc.]

4. a. One of four sections making up a building; a side or angle of a building, also of a fortress or walled town. 1375 Barb. iv 181.
That all a quarter off Snawdoun, Rycht till the erd thai tummyllyt doun
c1475 Wall. viii 1051.
At a quartar, quhar fyr had nocht ourtayn, Thai tuk thaim out fra that castell
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 218.
To the ix lychtis of the lach chalmeris under the chapell in the south quharter
1558-66 Knox II 66.
He was appoyntit … to haif assaultit the north-west quarter [of Leith] upoun the sey-syde
a1578 Pitsc. I 336/5.
Ane faire palice … quhilk was fesnitt in foure quarteris and everie quarter and nuike thairof ane greit round as it had bene ane blokhouse
1583 Chapel Royal lxxxvii.
In cais the westqwarter of the foirsaid palays wer beildit and bigit as is foirsaid
1627 Rep. Parishes 164.
For only the quarter off the queir is theiked the kirk being altogether withowt rooffe
1635 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I 252.
The leach chambers laitlie buildit upon the northe quarter of the said College

b. One of four angles or sides of other structures. ?1438 Alex. ii 423.
And on the alter he set him doune; Four swords hes he tane assone And at four quarters hes thame set
1611 Reg. Panmure I xcv.
Thear wos ane greawe fownd withe ane bread stone on euery quarter thearof efter the forme of ane malt cobile

c. The part (of a ship) to which one is assigned; one's station. 1549 Compl. 41/31.
Gunnaris, cum heir & stand by ȝour artailȝee, euyrie gunnar til his auen quartar

5. A fourth part of a territory or other territorial subdivision. Also put for the inhabitants of such a territorial ‘quarter’. a. Of a sheriffdom.The construction of (a place-name) may be either partitive, as of Fyff, or designatory, as of Falkland.For several examples, see Mair n. 1.See also Fife Sheriff Ct. p. lxiii. 1360 Exch. R. II 40.
[De burgo de Forfar, infra quartarium de Breychin
1454 Ib. V 679.]
Per integras firmas quarterii de Fyf Edyn vulgariter nuncupati
1532 Reg. Privy S. II 183/2.
Officiar and serjand of the quarter of Falkland
1542 Ib. 735/1.
Mair of fee of the west quarter of the schirefdoime of Fiffe
1544 Treas. Acc. VIII 322.
The hale preceptis of parliament direct to the southest quarter of Lowthiane

b. Of an estate or tract of land, also, less commonly, of a measure of land. Also attrib. 1384 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 6.
Michel Rony lord of ane other quarter of Colstoun
1443 (1450) Reg. Great S. 85/1.
With ane pundis worth of lande of aulde astente of my quarter of the lordeschip of Sabeg
1451 Melville Chart. 34.
Scher Johnne of Rothvene … to Thome Wardroperr, mar, and to his deputis of the nether est quarter of Gowre
1472–3 Prestwick B. Rec. 21.
Delt thir commoun teill land in four partis … ilke quartar thre acris
1474 Reg. Cupar A. I 193.
Lattyn, the est quarter of our Grange of Ketheg. … Gif it be less than a quarter it sall be ekyt to thame quhil tha haue a quarter, and gif tha haue mare tha sall layd fra thame
Ib. 185, 200. 1488–9 Acta Aud. 125/1. 1497–8 Acta Conc. II 145.
For the wrangus … manuring of the thrid part of the ester quarter of the landis of Finlarg
1501–2 Ib. III 162. 1512 Reg. Privy S. I 375/1.
Unacum terris de Dunrod ex australi parte aque de Kip, viz. Edisholme, le Clochrety et le Quarter
1513 Reg. Cupar A. I 290.
The thyrd onder the wod, and the quartar bown the wod
1517 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 319. 1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 49.
For ane quartar of the said medow
1533 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 96.
Gif thai ar in possession of the thre quarteris of the landis of Hawhill
1540 Elgin Rec. I 47.
That the quarter of auchtan part quhilk the said William Douglas had attour his awin tua … is vacand
1542 Reg. Cupar A. II 185. 1550 Ib. 80, etc. c1567 Liber Calchou 518.
Andro Bonattyne ane husband land. Sandie Heistie thrie quarteris of ane land. Johne Myller halfe ane land
[1570 Crawford Mun. Invent. II 125 (23 May).
Of the lands of the shadow quarter of Dilquhowbir]
1575–6 Reg. Privy S. VII 71/2.
[As] serjand of our soverane lordis quartaris of his hienes landis of Ochtermuchtie and Lundoris
1578–9 Ib. 302/1.
Una septima parte terrarum occidentalis finis de Plane [sc. Plean, Stirlingshire], aliter vocata the Cult quarter
1578–9 Exch. R. XX 374. 1580 Ib. XXI 21.
Australem quartam … Maknabbis quarter nuncupatam
1585 Liber Scon 230.
The quarter of the landis callit the fourt rynrig of the Sandyhill
1598 Retours II Inq. Spec. Stirling (16). 1618 Ib. I Inq. Spec. Aberdeen (155). 1620 Ib. Inq. Spec. Berwick (121).
Terras vocatas the Wol-Quarter et Mayne-Quarter de Eist-Nisbet
1632 Ib. Inq. Spec. Ayr (278).attrib. 1580 Exch. R. XXI 22.
Unacum aliis duabus acris terrarum ejusdem ville de Cullace vulgo lie quarter akers nuncupatis

c. Of a burgh.See also Murray Early B. Organ. II 21–2 and Quarter-maister n. 1 a. In some of the earlier instances there is ambiguity with sense 1 b.See also Quarter-clerkschip, -paris-clerkschip, -man. 1518 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 352.
Assignit Schir Johnn Cumming singar of thair quayr … the clerkship of the Castelgat quarter
1523 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 171.
That the provest ballies and counsale of Edinburgh mak thair four ballies to have thar toun dividit in four quarteris and ilkane of thaim to haif ane quarter in the quhilk quarter ilk balȝe sall mak subdivisioun undir him four persouns in thir quarteris
1548 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 134.
Begynnand at the sowtheist quarter and thairafter round about
1552–3 Ib. 177.
That ilk baillie mak scerching anis in the moneth throwch all his quarter
1554 Ib. 192.
The baillies and counsale thinkis expedient … that ane quarter of the towne walk ilk vlk
1572–3 Treas. Acc. XII 334.
To Capitane Lambie for ane new yett to his quarter at the west porte of Edinburgh
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 226.
The lordis of the nobilitie … causit nychtlie the quarteris of this toun waitche the wallis thairof
1625 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 289.
The Northeist quarter begins at Knoxes clois … to the Netherbow
1631 Linlithgow B. Rec. 5 Aug.
To Williame Levingstoune of Wastquarter
1632 Culross II 324.
The subdivision of the tounes quarters
1639 Dumbarton B. Rec. 56.
This burgh was ordanit to drill as thay war warnit be quarters
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 18.
Thomas Melvill, captain for the ewin quarter, Patrik Leslie, younger, for the cruikit quarter, Mr. Thomas Merser, for the grein quarter, and Alexander Burnet for the futtie quarter
1652 Peebles B. Rec. II 4.
The counsell … appoyntes the persones befor nominat, to conveane their severall quarteres
1654 Glasgow B. Rec. II 295.
The said magistratis and counsell hes dividet the toune in fyve quarteris as is heirefter exprest
1657 Dumfries Council Min. 28 Sept.
Thrie baillies ar to go throw the seuerall quarters … The q[ua]rter assignit to baillie Richartsoun the croce q[ua]rter
1676 Meikle Old Session Bk. 68.
The toun of Alight from the bridge upward to the west quarter

d. Of a presbytery or parish. 1582–3 Perth Kirk S. in Spottiswoode Misc. II 243.
That an elder of every quarter shall pass through the same every Sunday in time of preaching before noon
1597 Elgin Rec. II 59.
James Young [etc.] … declairit that they had wisited thair quarteris and haid warnit dyvers for want of the catecheis buik to compeir
Ib. 61. 1603 Ib. 118.
And the haill elderis to be present with their quarteris to heir and lerne the cathecheis
1642 St. A. Presb. 6.
To the end greater diligence may be vsed in drawing vp the bounds of this presbyterie … the presbyterie have divyded the same in these severall quarters
1649 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII 75.
That evrie paroche bee divided in severall quarters and ther be a quarter assigned for the inspection of evrie particular elder
1671 Edgar Old Church Life II App. 408. 1689 Cramond Kirk S. III 6 Dec.
In a house most convenient to that quarter of the parische where they dwell
1696 Ib. IV 22 May.
Jo. Nimmo elder of the quarter

e. Attrib. or adj. 1496–7 Acta Conc. II 46.
The occupacione of the west quarter toune of the landis of Redy … the sade west quarter of the toune
1513 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 142.
That thai compeir in thair quarter place of the toun the tyme of the calling of the wache

6. A fourth part or other territorial subdivision of the kingdom. a. For ordering the hearings in the supreme court. Also attrib. with -tabill. 1517 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 99.
That forsamekle as thar is divers actiouns … of the first diet quhilk can nocht be decidit befor … Lammes … , tharefor the lordis of counsale continewis the secund diete to [2 Nov.] … and than to begyn … for sa mony dayis as is contenit in the first proclamatioun and siclik the dietis of the thrid and ferd quarter to begyn eftir uthiris
1537 Acts (1597) i 110b.
And that the priviledged summoundes of everie quarter salbe tabulat with the vn-priviledged summoundes of that quarter, … and thir schires to be in the first quarter [etc.]
1565 Edinb. Univ. MS La. iii 388a 13a.
Proces be the commoun table quhilk cumis on bot quarterlie as the countrey is devydit in four quarteris
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 241.attrib. 1622-6 Bisset I 149/11.
Anent the quarter tabill

b. For administration of justice by justice-deputes. 1587 Acts (1597) ii 97b.
That our soveraine lord sall cause his justice generall make aucht deputes … appoyntand twa over euerie quarter of the realme quhilk conteinis seuen schireffe-domes or thereby
1597 Skene Verb. S. (1599) s.v. Iter.
For the king or the justice generall may make aucht deputes quha … suld passe severallie throw the aucht quarters of the realme

c. For military service. Also attrib. (also Quarter-man n.).Each ‘quarter’ taking its turn of providing the militia on active service for a stated period. 1515 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 60.
The ordinance of the schyris of this realm to be dividit in four partis, ilk part to remane the space of ane monetht quhar my lord governour sall ordane thame … , the first quarter [etc.]
That lettres be writtin in continent to the lordis and hedis men of all the schyris and at the first quarter be heir the first day of the parliament furnist for ane monetht … and at the ische of that monetht the secund quarter [etc.] … for defence of the realm fra the rebellis and tratouris
1533 Ib. 400.
[Anent the supply for the Border] eftir the furth passing of this quarteris [that the act already made upon quartering stand]
1570 Leslie 127.
The lordis of Scotland awaitit one the bourdouris monethelie be quarteris as the use is
Ib. 265. a1578 Pitsc. I 342/3, 5.
That the king … behuffit to send his brother the Earle of Murray to the borderis and maid him lutennent generall and devydit the haill realme … in foure pairtis and caussit ewerie ane of thame to keip thair quarteris quhilk contenitt the space of ane ȝeir quhilk was callit efterwart be the common pepill the quarter-raid
Ib. II 259/11, 13, 14.
At this tyme the men of Fyff [etc.] … quhilk war the first quarter reid come hame … and the westland quarteris come to Leith as Lennox Stirviling Linlythgow Lowthiane and did as the first quarter men did

d. The assembling for military service according to an arrangement by ‘quarters’ as in prec. c or 5 a above. Also e. quarter-raid, id.d. 1546 Reg. Privy S. III 322/2.
Throw his remaning and biding at hame fra the quarter of Kile and of the schirefdome of Air, devisit to convene at Sanctandrois … for assegeing and recovering of the castell thairof
1558 Ib. V i 96/1.
Convict for remaning and byding away fra oure soverane ladeis raidis, armyis, and quarteris
1571 Treas. Acc. XII 280.
Letters of proclamatioun to the marcat croces of Renfrew, Irwin and Air chargeing all and sindrie dwelland within the saidis boundis, that hes bene absent fra thair quarter, to prepair thame selffis to cum to the toun of Leyth
e. 1558 Reg. Privy S. V i 93/1.
Be ressone of eschete, throw his remaning and biding at hame fra hir hienes last quarter raid and army of Fyffe
a1578 Pitsc. (see c above). a1578 Pitsc. II 257/8.
And this was the first quarter reid
Ib. 259/11 (see c above).

7. In more generalised applications of prec. senses: A region, district, part.On or in the four quarteris about (a place), in the surrounding district on all sides: cf. Four half n.(1) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 996.
And lat ilk man keip weill a tung, And in ilk quartir have a spy
1558-66 Knox II 394.
Johne Knox … should wryte to the Brethren in all quarteris
1585 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 29.
At every quartor of the toun
1596 Dalr. I 2/8.
I wil first … descriue the quarteris and boundes of Scotland
Ib. 9/13.
The vthir quarter lyes to the north
c1620 Boyd Zion's Fl. 34.
At all those quarters … Hee with loud voice doth make this proclamation
1625 Moray Synod 15.
In respect of the far distance … and the perilous waters that ar interjected in these quarters [sc. Strathspey]
1636 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 158.
That my sufferings may preach to the four quarters of this land
(2) 1531 Acta Conc. MS XLIII 97.
That thai suld sell als gud chaip of malt as ony man of Edinbrugh or ony uthir on the four quarteris about the samin
1641 Peebles Chart. 108.
Casting and winning of peittes [etc.] … in the four quarteris about the said brugh

8. A subdivision of a military unit; a company. 1544 Treas. Acc. VIII 290.
To … ane of the quarter maisterris withtin the castell of Edinburght … to be disponit amang certane men of Leith, gunnaris in his quarter
1601 Glasgow B. Rec. I 218.
The towne to be devydit in four seuerall quarteris and hes appoyntit four seuerall commanders … viz. the provest first and ilk baille ane quarter for tranyng wp … of the inhabitantis to the weyris and the four quarter maisteris to be delt in tua quarteris at scarmousching or wapinschawing with anseinyeis

9. The quarter of some usual measure of capacity, quantity or weight.As of a stone or a chalder. Also applied to the English quarter, the measure of capacity equal to 8 bushels.Pety quarter, see Petty adj. 2 (1).(1) 1264 Exch. R. I 6.
[Dimidium petre et vnam quarteriam casei
1328 Ib. 122.]
ij libris et j quarterio cerici [= serici]
c1420 Bute MS fol. 170.
Of half a chaldre i obl. of a quartar i quadrant
1488 Acta Aud. 117/1.
Fiftj quarteris of berlik malt of Inglis met
1530 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 234b.
Vrangus haldyne fra hyre of a quharter of lynt seyd
1556 Peebles B. Rec. I 234.
To reforme all the wobstaris wechtis, baith stane, half stane, quarter, half quarter [etc.]
1561–3 Edinb. Old Acc. I 406.
For thre quarteris of leid
Ib. 436. 1597–8 Household Bks. Jas. VI 10 March.
Sax snypis ane quarter of dry heryng
1624 Huntar Weights & Measures 5.
The English quarter of corne conteines hard by 2 bowes of Scottish measure
1626 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 18 Jan.
For twa pundis of candill to the kirk, 12 s. … Giffin Allexr Quhyt for ane quarter of candill quhilk restit to him … 20 s.
1671 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 19 July.
And ane quarter of butter yeirlie
(2) 1502 Treas. Acc. II 39.
For iij quarteris of ane unce of moyst
1520 Edinb. B. Rec. I 202.
Ane ring of gold weyand iii quarteris of ane vnce

10. As a measure of length, the fourth part of an ell.As a pl., inflected and uninflected.Common as a tailor's and as a builder's measure. 1624 Huntar Weights & Measures 36.
As of one quarter, which is a quarter of an ell
sing. 1473 Treas. Acc. I 33.
vij elne ½ quarter of blew chamlot of silk for a kirtil
1489 Ib. 136.
For viij elne and half a quartar of sattin crammyse
1502 Ib. II 56, etc. 1600 Ib. MS 68.
Fyne small plaiding galloway claith of quarter braid
1654 Dumfries Kirk S. 17 Dec.
And the wyff did met ane belt and it did goe in ane quarter
pl. (a) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 40.
iij½ quarteris of skarlate for a cot
Ib. 18. a1500 Henr. III 97/28.
His nailis wes lyk ane hellis cruk Thairwith fyve quarteris lang
1477 Edinb. Chart. 141.
And all vthir claith quhic is within vj quartaris
c1475 Wall. ix 1918. 1489 Treas. Acc. I 160. 1492 Ib. 204, etc. 1496 Halyb. 114.
1532 Treas. Acc. VI 76.
xj quarteris yndit fusteane
Ib. 78, etc.
iij½ quarteris and ane nale franche quhite
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 15. 1542 Treas. Acc. VIII 96.
x quarteris half quarter lylis worset
1548 Ib. IX 171.
1555–6 Glasgow Prot. V 3.
To haif of the foir front … nyne quartaris and ane naill
1558-66 Knox II 66.
For thair ledderis wantit sax quarteris of the just hicht
1581 Acc. Repair Doune in Moray Mun. Box 1, No. 300.
[The dike] of heicht thre elnes, of breid in the heid thre quarteris and ane half
1624 Huntar Weights & Measures 12. 1629 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 78.
Three quarteris of lyning
1647 Caldwell P. 99. 1670 Dunkeld Presb. II 459. 1691 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 218.
[The houses to have] the side walls seven quarters high
(b) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 17.
j½ quarter of vellous to covir the kingis porteus
1541 Aberd. B. Rec. MS XVII (Jam.).
Of iij ell breid 3 quartar les
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 661.
His brand … was weill seuin quarter lang
1635 Chron. Perth 34.
Ane hudge snow, … it wes ten quarter or tua ellis heiche

11. A quarter of a year; specif. one of the four ‘quarters’ or conventional divisions by terms of a year.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii 3844.
To that terme wes takyn nere In space a qwartare off the yhere
Ib. 4982.
Qwhen he … had lyin thare A qwartere off a yhere and mare
1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 105.
To tak of every buith [etc.] … inhabite ilk quarter of the yeir 1 d.
a1538 Abell 116b.
He institut with consall of the lordis 4 keparis of the king be ȝerlie quartaris
1648 Argyll Synod I 118.
Mr. Dugald Campbell, minister of Knapdall, hath been in Yrland for the space of sex quarters of a yeare
1654 Ib. II 69.
That … his maried wife had desearted him five quarters a year ago
1661 Black Sc. Witches 41. c1680 Anal. Scot. II 174.(2) 1472 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 25.
Four termis in the yeir, ilk quarter anis, or oiftner
1501 Treas. Acc. II 93.
To … the browdstare, in his fee of the quarter at this Candilmes bipast
1514 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 151.
That is to say of ilk stok on the hie gaitt iiii d. in the quarter, swa that the dichteris of the gaitt cum at the quarteris and ask thair four pennies
1555 Peebles B. Rec. I 220.
For the winter quarter begynnand at Alhallo day
1562 Misc. Maitl. C. I 31.
To … nyne archearis of the said gaird for remaining a certane space with hir hienes, attour thair quarter
1595 Highland P. I 165.
All witchcraft is to be practised in the begining of every quharter and now the first begining of the harvest quarter approtches
1617 Acts IV 535/2.
That yow as ane of the commissionaris and justice of peace … sall everie quarter keip the sessiounes
1622 Perth Kirk S. MS 15 Jan.
In contentatioun of the candill furneissit be him to the tua lantrounes … this wintter quarter
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 435.
When will we learn … to have our fill of those things that have but their short summer quarter of this life
1650 Glasgow Wrights Acts 11.
To serve be quarteris or monethes
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II 18. 1664 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 214.
[£1.10s.] for teaching Patrick Browne five quarters
1671 Dunferm. Coal Acc. 5b.
Andrew Craig a quarters bountay
1675 Lauder Jrnl. 276.
To be allowed for the quarter from Lambes to Martinmas 1673
1700 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 328.(3) 1622 Perth Kirk S. MS 23 May.
With ane infant of iii quarteris auld

b. Attrib. or comb.With convention, court, day, fe(e, payment, pensioner, terme, wage. Also Quarter-compt, -session(e)s. 1600 Glasgow Wrights 45.
Ilke ane of the saids craftismen that salbe absent … fra the four quarter conventionis ȝeirlie
1603 Glasgow Weavers 15.
The dekin, maisteris, and haill craft convenit in thair quarter court
1650 Glasgow Wrights Acts 13.
From ane quarter court tuentie shilling, and from any wther tuelff shilling
1573 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 60.
That euerilk prenteis … sall cum vpone ane quarter day or quhen the hale breder salbe convenit
1501 Treas. Acc. II 66.
To Schir Thomas Lindesay, quhen he passyt away, his half quarter fee, l s.
1506 Ib. III 326.
To the foure Italien menstrales thar quartar fee
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II 339.
To Andro Mansioun for his quarter fe
1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 103.
Ane officiar till pas with ws for the ingathering of oure quarter payment
1516 Edinb. Hammermen 91b.
To tak poyndis for the quarter paymentis awand
1577 St. A. Baxter Bks. 25.
That ilk master … pay the quarter pament
1697 Logie Par. Hist. I 321.
Of quarter payments payed be the Session for learning poor schollars
1698 Greyfriars Interments 85.
Quarter pensioner
1507 Reg. Dunferm. 361.
To be payt at four termes in the ȝher … and ane quarter terme to begyn with
1501 Treas. Acc. II 93.
Giffin to Matho Auchinlek, goldsmyth in Strivelin, his quarter wage
1563 Reg. Cupar A. II 279.
To Master Allane Stewart, furriour of the quenis grace gaird, in pairt of pament of the quarter waige
1592 Glasgow Weavers 73.
And quhilk of the craftismen hes not thair quarter wages in readines than salbe poyndit incontinent thairefter for payment
1647 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS 9.
To Mr. Jon Mor for his halames quarter wege
1670 Kingarth Par. Rec. 67.
That he [the schoolmaster] get an quarter wage from the country
1679 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 29 Oct.
To pay … threttie shilling Scots for quarter wages in learning of ther childe
1688–9 Glasgow B. Rec. III 513.
Foundlines quarter wages

c. Quarteris compt = Quarter-compt n. 1615 Glasgow Maltmen 35.
Decernit in ane unlaw of threttene schillings four pennies money, fur not compeiring at Hallowmes last to pay their quarteris compts

12. a. A coin or money of account equal in value to the fourth part of another. c1420 Bute MS fol. 175.
Qwhen the waw is at xv markys & a quartar
1488 Treas. Acc. I 80.
In a litill purs within the said coffre, of quarteris of rois nobilis sevin score nyne rois nobilis a quarter of a nobill
1490 Ib. 131.
Takin be the king furth of the thesauraris purs, fowre quartaris of ane royse nobil, xxxvj s.
1494 Halyb. 51.
iii greffons, hall, half and quatiris
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II 276.
Fourtein ryellis and a quarter
1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 99.
The new peice … The half … The quarter

b. A quarter of the value of an animal. 1453 Exch. R. V 572.
vxxxv marte ij quarteris unius marte
1483 Acta Aud. *123/2.
v li. of siluer, twa ky and twa quarteris of a kow price iiij merkis, threttj sex scheip

13. In Argyll: Appar., a quarter or similar portion of the teinds of certain parishes allotted to the bishop. b. Quarter-kirk, appar. a church which had a portion of its teinds assigned in this way. 1619 Argyll Reg. Acc.
Hector McNeill bishops quarter of Kilblain intromett by him
1651 Argyll Synod I 232.
The haill teynds of the bishops quarter thereof being allocat to the minister primo loco and the rest of the stipend to be payed out of the first and readiest of the other thre quarters of the said paroache
Ib. 241.
As a pairt of that quarter of the teynds of Kilfinan whereunto he hes right and whiche wes commonlie called the archdeacons quarter
1670 Retours I Inq. Spec. Bute (70).
Et decimis garbalibus olim vocatis bischope quarteris parochiarum de Rothsay et Kingarthe
b. 1611 Scrymgeour Invent. 23.
Tak … of the quarter kirkis of Kilnower and Kilmichaell
1618 Argyll Rentals I.
For the quarter kirk of Inchsaill [£156/13/4d.]
1643 Argyll Reg. Acc.
Enterit for the teynd silver, vicarage broks, and small teynds of the quarter kirks of Kilcolmkill, Kilchewane, and Kilblane

14. Accommodation, lodging, esp. for troops, quarters; also, the compulsory exaction of this from private persons. Chiefly pl.Commonly fre (= unpaid) quarters. Also local and transient quarters, qq.v.sing. 1651 Rothiemay Kirk S. in J. Gordon Hist. I App. lvii.
Which troop called upon the people to macke the quarter through the parochin
Ib. lviii.
From a heavy quarter of English souldiours which had constantlye lyved with him
1670 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. III 654.
So they [troops] were destitute of a quarter that night
The officer commanding … did caus immediatly breake oppen the doores and repossesse them in ther quarter
pl. 1639 Aberd. Council Lett. II 130.
The haill foot souldioures and many hors men … took frie quarteris of us
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 22.
That the saids haill sojors … be quartered in hostish houssis … and that the haill nichtbours … sould be taxt … for payment of sic moneyes as sal be dew to be peyit of the toun for the saids quarters
1647 Ib. 79.
Or their pay to be sent to them, that they may defray at least their bygane quarters
1650 Moray Synod 109.
And not allowance for quarters
c1650 Spalding I 277.
Bot Abirdein promesit frie quarteris and good intertynnement … during the space of a moneth
1656 Dumfries Doc., Burgh Chart. Box No. 25.
Four trowps of horse … surpryzd Drumfreis whair they remained four days vpon frie quarters
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 38.
Some Flamans had … taken up the quarters in a certain innes
1674 Stirling B. Rec. II 16.
The magistrats is to meit for ordoring quarters for the conventione of burrous
1677 Cunningham Diary 92.
For my quarters that night at Stirling, £2.8.10
1681 Cloud of Witnesses 96.
You are the only shire that has denyed lovely Christ quarters

15. pl. Quarter, or exemption from being put to death granted to a vanquished adversary by the victor; mercy.e.m.E. (1611) in sing., (1684) in pl. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 528.
There are no quarters to be had of Christ, in open judgement
1647 Misc. Maitl. C. II 449.
They wer both so full of animositie that they refuised quarters to on another

16. To keep (fair, good, bloody) quarter(is, to conduct oneself in the manner specified by the adjective, to behave (well) towards (with) or consort (well) with (to) another; also, to keep such a quarter. 1627 Bk. Carlaverock II 96.
He keiped fair quarteris quhill the capitane crossed the ferrie this day to Fyff
1632 Lithgow Trav. iii 88.
The souldiers kept a bloody quarter among themselves, or against any whomsoever their malignity was intended
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 172.
I find it to be hard wrestling to play fair with Christ and to keep good quarters with Him
1658 R. Moray Lett. fol. 295.
But it may be he remembers waters & widdies keep fair quarter to one another
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. I 9.
Thoise who had been presently turned out of doors kept such a qwarter with clamours without … as that [etc.]

B. Attrib. as adj. 1. That comprises a fourth part of any unit.Also Quarter-caik, -clift, -land, -mes, -moone, -sele, -weycht. 1503 Treas. Acc. II 203.
For tua joyntouris of silvir … weyand vij unce i quartar unce
1511 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 133.
And euerye pund to wey xvj vnce, half stane, quartar stane, and pund efferand thairto
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 43.
For thre quartar drauchtis estland burd, iii d.
1531–2 Ib. 65, etc. 1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. II 10.
For sawing of xv draucht of buirds and xxvij quarter dalis
1566 Treas. Acc. XI 516.
Ane quarter barrell of saip, iij li. x s.
1569 Crail B. Ct. MS 17 April.
Portionaris of the quarter parte landis of Kyngisbarnis
1582–3 Cunȝiehous Acc. 6.
Ilk ane weyand ane quarter wnce
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 113.
Ane quarter hour or thei suld hef bene lowsit
1611 Reg. Panmure I xcv.
And thearfra agane neir ane qwarter mile
1619 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 83.
Within a quarter hour efter scho brocht a candle
1656 Retours I Inq. Spec. Ayr (486).
Furth of the lands callit Dalrumpill-Wardes, and quarter part of the meadow
1674 Cunningham Diary 34.
Sent to Glasgow … for a q[ua]rter pound of sweet hair powder
1687 Galloway P. 15 Nov.
[A tack] of the kirkland of Glasertone with the quarterfey of beirland besyd the steabls of Glastone

b. Freq. quarter-hundreth. 1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I 465.
For ane quarter hundreth planschour naill … ix d.
1579 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 304.
For ane quarterc garren nalis, ii s. vi d.
1607 Misc. Maitl. C. I 168.
Ane quarter hundreth eggis, at v s.
1615 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 373. 1617 Ib. II 31.
For 4c 3 quarter c. small cleikis for tapestrie

2. Denoting the smaller sizes of certain pieces of artillery. 1549 Compl. 41/33.
Mak reddy ȝour … slangis, & half slangis, quartar slangis
1558 Admir. Ct. Bk. (St. S.) 70.
Ane falcoun, ane quarter falcoun callit ane falconat, thre quarter slingis and ane half sling [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 251/27.
Small artaillȝie, that is to say, … quarter fallcouns, slingis [etc.]
c1650 Spalding I 153.
Thay had tuo cartovis or quarter cannonis following thame

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"Quarter n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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