Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

Portu(o)us, -e(o)us, -(o)us, n. Also: -uos, -uis(e, -uys, -wis; -ews; -use; ewis , -owis; (-ouns); purtuous. [ME and e.m.E. portous (Piers Plowman), -os(e, -oos, -as, -us, -eux, -es(se, -oes, -ais, -eise, porthors (Chaucer), portuous (1507), -oues, -uous, -uys, -yes (Palsgrave, 1530), portewas (1519), poortos (Prompt. Parv.), etc., a breviary; OF portehors (13th c.), repr. Med. L. portiforium (13th c. in Du Cange), a portable breviary, f. F. porte imper. of porter to carry and hors (= L. foris) out of doors.]Plur. also without inflex.

1. A breviary with the lessons abridged, hence, a portable breviary. Also comb. in portuus buke. b. transf.Half portuus, an abridged breviary for one of the two halves of the year, sc. pars hiemalis or pars aestivalis.(1) 1453–4 Coll. St. Salvator 158 n.
Thre portoussis, ane that wes our emys the kyng
1493 Halyb. 100.
8 portus, the stek cost a goldin
1512 Treas. Acc. IV 340.
In part of payment of lymnyng of ane gret parchment portuse to the king with lettrez of gold and asure, xviij li. xij s.
(b) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 17.
j ½ quarter of vellous to covir the kingis porteus
1512 Ib. IV 358.
The kingis gret parchment portews
1540 Maxwell Mem. 409.
Twa portewssis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 769 (B).
Flattry: Quha hes ane porteus to [Ch. portouns [sic] for to] len me?
(c) c 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 158.
A portuis for the chantour notit of gret volum new bwnd
Tua les portuis notyt
1502 Treas. Acc. II 39.
To the bedell of Sanctandrois in part of payment of ane portwis writing to the king
Ib. 342.
1505–6 Ib. III 180.
To the bedell, at the completing of the gret portuous
1507 Reg. Privy S. I 223/2.
For imprenting within our realme of … mes bukis and portuus efter the use of our realme [etc.]
(1538–9) Calderwood in Crim. Trials I i 213.
Therfor, Dean Thomas, I will know no thing but my portuise and my pontificall
(d) 1503 Reg. Soltre 158.
For ane portewis of parchement xii li.
comb. 1507 Reg. Privy S. I 223/2.
[To print] mes bukis, manualis, matyne bukis and portuus bukis efter our awin Scottis use
1540 Acta Conc. & Sess. MS XIII 119 b.
Ane orisone buik ane portuis buik
(2) c 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 158.
Tua half portuis … liand befor the masteris on the north syd chenyeit
b. c1490 Porteous Noblenes 171/11 (Asl.).
The wertuis of nobilnes … callit the portuus and matynnis of the samyn
Ib. 172/15 (Asl.).
Quha that is accusable of thire … vycis say daly thar houris and matinnis on this portuos
Ib. 65/132 (Ch. & M.).
Heir endis the Porteous of Noblenes

2. An official list of persons to be indicted or otherwise proceeded against. Only Sc.Chiefly, such a list drawn up by the justice clerk or by the chamberlane's clerk on the basis of local information and sent to local officers so that they might arrest or summon the persons named with a view to their appearance at the next justice ayre or chamberlane ayre; also b. such a list drawn up by local justices of peace.Not recorded, except by Hope, in the 17th c., and replaced in the latter part of the century by porteous roll, in the same sense: see c below. 1398 Acts I 209/1.]
[Quod postquam inquisicio fuerit capta in quolibet [sic] vicecomitate [etc.] … & nomina transgressorum seu malefactorum fuerint in scriptis redacta … tunc vicecomites [etc.] … facient publice proclamari [etc.]
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v.
Porteovs, portuis, … a portando, quhilk signifies to carie, or beire: in French portes vous, and signifies ane catalogue, contenand the names of the persones indited to the justice air, quhilk is … delivered be the justice clerk to the crowner, to be attached and arreisted be him to compeire and answere to sik accusationes and crimes as salbe impute vnto them [etc.]
Ib. s.v. Traistis.
For like as the portuous comprehendis the names of the persones indited; swa the traistis [etc.]
Ib. s.v. Iter. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 13.(1) 1436 Acts II 23/2.
That al crownaris sal arrest al tyme als wele befor the cry of the air as eftir all thaim that salbe gevin hym in portuis be the justice clerk & nane vthir
1499 Douglas Chart. 168.
Being gyffin to the said George … in portewis, xv dais befor [the] halding of the justice airis
1586 Ib. 287.
Sic as ar not ȝit chargeit and arreistit, gar gif furth in portuus, that thay may [be] chargeit to find souirtie within sex dayes
(2) 1483 Acta Conc. II cxxxi.
The lordis ordanis that letters be writin to the schireffis of Forfar [etc.] … charging thame to summond … all the personis of the quhilkis the names salbe gevin to thame in write in a portous under the signet to compere befor our soverane lord and his justice at Edinburgh [etc.]
1501 Treas. Acc. II 116.
To David Tempilman messengeir passand to Invernes [etc.] … with the proclamationis for the airis, and with the portwis to the crounaris of the said boundis
1539 Ib. VII 207.
For tursing of ane portuous to [etc.] … for halding of ane justice air
1582 Perth Guildry 451.
Ressauit the porteous to our crownnar within brugh subscryuit be the iustice clerk
(3) 1487 Acts II 176/2.
The crovnar … quhen he ressauis his portews & traistis
The crovnar … sal pas to the schireff of the schire & schew his portewis that he has sic personis contenit tharin & [etc.]
1501–2 Treas. Acc. II 136.
To the crownaris of Dumfreis, [etc.] … to caus thaim to resave their portowis
(4) 1473 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 406.
That ye deliuer the portews of dittay … of sa mony personis that pertenis to him that he may mak thame to be arrestit to comper in our next justice are to be haldin at our burgh of Aberdene
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1273 (Bann.).
A fals crownar, Quhilk hes a porteous of the endytment
1501–2 Treas. Acc. II 133.
Passand with the portuus of the new dittay to the cronaris of Fiff and Angus
(5) 1492 Acta Conc. I 245/2.
That the said porteus & preceptis of the chaumerlain are wes nocht deliuerit to the said Lord Rothuen [sc. sheriff of Perth] nor nain vtheris his deputis
1517 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIX 85.
My Lord Flemyng chaumerlane askit instrument that he deliverit the portuis of the chaumerlane air to David Mailuile provest of Edinburgh
1541–2 Treas. Acc. VIII 66.
The portuys of the Justice Courte
1575 Ib. XIII 74.
To a boy passand of Edinburgh with the porteous of the justice air of Edinburgh to the Larde of Edmestoun, coroner thairof
1582 Reg. Privy C. III 491.
The porteous and rollis of the last justice air
(6) 1501–2 Treas. Acc. II 139.
To pas to the Maister of Angus with the portowis of Eskdale
1505 Ib. III 135.
To pas to the Lard of Caprintoun, crownar of Air, with the portuous of Air, viij s.
1506 Ib. 189.b. 1587 Acts III 459/2.
And all personis dilatit … the saidis juges & commissioneris sall othir apprehend … or ellis sall deliuer thame in portuus to the crowner of the schire euery moneth anis to be arreistit … be him … to the nixt iustice air
With power to thame to direct thair preceptis and portuus to the crowneris

c. Porteous roll.Only after 1679: a list of persons drawn up by the Justice-clerk for indictment before a circuit court of Justiciary. 1686 Mackenzie Observ. 91.
The Crowner of old received the Porteous Rolls, that is to say, the names of such Malefactors as were to be pursu'd at Justice-airs, but now the Justice Clerk keeps it himself and gives it to the Macers of the Criminal Courts or Messengers who cite the persons to be pursu'd
1679 in Wodrow Hist. (1828) III 60.
When any … is delated upon oath by an informer, and is named and set down in the porteous-roll, as use is
Ib. 141.
[Proclamation of Circuit Courts, 14 Aug. 1679] And the clerks of the justice-courts … to go before … in due time, and take up a porteous-roll of the names and designations of the said rebels
1679 Lauder Notices Affairs I 237. 1681 Ib. 315.
This engadging of tennents was … enjoined by the 8th Act of the Parliament held in 1528. But that means only of the porteous roll in Circuit Courts
1683 Ib. 442.
At Stirling, ther ware many small crymes, and dittayes had been taken up in the porteous roll, which I found was used in Italy
1683 Edinb. B. Rec. XI 70.
To give information to the making up the king's majesties indytement in relation to the porteous roll
1685 Acts VIII 480/2.
Doe hereby … approve the practice of the Circuit Courts in citing persons even for treason upon porteous rolls by messengers or sheriff officers [etc.]
1686 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 20.
Humphray Steivnson, … being unfortunatly delate att upgiveing of the porteous roll … haveing absented himselfe from the Justice Court … wes denunced fugitive
1686 Mackenzie Observ. 43.
That since by this act the name of the giver up of ditty in the porteous roll is to be conceal'd … that therefore treason should not be given up in a porteous roll
1690 Shields Grievances and Sufferings 14.
Their courts of cruel inquisition went by circuit through the country, … taking up portuous rolls of all that were suspect to have been at Bothwel insurrection

3. An official list of names drawn up for some other purpose.Only in portuous. 1533 Acts Sederunt i 15.
That the beraris of our saidis lettrez bring agane the names of the said ballies callit the maisteris of girthis and deliver the samin to our justice-clerk that thai may be put in portewis to him and therefter lettrez to be direct be him … to our schereffis [etc.]
1533 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 406.
That lettres be direct to all prelatis that restis awand thair taxt and contributioun for furnessing of the futemen apoun the bordouris … as salbe gevin to the clerkis and keparis of the signet in purtuous be Schir Johnne Campbell of Lundy, … , quhay was collectour of the said contribusioun
1546 Reg. Privy C. I 26.
That my lord secretar direct speciale writingis to all … landit men … dwelland within … Fiff quhais names salbe gevin in porteous to cum to my lord governour … for thair … counsel to be had [etc.]

4. ? A bundle or package of official papers. 1561 Treas. Acc. XI 89.
To ane boy passand of Edinburght … witht ane portous of writtingis to be deliverit to Williame Lausone and failȝeing of him to James Nube or Langlandis messingeris

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: