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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Presence, -ens, n. Also: præs- and -enc, -ense, -enes; -ance; -entis, -entis, -ent(e)s. [ME and e.m.E. presens (a 1340), prezens (1575), præsence (1579), OF presence (12th c. in Littré) (mod. F. présence), L. præsentia f. præsens Present adj.]

1. The fact of being in the same place as another or of another's being in the same place as oneself; attendance; being there; presence, company.To give presens, to attend, to be in attendance.The ‘real presence’ of Christ in the Eucharist.(1) c1475 Wall. i 195.
Quhar he fand ane without the othir presance, Eftir to Scottis that did no mor grewance
Ib. viii 653.
Wallace thaim chargyt his presens till absent
Ib. 1653.
Harrold lyk he sekis his presens
a1500 Seven S. 1450.
Scho … sparit nocht for his presens To sla the hound that he lufit wele
a1500 Bk. Chess 1525.
Tharfor thai suld for to eschew a lak Thar presens … fra thaim abstrak
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxi 19.
We ȝarne thy presens
1551 Hamilton Cat. 89.
Our salviour gaif honour to marriage with His awin presence
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6147.
He had leuer tak on hand To be in hell … nor be in heuin, but his presence
Arundel MS. 288/287.
Grant … that we may haue hir presens and helpe
1560 Bk. Disc. 217. 1595 Crim. Trials II 332.
For laike of my presens
1596 Dalr. I 149/19.
1600 Crim. Trials II 115.
Quhais presens could nocht be misknawin
1616–7 Misc. Hist. Soc. X 97. 1657 Argyll Synod II 147.
To them whose presence is stopped and hindered by ferries and stormes and longinquitie of way
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 591.
And sa thay gaue this lady all presence, In riche array … With all triumph
(3) a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 114/8.
The real presens of the body and bluid of our saluiour in the sacrament of the altare
1562-3 Winȝet I 86 heading. 1563-72 Ferg. Tracts 33.
This partaking requireth nether transubstantiation, … nor carnall presence
1580–1 King's Conf. in Dickinson Source-bk. III 33.
His blasphemous opinion of transsubstantiation, or reall presence of Christis body in the elementis
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 88.(4) 1375 Barb. v 497 (C).
A man Of Carrick … Micht to the kyngis presens ga
1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 58. c1420 Wynt. v 592.
The maystrys all In till hys presence he gert call
1492 Myll Spect. 282/24.
This Stella … stall out of the tovne vnto the presens of King Mynos
1536 Lynd. Answ. Flyting 13.
Sayand I am nocht able … to … preis to thare presence
1583 Reg. Privy C. III 576. 1603 Moysie 1.
Being admitted to the kingis majesteis presence
(5) 1375 Barb. i 439.
The byschop … fra his presence went in hy
1456 Hay II 77/13.
That I may abstene me fra thy presence
a1500 K. Hart 526.
May I him meit fra presence of the king
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 308.
The stichling of a mous out of presence [etc.]
a1568 Bann. MS. 88 b/74. a1568 Mersar Bann. MS. 213 a/25.
Be nocht lang out of hir presens
1587 Cal. Sc. P. IX 480.
Being debarrit frome his majestes presens be sume nawchtie persons

b. (Sute (soytis) and/or) presens, presens and sute, attendance at court on certain occasions (normally the three head-courts each year) as a duty owed by tenants-in-chief to the courts of the justice or the sheriff or by vassals to the overlord's court.For further information, see Fife Sheriff Ct. Introd. lxxix ff.Also comb. with -geving.(1) 1425 Acts (1597) i 7 b.
Prelates, erles, barronnes and free halders of the king within the realme … ar halden to giue presence in the kingis parliament, and generall councell
1494 Acta Conc. I 329/1.
He nocht awand presens in the said Are of Ranfrew for the said landis of Govain bot in the Are of Lanark
1504 Acta Conc. MS xv fol. 195 a in Fife Sheriff Ct. lxxx n.5
[A tenant protested that he owed] na presens becaus he duelt nocht within the schir
1527 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 89.
The quhilk day Robert Lord Maxwell … is in mersement of this court for falt of presens
1543 Reg. Great S. 687/2.]
[Reddend. annuatim … presentiam in curiis capitalibus … cum requisiti forent
(2) 1504–5 Liber Melros II 601.
Thaj aw na presence nor sute in the scherref court of Hadingtoun for the said landis
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 266/2.
For his presens geving and soyt of his landis
Ib. 259/2. 1509 Coll. Aberd. & B. 473.
He may nocht gudely cum to gif sute and presence for his landis
1509 Reg. Privy S. I 293/1.
Chargeing thaim that thai … distrenȝe nocht him … for ony soytis or presence for his landis
c 1566 Fife Sheriff Ct. App. 406.
As ȝe that aucht swyte and presence in this court as the heid court
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Actornatvs.
He quha aucht baith sute and presence in onie court, suld nocht onelie send ane sutour to decide actions and causes conforme to the law bot also suld compeir personally, or send ane actornay
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 238.
The lord of the barronies may give suit and presence in the place quher he is ordained be the annexation
1682 Melrose Reg. Rec. III 45.

c. In phrases with prepositions.In, or to, presence, in or into (a person's) presence; (as if) present (to someone).In, or into, (the) presence of (also, once, to) (a person or group), in (someone's) presence, before a person or persons having status as judges, witnesses, etc.; also, in the presence of.(1) 1375 Barb. i 20.
The dedys Of stalwart folk that lywyt ar Rycht as thai than in presence war
a1400 Leg. S. i 606.
The quhilk Petir … Conuertit till he in presence wes
c1420 Wynt. viii 1487. c1450-2 Howlat 604 (A).
c1475 Wall. i 83.
And he was brocht in presence to the king
1497 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 71.
Sua that nane of thir personis … vse the samyn cure within this burgh in presens nor peirt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 160. 1533 Boece 20.
How … the mysdoaris war brocht in presens & punist
1535 Stewart 4368.
This Ederus … Befoir thame all in presence he gart bring
a1568 Scott iii 14.
And preis ȝow ay in presens to repair
(2) a1500 Seven S. 613.
The barne was sone brocht to presens
1513 Doug. xiii vi 59.
Gentill Eneas euery man and page Within hys palys ryall to presens Chargit convoy
(3) 1398–9 Acts I 210/2.
And accuse thaim in presence of his consail
1420 Reg. Episc. Morav. App. 475.
Comperit Willȝame the Grame … in presence of vs
1492 Acta Conc. I 255/1.
The … procuratour numerit the said money in presens of the lordis
1496 Ib. II 1.
In presens of the lordis auditouris comperit [etc.]
1498 Ib. 181. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii 3.
A turnament … That lang befoir in hell wes cryid, In presens of Mahoun
1522 Mar & Kellie MSS. 12.
Ane … clerk … sall nightlie in presence of the Lord Erskin … take the compts
1525 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 77.
1532 Facs. Nat. MSS. III xx.
In presens of the kingis grace
1558 St. A. Baxter Bks. 10.
In presens of the craft in the gallow-layk congregat
1580 Prot. Bk. A. Millar MS 69.
In presence of ws conoteris and witnesis
1603 Inverness Rec. II 10.
Ordainis him to be branckit, joigkit on Saterday nixt at the cors in presens of the pepil
1644 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. VIII 97.
In presence of me, notar publict undersubscryvand, and witnesses
1695 Acts IX App. 110/2.
The sentence … of forfaulture was … intimate … in presence of the Lyon deput
(b) 1492 Reg. Episc. Morav. 248.
In presentis of the kingis justice
a1578 Pitsc. I 259/3.
In presentis of all his lordis
Ib. 309/2.
I affirme nothing bot the wordis quhilk I haue spokin in presentis of this audetour
Ib. II 48/7.
[He] wpe witht his neif and gaif on the halffit ane blow befor the quene and in her presentis
1620 Aboyne Rec. 260.
In presentis of ane notter
1661 Black Sc. Witches 43.
(4) 1385 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 7.
In the presens of myne excellent prynce Robart … kyng of Scotland
c1400 Troy-bk. i 38.
In the presence of mony ma
1449–50 Douglas Chart. 379.
This indenture made … in the presens of a hee and a mychti lorde
1485 Lag Chart. 53.
Thar in the presencis of bath the saidis parteis
1562-3 Winȝet I 62/13.
In the præsence of Pharao
1638 Nat. Covenant in Facs. Nat. MSS. III xcvii.
In the presence of the eternall God
(5) 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
For I trayst he has saide mar in myn absence than he dar avow in my presens
1456 Hay II 33/9.
A knycht suld … in his inymyes presence be as lyoun rampand
Ib. I 192/9. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 502.
In his avne presence Heir sall I mak residence
1493 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 213.
Nor sal mak ony impediment nor excepcioun wthirways than in thar presens or absens
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 291.
Into myne hartis ladeis sweit presens
1517–8 Edinb. B. Rec. I 174. a1538 Abell 90 a.
In his presence wes haldin ane consall of clerge
1559–60 St. A. Kirk S. 62.
The said Agnes confessioun maid in our praesence juditialie
a1578 Pitsc. I 26/19.
In quhais presens it behoweit hir [Queen Mary] to mak hir purgatione
1602 Lett. Jas. VI to Eliz. 147.
I protest in Goddis presents [etc.]
1613 Crim. Trials III 264.
Quhilkis crymes the said Robert Erskine of new, in the said assyse presens, and audience, confessit
1629 Justiciary Cases I 139.
His suering of that poynt … in the pannellis presens and in presens of the assyse

d. In presens (of God), ? taking place in the ‘present’, or ? happening before his eyes. Cf. Present adj. 5 predic. 1375 Barb. iv 681.
Off him that all thing euermar Seys in his presciens As it war ay in presens

2. The actual presence of a great personage; the presence in person of such an individual. b. The person whose presence is referred to. c1420 Wynt. v 3795.
Thi presens [W. powere] certanly Is all lyk till tyrandry
a1500 Seven S. 1450.
That scho … sparit nocht for his presens
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 81 (Asl.).
In wichty materis gif personale presence
1490 Irland Mir. I 22/8.
Quhare we sall se eternaly … his maieste and glorius presens
1579–80 Misc. Spald. C. II 215.
Quhair ever our presence and palice of honour salbe for the tyme
b. c1450-2 Howlat 109 (A).
I haue appelit to ȝour [sc. the Pope's] presence … That ȝe [ed. thé] wald cry apon Crist [etc.]
c1475 Wall. viii 1677.
It war worschip his presens for to se
c1590 J. Stewart 202 §11.

3. Admission to the presence (of a prince, etc.); audience.Freq., to have, or get, presence (of a person in authority).(1) c1490 Irland Asl. MS. 19/1O.
And quhen thai haue presens of a confessoure
1513 Doug. vi x 110.
Gif ȝour mynd langis to haue presens Of Anchises
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 460.
His germane brother mycht get no presence
1535 Stewart 1551.
Tha lat him nocht get presens of the king
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 120.
He culd not get presens of the quenis majestie
Ib. 87. 1600-1610 Melvill 80.
Monsieur d'Obignie, wha haid presence and credit at court
1603 Moysie 70.
Sir Robert Sidney ambassadour … gat presence in the chancelleris ludging
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis fol. 9 b.
I think ye should not have gotten presence this moneth to come
(2) 1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 99.
Aganis his grace gaif presens to imbassatour
1604-31 Craig i 17.
What woonder I through lake of presence pine?

b. (Chalmer of) presence, (the King's) presence-chamber or reception-room.(1) 1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 338.
Fluiring naill for laying of … dailles in the great chalmer abone the presence
(2) 1614 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 349.
In hir majesties chalmer of presens thrie lossines
1629 Ib. II 267.
Daillis and treis … for skaffaulding his maiesties chalmer of presence
1657 Balfour Ann. IV 115.
Hard sermon in his auen chamber of presence

4. Those who are present; the assembled company. c1500 Crying of Play 18.
The God … Conserf this fair presens And saif this amyable audiens

5. The appearance or demeanour of a person. a1500 Henr. III 144/54 (M).
Ane bludy toung vndir a fair presance
Id. Fab. 2918 (C). 1603 Philotus lxii.
I sall … ȝour presence haue as in my hart ingraifit

6. Personified in sense 1 or sense 5. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 196.
Perilouse Presence, that mony syre has slayne
Ib. 187.

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

"Presence n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Mar 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: