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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
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Procur(e, Procuir, v. Also: procwr(e, procuire, -cuyr, -cwir, proceur. P.t. and p.p. procurit etc.; p.p. also procurat(e, proc[u]ratt, procwrrit, procurt. [ME procuri (c 1290), procure(n (1297), ME also procur (Rolle), -core (Manning), -cre (1340–70), -ker, -cour (Destr. Troy), e.m.E. procure, F. procurer (13th c. in Littré), L. prōcūrāre to care for, take care of, attend to, manage, act as procurator.]Certain senses, notably 1 and 7, 8, are appar. only Sc.

1. tr. To care for, look after, deal with, treat (a person, in a favourable way).Only in Wynt. c1420 Wynt. vi 360.
Bot the possessoure to procure [C. procure, W. trete] He gave thame byddyng wyth honoure
Ib. vii 174.
Owre kyng gert thame ressayvyd be And dyd thame gret humanyte And gert procure thame rycht welle
Ib. viii 3648.
Kyng Dawy … ressayvyd wes rycht welle And procuryde [C. procuryt, W. tretit] in all ese ilk delle
Ib. ix 2560.

2. a. To bring about by nefarious and/or clandestine arrangement or devising, to contrive (usually, something mischievous or evil). c1400 Troy-bk. ii 105 (D).
And this Anthenor in-to certeyn Procured [L. procurauit] wytht hys wyked wyle Threw good Amphymacus
1456 Hay I 117/5.
Alssua he that procuris or artis or nurisis discordis … suld tyne the hede
1573 Reg. Privy C. II 235.
Thay may … swa procure inymitie and weare aganis the samyn [country, sc. Scotland]
1579 Acts III 138/2.
That they sall remane constant in the professioun of the trew religioun … and do nor procuir na thing to the preiudice thairof
c1590 Fowler II 118/14.
Quhen he wald proceur the death of any cytisen, he man abyd heirin some iust couleur
1610 Misc. Hist. Soc. II 179.
[He] did procure & ingendre betwixt thame & him ane implacable hatred
1629 Justiciary Cases I 101.
Anent the daith of ane number of hors and nolt sa suddanelie procuret be the pannellis meanis
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 303.
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i viii §5 (1678) 71.
The administrating drinks or medicaments to procure or increase love

b. To bring about by one's care or pains, to achieve, accomplish (something wished for). c1475 Wall. vi 863.
Erll off Stamffurd … tuk on hand To procur pes be ony maner off cace
1513 Doug. ii ii 48.
He the weir forbad and procurit pes
1600 Colville Palinode 32.
Last of all my obleist dutie binding mee in all leasome manner to … procure the felicity of the realme of England
1613 Dundas Fam. P. xliv.
We procuret laitlie ane meeting of … the justiceis of peace
1616 Stirling B. Rec. I 145.
To indevoir … to procure the releiff of sa much of us as ar committit to waird
1617 Pont Cunningham App. 201.
To procure, geif possible, the mariadge of my sone

c. Const. obj. and (chiefly passive) infin., noun clause, or infin.: To put forth effort, take measures, endeavour; to contrive, bring about, arrange, effect (to achieve something, that something be done, etc.). Also intr., const. for (the objective).Also, to do so by persuasion, instigation or enticement of another or others.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1359.
Becaus of quhilk thir brethir two … And Vlixes … Procured with richt gret cauteles Tham for to kepe in-to tho quhyles
c1420 Wynt. v 311.
Pylat off Powns procuryd to be Chyfftane and prynce off all Iwde
1496 Acta Conc. II 36.
That he had nocht cawsit nor procurit to mak na sequestracione of the froitis of the sade chantory
1567 Actes Generall Assembly for Confirming Bookes of Discipline Church of Scotland (1621) 13 (25 Dec.).
Alexander called B[ishop] of Galloway ... hath now procured to be one of the Session and privie Councell
1568–9 Anderson Collect. Mary IV ii 185.
Thai procure now to see appointment
1578 Conv. Burghs I 59.
That it be procurit to impetrat of the magistratis of Antuarp, tua or thre houssis … to be excist fre thair
1596 St. A. Baxter Bks. 60.
That na brother sall solist or procure to tak ony thing doun of xx lib. for his ressait to the fredome
(2) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 131.
But almyghty God … punysys the man in-to certeyn The quhilk to other procured he Ageynes skill to geven be [L. pena quam alijs procurat]
1439 Acts II 54/2.
That thaj sal nouthir do na say [etc.] … na procure to be done na say to him … schame vilany [etc.]
14.. Statut. Sc. Ch. 5.
Al thaim that beris fals wytnes … or procuris it to be borne or consentis or fauoris [etc.]
1568 Haddington Corr. 269.
Our mariage quhilk he him self had langtyme procuirit to be done
1571–2 Reg. Privy C. II 121.
That na maner of persoun … sall pay or procure to be payit of thair awin substance or be mediat personis, ony money … to the … tratouris
1586 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 79.
The gude usage that he wold procure to be done onto your majestie be this quene
1587 Acts III 464/2.
That the iustice clerk sall twyis in the ȝeir … procure the kingis maiesties clois valentynis to be send
1620 Aberd. Council Lett. I 185.
Thay procured the toun of Turreff to be erectit in ane burghe of barronie
1719 Life and Death of Sharp 17.
He discharges himself thereof, and procures himself to be a landart notar
(3) a1568 Maitland Bann. MS 12 b/72.
Eve … Eit of the fruct, and syne procurit [: allurit] Adame the same to play
(4) 1513 Doug. vii i 72.
Quham Kyng Latinus spows … With diligens dyd procur, day by day, That he adionyt war thar son in law
1633 Edinb. B. Rec. VII 316.
To procure that his maiestie wald be plised … to conferme the jurisdictione of the gildrie
1658 Dumfries Council Min. 13 Sept.
They sall … indeavoure & procure … that the said A. sall succeid vnto the possessione
(5) intr. 1554 Grant Chart. 113.
Prowydand … that the said Christaine be hir selff and hir procutoris procwir, solist and labor … for the ingetting of the dettis
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (S.T.S.) xix.
Whereby, procuring for their impunitie, he plainely bewrayes himselfe to haue bene one of that profession

3. Of conditions or circumstances: To bring about as a consequence, be the cause of, result in. Also const. dat. pron. of the person affected. b. Of a person, with reference to his or her actions: To be the cause or occasion of. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 127.
Anthenor this exilyng To hym-seluen of bannysshyng Procured nought
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlix 60.
Ȝit luif of vertew dois procuire Freindschip and amitie sa suire
Ib. lxxxix 11.
Melancolie procuiris the deid Be sindrie kyndis of meladie
1607 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 697/2.
This proude rebellioun … of … the Clangregour … having most iustlie procurit his maiesties havie wraith … againe thame
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 157/409.
The uertus that do peece & peece most happelie procure Als uell oure nurishment as oure upgrouing alluayes sure
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I 352.
These thingis quhich impedis trade and diminischis the same procures lykwayis the … want of money
a1634 Forbes Rec. 437.
To bring their matter to sic a mids as might satisfie his majestie and procuir their libertie
1649 Argyll Synod I 138.
Though they were not conscious of any misdeserveings in themselves to procure such a dislyke
a1651 Calderwood I 112.
Which had procured him the king's hatred
Ib. III 302. 1651 Laing MSS I 265.
And war is upon supposed wrongs and these such as in there judgement justly procuirs and deserveth warre
b. c1490 Porteous Noblenes 176/16 (Asl.).
Ane noble man of nature gif he dois or procuris to his blude deformite or schame … he is [etc.]
c1590 Fowler I 168/12.
So my Bellisa … By her soure lookes [etc.] … ,Not caring how shee doith proceur my payne
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 226/27.
Eua, for melling hir self with maters of religion … procurit be hir doctrine a curs of God

4. To gain or obtain for oneself or another by one's efforts; to win, get, acquire. Also const. unto oneself or another or double obj.(1) 1375 Barb. iv 531 (E).
And mankind biddis ws that we To procur wengeance besy be
c1420 Ratis R. 1403.
And gud dissert as I said ere Can procure grace ay for to were Thi part fra mischeif and fra dreid
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 44/20.
For ilk man is oblist to procur spirituale gudis eternall glore
1533 Bell. Livy II 165/20.
The Romanis culd nocht procure the verite
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 45.
I am not of puissance to procure probatioun furth of far cuntreyes
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 25.
Thay wald haif procurit be al maner possibill the Quene of Inglandis fauour
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 111/5. 1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 230/14.
Thair culpable consciences procuris na vther ansuere bot our inprisonement and ingrait banisment
(2) a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxii 26.
Gif loyaltie may love Ane recompance procuire
c1590 Fowler I 17/9.
The great glorye … his peerles prence procwred him
Ib. II 112/4. 1596 Dalr. I 256/21.
To him selfe he procuiret the fame of all æquitie and richteousnes
1623 Crim. Trials III 556.
And thairby to procure hir help

5. To obtain in response to a petition or request, chiefly by formal application to an authority.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 1417.
Gyf grace be procuryt of assent
1437 Liber Melros II 570.
That is to say xxj ȝeir of perdoun at the fornemit feistis as ar befor wrytyn procurit be dene Jhone of Cauertoun Mounk of Melros at our haly fader paip Mertine
1557 Ayr Chart. 43.
We … sall nocht … procure solist nor obtene be commissioun infeftment [etc.] … ony iurisdictioun intromissioun or medling … with the saidis provest [etc.]
1564 St. A. Kirk S. 229.
And he to be resavit [etc.] … and heirupon procur testimoniall to be presentit to this ministere
a1578 Pitsc. I 47/21.
James … to the effect procurit the paipis dispensatioun to marie his eldest sone wpoun his brotheris douchter
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. I 35.
The said Johne Leslie … hes obtenit and procurat letters of your maiestie [etc.]
1601 Wemyss Corr. 53. 1622-6 Bisset I 101/22.
That they … reid intimate informe and faithfullie procuir the saidis letteres apostolict
1639 Remonstrance of Nobility 18.
To offend against missives procured against us
1641 Baillie I 330. 1661 Ib. III 433. 1666 Glasgow Chart. II 73.
[In 1609] the towne of Dumbartowne haveing maid applicatioun to the kings majestie procuired a chartour from him which never had a paraleall
1683 Lauder Notices Affairs I 440.(2) 1660 Stirling B. Rec. I 233.
To ryde to the countesse of Mar … and procure the lend of a foot mantle

b. Very common in the formula recording the procuring of a seal.For further examples see Instance n. 1 c. a 1380 Rep. Hist. MSS, Var. Coll. V 77.
For quhy we had na sele propir of our awin, we hafe procuryt the sele of Robert Dalȝell to this our ansuar to be toput
1388 Bamff Chart. 22.
In the wetnes of the qwilke thyng the forsayd Gylbert [etc.] … as proc[u]ratt the seyle of Schir Wattyr
1393–4 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 29.
I haf set my sel to thire present lettris and … I haf procvrt the sel of Sir John Stewart
1400 Maxwell Mem. I 139.
In the absens of my auwyn seale, I procuryde the seale of [etc.]
1418–19 Liber Melros II 503. 1420 (1429–30) Reg. Great S. 30/1. 1425 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 97. 1438 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 49. 1439 Acts II 55/1. 1457 Douglas Chart. 86. 1481 Soc. Ant. LX 90.
I … has hungyn to my seill procuryt with instance be the said Elenne
1482 Edinb. Chart. 156. 1507–8 Rec. Earld. Orkney 80. 1516 Ib. 91.
For the mayr sykkyrnes the said domismen hes procwrrit the seylle of Thomas Tulloch … to be afyxit to this present dwyme
1525 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 141.

c. ? To obtain by persuasion or solicitation, from another. 1586–7 Master of Gray in Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 169.
And that our coming wes rather a maiter procurit, then proceiding from your majestie

6. To obtain the services of (a person). 1388 Bamff Chart. 22.
And the forsayd Alysonder has proc[u]ratt the prioure of Restynet … for tyl bere witnes to the forsaid contrac made
c1420 Ratis R. 759.
With al thi mycht thow walde nocht spare To procure thé sum leich gude
14.. Quon. Attach. c. 54.
Fader na moder … na nane procuryt na hyrit for med
1596 Dalr. I 215 marg.
The Saxons being ethniks ar procuired in supplie aganste the Scots & Peychts

7. tr. and absol. To collect alms or voluntary offerings.(1) 1499 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 79.
And for helping of the pure bedrentis to thair sustentatioun ilk nychtbour … sall pas his day about in the toun and procure almois to thame, … and quha that refusses to pas and procuris nocht the almois sall pay [etc.]
1521 Old Dundee II 23.
That the bred sall gang to procure offerings to Sanct Thomas
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II 211.
(2) 1518 Edinb. Hammermen 97 b.
Gevin in wyn to thaim at procurit on Sanct Loyis day xij d.
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II 211.
Doctour Smyth … wes ane of the gild seriandis and procurit to the bedderrellis of Sanct Mary Wynd
1556 Ib. 240.
To pay alsmekil as Johne Wicht quha procurit that day gat
Quhatsumeuir persone … beand warnit to procure with Sanct Gelis pece and dissobeyis … to pay xl s.
1587–8 Perth Kirk S. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 281.
Also giff ony off the said craft be found to procwir for siclyke offending [sc. a folk play] heireftir thai sall [etc.]

8. To petition, make suit or supplication (for), solicit, ask earnestly (for), beg. a. tr. b. intr., const. for (what is requested). c. Const. of or to a person to be or do something. d. intr. and absol. Also, to beg favour, intercede (in favour of another).a. c1568 Lauder Minor P. ii 90.
Quhairfore, lat euerie creature The mercyis of grit God procure, That [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I 209/1.
The Britanis fell in ciuil discorde burning hett procuiring helpe of the Romanis contrare the Peychtes and Scottis bot in vane, for thay grant thame na helpe
b. a1568 Norvall Bann. MS 20 b/62.
Thairfoir to God for grace procure
a1578 Pitsc. I 351/3.
And in lykewyse they condemnitt Dawid Strattoun. … The king … procurit for his lyfe at the bischopis handis
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xii 30.
That I for favour man procuir
1638 Henderson Serm. 323.
When they could do no bettir, then they procured for peace
a1651 Calderwood I 224.
The Erle of Angus and his brother Sir George … procured for the Abbacie of Arbrothe and a graunt therof was made
c. a1568 Bann. MS 78 a/111.
With humill hairt thow bow to Him on kne Procuring of Him to be thy scheild
c 1615 Breve Cron. Earlis Ross 13.
He procurit to him, by nature inclynit to follow such counsel, to mak war in his favour
d. 1560 Cal. Sc. P. I 312.
[If either were enemies to this cause, no earthly thing should] cause me to procure [in his favour]
1622-6 Bisset I 15/7.
Grant thame na pardoun, thocht thai wald procuir

9. intr. To appear for another in litigation, as his representative or procurator (Procurato(u)r n.1 3, also 4 and 5); to plead as an advocate or attorney; to serve as a (professional) advocate. Also const. for (the client).(1) 1531–40 Facs. Nat. MSS III xx.
That thair be ane certane nomer of aduocatis and procuratouris … admittit to procure in all actionis
1555 Peebles B. Rec. I 215.
That na nychtbouris … caus men of law to cum to procure ane aganes ane vther … for quhatsumeuery actioun
1562 Treas. Acc. XI 174. 1574 Reg. Privy C. II 401. 1600 Crim. Trials II 113.
Thay ar chargeit to compeir this day … to procure in defence of the said Robert
1611 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 70. 1619 Garden Elphinstoun 246.
Then past for to procure And justlie efter called was ‘The pleader of the poore’
(b) 1561 Inverness Rec. I 66.
[Jasper Dempster] brocht his purchest lordschip wyth him to procuyr in his cause that throw feyr of his procurator his actioun and cause suld ceise
1622-6 Bisset I 161/18.
1633 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 343.(c) 1543–4 Acta Conc. & Sess. (St. S.) 133.
Mennising … maid aganis … the said … advocates … quharthrou thai feir to procur
1558–9 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I lxiii.
Mr. Robert Lumsdale, principal procurator, pensionar bayth to my lord and cheptour, to be requirit to procur in the samyn, and [etc.]
1565 St. A. Kirk S. 251.
Master Dauid Meldrum beand admittit to procur in the caus of Elizabeth Payt, in hyr clam of mariaige … becaus sche is seik and maye nocht compeir
(2) 1539 Acts II 353/2.
Maister Hew Rig … producit … ane writing subscriuit be the kingis grace … chargeing him & certane vtheris his collegis to procur for the said James [sc. Colvill, accused of treason]
1565 Instit. Ct. Sess. 5 b.
Na aduocatis … refuse to procure for ony partie vpone reasonabill expensis
c 1575 Waus Corr. 104.
1600 Crim. Trials II 131.
Ansueris the preloquutouris, that the partie may procuir for him selff
1622-6 Bisset I 162/11.
How sone they [sc. advocates] understand thair clyenttis cause, for quhome they procuir
a1634 Forbes Rec. 465.
To be in readines to procuir for them

b. In various tr. applications related to senses 3–5 of Procurato(u)r n.1To gain by one's advocacy in court (the desired verdict); to perform or undertake on another's behalf as his attorney; to act as attorney or advocate in (a cause etc.). a1500 Henr. Fab. 1179 (Bann.).
The doigis ply togiddir tuk on hand … Agane the scheip to procure the sentens
1500 Acta Conc. II 441.
Grantit … that Wilyeam Broune was hir forspekar and that scho suld hald ferme and stable in it that he did or procurit for hir
1539 Liber Melros II 627.
The said Maister Matheu sall faythfully procure and solist in the consistory of Glasgw all materis concerneyng to the said venerabill fader

10. To plead or argue (for), speak (in defence of), advocate or vindicate. intr. and tr. 1562-3 Winȝet I 57/2, 10.
For in defence of that thing only procuir I, quhilk … the haill kirk of God … maist clerlie appreuis. And na thing disaggreing thairfra procuir I

11. ‘To avert or expiate (evil omens) by sacrifice’ (Lewis & Short). Only in Bell. Livy, after the Latin. 1533 Bell. Livy II 171/16.
Gif the sacrifice war condinglie reparit and thare prodigies iustlie procurit [L. si procurata prodigia essent]
Ib. 179/11.
Howbeit the prodigies that war schewin afore war procurate [L. quamquam et prodigia procurata fuerant] and cumin to effect

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"Procur v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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