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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
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Remissio(u)n(e, n. Also: -missiounn, -ieon; -myssio(u)n(e, -myssyowne; -messioun; -misioun; -mishon, -mistioune; -misso(u)n; ramission. [ME and e.m.E. remission (Ancr. R.), -iun (Cursor M.), OF remission (c1120 in Larousse), L. remissiōn-, f. remittere Remit(t v.] Remission, in various senses and applications. See also Re-inmission.

1. Forgiveness of sin or, also, of wrongdoing; release or deliverance from its penalties.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii 2301.
The Kyng off Frawns … The Pape bad, in remyssyowne Off all hys synnys, to … pas than in till Ingland And take it hale
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 938 (Asl.).
The grane of grace, of syn remissoun … ar fundyn in Cristis passioun
1490 Irland Mir. MS fol. 234b.
The first frute is remissioune of the syn originall
1525 St. A. Formulare I 271.
To ressave and do pennance for the remission of ther oppin synnis
1567 G. Ball. 176.
He had to sell … Remissioun of sinnis, in auld scheip skinnis, Our saulis to bring from grace
1558-66 Knox II 271.
The old dounty-bowris … that … hes no remissioun of synnes, but by virtew of the Messe
1574 Edinb. Test. III 174.
Belevand without ony dout or mistrust that be the grace … of Jesus … I … sall haif remissioun of my synnes
1611 Reg. Panmure I xxxii.
Paule Meffane wos ane mair myld mane, preachine … remissione of sinnes in the blud of Christ
1703 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 20 Sept.
To recive the full pardon and remishon of my sins
(2) c1515 Asl. MS I 239/24.
The king … gaf him … a fre remissioun of all thingis bygane to the day forsaid
a1578 Pitsc. I 105/2.
I sie na place left to me this day for remissieon of my cryme

b. Relaxation (of a punishment). c1490 Irland Asl. MS 23/34.
The synnar … gettand forgifnes & remissioun of the syn … gettis remisson of the pane that he was oblist to

2. Without of: Pardon for sin, and deliverance from its penalties. c1420 Ratis R. 90.
For othir part … Sal her have tribulacioune, That sal be thare remissioune
a1500 Henr. Fab. 725.
And heir I reik the full remissioun
Id. Orph. 312.
O dolly place … Pit of dispair wyth-out remission
c1500 Rowll Cursing 84 (M).
Than gud will and contritioun Salbe thair saulis remissioun
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1663.
His discipillis baid … Graithand thair mynd … Of the gude Spreit to tak remissioun
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 13/20.
Thow art not abill remissioun for to get … and thou ane syn forȝet
Ib. 112/28.
Pray … Unto the Lord … To gif him mercie and remissioun
c1520-c1535 Nisbet II 339 marg.
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2084 (Ch.).
Thocht ȝe haue na contritioun ȝe sall haue full remissioun
Id. Mon. 4364. Bann. MS 22a/10.
We mon … tak thare absolutioun, Or ellis we gett no remyssioun
1580 Hay Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 69/12.
Nocht haiwand obteined full remissione

3. Forgiveness or pardon for an offence against human law.In letter of remissioun, lit. and in fig. context.For some further instances, see Respit n. 3.(1) c1420 Wynt. vi 2283. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1506.
The slaare suld … hawe full remyssyowne Fra thine for all that actyowne
c1475 Wall. i 334.
Schyr Ranald had the Perseys protectioune As for all part to tak the remissioune
1485 Acts II 170/2.
[To] tak ditta … of the notour trespassouris without excepcoun of ony persoun to be takin & justifiit without remissoun
1498–9 Acta Conc. II 332.
Efter the tenore of his composition of remissione
1501–2 Ib. III 128.
Boudin til our soverane lord for ane compancione [sic in pr.] of remissione … and restis awing til his hienes … [£305, 18 s.] usuale money of the realme
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 107/3.
Thocht he remissioun Haif for prodissioun
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5101.
Sum be justice executioun Bene put to deith, without remissioun
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 34.
Dissimulat brethrene … that subscriuit with ȝow and tuke remissioun of ȝour aduersaries that stude with ȝow in battell
c1460 Regim. Princ. 274 (Maitl.).
Bot quhen the king gevis plane remissioun
1573 Reg. Privy C. II 318.
Crymes of tressoun … for the quhilk his grace usis not to grant remissioun
a1578 Pitsc. I 118/6.
Grant thame frie remissioun to be guid men in tyme cumming
1587 Reg. Privy C. IV 172.
Divers personis … ar to sute remission for the abhominable cryme foirsaid
(2) 1508–9 Reg. Privy S. I 278/1.
Thir lettrez of remitt … quhilkis his hienes wil have the strenth of his remissioun siclike as the samyn war gevin … under his grete sele
1545 Reg. Privy C. IV 13.
The said masteris remisioun is ellis maid be the said King off Ingland
1566 Argyll Fam. Lett. 5.
The said Lord Boydis remissioun salhaue passaige … And likuis as for the Lard of Gormok he salbe sett at libertie
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 46.
Except the duke quha did beintercessioun of siluer by his remissioun fra Dauid
1618 Haddington Corr. 137.
I luikit and lipnit that … I sould haife my remistioune
1665 Argyll-Lauderdale Lett. 13.
Pray have a care to procure Robine Andrew his remission in time
(3) 1490 Irland Mir. I 123/37.
Selit with the sing of the haly croce, that all the trinite sall euir vse eftir this in lettiris of grace and remissioune
1509–10 Reg. Privy S. I 306/2.
We … remittit the said Alexander and finit with him in jugement … likeas his lettrez of finance and remissioun … proportis

4. With indef. art. and in pl.: A formal pardon, or the document conveying this.Only Sc.(a) 1456 Hay I 52/9.
Thai suld … have remissiounes and [be] inlawit for evermare
Ib. 275/4.
Quhat thing that ples the prince in … gracis, and remissiouns … has strenth in the lawe
1473–4 Treas. Acc. I 2.
Chargis him for a remissione be the king to certane personis … grantit be a signatour subscriuit with the kingis hand
Ib. 3.
A remissione of twa personis for ald slauchter
Ib. ii, etc. 1485 Acts II 170/2.
That na respittis be gevin in tym tocum for tha ar mar agane justice na plane remissions ar
1501 Acta Conc. III 102.
His hienes will nocht geif remissions … for … refvising of wemen
1503 Acts II 242/1.
Quhar ony person happinnis to get ane remission in tyme tocum that the said remission sall nocht extend nor salf the takar fra gretar crimes be ony generale claus na is contenit specialy & that the gretest action sall be specifijt
1533–4 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 414.
We undirstand that our abstening fra granting of respittis and remissionis for slauchteris in the yeris bypast … hes done gret gud within our realm … and ordanis … that nane of our seles … ansuer na sic … remissioun geif ony hapnis to be solistit of us without the said slauchteris and mutilatiouns be exceptit tharintill
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1132 (Ch.).
I dreid, without ȝe get ane remissioun, … The sprituall stait sall put ȝow to perditioun
1546 Reg. Privy C. I 34.
The remissioun grantit to the Capitane of Dumbertane … sall presentlie be past throw the signet
1573 Ib. II 318. a1578 Pitsc. I 65/14.
He gat thame frie respettis and remissiouns of all offences
1628 Justiciary Cases I 85.
Producet ane remissioun under the great seall grantit be our souerane lord his … father
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 292.
Ane remissione will awaill nothing without assythment of the partie
1695 Cromartie Corr. I 112.(b) 1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 241.
The kingis graice … gaif tham ane fre remessioun be ane act of parlyament
(c) 1609 Dunbar Social Life II 128.

5. Of a defendant in a lawsuit: To tak (oneself) to (the signature of, composicioune of) … remissioun, also to alledge (till) … remissioun, and to takeremission, to appeal or have recourse to a pardon.Appar. only Sc.(1) 1457 Acts (1597) i 43 heading.
He quha takis him to his remission sall finde caution to satisfie the partie
1491 Acta Aud. 157/1.
For the quhilkis Johne of Crechtoun Richard Heslyhop [etc.] … tuk thaim to thar remissiouns in the justice are of Edinburgh
1494 Ib. 189/1.
For the quhilk thai tuk thaim to our souerane lordis remission
1498 Acta Conc. II 207.
As thai grantit the sammyn … and tuk thame to the signature of remissione tharefore
1499–1500 Ib. II 369.
[Conform to extract act of the] Kingis adjurnale of Wigtone [… that McCulloch] tuke him til composicione of our soverane lordis remissione
1528 Acts (1597) i 102.
Quhair ony … persones happenis to take them to our soveraine lordis remissiones, respet, or composition in the … courts, for ony action [etc.]
1533 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 467.
As we that twik ws to compositioune of remissioun tharfoir
c1575 Balfour Pract. 497.
Ane beand … indytit in the justice-air, and takand him to his remissioun, for thift [etc.], … may be efterwart callit thairfoir civillie
Ib. 533, etc.
He quha takis him to his remissioun sould satisfie the partie
(2) 1457 Acts II 50/1.
The party allegeande till his remissione sall fynde souer borowis. … And gif he dois nocht he sall remane in the kingis presone … and than his remissione to be … of nane avale
c1575 Balfour Pract. 572.
Gif ony persoun indytit and accusit … alledgis ane remissioun he sould … produce the samin; and albeit the remissioun be general [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 158.
Gif he quha is accused, alledges ane remission, he sall produce the samine in judgement: And albeit his remission is generall and sufficient: ȝit gif he denyes the cryme, quhereof he is accused, he sall passe to ane assise. And gif he is convict, his remission sall doe na gude to him
(3) 1681 Stair Inst. i ix § 7.
It is a sufficient proof in this actioun if the defender have taken remission, as was found in the case … foresaid … where the defender was not freed though he had an acknowledgment under the defunct's hand that he was the cause of the wound, and therefore quit the wrong

6. The action of remitting, or letting (a person) off, a payment due.Only in without (but) remissioun. 1389 Wemyss Chart. 24.
Twa hundyr mark … to be raysyt … to the werk of the kyrk … wydouttyt ony forgyveyng or remyssione
1397 Acts I 208/2.
That he risis nocht with the kingis officeris … he sal pay x pond to the kynge without remission
1412 Aberd. B. Rec. I 389.
Qwatsumeuer has nocht his wapynnis redy … sal tyne viii s., withoute remissioun
1462 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 20.
And quha sa … brekis this statute sall pay … ane chalder of quheit but remissioun
1523–4 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 122.
Vnder al payne … to be wptakin but ramission
1524 Wigtown B. Ct. 154a.
That all vnlawis be tane vp but ony remissioun

b. Only in Nisbet, after Purvey: Deliverance from captivity. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke iv 18.
He send me … to preche remyssioun to presonnars … and to deliuer brokin men into remyssioun

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



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