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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Safeguard, Saifgard, Saufgard, n. Also: saiff-, saufe-, sa(u)lf-, saaf-, sa(i)ve-, salve- and -garde, -gaird(e, -gaurd. [ME and e.m.E. saue garde (Chaucer), sauf garde (1421), safegard (1513), salfe garde (1526), safeguard (1536), OF salve garde, sauvegarde (c1155 and 14th c. in Larousse), med. L. salvagardia.]

1. a. The action of keeping safe or protecting, protection. b. The protection afforded to a person by a superior or an authority. c. The fact of being kept safe, safety. Also fig. d. As the designation of the quality or principle.a., b., c. (1) 1504 Justiciary Rec. I 342.
We have … takin the said … metropolitane kirk of Glasgow … under our speciale protectioun mentenans defens suple and saifgarde
1522 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 153.
We in our soverane lordis name … takis undir speciale saifgard and respect our lovit familiar clerk … Maistir Robert Forman
1632 Lithgow Trav. iii 84.
I detained my selfe vnder safeguard of the cloyster
(b) 1442 Raine N. Durham App. 21.
Wyt vs til haue taken vnder our speciale mantenance protection defens and saufegarde our louede chapellanys the pryour [etc.] … Quharefor straitly we forbide that ony man tak onhande to do the saide pryour [etc.] … ony evil molestacion [etc.]
1456 Hay II 50/32.
Or he left thame but help that ar under thair cure and sauf garde
1471–2 Liber Melros 591.
Wit ȝe ws to haue takin vndir oure speciale mantenance protectioun defence supple and saufgarde … Richard abbot … of Melros
1473 Holyrood Chart. 152.
1504 Justiciary Rec. I 342.
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 244/1. 1513 Doug. Direct. 10.
Quhar I offendit … Vndir ȝour salfgard and protectioun I me submyt
1567 Digest Justiciary Proc. F 45.
We haue taine … him [sc. Bishop of Dunblane] vnder our speciall protectioun maintinance defence and saulfgaird
1593 Warrender P. (SHS) II 212.
The accumpaneing him at dyvers tymes throw our frontier townes as thought he were avowed to be under our said dearest sisters saulfgard
1611 Reg. Privy C. IX 168.
(2) c1490 Porteous Noblenes 62/27 (Ch. & M.).
For honeste is requirit to keip in saif gard thame that takis compt and keip of othir mennis guyding
a1578 Pitsc. II 103/33.
To bring tham haill skart in saifgaird into thair schipis againe
1622-6 Bisset II 241/34.
The maister may sell na taikling of the schip … bot he aucht to put theme in saifgarde
(b) 1456 Hay I 238/18.
Thay ar all in the protectioun and salvegarde of the pape
1571 Reg. Privy C. II 90.
That nane of the saidis capitanis [etc.] … tak ony of the saidis rebellis … or thair guidis in their saulfgard or protectioun
1577–8 Reg. Privy S. VII 236/2.
Oure said soverane lord … ressavis him, his landis, … guidis and geir in his speciall salfgaird
fig. 1513 Doug. vii Prol. 96.
Blisfull blossummys … Submittis thar hedis in the ȝong sonnys salfgard
(c) 1445 Aberd. B. Rec. I 13.
Jhone of Scrogs [etc.] … has resauit in to saafgarde and vnder thar licence Roger Yhong, Inglisman, and his childer, because of scortnes [sic] of his condit for the tyme that he bydis … in the havynnis of Scotlande
(3) c1475 Wall. vii 1277.
In Jedwort wod for saiffgard he had beyne
1565 Bk. Univ. Kirk I 74.
He is but ane mercenarie shepheard, who seiing the wolfe comeing, flieth for his awin safeguard
1570-3 Bann. Trans. in 1558-66 Knox VI 576.
The preparatioune made for thair savegarde was not little, for all the passages be the which men micht be assembled … were stopped
a1578 Pitsc. I 156/22.
Thay … for saif gard of thair bodies passit in ane yland
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 293.
Beasts of prey … haue recourse to the highest places for their safeguard
1622-6 Bisset II 226/8.
Unles be … tempest, or uthirwyse for saifgaird they be stayed
c1650 Spalding I 258.
He fled to the king for savegaird
(4) c1475 Wall. iv 652.
Vpon the Butler awfully straik he; Saiffgarde he gat wndir a bowand tre
a1568 Kennedy Bann. MS 93a/29.
Saifgaird nor thair grit protectioun To ws is nowdir help nor beild
1596 Dalr. I 275/24.
The king with his cumpanie, … neglecteng thair awne saifgaird, … lay the nyxt nycht skattired al out of ordour
1632 Lithgow Trav. iii 83.
A place of safeguard called commonly the monastery of refuge
(5) 1562-3 Winȝet II 35/19.
We … ar aduertisit mair diligentlie to obserue the saifgaird of the fayth
1579 Misc. Bann. C. II 196.
Tua Saifgaird of secreit the pece xl d.
1583 in Melvill 160.
That the vynyeard of the Lord spoilled of the savegarde and defence of his hedge might be eatten upe of wyld beasts
1591–2 Warrender P. (SHS) II 167.
I commit you to the protection and saifgaird of the Almightie
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. Prayer 3.
Be ȝour halie sauegarde, be ȝour sure conduite, and michtie protection
(b) 1567 Sel. MSS Q. Mary 232.
In that it pleasith her hienes thus lovinglie to deal with ws … adding allsua thairunto a speciall care of our saulfgarde
1567 Inv. Q. Mary cxxvi n. 6.
For hir awin honour, the saulfgard of hir sone [etc.]
1572 Reg. Privy C. II 132.
That na men of weir or utheris tak upoun thame the saulfgaird and protectioun of ony knawin inymeis
1573 Ib. 216.
1578 Acts III 102/1.
1592 Reg. Privy C. V 34.
That thay eirnistlie imploir the mercy and protectioun of Almichtie God for thair defens and saulfgaird
d. a1578 Pitsc. I 44/24.
Saifgaird it self [L. Salus ipsa] … could not preserue this man from destructioun

e. A guarantee of immunity from molestation or legal pursuit, enjoyed by a subject by virtue of being under the protection of the crown as in (2) (b) above; the Privy Seal writ conveying this immunity. Cf. Protectio(u)n(e n. 3, Respit n. 3, qq.v. also for further examples. 1508 Crim. Trials I i 58.
[And for the] spuilȝie [of sundry of her goods … and for breaking of … the king's] saufgarde
1511 Reg. Privy S. I 356/1.
A protectioun and saufgard maid to David Levingstoun … for all the dais of his life
1530 Crosraguel Chart. I 91.
Licence to William, Abbot of … Corsragwell … to pas in France … and granting a respite and saufgarde to him
1541 Lennox Mun. 243.
Oure vther lettres of respet and saufgard
1542–3 Reg. Privy S. III 14/2 (see Protectio(u)n(e n. 3).

f. (A) safe-conduct. 1482 Edinb. Chart. 147.
Ony lieg, treux or saufgard … nochtwithstanding
1551–2 Reg. Privy C. I 122.
The saidis commissioneris of Ingland haif power … to giff yow saulf conduct to pas with thaim to Carlile … ye haif power to gif thaim conduct and salfgard to cum to Drumfreis

2. A person or thing that affords protection, a protector, protection or ‘shield’.(a) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 97.
Be my saifgaird boith fra syn and schame
c1552 Id. Mon. 2457.
Nor of Moyses, thare sauegarde throuch the see
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1571.
Purches not the maledictioun Of the pure folk, quhome to ȝe war saifgaird
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 69.
To be thair saivegard that none suld cum betuixt them and the castle
Ib. 3.
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl 26.
[The] bour of Babilone Na saifgaird was to Darius … Suppois it was ane maist strang dongeone
Ib. 47.
Sen that … warldly strenth can haue na sickernes Sum vther saifgaird surely we mon ha
1596 Dalr. I 177/26.
Antonin … leiues Britannie bair, but ony saifgarde, and passis to Rome
1626 Garden Worthies 58.
Thy couraige … In perrells proov'd a saifgairde & a sheild
1637 in Rothes Affairs Kirk App. 199.
One did cast a stoole at him, … but jouking became his safegaird at that time
(b) 1561 in Knox II 275.
In that caise that this proclamatioun be nott extended to thame … nor be not a salfgard or gyrth to thame in that behalf

3. A loose outer skirt, ? or overall, worn by women to protect their clothes.(a) 1577 Edinb. Test. V 96b.
To Jonet Lylis ane kirtill & ane saifgaird ane wylie coit [etc.]
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. II 133.
1597 Edinb. Test. XXX 52.
I leif to … my sister dochter ane blak kirtill … ane blak saifgaird ane pair of broun slewis
1606 Dunblane Test. III 104.
To Margrat Trunbell hir sondayis saifgairde hir oulk dayis wyllicot
1630 Dumfries Test. Ia 234b.
Twa wyllie cottis with ane saiff gaird and bodeis
(b) 1583 Edinb. Test. XIII 83.
I leue to … my dochter my wyliecoit and saufgaird

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"Safeguard n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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