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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Schepehird, S(c)heip-, S(c)hiphird, -herd, n. Also: s(c)hep-, s(c)heep- and -hirde, -hyrd, -heird, -hard, -heard; scheppart; shiphirdd, -heard; schyphird; s(c)hip(p)erd, -ard, schippirt, -ert, -art; (scyphard). [ME and e.m.E. shephirde (Orm), seopheorde (c1275), ssepurde (1297), scheperd (Cursor M.), schepherd (Wyclif), schipherd (1459), shipheard (1599), OE scéaphirde.]In early use as a surname or nickname. See G. F. Black The Surnames of Scotland, their origin, meaning and history (1946), s.v. Shepherd. — 1363 Reg. Episc. Morav. 312.
Henrici Scyphard

1. One who herds, protects and cares for a flock of sheep, usu. as the employee of another person or of a community; a shepherd.(1) 14.. Acts I 60/2.
That kirkmen live honestly of the … profittis of thair kirkis and sall nocht be husbandmen scheipherdis nor merchandis
1462 Montrose Baillie Ct. fol. 17a (11 June).
The common scheiphirde
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2456.
Thair wes … Ane scheipheird duelland be ane forrest neir Quhilk had ane hound
1505 Exch. R. XII 288 n.
Witht the scheiphird … ij stirkis
1512 Treas. Acc. IV 353.
To the scheiphird at kepit the Franche scheip
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xxv 32.
As a schephird departis scheep fra kiddis
1533 Bell. Livy I 18/11.
The maister scheipherd Fastulus
1537 Treas. Acc. VI 349.
Coft … xxxvj barrellis of tar and deliverit to the kingis scheiphirdis
1557–8 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 53.
To the scheiphird of Glaidismure of fye
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2205.
c1575 Balfour Pract. 138.
Gif scheip be fund within the forest, havand ane scheipherd, or without ane … the forestar may tak to himself ane scheip of the flock
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 98.
Decernit to quit himselff of all trafeccing, bying and selling or interchanging with my lordis scheiphird
c1699 Thanes of Cawdor 395.
To the byrewomen … , to the sheepherd
(b) a1500 Colk. Sow i 249.
The maister schipherd
Ib. 292.
Schiphird nolt hirdis And suynhirdis
1513 Doug. viii Prol. 44.
Sum schippart slais the lardis scheip and says he is a sanct
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4173.
The schip hirdis maid to me ane band Richt craftelly to steill
1556 Reg. Cupar A. II 262.
1558 Haddington Treas. Acc.
To the commone schiphird of Gladismure
1562 Kinnaird Farm Bk. fol. 14.
Send to the schippirt [at] Benholm
c1590 Fowler I 33/187.
1613 Orkney Rentals App. 95.
The schiphird of Sandwik
(2) 1574 Edinb. Test. III 205.
Johne Ȝoung scheiphird
1583 St. A. Test. II 19b. 1598 Melville Chart. 145.
Jhone Watsoun, scheiphird
(b) c1515 Asl. MS I 325/13.
Peon Adrastus schipherd
1574 St. A. Kirk S. 398.
Henry Tailȝeor, schiphird in Strawethie
1590–1 Crim. Trials I ii 232.
To Johnne Youngis wyfe, schipard att Bairfute
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 87.
1597–8 Ib. II 138.
Patrik M‘Ky, than schipperd to the guidman of Carroun
1616 Rogers Social Life III 300.
1620 Edinb. Test. L 303b.
Alexander Ritchesone towne schiphird

b. specif. The shepherds to whom the birth of Christ was revealed by an angel.(a) 1513 Doug. x Prol. 109.
Angellis, scheiphyrdis [1553scheiphardis] and kyngis thy Godheid kend
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke ii 20.
And the schepherdis turnit agane, glorifiand and lovand God
1531 Bell. Boece I 85.
Quhen the scheiphirdis herd the angellis sing
(b) a1550 Lang Rosair 38.
The schipardis be command of the angellis … fand him in Bathelem
1551 Hamilton Cat. 148.
Certane schipherdis [1882schipperdis] keiping thair weche in the nycht upon thair flock

c. The ‘shepherd’ of the European pastoral tradition in literature and art. 1549 Compl. 43/7.
The prencipal scheiphirde
Ib. 43/18, etc.
The maist anciant nobilis … detestit vrbanite, and desirit to lyue in villagis and landuart tounis to be scheiphirdis
1561 Inv. Q. Mary 39.
Ane tapestrie of the historie of scheiphirdis contening sevin peces

2. Applied to Christ, as protector of the church, or to a pastor, as protector of his congregation.(a) c1520-c1535 Nisbet John x 12.
Ane hyret hyne, and that is nocht the schepehird
Ib. 2.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 12.
1596 Dalr. II 466/20.
Quhen the scheipherdis was castne out the scheipfauld esilie mycht haue bene occupiet and the scheip selfe stoune [etc.]
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 205.
Thir tua wer decernit be ther parochyners to be unworthie sheiphirds to governe a flock
1639 Fugitive Poetry II xvi 1 title.
A schort descriptioun of the trew properties of a faithfull sheiphard of Christes flock
(b) 1600in Melvill 474.
They war skattered without a schiphird and the scheipe wandrit
1614 Ib. lix.
As ane loving schiphird, he blissed his flok

3. a. possess. b. attrib. In (appositive) use as schiphird knaif, etc. c. comb. In scheppart gres, tormentil. = Scheip girs S(c)hep(e n. 8 (6).a. (1) 1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 249.
Ser Jone Broun knycht … had his shepcotis and schephirdis housis apon the landis of Lurgyndaspok
1592 Digest Justiciary Proc. P 7.
Quhilk know was at the burne syd wnder the scheiphirdis hous
1602 Montrose Treas. Acc. 11.
That day that the scheiphirdis hous was roupitt
16.. Lord of Lorn in Child Ballads (1898) V 54/2.
He bid him go to the shepherd's house
1548 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 350.
Terras de Auldtoun de Kennartie cum lie scheiphirdis croft
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 2140.
He tuke his scheiphirdis staf in hand
1578 Inv. Wardrobe 229.
Tua scheiphirdis kirtillis of quheit canves
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Pondo, scheiphirdis [1617 shepheards] club
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Pedum, baculus pastoris, a sheep hirdes cruke
(b) 1562 Reeves Sc. Prose bef. 1600 79.
Item the berth of Christ with ane greit nomer of schippardis … all cled in schippardis array with stalf bage pype all playand
a1578 Pitsc. I 322/14.
The bischope … was keipand scheip in Bogrimmow witht ane schiphirdis claithis wpoun him lyke as he had bene ane scheiphird him self
(3) 1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. xxviii (Bot.).
Bursa pastoris, schephyrdis p[ouch]
Ib. cxliiii.
Taxus barbatus, scheiphirdis staif
(b) 15.. Ortus Sanitatis (Inc. 20) 155b.
Schiperds staff [L. Taspia, erron. for Tapsia]
b. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 254.
Put I nocht sylence to thé, schiphird knaif
1535 Stewart 31661.
Ane schiphird carle keipand a flok of fe
1581 Sempill Sat. P. xliii 53.
Siclyke was Seruius from ane shipherd grome
1589 St. A. Test. II 106b.
Jhon Cwik schiphird boy
c. 1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. cxlv (Bot.).
Tormentilla, haris berd, scheppart gres, lambgars

d. comb. In schyphird land, land set aside as seasonal pasture for sheep.Only in records of the neighbouring abbeys of Cupar-Angus and Scone.Also as a place-name.(1) 1547 Reg. Cupar A. II 236.
For ane ȝere tak of the tuay akir of schyphird land of Dalwany
1557 Ib. 261, 262.
That thai laubour our schippert land and furneis meit to our scheip in hay and foddir in cace thai mister to sustene the nummer of xiiijxx of scheip; reseruand the schippert land to our awin disposition … and the said Johne and Mergret sall heff the fulȝe of the schippert land
(2) 1585–6 Liber Scon App. 228.
With the quarter of the landis callit Schiphirdland

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"Schepehird n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2024 <>



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