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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Kirk, n. Also: kirc, kirk(k)e; kyrk(e; keirk; kerk, keark; kyrik. [North. and east midl. ME. kirrke (Orm), kirke, kyrke, e.m.E. kurk, kerke, kirk, late OE. kirke, kyrke, ON. kirkja, OSw. kirkia; taking the place in the north of ME. chirche, circe, OE. cirice, circe, which is itself the origin of the Scand. word.After the 14th c., in literary use chiefly Sc., but common also in the mod. dialects of north. and northeast midl. England.Appar. the earliest form in place-names is chirche, chyrca, as Selechirche, Selechyrca (c 1120 (c 1320) Liber Calchou 3), Seleschirche (c 1143–4 Liber Melros 3, 4; 1147–53 Early Chart. 162; c 1150 Liber Calchou 297), Childinchirch (1153–65 (16th c.) Liber Dryburgh 6, 204), [Henrico de] Aschirche (1223–44 Lindores Chart. 28). Other forms dating from the 12th c. are kirche, kyrche and chirke, as Kyrchetune (c 1140–50 Early Chart. 116), Selekirche (1165–1214 Ellis & Bickley Index Chart. & Rolls Brit. Mus.), Geddkirch (c 1175 (16th c.) Liber Dryburgh 46), Wdekyrch (1180 (14th c.) Liber Calchou 227), Kyrcheburne (c 1190 Ib. 63), and Hassechirke (1165–1214 Liber Melros 118), Chirkeburne (c 1190 (14th c.) Liber Calchou 64). In the 13th c. these were appar. superseded by kircke, kirke, kyrke, which first appears in the later 12th c., as Kyrckeburne (c 1160 (14th c.) Liber Calchou 63), Selekirke (1165–1214 Ellis & Bickley Index Chart. & Rolls Brit. Mus.), Kyrkeburne (1229 Reg. Kinloss A. 117), Askirke (1214–49 Liber Melros 254), Sellekirke (1263 Melros Chron. 191), Kyrkhop (a 1300 (a 1400) Neubotle Chart. 117), Kirkehalgh (1363 Rot. Sc. 869/2), Kyrkhalch (1364 Exch. R. II. 124), and see Kirkland and Kirktoun.]

A. 1. A church-building, a building used for Christian worship. Also applied to a pagan temple.Also cathedrale kirk (kyrke cathedrale), chanounrie, chanrie kirk, college, collegeyiate kirk, frere kirk, grayfrier kirk, hie, he, heigh kirk, parisch, paroch kirk, see the qualifying words.Body of the kirk, see Body n. 5.(1) 1375 Barb. xiii. 512.
Till a kirk he gert him be Brocht
a1400 Leg. S. ix. 195.
Thane the apostil … Of the tempil a kyrke made
c1420 Wynt. vii. 2282.
The Pape … interdytyd halyly All the kyrkys of Ingland
1458 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 329.
In quhat place of the kirk it plesis thaim to ly
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 117.
Cresseid … Into the kirk [sc. a temple of Venus and Cupid] wald not hir self present
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 48/24.
Thow suld … frequent the materiall kirk … of the parrochin that thow art of
1532–3 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 87.
For the sustentatione of Our Lade lycht in the wter kyrk xij d.
1528 Lynd. Dreme 209.
Thare kirkis rewin, thare ladyis clenely cled
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 359.
For bussumis to deycht the kirk with
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 36.
The Divell ane kirk will I gang to
1561 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 106.
That thair be na buriell within the kirk
1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 510.
Officiaris of the Kirk, sic as … beddales and keiparis of the kirkis
1621 Acts IV. 600/2.
Annuelrentis dew to be … mortified for … vphalding of kirkis and bridges
a1649 Drummond Poems (S.T.S.) II. 205/2.
The English church the Scotes a kirk doe call
1633 Stirling B. Rec. I. 169.
The maisteris of the nether hospitall … [are to] advance to the maisteris of wark of the said kirk the sowme of [1000] … merkis
1665 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 52.
To walk throw the kirk … with ane whyt staff in his hand [etc.]
1700 Acts X. App. 48/1.
That the heretors should … repair kirks and manses
proverb. 1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III. 83.
This corne … is the cheif fiell annexit for custody of the Castell … als meikle to say, Tyr the kirk and theik the queir
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 67.
Nor will I (as the Scots proverb saith) tirr the kirk to thack the cure
(b) 1512 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 16.
The kerk is maist convenient to be completit
1522 Edinb. Hammermen 107.
Resauit … of oferand in the kerk [40/-]
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 603.
In the kyrk of Sancte Laurens
1389 Wemyss Chart. 24.
To the werk of the kyrk of Saynt Androus
c1420 Wynt. v. 5629.
Pantyon … , He halowyd it wpe in hy In a kyrk off oure Lady
c1475 Wall. vi. 865.
In Ruglen kyrk the tryst than haiff thai set
1576 Rec. Earld. Orkney 138.
Ane court haldin at the keirk of Stenhouse
1581 Burne Disput. 97.
Bibliothecar of the kirk of Rome
1596 Dalr. I. 46/22.
In the kirk of a certane village or clachan named Petty
1641 Peebles B. Rec. 103.
[The] heigh and croce kirkes of the said brugh
1675 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 45.
At Balmclalen keark
1689 Acts IX. App. 22/1.
The use of the inner hie kirk and Tron kirk of Glasgow
a1721 Wodrow Hist. (1838) I. 87.
The two eastmost kirks of St. Giles were turned into one
transf. a1585 Maitl. Q. xciv. 14.
Thou sall his glore proclame, … within the kirk of Fame

b. Church, as the place of worship, sanctuary, etc., without reference to a particular building.(1) c1420 Wynt. v. 2895.
Quha that to the kyrk wald fle, Thare gyrth he suld have
Ib. 3669.
I mak thé inhybytyowne In Goddys kyrk to mak entre
1506–7 Treas. Acc. III. 272.
Ane pane for the prince to bere him to the kyrk
1551 Hamilton Cat. 63.
Thai that will nocht thoil thair servandis to cum to the kirk on the Sunday
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 4.
He coverrit never his heid in the kirk
1599 Elgin Rec. II. 75.
To pay half merk for awaybyding fra the kirk
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 136 b.
Perturbars of the kirk in the time of preaching
16.. Binning Serm. (1743) 607.
Unless their prayers do it, or their keeping the kirk
1706 Wodrow Analect. I. 81.
I [was] able to goe … to the preaching … , though, before, I behoved to be helped to the kirk
(2) 1428 Acts II. 16/1.
At na liperous folk sit to thig in kirk nor in kirk ȝarde
1456 Hay I. 204/14.
Evill Cristyn men, that … has bathe kirk, and preste, … and redy service at his awin commandement
1467 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 403.
Nevir to be harde in prufe na witnes na ly in kyrke na Crystyn beris
a1500 Bk. Chess 919.
He … Had him [the presumed dead squire] to kirk & wok him thar that nycht
a1500 Seven S. 1418.
More for hir modere than for the mes To kirk scho went
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 81.
Than wald I cast me to keik in kirk, and in markat
1530 Cart S. Nich. Aberd. 362.
Quhilk was hallowit place and kirk
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 30.
Quhare euer thay go, it may be sene, How kirk and calsay thay soup clene
1671 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes 17 June.
[James Gordoune … was lawfully summoned] at kirk [and house]
1681 Stair Inst. (1681) ii. xvi. 97.
Whether convalescence can be proven otherways then by going unsupported to kirk and mercat

2. A church with its lands and revenues, regarded as property, as a patronage or as a benefice or living. 1389 Liber de Melros 449.
Thair tendys of thair kyrkes
1405 Lennox Mun. 57.
The gyffing and the patronage of the said kirk
1410 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 30.
The moir lyand to the manys of Fernwell is the kyrkis of Brechine
1443 Ib. 96.
That the said colege joys the said kirk and froytis of it pesabilly
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xvi. 57.
Sum givis parrochynnis full wyd Kirkis of Sanct Barnard and Sanct Bryd
Id. xxii. 67.
Jok that wes wont to keip the stirkis Can now draw him ane cleik of kirkis
1581 Acts III. 211/1.
In the charge of pluracie of kirkkis
1611 Scrymgeour Invent. (S.R.S.) 23.
Tak … of the quarter kirkis of Kilnewer and Kilmichaell
1618 Sutherland Corr. 137.
Yow mane be heir befoir the terme for your keirkis and vther affairis
1627 Rep. Parishes 22.
The keirke ane lawike patronaige and hes beine befor the Reformationne
1662 Acts VII. 376.
All these ministers … their places, benefices and kirks are ipso iure vacand
1690 Ib. IX. 196/2.
The aforsaid power heretofore exercised by any patrone of presenting ministers to any kirke now vacant

b. In the possess. = sense 10. c1420 Wynt. vii. 724.
[To] gyve institutyowne Off byschaprykis or abbasyis Or ony kyrkis benyfyis
1525 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 77.
Ane haill cowmpt baytht of kyrkis guddis and common guddis

3. A locally organised Christian society meeting for worship in a particular church-building; a local congregation.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 306.
Sa sais the curat of our kirk
1560 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 3.
The names of the ministers … of the particular kirks of Scotland
1561 St. A. Kirk S. 124.
Ane of the diaconis of the kyrik of Logy
1595 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 164.
To paye to the collectouris of the New Kirk … [13/4d.] for his extent
1597 Acts IV. 140/2.
The actis … aganis … beggaris … the pouer thairof to be grantit to the particular sessioun of the kirk
1598 (c 1650) Dundee B. Laws 51.
That all nighbours of this brugh … sall compeir befor the ministeres and session of the kirk at all set tymes … as they sall be requirit be the officer of the kirk
1615 Old Kirk Chron. 79.
Becaus of the painis quhilk the clerk of the kirk maun take in going … about the toune
c 1700 (1613) Dundee B. Laws 57.
The vicarage is set to Robert Stibbels reader and precentor of the kirk
(2) 1560 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts II. 533/1.
Lauchfull ministeris … being men lauchfullie chosin thairto be sum kirk
1561 Knox II. 151.
The ordour of the electioun of elderis and deaconis in the privie kirk of Edinburgh … quhen as yet thair was no publict face of a kirk
Ib. 152.
That na man … being ane of the kirk suld complayne that he was spoyled of his liberty in electioun
1562–3 Edinb. O. Acc. II. 173.
For candill furneist be him … to the kirk, cessioun, and general conventiouns
1564–5 Canongate Kirk S. MS. 23 Feb.
The quhilk day the elderis and dioconis biand all removit for tryell of thair lif … the haill kirke ansuerit as afoir
1565 Ib. 6 July.
That the mynister declair wnto the kirk the generall assemble to be on Wednisday nixt following
1574 Edinb. Kirk S. MS. 3 May.
The generall assemb[l]ay of the kirk of Edinburgh
Ib. 17 June.
That thai mycht be first hard befoir ȝour visdomes & nixt befoir the publict kirk thair to confes [etc.]
Ib. 15 July.
Thaireftir to be ressauit to the societie of the kirk
1581 Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 480.
Thir sax hundreth kirks to be divydit in fiftie presbyteris
1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 498.
Three or four … particulare kirkis may haue ane commoun elderschip to thame all, to judge thair ecclesiasticall causes
1624 Calderwood An Exhortation of the Particular Kirks of Christ in Scotland to their Sister Kirk in Edinburgh title page (Jam.).
An Exhortation of the Particular Kirks of Christ in Scotland to their Sister Kirk in Edinburgh
1638–9 Bk. Pasquils 64.
Each kirk is forc'd To reare wpe altars
a1651 Calderwood II. 245.
With provisioun that he be not burthenned with kirks speaking the Irish tongue
a1676 Guthry Mem. (1747) 63.
Mr. Samuel Rutherford was brought from a landward kirke in Galloway
1693 Acts IX. 303/2.
A commission … for plantation of kirks and valuation of teynds

b. The ruling body or kirk-session of a local church.The a(u)ld or last kirk, = the retired office-bearers, those active in the previous year or previous years.Cf. also Kirk-sessioun n.(1) 1564 Canongate Kirk S. MS. 3 Sept.
James Wilkie … beand chosine be the kirke ane elder for this present ȝeir
Ib. 3 Oct.
The quhilk day Johne Osuall James Wilkie baillies assestane with the assemble of the kirk ordanis [etc.]
1564–5 Ib. 17 Feb.
The quhilk day the kirke biand fullilie assemblet ordans … the generall assemble to be the xxiij day of this monethe
1568 St. A. Kirk S. 296. 1570 Ib. 344.
The quhilk the sessioun and kirk ... thocht verry resonable
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 283.
Johne Knox … earnestlie desyred the kirke (I meane the elderis and deacones) that he mycht bid thaim his last guidnycht … Vpoun Mononday … the kirke come
1574–5 Edinb. Kirk S. (Jam.).
The haill brethering [of the General Assembly] being conuenit in the said tolbuith, the particular kirk being also callit and compeirand
1579 St. A. Kirk S. 439. 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 105.
For the quhilk [charming] sche satisfied the kirk of Foverne
1602 Dundonald Par. Rec. 8.
John Roxburgh … cuming in the kirkis will thairfoir
(2) 1566 Canongate Kirk S. MS. 21 Apr.
The kirk ordannis the officer to warn bothe the ald kirk & also the newe to be present the nixt Satterday for awisment takin howe the commonion salbe furnischet
1574 Edinb. Kirk S. 1 July.
The samin to be publisit to the haill kirk vpone Sonday … varnyng thame and speciallie that the brethering of the last kirk to compeir vpone Thurisday nixt to cum befoir the cessioun & gif thair jugement … to the perticular kirk present gif [etc.]
1574 Ib. 7 Oct.
It is concludit be wot of kirk and with the consent of the auld kirk being convenit for this effect following that [etc.]

c. Kirkis box, = Kirk-box n. 1633 Stirling B. Rec. I. 169.
That the maisteris of the kirkis box … advance furth of thair pures box … the haill moneyis … thairin
Thair is not so mutche reddye moneyis … in the said kirkis box as will … repair the said kirk be the tent pairt

4. The whole body of the Church, the universal Church comprising the whole of Christian society.(1) 1456 Hay I. 1/11.
The tribulacioun of the Kirk before the nativitee of Criste
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John x. 16. m.
Thar salbe anne Kyrke or congregatiounn. and anne faith of all sick as belewis
1533 Gau 57/9.
He … is spousit with the halie chrissine Kirk into ane body
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4972.
Saif ws … Now lauboryng in to thy Kirk militant, That we may, all, cum to thy Kirk tryumphant
1551 Hamilton Cat. 3.
The haly spreit quhilk is … governour of the hail universal Kirk
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 101.
This terme and word, Kirk, or Congregation, … sumtyme it is tane for the heale and universale congregatioun unit togidder in ane faith be baptime, to the quhilk Christ is the hede
1560 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts II. 530/2.
Ane Kirk, that is to say, ane cumpany … of men chosin of God, … quhilk kirk is catholick, that is vniuersall
This Kirk is inuisibill, knawin onlie to God, … and comprehendis asweill … the elect that be departit, commounlie callit the Kirk triumphant, and thay that ȝit liue and fecht aganis syne & Sathan
All temptatioun to quhilk we and all Goddis elect ar subiect in this lyfe and thairfoir do beir the name of Kirk militant
1573 Cath. Tr. 26/29.
In the synagoge, quhilk wes bot ane schaddou and vmbre of the trew Kirk
1581 Burne Disput. 117.
Quhy may nocht our maister Christis Kirk be inuisibil nou, as it vas in the dayes of Elias?
(2) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 16/6.
Quhow can ȝe superintendentis … iuge ȝoure selfis to be lauchfull ministeris in the Kirk of God
Ib. II. 57/19.
Suld thair be, heirfor, in the Kirk of Christ na incres of religioun?
1567 Acts III. 36/1.
Mantenance of idolatrie and superstitioun in the Kirk of God
1567 G. Ball. 105.
Thay wald, throw thair hypocrisie, Posses the Kirk of God, throw tyrannie
1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 488.
The Kirk of God … is takin sumtymes for them that exercise spiritual function amongis the congregation … .The Kirke in this last sense hes a certaine power grantit be God
c1590 Fowler II. 42/30.
Sa the Kirk of God [may be darkened] … by the inwart corruptioun of pasteurs
1689 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. cvii.
Wee … shall procure … to the Kirk of God and wholl Christian people true and perfect peace in all tyme comeing

5. The Church, as a great organisation and authority, international or national.In this sense, commonly also haly kirk, q.v. — a1400 Leg. S. vi. 530.
Thai suld honoure the Kirk ay
1398 Acts I. 211/1.
Cursit men … put fra the Kyrke at the requeste of the Kyrke to restreygne
1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 58.
Syne it twichis the Kyrke
c1450-2 Howlat 133.
All statis of Kirk that wnder Crist standis To semble to his summondis
1456 Hay I. 109/2.
Quhethir gif the Emperour may mak were agaynis the Kirk
a1500 Henr. III. 174/53.
Kirk is contempnit, thay compt nocht cursing a myte
c1475 Wall. xi. 1422.
Our fadyr off Kyrk tharon to gyff his dom
c1500 Rowll Cursing 92 (B).
For thair dispyt of the Kirkis law
1496 Acts II. 238/1.
In … inbringing of novelteis … in the Kirk
1531 Bell. Boece II. 164.
Festuall … days … siclik as the Kirk hes institute
1541 Acts II. 370/1.
The grett unhoneste in the Kirk
1549 Compl. 48/24.
The famous doctours of the Kyrk
1558–9 Statut. Sc. Ch. 159.
The persons and uplifters of the uther deutys perteining to the Kirk
1579 Acts III. 138/1.
That there is na vther face of Kirk nor vther face of religioun then is presentlie … establishit within this realme
1580–1 Second Conf. Faith  in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 516.
The usurped authoritie of that Romane Antichrist … wpon the Kirk, the ciwill magistrate and conscience of men
1596 Dalr. I. 246/30.
Scotland … bredd and brocht furth to the Kirke mony of hid lerning
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. Table, s.v. (ii. 85 b).
All men in thair testament may leave legacie to the Kirk

b. The body ecclesiastic as opposed to the secular order. 1375 Barb. iv. 12.
Nother of the kyrk na seculer
1590-1 Bruce Serm. 210.
This confusion of kirk and policie
1605-6 Welsh Fourty-eight Sermons 78.
Moses and Aaron, the one having charge of the kirk, and the other of the commonwealth
1643 Boyd Fam. P. No. 177 (31 Jan.).
All … taxatiounes imposit … vpoun the saidis lands … ather be kirk or king

c. Man of kirk, a churchman, an ecclesiastic = Kirkman n. l. 1456 Hay I. 187/14.
Na men of kirk aw nocht to pay tailles … to mak weris apon na Cristyn blude
Ib. 236/23.
That the bischoppis and men of kirk ar nocht subjectis to na temporale princis
1528 Lynd. Dreme 173.
The men of kirk lay boundin in to byngis
1540 Id. Sat. 2010.
Trows thou … to get remeid Of men of kirk?
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4141.
It is not sa ȝe ken with men of kirk
a1586 Lindsay MS. 3.
Thair suld be ane man of kirk, and with him the mes buik and the croce [etc.]

d. Kirkis landis, = kirklandis, Kirkland n. Kirkis rentis, = Kirk-rentis n. 1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 510.
All vtheris intromettouris with the Kirkis rentis
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. 31.
Of ony kirkis landis, freiris landis, nunis landis or commoun landis

6. a. The (Roman Catholic) Church of Scotland. 1542–3 Hamilton P. (1890) I. 383.
We ar myndit … to put sum reformatioun in the stait of Kirk of this realme
1551 Hamilton Cat. 1.
Legatnait and primat of the Kirk of Scotland

b. The Roman Catholic Church, as designated by its adherents, and by its opponents.(1) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 42/8.
Sen ȝe findis na bischope … ordanit be the laic peple in the haly catholike Kirk
1558-66 Knox I. 108.
Thare Haly Mother the Kirk, (so terme thei that harlott of Babilon, Rome)
1581 Burne Disput. 141 b.
He … conceaued ane exceiding gret hetret aganis the Roman Kirk
a1578 Pitsc. I. 350/3.
Our hollie father the pope and all the Catholick Kirk
(2) 1560 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts II. 531/1.]
[The horribill harlat the kirk malignant
Ib. 533/2.
The sacramentis in the papisticall kirk
Ib. 535/1.
Sum of the same papis kirk … stubburnlie perseveris in thair … idolatrie
1561 St. A. Kirk S. 81.
I … , Jhone Kypper, sumtym knycht of the Papis kyrk
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 291.
The kirk papisticall
1563 Davidson in Misc. Wodrow S. 206.
The Romane Kirk hes receavit be it awin judgement, the commune translatione
1568 Lyndsay Pref.
The pilleris of the malignant kirk
1590-1 Bruce Serm. 35.
In the falling estait of the Romane kirk, this sacrament begoud to be perverted
1638 National Covenant in 14.. Acts V. 273/5.
All baptisme conforme to the Popis kirk

7. The Reformed Church of Scotland.After the Restoration uncommon in this sense, having been very largely superseded in official and literary use by Church.(1) 1560 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts II. 533/2.
In our Kirk our ministeris tak … examinatioun of the knawlege … of sic as [etc.]
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 16.
Office of preachour or teachour in the Kirk
1567 Acts III. 24/2.
Ay and quhill the Kirk cum to the full possessioun of thair propir patrimonie quhilk is the teinds
1572 Ib. 76*/2.
Excommunicate be ordour of the trew reformit Kirk within this realme
1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 500.
The nationall assemblie … may be callit the generall elderschip of the haill Kirk within the realme
1600-1610 Melvill 471.
The invyours of the Kirk's weill
1606 Bk. Univ. Kirk III. 1030.
To … ingyre themselves … in the Kirks government
1649 Rec. Kirk Scotl. (1838) I. 544/2.
A … warning … from the General Assembly of this Kirk
1653 Consult. Ministers Edinb. I. 43.
According to the word of God and principles of Kirk
1658 Ib. II. 142.
For informing of brethren through out the Kirk of the condition of affaires
1661 Wodrow Hist. (1838) I. 116.
To overturn the government of this Kirk
All the proceedings of our Kirk
1661 Ib. 171.
Those … public actings of the Kirk and kingdom
1663 Warriston in Naphtali (1693) 303/4.
General assemblies, commissioners of the Kirk [etc.]
(2) 1560 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 3.
To sett fordward Gods glorie and the weill of his Kirk in this realme
1562 Ib. 17.
Whither he would serve in the Kirk of God
1567 Acts III. 36/2.
The onlie trew Kirk of Jesus Chryst within this realme
1574 Edinb. Kirk S. 3 May.
Being ane eldar of the Kirk of God
1680 Sanquhar Declar. in Wodrow Hist. II. App. xlvii.
His … breach of covenant both to God and his Kirk
1681 Acts VIII. 238/2.
For setleing … the libertie … of the true Kirk of God
1682 Peden Lords Trumpet 18.
Sirs, Ille tell you where the Kirk of God is
(3) 1562 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 13.
The Convention of the Kirk of Scotland, gatherit in Edinburgh
1580–1 Second Conf. Faith in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 515.
The true Christiane fayth … quhilk is now … receaued … by manie and sindrie notable kyrkis and realmes, but chiefly by the Kyrk of Scotland
1638 Bk. Univ. Kirk App.  xlvi.
The buik of the vniuersall Kirk of Scotland quhairin the acts … devisit be the ministaris [etc.] … of the particular kirks thairof are … containid
1649 Rec. Kirk Scotl. (1838) I. 555/1.
Your majesties … subjects … conveened in this National Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland
1654–8 Consult. Ministers Edinb. I. 80.
The liberties of the Kirk of Scotland in the judicatories thereof
16.. Peden Serm. 18.
The loss of a cow … goes nearer your hearts nor all the troubles of the Kirk of Scotland

b. Put for: The General Assembly.(1) 1561 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 8.
The haill Kirk conveinit in the tolbuith of Edinburgh
1570 Ib. 183.
The Kirk presentlie assemblit … discharges [etc.]
1574 Edinb. Kirk S. 20 May.
The mater … comittit be the Generall Kirk to the particular assemblie of the ministeris, eldaris and deaconis
1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 508.
Sa wald thair be appoyntit be the Generall Kirk [etc.]
1581 Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 512; etc.
The Kirk, in ane voyce, acknowledgis the said Confessioun to be ane true … confessioun
(2) 1574 Edinb. Kirk S. 22 Apr.
The haill Kirk of Scotland being convenit within this burgh in thair sessioun
1646 Gen. Assem. Commiss. Rec. I. 24.
I am sorie that I haue bein so long from giving sattisfactione to the Kirk of Scotland

8. Any national or regional Church, or the Church at some particular stage in its history. 1456 Hay I. 21/22.
That the kirk of Rome suld be callit … maistress of all Cristyn kirkis
1497–8 Acta Conc. II. 145.
Purchest be him in the kirk of Rome
c1540 Lynd. Kitteis Conf. 138.
In the gude kirk primityue
1576 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 379.
For the help … of the exiled brethren of the French kirk in England
1578 Second Bk. Disc. in Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 511.
Vther nationis, cuntreis and kirkis professing the same religioun with ws
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 35/2.
The personis of the primitiue kirke
c1630 Scot Narr. 65.
At the procurement of the kirk and Queen of England
1635 Dickson Wr. 80.
As the kirks of Asia knew not their estate, till Christ [etc.]
1637 Baillie I. 5.
The most pitiful schism that ever poor kirk has felt
1639 Remonstrance of Nobility 3.
The cup which hath been propined to other reformed kirks
1646 Rec. Kirk Scotl. (1838) I. 451/2.
The Assemblies letter to … the Assembly of divines in the Kirk of England assembled at Westminster

B. Attrib. and comb. 9. In sense 1. a. Of a churchbuilding or its precincts.As (1) kirk-end, -flure, -gavill, -heid, -ile, -laft (= loft), -porch, -riging, -rufe, -stane, -stepill, -syde, -wall, -wolt, -window, and (2) kirkcourt, -croft, -place, -sted, -sward. Also Kirk-dure, -dyke, -stile, -ȝard(e.(1) 1603 Dundonald Par. Rec. 33.
George Wricht … to stand severall Sondayes … at the kirk end
1590 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. MS. 392.
For flouris … to cast athort the … kirk flure
1603 Dundonald Par. Rec. 40.
For thair medling befor thair mariage laich vpon the kirk fluir
1617 Elgin Rec. II. 152.
The entress to the kirk flowir
1660 Dunferm. Kirk S. 56.
To forbear fra breaking the kirk-floore, and burying within the kirk
1488 Lanark B. Rec. 3.
To the mason … to the kirk gawill
1590 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. MS. 402.
The dur in the kirk gavill
1639 Dundonald Par. Rec. 445.
In the heich jogs on the eist kirk gavell
a1578 Pitsc. II. 267/10.
Thay stylled ane cannon in the kirkheid of Sanct Geillis
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xiv. 22.
That … we may be laide … in a comely … competent kirk-ile or yarde
1636 Salmon Borrowstounness 339.
William Anderson … to buy the jeasts to the kirk laft
1606 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 108.
The vynd passand … fra the kirk portche of Dunkeld
1574–5 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 37.
The cran vpoun the kirk riging
1590 Ib. V. 19.
To caus win … staynes to the gutteris of the kirk ruif
1598 Ib. 210.
The kirk ruiffes … wes ruinous and falteis
1604 Ib. VI. 4.
Beand accuset for clymming up to the kirk ruif
1643 Orkney Rentals Append. 56.
Anent the reparation of the kirk rufe
1671 Cramond Speymouth Ch. 31.
For … hedder to the kirk rooffe 8s.
1576 Crim. Trials I. ii. 48.
Steling ... furth of the kirkȝard ... of ane grit nowmer of hewin kirk-stanes
- 1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) 188.
The fore entre to the kirk stepill
1542 Soc. Ant. III. 162.
In the northe angell … of the kirk syd to rais ane commodious turngreis
1512 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 82.
That na walcaris … hing na claithis apoun the kirk wallis
1601 Elgin Rec. II. 96.
Gryt perell … within the kirk itself by … holking under the kirk vall
1630 Kirkcaldy Presb. 17.
That the seatts … salbe chaunged [with] thair gavells to the kirk wall
1602 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 24.
Jonett Scherar … to be … put in the kirk wolt
1607 Ib. 57.
To be incarcerat in the kirk wault
1557–8 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 89.
The poynting of the kirk windowis
1604 Elgin Rec. II. 122.
For uphalding of the kirk vindois
(2) 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. vi.
Our kirk-courtes or yardes, are become more lyke pwindfolds nor burials
1493 Acta Conc. I. 304/2.
A pece of land … callit the Kirkcroft liand besid the kirk of Lesle
1665 Decis. Lords G. 113.
Mr. John Colvil … pursues my Lord Balmerinoch for the stipend of the said kirk cropt 1663
1563 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 166.
To … set in fewferme … the kirk place, kirk yard and croft of the Grenesyde
1569 G. W. Shirley Growth Sc. Burgh (1915) 48.
[The] ȝard and kirksted
1619 Orkney Rentals Append. 51.
That the kirk sward sall in no wayes be brokin quhill the burial silver be first payit

b. (Furnishings or equipment) of a particular church, or as used in churches.As kirk-byble, -candill, -clok (= clock), -cod, -cusching, -jowell, -knok (= clock), -seat, -stail, -stule (stuill, stool), -utencile. Also Kirk-claith, -geir, -graith, -lafe. — 1625 Churches S. Baldred 61.
The bell and kirk byble was sent to Johnne Murray
1646 Ayr Presb. in Scott Fasti (1868) III. 128.
[He] did bring a great kirk-bible with ane selch covering thairon
1587 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 283.
For ane shutill bust to put the kirk candill in
1631 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 39.
Feftie merkis to be payit … for [rewling of] the twa kirk clokis
1603 Treas. Acc. MS. 241.
Sevin pund of hair to the cuscheoun and kirkcod
1600 Ib. 78.
Four cuschingis … twa kirk cuschings
1633 Stirlings of Keir 447.
Ane kirk cushione of red velvet
1570 Leslie 191.
The castell … wes weill plenished … with coistlie abilyeamentis, kaipes and kirk jowellis
1595 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 395.
Payt to Adam Gordon for the dichtin of the kirk knok and settin vp of the half our
1640 Kirkcaldy Presb. 173.
Anent the placeing of the kirk seates
1674 Melrose Reg. Rec. II. 394.
[Not to] haunt ane kirk seatt … perteaneing to James Mein
1643 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS. 9.
For mending the lock to the kirkstail dore
- 1583 Edinb. Test. XIII. 45 b.
Ane grene kirk stule price thairof xxx s.
1606 Ib. XLI. 37 b.
Ane kirk stule price thairof x s.
1622 Ib. 282 b.
Ane kirk stuill lynit with grene tryp and copper nailles
1635 Ib. LVII. 140 b.
Grene kirk stoolis at xlv s. the peice
1661 (1703) Dismal Account of the Burning of our Solemn League and Covenant.
Beneath the Covenant was drawn kirk stools, rocks and reels
1701 Dunkeld Presb. II. 323.
Anent kirk utenciles [he] answered they had thrie silver cups, but wanted a mortcloath and basone

c. In local place-names. Also Kirk-gate n.For earlier place-names, see the head-note to this word. 1597 Edinb. Test. XXXI. 240.
Jane Baxter … in Kirkbank
1553 Prot. Bk. R. Lumsdane 15.
The Kyrk furde
1618 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 370.
Quhill it cum to the Kirkfurd wtherwayes milne furd
1548 Treas. Acc. IX. 177.
To lat the said sparris ly in the Kirk heuch ȝaird of Sanctandrois
1585 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 435.
That the buriall be transportet to the nether yaird of the Hie kirk … and ordanis the dene of gild to caus mak ane dure … in the Kirkhewch to the samyn
1592 Ib. V. 72.
That the toun pay the charges of the calsaying of the Kirkheuch wynd
1659 Ib. IX. 180.
Appoynts the thesaurer … to fix ane ravell of timber upon the west side of the Kirkheugh … for the ease of the nighbouris their goeing up and doun that way to kirk and mercatt
1635 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 515.
The toun and landis of Kirkhill and Syde
1571–2 Haddington Acc. MS.
Half ane daill to lay in the foirscheit of the Kirkmyln
1517 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 41.
All mydynnes … enlaik the kyrk wynd to be removit

d. In other compounds: In or of a church.viz. kirk-buriall, -laire, -stone; kirk-dekin (= Kirk-master n. 1 or 1 b); kirk-keeper (= attender), -perturber, -spirit.(1) 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix. 33.
When their bemasked kirk-buriall shall be be-reft of her fig-tree buskings
1639 Kirkcaldy Presb. 137.
The Presbytrie … allowes the act of the Session of Dysert dischargeing thair kirk buriall
1640 Ib. 169.
Reference to the Assemblie that thair may be ane general act maid for the restraining of kirk burrials
1648 Strathbogie Presb. 87.
Concerning restraint of kirk buriallis
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix. 34.
Captanes of cheef, who … will … say, this kirk, or at least this kirk-laire, is mine
Secluding all from the kirk-laire
Ib. xviii.
The sacriledge but of a kirk-stone
(2) 1597 S. Leith Rec. 2.
William Fourd, being ane of the kirk deokins for thir [sic] present ȝeir
(3) 1644 Robertson Cullen Church Ann. 29.
All ill kirk-keepers
1650 Elgin Rec. II. 271.
The Session knowing hir to be a good kirk keiper and an honest woman
1709 Ch. in Orkney 99.
[The young people in Hobbister are] ill kirk keepers
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. Table 2, s.v.
Kirk perturbers
1640 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 165.
I suld tell whether it wer ane hill-spirit, a kirk-spirit or a water-spirit

10. In senses 2–3. a. (Properties, revenues, dues, expenditures) of a local church.Cf. sense 2 b. and see also Kirk-gude, -land, -leving, -rentis, -werk. — 1584–5 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 394.
Alexander Quhyte, browdester, quha had of the kirk almous, owlklie, vi s. viii d.
1580–81 Ib. 196.
The haill kirk annuellis and kirk rentis of this burgh
1622-6 Bisset I. 138/8.
Recuparatioun of landis within kingis burrowes for nocht payment of kirk annuellis allanerlie
1616 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 143.
The toune kirk annuells
1668 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 53.
The best kirkcaperkelly
1665 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 65.
The said Robert alwayes recaveing the kirk dwety
1654 Dunferm. Kirk. S. 44.
To get money for reparatioun of the stoks of the bell … that the kirk fees be advanced
1625 Banff Ann. II. 25.
Anent the aistait of the kirk glebe
15.. Black Bk. Taymouth 166.
To the vicar I leif … cure To tak the vpmest claith and the kirk kow
c 1560 Orig. Par. II. ii. 427.
Of the quhilk vicarage [of Tain] the kirk kow and clayth with the pash offrandis ceisis
1572 Lanark B. Rec. 67.
Jhone Hettoun [discharged] … of all the byrun custumes and the kirk maillis
1640 Kirkcaldy Presb. 184.
That the expense bestowed be hir umquhill father upon the kirkmans of Kingorne may be refunded to hir
1545 Prot. Bk. W. Corbet (S.R.S.) 21.
The mansioun callit the kyrk mansioun
1639 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 151.
Williame Blakburne, maister of kirkwark, to len fywe hundreth merkis of the kirk moneyes … for the tounes vse
1563 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 396/1.
The mans and kirkroume of the Freiris Predicatouris
- c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4732.
Thay hauld the corps at the kirk style, … Tyll thay gett sufficient souerte For thare kirk richt and dewite
1558–9 Statut. Sc. Ch. 158.
The corps presentes, kow and umest claith, and the silvir commonlie callit the kirk richts
1561 Liber Scon 216.
Summa of the haill money of mailis … secund teindis oxin sylver and kirk sylver beffoir mentionat

b. Belonging or pertaining to a local church as an organisation.As kirk-buke, -compt, -librarie, -register, -seall. Also Kirkbox, -bred, -brod. — c1515 Asl. MS. I. 228/22.
He fand … all the kirk bukis in lordis handis and the kirk vnbiggit
1628 Dundonald Par. Rec. 255.
The Sessioun … appoynts Tyisday … for hearing and making the kirk compt
1632 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 40.
The haill bookes within the kirk librarie
1666 S. Ronaldshay 53.
That the said kirk register sould be forthcoming, and patent to any sould intend the further persuite thairof
1687 Dunferm. Kirk S. 79.
For the keeping the kirk registers in the vacancie of the clerk
1634 S. Leith Rec. 24.
Saxteine writtis … with the kirk seall

c. (The officers) of a church.As kirk-bellman, -clerk, -sacristir, -seriand, -warden. Cf. sense 3 (1) and see also Kirk-bedell, -master, -officiar, -thesaurar, and Kirk-sessioun. 1690 Dunkeld Presb. II. 438.
John Murray, kirkbellman in Perth
1651 Melrose R. Rec. I. 130.
[Andrew Cuik], kirk clerk
1641 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 265.
Thomas Cowie, kirk sacristir
1573 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 1.
The Counsale … admyttis … Jhonne Smyth, cramer, as their gild and kirk seriand
1641 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 253.
The iniunctionis maid … be the … counsell of this burghe, to be keipit … be the sacrister or kirk warden tharof

d. comb. with -pakar (? = packer, one who puts into a pack), -scailing (= dispersal). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxi. 86.
Than com anon ane callit schir Johne Kirkepakar, Off many cures ane michtie vndertaker
1645 S. Leith Rec. 54.
That the act of Parliament concerning the exceise should be read at the church dore at the kirk scailing

11. In senses 5–8: Of or pertaining to the corporate Church, ecclesiastical.As kirk-act, -censure, -comon, -constitution, -estait, -govern-ment, -judicatorie, -law, -policie, -register, -stent, -tack, -title, -umboth; kirk-lord, -pastor. Kirk-outlaw, one outlawed from the Church. Also Kirk-geir b, -gude, -land, -man, -rentis, -woman.(1) 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix.
The kirk acts against kirk-buriall
1647 Moray Synod 87.
Both being under scandall, and subject to kirk censure
1656 Stitchill Baron Ct. 7.
To stand in the stockes and pay unlaw, by and attour kirke-censure
1670 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes 14 July.
Whither … any of the saids witnesses knowes any mairches betuixt the Kings comon and kirk comon
1661 Wodrow Hist. I. 115.
From the change of our kirk constitution
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 80/8.
My advyce anent the kirke estait
1646 Comm. Gen. Assembly (S.H.S.) I. 9.
The intendit uniformitie in … kirk government betuixt the kingdomes
1661 Wodrow Hist. I. 116.
Any change of kirk government
1648 Comm. Gen. Assembly (S.H.S.) I. 539.
God … hath keept our kirk judicatories in a sweet harmonie
1649 Acts VI. 146/1.
Any petitions from shyres, presbyteries, sessions or other kirk judicatories aganst the Engagement
14.. Acts I. 381/2.
Al thai that kirk law and secular law prononcis infames
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 313.
As sais the kyrk-law in the begynnyng of the Decretalis
1530 Carnwath Baron Ct. MS. 61.
That this [is] ane mater of sclander & aw to be kyrk law
1638 Bk. Univ. Kirk App. xix.
That he had yet in his hands the booke of the kirk policie
Ib. xviii.
I desire not that any register sould be absent, but above all the kirk registers
a1650 Row 131.
The kirk-register being amissing
1635 Peebles Gleanings 202.
To seik advyse anent the tounis parte of the kirk stent
1636 Mun. Univ. Glasg. I. 258.
Taxatiounis, kirkstentis and other burdingis … imposit … upone the saidis teindis
1642 Orkney Rentals v. 18.
Tenstane eighteine d. land, inde the kirk tack [pays] the scatt of iiij d. ob. terrae
1592 Reg. Soltre lxxxix.
[Being desirous to acquire a] kirk title
1572 Orkney & Sh. Rec. I. 180.
Terras nostras ecclesiasticas (ut vulgo nuncupatur) kirkumbothis de Ȝeitland
(2) 1535 Stewart 37790.
Content for to agre and cord, At the requeist of mony gude kirk lord
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xviii. 32.
So now should kirk-pastors ding it with the discipline rod
(3) Ib. xix.
All that are not kirk out-lawes, vnworthie of the communion of saints

b. Appar. as a possessive, without inflection. 1560 Fam. Rose 231.
For ingettin of the Kirk pert of the said taxt

C. 12. Examples of church in the same uses.Church also replaces Kirk in anglicised versions of earlier statements of faith and discipline of the Scottish Reformed Church, beginning with the 1561 printed versions of the first Confession of Faith.a (1) 1637 Baillie I. 18.
They will have the liturgie practised in all the churches of Edinburgh
c 1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 531.
A church and churchtown it hath also
1662 Acts VII. 379/2.
The publict worship of God in the churches
1690 Ib. IX. 196/2.
The power of presenting ministers to vacant churches
(2) 1607 James VI Lett. in Reg. Privy C. VII. 299.
This anarchie … in the estaite of the Churche of that our kingdome
1637 Baillie I. 1.
That this aple of contention have banishit peic from our poor Church
1643 Solemn League and Covenant in 14.. Acts VI. 42/1.
[To] bring the Churches of God in both nationes to the nearest uniformitie [etc.]
1647 Rec. Kirk Scotl. (1838) I. 468/1.
A declaration … of the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to their brethren of England
1650 Acts VI. 622/1.
List of officiaris receaved by the Churche
1653 Consult. Ministers Edinb. I. 41.
The presbyteriall government in the Church of Scotland
1662 Acts VII. 370/2.
Forasmuch as the Kings maiestie hath been … pleased to restore the Church to its antient … government be … Bishops
1685 Sanquhar Protest. in Testimony-bearing Exemplified (1791) 260.
The protestation of the true Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland against … James, Duke of York
It is contrary to the declaration of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, of the date 27th July 1649 years
1690 Acts IX. 133/2.
The true Church of Christ within this kingdom
1691 Acts Gen. Assembly (1691) title page.
The principal acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland conveened at Edinburgh
1700 Acts X. 48/1.
By reasone of the ruinous conditione of the Church
b (1) 1637 Baillie I. 10.
That no churchman nor statesman will be so divelish
(2) 1639 Acts V. 596/1.
[A fine] to be payed to the church sessione quhair they dwell
(3) 1654 Lamont, J. Diary 77.
Money for the poore that day was gathered at the church steill and church doore
1655 Ib. 94.
[The minister] did cause take some stones out of the church-yeard deike
(4) 1693 Acts IX. 303/1.
The said Assembly or the other church judicatures

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