Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

Law, n.1 Also: lawe, lau, laow; la. [ME. lawe, laue, early laha, laȝa, laȝe, laȝwe, late OE. laᵹu (in comb. lah-: see Lauch n.), prehistoric ON. *lagu (ON. lǫg).]

1. The body of statutory or customary law of a state or community. Also transf. and fig.As the law of Galloway, haly kirk, Scotland, etc. and the kirkis law. Also simply the law, and without article. 14.. Acts I. 56/2.
Na Galowa man aw to haf visnet bot gif he refus the law of Galowa and ask visnet
c1420 Wynt. v. 3949.
Off haly kyrk bath lare and lawe To here
1426 Acts II. 10/1.
[To] se and examyn the bukis of law of this realme
1449 Ib. 35/2.
Juste men … that kennys the law
1456 Hay I. 158/20.
The law writtin sais [etc.]
Ib. 256/7.
Till enquere all the cas that law levis gage of bataill in
Ib. 257/13.
That it is aganis mannis lawe I sall preve
1490 Irland Mir. I. 10/36.
[The Romans] put amaist all the erd vndir thar law
a1500 Bk. Chess 20.
Dyse … Quhilk bene a sport forbodyn in the law
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 459.
Will is thair law
c1500 Rowll Cursing 92 (B).
Thair dispyt of the kirkis law
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W.60.
Birdis hes ane better law na bernis
1567 Acts III. 40/2.
To mak ane body of the ciuile and municipale lawis deuidit in heidis conforme to the fassoune of the law Romane
a1568 Bann. MS. 134 b/8.
Men glosis the law oft aganis the pure
c1575 Balfour Pract. .
The law is devydit in thre partis; in the law of nature, in the law of God, and in the positive law

b. The law as interpreted; ruling according to law. 1456 Hay I. 274/12.
Sa that the determinacioun … of the questioun of lawe had bene before a juge ordinare
c1460 Regim. Princ. 106.
Couatice … euir is redy law to sel and by
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 192/29.
It is suth and just law that a bastard [etc.]
1534–5 Rec. Earld. Orkney 219.
[If any debatable points arise, they agree] to tak nay maystermen in thar defence or suple bot equhell men and the laow
1540 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 171.
The court wardis and schawis for law, and it wes gewine for dome, that [etc.]
1542 Acts II. 416/2.
It apperis … the said proces invalide, null & aganis all law & equite deducit & gevin
1687 Boyd Fam. P. No. 284 (29 Dec.).
I dout the lau will provaid that I sal take my mony as it war at a term

c. Common in various phrases and formulæ.(1) c1420 Bute MS. fol. 141.
Ye come wrangwysly & agayn the law … destroyit swamykyl [etc.]
1482 Fam. Rose 147.
Als lang as it may be brukyt ande joyssit be ony maner off way, other be the law or by the law
1400 Red Bk. Menteith I. 170.
Agaynes the law of halikirc
c1420 Wynt. vii. 99.
Hys lord mycht, wyth the lawe, Hym, as he wald, bathe hang and drawe
Ib. 1801.
Mony inconwenyentys That war all contrare to the lawe
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 107.
This auld Calchas … efter the law was tho, Wes keiper of the tempill
1574 Inverness Rec. I. 235.
That wrangusle and aganis the law he delyweris me nocht ane schrywin of myne
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Affidatio.
Of the law, there is na soueraintie nor impyre amangis them that are pares
1683 Dundee B. Laws 555.
To insist against them as accords of the law
(2) 14.. Acts I. 334/2.
At thai tak smoltis [etc.] … again the inhibicioun of law
c1420 Wynt. viii. 937.
At the crown Till the Ballyoll suld fall off law
c1460 Consail Vys Man 324.
Quhai dois nocht … Be law a theif may callyt bee
1461 Liber Plusc. I. 336.
Vthir richtis that of law and reson he aw til haif
1470 Lennox Mun. 80.
All … thingis … that to the office of ane … assignay of lau or consuetude is knavin to partene
1497–8 Acta Conc. II. 101.
The Lordis wil do justice to all partiis comperand as efferis apone law
1512 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 19 a.
This inquest … can nocht decide quhill thai weit geiff thai maye be law
1523 Carnwath Baron Ct. MS. 11.
Accordand to law & justis the inqueist findis [etc.]
1536 Ib. (ed.) 185.
[To] put hym in fyrmans quhill he gat borows as he aucht upone law
1567 Sat. P. iv. 105.
Jugeit by law and hangit syne but dome
c1575 Balfour Pract. 278.
Gif the over-lord poindis … his tenent … aganis law and ressoun
c1650 Spalding I. 215.
Assembleis of the kirk, … and vther inferior judicatoreis establishit by law
(3) c1420 Bute MS. fol. 141.
A. … sal ger it be provit … as the law of Scotland wyl
1385 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 410/1.
To do this day … as the law and ordyr of law askys
1406 (1427) Reg. Great S. 17/2.
To … warand the said landis … agayn al men and wemen dedlyk as the law wil
1412 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 389.
To prufe this day as law wald that [etc.]
14.. Acts I. 336/2.
That thai … makis schone otherwais than the law has statute
1480 Acta Conc. I. 54.
That Johne McGille sall be harmeles of the said William and his anherdens bot as law will
1493 Dunferm. B. Rec. 48.
Deponand the atht … that scho suld neuir cum contrar tharof as the lav levis
? c 1500 Rathen Manual 27/2.
We cursis … all thamme that brekis the gyrth of the kyrk or kyrkyardis … bot quhen the lav leyffis
1518 Chart. Coupar A. II. 119.
To anssuer … insafer as lawwyll
1560 Admir. Ct. Bk. (Stair Soc.) 162.
Sourtie … for payment of thair fraucht gif law wald
1657 Rothesay B. Rec. 7.
The samyn salbe maid furthcumand to the said David Boyll of Kelburne as lawe will

d. (Brother, mother, etc.) in or of law (= -in-law, or step-). 1445 Athole Chart. I. No. 26.
My gude fader in law schir Dauid Mvref
1533 Boece I. vi. 45 b.
We ar to ȝow faderis in law, & ȝe to ws gude sonnys
1538 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 154.
Conwickit … for the … malicious … myspersonyng of Jonat Barbour, his moder of law
1560 Rolland Seven S. 195.
Praying to put hir son fra companie … of ladyis aw, And in speciall fra his mother in law
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 154.
Ȝour brother in law, that was, come to me verray sad
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 90.
Elspet Reid, thi dochter in law, com in to thi hows
1619 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 89 (24 Feb.).
Jhone Ȝoung, father in law to the woman
1627 Cramond Ch. Bellie 3.
[Censured] for making ane pennie brydell … to his dochter in law [etc.]

2. One of the individual statutes or provisions which together make up a body of law. Chiefly plur.plur. 14.. Acts I. 49.
Heyr begynnis the lawys made be the Kyng Willame
Ib. 84* /2.
Efter the lawis and custumys betuix the twa kinrikis vsit
c1420 Wynt. iii. Prol. 2.
Moysses … Broucht to the Jowis thar wryttyn lawys
1425 Acts II. 9/1.
That all … the Kingis liegis leif … vndir the Kingis lawis & statutis of this realme alanerly
1456 Hay I. 287/19.
Gif he dois he jugis again the lawis writtin opynly
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1168.
As aduocatis expert into the lawis
1507 Reg. Privy S. I. 223/2.
Ane prent … for imprenting … of the bukis of our lawis, actis of parliament, [etc.]
1513 Doug. i. v. 112.
Ancyant faith and valiant knychthed, With chaste religioune, sal than the lawys led
Ib. viii. Prol. 84.
Lordis ar left landles be unleyll lawis
1533 Boece iii. xviii. 117.
Vespasian tuke fra Britouns all juris and lawis be antecessouris vsit
1555–6 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 365.
For the coppye of the gild lawis
1567 Acts III. 41/1.
Quhidder Orknay and Ȝetland … sall bruke thair avne lawis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 735.
Vnkyndlie captanes … ledis not the auld lawis
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 10.
Contrair to all lauis baith of God and man
a1578 Pitsc. I. 85/30.
Ane commonweill institut … to be gydit witht lawis and iustice
1581 Acts III. 215/1.
[To] haue the strenth and force of lawis maid in his hines full parliament
1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 23.
To the heich and grite contempt of oure lawis, as thair wer nathir prince nor law within the samyn [realm]
1596 Dalr. I. 120/4.
Gif ony … cause fal out … quhilke can nocht be agriet be our cuntrey lawes, incontinent quhateuir is thocht necessar … is citet out of the Romane lawis
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Haimhaldare.
Quhairof frequent mention is maid in the auld lawes of this realme
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. II. 9.
Albeit it wer so of old … yet … it cannot be so now, without the breach of standing lawes
sing. 1549 Compl. 159/7.
Romulus … institut ane lau amang the Ytaliens that [etc.]
1563 Acts II. 536/2.
Gif the partie persewit … allege that the persewar sould not be hard in respect of the law of obliuioun foirsaid than [etc.]
1574 Ib. III. 89/2.
To be ratifiit and establissit as a law

b. The law (also, laws) of Clan Macduff.For the details see below and also Kinbute n. 1 a. c1420 Wynt. vi. 2273.
[Gyve ony be suddane chawdmellé Hapnyd swa slayne to be Be ony off the Thaynys [sc. Macduff's] kyne … Gyve he swa slayne wer gentill-man, Foure and twenty markys than, For a yhwman twelf markys ay The slaare suld for kynbwt pay, And hawe full remyssyowne
1531 Bell. Boece II. 277.
(Malcolm Canmore) gaif to Makduf, Erle of Fif, and his airis … iij privilegis, … the thrid, he sal have fre regalite, … to replege his men, gif neid beis, fra the Kingis lawis to his regalite
1582 Buchanan Rerum Scot. Hist. vii. lxxxvi. (1715) I. 115.
Macduffo … tria petenti privilegia sunt concessa, … ut, ob caedam impræmeditatam hominis generosi, viginti quatuor, ob plebeii, duodecim marcas argenti solverent. Quæ postrema lex usque ad ætatem patrum nostrorum, quamdiu scilicet ex ea familia superfuit quisquam, duravit
1577–87 8th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 298.
(That all they of the clan of Macduff should have no judge in any action, except treason, but the Earl of Fife only, … and that it should be lawful to them of that family always to appeal home to their own clan. … They who enjoyed the privilege found security to) present thaimselffis to judgment for thir thrie headis; first, thai promisit to preif that thai war off the clane of Makduff and thairfoir aucht to haif the formar privilage; next that thai haif done no odious cryme quhy thai suld be excludit from that privileage. Thridlie quhat sumeuir … the chief of the clane sall injoyyne thai sall obey it. I haif collected theis thingis out of the lettres of that privileage granted to Hew and his associattis (see quot. 1421 below) in that slauchter
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Clan-Makdvf.]
The croce of Clanmakduf … had priviledge … of girth, in sik sorte, that quhen onie man-slayer, being within the ninth degrie of kin & bluid to Mak-duff, sumtime Earl of Fife, come to that croce, & gaue 9 kie and an colpindach, he was free of the slaughter committed be him
14.. Acts I. 382/1.
[Sciendum est quod in tribus casibus potest duellum remitti, … Item per legem de Clanmakduff pro morte progeniei scilicet si progenies alterius partis venire poterit in platea inter probatorem et lanceam suam
1384 Ib. 187/1.
In emendacionem iuris dominus comes de Fyfe voluntarie & pro vtilitate proprie cui preest tamquam capitulis legis de Clenmacduffe concessit
1391 Inchaffray Reg. l.]
Alexander de Morauia miles … super interfeccione Willelmi de Spaldyne comparuit coram justiciariis … apud Foulis et protestatus erat quod ex quo semel pro interfeccione dicti hominis antea fuit … judicio vocatus et replegiatus ad legem de Clanmacduff per dominum Robertum comitem de Fyf [etc.]
1421 (c 1680–1700) Anal. Scot. II. 30.
[The steward of Fife receives] Hugh Arbuthnot etc. … to the lawes of Clane Mackduff for the deid of quhillome Johne the Malaville, and certaine … burrowise [three pledges named] … that they shall fulfill the lawes. Quhairfore … wee forbid on the King's halfe … and our lord Mackduff, Duke of Albany, Earle of Fyfe and Monteith and Governor of Scotland, that the said lawes hes in keeping, that no man [etc.]
1548 Balfour Pract. 511.
Comperit befoir me [sc. steward-depute] at the mercatcros of the burgh of Coupar of Fife, Alexander Spens, and … chargit me, that throw mercie of my office I sould ressave him to the law of Clan-makduf … for the slauchter of umquhile John Kynninmonth
That he sould underly the law of Clan-makduf, quhen and quhair it effeirit, he and his borghis beand lauchfullie warnit thairintill
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Clan-Makdvf.
King David the 2. gaue … the Earle-dome of Fife, with al priviledges & cum lege quæ vocatur Clan-makduff, to William Ramsay, … quhilk charter is ȝit extant in the Register
I saw an auld evident bearand that Spens of Wormestoun beand of Makduffis kinne, inioyed the benefit and immunitie of this lawe, for the slauchter of ane called Kynnynmonth

c. A specific point of law, or particular statute, cited to justify a plea; the legal basis of one's case. Only Sc. Cf. Jure n. 2 a. 1479 Acta Conc. I. 31/1.
[To] bring with thaim ather partij sic lawis & resons as thai will vse in this mater
1483 Acta Aud. 110/2.
Thair … allegaciouns sene, herd and vnderstandin … and the lawis schewin be him [the party] theruppoun interpret and vnderstandin
1532 Acta Conc. & Sess. (Stair S.) 73.
[Protest that if the Lords give decree against him despite the] juris and lawis [produced by him], etc.
1534 Ib. MS. VI. 69.
[A case referred to Parliament because] the laws [produced are variant in themselves]
1542 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 519.
[The parties] to geve in thar juris, resonis and lawis

d. A customary or accepted procedure; a principle of behaviour; a rule or ruling. c1420 Wynt. viii. 1619.
The lawe it wes noucht off that land Procuratouris to mak, he sayd, syttand
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2682.
This is the law, this is the instant vse
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 377.
The lawit folkes this law wald neuer ceis
1535 Stewart 15560.
Ȝit … lordschip hes sic ane law … That lufe and lordschip wald na fallow have
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 149.
A new maister, new lawis
Ib. No. 1411.
Schaw me the man and I sall schaw yow the law
a1651 Calderwood VII. 80.
Anent definitiouns in generall … they are verie kittle in their strict lawes

3. a. With defining word or phrase specifying a branch or subdivision of law or a particular legal code.See also such words as Admirall, Canon(e, Civil(l, (law of) March, etc.(1) 1456 Hay I. 177/30.
Be bathe law of armes and law of nature … he aw to be haldin free of passage
Ib. 281/24.
The King … aw to punys him be law of armes
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots 547.
Thairby [he incurred] the ignominy dew vnto the vincust be the law of armes
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI 33.
For that caus they tuik armes, and offrit tua sindrie tymes to try the mater in singular battell, according to the law of armes, whilk was alluterlie refusit be him
1479 Acta Conc. I. 24/1.
In the mene tyme the King wil be avisit and ger see the ald lawis of bondage
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 523.
That ilke custwme … suld be … Preferryd till lawys imperyalle, Canowne, or othir custwmale
a1570-86 Dunb. Maitl. F. xxxii. 99.
The dewill said than of commown la [: sma] All mensworne folk man cum to me
1567 Acts III. 40/2.
To mak ane body of the ciuile and municipale lawis
c1575 Balfour Pract. .
The law positive is this quhilk is made be man allanerlie
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 3.
The King had good reasone to persew that summonds … conform to the comon law, good equity, and reasone, albeit ther wes na municipall law maid therupon of befoir

b. Law or lawis of nature (also, of kind), natural law or lawis, as implanted by nature in the human mind or established by nature, in contrast with human enactments.(1) 1456 Hay I. 128/27.
That the sone suld help the fader, as said is be all lawis writtin and unwrittin, and be lawe of nature, that is hede of all lawis
Ib. 200/34.
Bot the lawe of defens of a mannis person cummys of the law of nature, to the quhilk thare is na law of man that may mak prejudice
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvi. 37.
Agane the law of kynd thow gois expres
1513 Doug. Direction 75.
Kyndnes of blude grundyt in natural law
a1538 Abell 91 a.
For it is of the law of natur at a man haif bot a benifice
Ib. 123 a.
Mony bredir … wes graciuslie resauit be our brethir as we wer oblist baith be the rewll and law of natur
(2) a1500 Henr. Orph. 8 (Ch. & M.).
It is contrair the lawis of nature A gentill man to be degenerate
a1500 Colk. Sow iii. 103.
Folkis levit be naturall lawis than

c. Law of luif, luffis law. d. Law or lawis of fortune. a1500 Henr. III. 115/34.
At luffis law I think a quhil to leit
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 58.
It is agane the law of luif, of kynd and of nature
1533 Boece iv. xviii. 159.
Sic men as war subiect to the instabil lawis of fortune
a1578 Pitsc. I. 32/16.
It is the law and curs of fortoun that he is neirrest perrell … that seittis … hichest vpone the quheill

4. a. The administration or enforcement of the law; judicial action in trying causes or punishing offenders.Commonly to do or leid (also, to hald, to geif one) (the) law, and to abyde, byde, stand or stand to, suffir, thole or underly (the, our) law or lawis.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 192.
Than hapnyt eftir that To do law the juge set
14.. Acts I. 107/2.
The Kyng willis … that common lawe & rycht be done to pure & riche
1424 Ib. II. 8/2.
Gif the juge refusis to do the law evinly
1448 Ib. I. 350/2.
To do the law vpoun thaim that brak the statutis
1456 Hay I. 206/3.
The King … sall ger do him lawe and redres of that fals jugement
(2) c1450-2 Howlat 224.
The crovs capone … Was officiale but les that the law leidis In caussis consistoriale
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 536.
Lufetenentis, ledaris of the law
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiii. 43.
Ȝe that hes the lawe to leid … Helpe thame has neid
(3) 1533 Boece xi. viii. 303 b.
The grete men … in myddis of the strete quhare he held law slew him
a1568 Pedder C. 69.
I ȝow exhort … ȝe … him requeir That he will geif thir coffis the law And baneis thame the burges raw
(4) c1420 Bute MS. fol. 161.
He sal be … haldyn sykyrly qwhil the courte of the fayre and than sal stand law on hym qwharfor he is attachyt
c1420 Wynt. v. 2491.
That nane suld drawe Clerkys for till suffyre lawe Befor juges seculare
1453 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 403.
To ansueir and underlie the law
1456 Hay I. 273/24.
Quhethir gif he suld thole law tharfore in jugement ordinar efterwart
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 399.
Thai can weill craif quha ocht thaim aw, Bot thai wyll neuer byd the law
c1475 Wall. ii. 248.
[To] Bryng him wp … To jugisment, quhar he suld thoill the law
1488 Acta Conc. I. 86/2.
To vnderly the law for the … invading of the scherref deput of Fiff
1490 Treas. Acc. I. 170.
Takin be the King … in the Towbuthe, quhen Lord Drummondis folkis bayd the law [etc.]
c1500 Fyve Bestes 12.
The Kingis justice … tuke thaim all and to law gart thaim stand
1535 Stewart 45689.
Forloppin lownis that durst not bide the law
1554 Crim. Trials I. i. 372*.
That thai sal compeir and vnderly oure law for the samin befoir oure Justice or his deputis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3591.
That he thoillit not the judgement & the lawis Was for a taill that the maister me tald
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots 540.
Before the day that the murtherar tholit law
1598 Crim. Trials II. 89.
Johne Carstairis … is … summoned to vnderlye our lawis
(5) 1442 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 8.
Vnder the payne of law and bannysing
1456 Hay I. 66/13.
How jurisdictioun and execucioun of law come first to man
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1196.
Twa arbeteris, as in the law is vsit
1487 Acts II. 177/2.
That all ciuile accionis … be determytt & decidit befor the juge ordinaris … & vther officiaris, jugis & ministeris of law
1526 Reg. Privy S. I. 525/1.
Thai being … at his horne as fugitive fra his law
1536 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 140.
As beis requirit vnder payn of law
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 30.
Nathing has been done according to the forme of law, nathing in ordour
1608 Crim. Trials II. 563.
To constitute certane … judgeis … to hauld justice court … , that throw inlaik thairof the cours of law and justice may nocht be eludid

b. The processes of the courts of law, as a means of procuring redress of wrong or enforcing claims; legal redress of wrong; legal proceedings.Remede of law, see Remede n.(1) 1381 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 4.
Wythoutyn lawchfull processe of law
1456 Hay I. 132/18.
I may nocht do it but ordour of just lawe
1477 Stirlings of Keir 251.
In the law or by the law, in jugement or outwitht jugment
1485 Breadalbane Doc. No. 22.
I … sal neuer in tym cummyng interrup … be ony maner of law … the said Duncan befor na maner of juge
a1500 Bk. Chess 1426.
His office is to put in writ sic thing As men suld vse in causis of the law
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiii. 22.
Sum bydand the law layis land in wed
1510–11 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 10 b.
The said Wolle be the order of law tuk pref the said hors his
1524 Acta Conc. MS. XXXIV. 178.
The marinaris … hard that thai wald be journait be the law for takin of the said schip
1527 Montgomery Mem. 107.
The said lord sall persew be law the inquietaris of the said James
1535 Stewart 39141.
He … With colorit law rycht mony saikles slew
1574 Conv. Burghs I. 35.
Actiounis … not intentit or depending in the law
1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 27.
To oppress the complenaris … befoir thair actiouns be tryit be order of law
1614 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 201.
Such inconvenientis which are likelie to arise amongst our subiectis by longsome pleas in law
c1650 Spalding (1792) I. 52.
He loved not to be in the law contending against any man
1683 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 13 Aug.
£14 addebted be Jane Milligane … wherof I forgive the half if she pay it willingly and without lau
(2) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 1964.
[I go] to Sanct-Androes for to seik law
c1575 Balfour Pract. 54.
Gif ane burges do ane fault to ony castelman, he sall seik law of him within burgh
1643 Strathbogie Presb. 38.
He saw no law for him heir, and wold craw no law
(3) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5407.
Gif ȝe … Vndo ȝoure sone without proces of lawis It salbe worse to ȝow nor [etc.]
(4) 1589 Craig-Brown Selkirkshire I. 167.
Quhas decrete … sall stand as the samen had been pronounced be the law

c. The rule, or authority of law. 1461 Liber Plusc. I. 395.
Couatice, The quhilk to law is mortale inymy
c1460 Consail Vys Man 3424.
Desyr neuer kepinge of justice In land quhar na law kepyt is
a1500 Henr. Fab. 723.
Neid may haif na law
a1500 Bk. Chess 106.
This Kingis lyf … all aganis the law
1549 Compl. 6/1.
Ane … infinit nummir of men of veyr … that lyuit vitht out lau
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvi. 36.
[To] governe this cuntrie … And it conserve in law and libertie
1636 Aberd. Council Lett. II. 52.
Depredations … committed be thame … to the heiche and proud contempt of law and justice

5. a. Day of law, a date appointed for the trial of a cause or for the sitting of a court. (Cf. Law-day n. b.) 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 130.
I send this be Betoun, quha gais to ane day of law of the Laird of Balfouris
1573 Casket Letters 118.
This deponer come to the secretares day of law, to assist his frend … according to the custume of Scotland
1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 246.
It is not convenient that thair be ony convocationis of the liegis drawin togidder on pretense of dayis of law or utherwayis
1577 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. App. iii. 419/1.
It is neidfull that I be thair … in caice my lord of Mentethe agrie nocht to the continewacyoune of the day of law
1582 Reg. Privy C. IV. 500.
Be ressoun the onlie criminall justice in use wer the dayes of law commounelie appointit in Edinburgh
1588 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. App. iii. 422/2.
Ye sall wit that thair is a day of law, the v and vi days of Februar nixt for serving of the Douglas of the lands of Angus and Mortoun
c1650 Spalding II. 123.
Thuirsday … wes the Laird of Haddochis day of law for the alledgit slauchter of Mr. James Stalker

b. Term of law, see Term n.

6. The law as a department of study, or as a profession. Also plur. 1450 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 344.
Ony of thame that may hald the lawe
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 643.
Prelattis and doctouris of the law
1579 Acts III. 180/2.
Sic vtheris as ar desirous to proceid in the facultie of the law
That the lawer … sall reid … foure lessonis of the law ouklie
1609 Ib. IV. 435/2.
Aduocattis, laweris and all otheris living by law and practique thairof
plur. 1556–7 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 17/1.
Maister Edwarde Henrysoun, Doctour in the Lawis

b. Man of law, a lawyer. 1443 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 269.
We riply avisit with men of law gert chese up ane assise
1455 Acts II. 43/2.
That all men of lawe that ar forspekaris for the cost haif habitis of grene
1473 Ib. 105/2.
For the gret diuersite [of versions of laws] fundin in diuers bukis put in be diuers persons that ar callit men of law
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2714.
O man of law, let be that subteltie
1491 Acta Conc. I. 206/2.
Dauid Balfoure of Carraldstoune wes man of law for our said souerane lord in the said mater
1528 Acts II. 322/2.
We … ar na men of law our self [and] we can gett na procuratour nor aduocat to speik for ws
1557 Edinb. Hammermen 205 b.
To Alexander Kyng & vther men of law for thair lawboris done to ws
14.. Acts (1566) To the Rdr. iii.
Seing the lawis … to be for the maist part unknawin, bot to the jugeis and men of law
1565 Instit. Ct. Sess. 136.
The aduocattis, men of law, scrybis, etc.
1581 Lanark B. Rec. 87.
Gevin … to Alexander King, the tounes man of law, … for speking for the toune … befoir the lordis
1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 238.
Ane of the baillies … to ryd to Edinburgh … to be advysit with men of law thairanent
a 1706 Mare of Colinton in Watson's Coll. i. 50.
When … men of law wait on but cost, And usurers tack nae gains

7. The divine law or divine ordinances; the law or laws of God or Christ. sing. and plur.(1) a1400 Leg. S. i. 337.
Paul … prechit Cristis law … To paganis
Ib. xxxvi. 624.
He wes the nerreste get to law, & firste gert men the ewangel knau
1456 Hay I. 101/18.
That bataill cummys of rycht, and of Goddis lawe, and be the rycht of God
Ib. 246/15.
Sarrazenis ar the inymyes of all Cristinitee, as haly wrytt and law beris witnes
1490 Irland Mir. I. 7/25.
To submyt ȝou … to Jhesu and lere his law
Ib. fol. 226.
Thame that are euill … and brekis his law
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 329/10.
Lawis, cannoun, ciuile & positiue, ar bot pendiklis apon Cristis law of grace
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 435.
Geue thow wyll … keip his blyssit law deuyne
1559 St. A. Kirk S. 19.
I … mariet … Elizabeth Gedde … and … did my … dewtie to … intertiney hir, according baith to Goddis law and mannes
1560 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts II. 530/1.
We ar neuer habill to fulfill the warkis of the law in perfectioun
1609 Melvill 784.
O Lord, … thai haif maid thy word and law irrite and of none effect
(2) 1456 Hay II. 19/10.
Wys clerkis … ilkane to teche othir be the haly wryttis … of lawis aganis the inymyes of the faith
1567 G. Ball. 190.
Goddis word & lawis the peple misknawis
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xv. 4.
Grant ws thy licht … To leif eftir thy lawis richt
(3) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 3490.
In his command … Conteinit ar all haill the lawis ten

b. The Mosaic law; the Old Covenant. c1420 Wynt. i. 887.
Moyses thare [on Mount Sinai] the Lawe wrate Quhare wytht was rewlyt the Jowys state
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 124.
Quhom the law levis eit Or quho suld be no manis meit
14.. Edinb. Univ. MS. La. ii. 318.
As men may find ... In ane buk of the ald law
1567 G. Ball. 3.
Cursit ar thay that continewis not in all the wordis of this law
1581 Burne Disput. 161.
Ȝe man reiect al vther thing by the lau of Moyses

c. Also applied to the decrees of pagan deities. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxx. 13.
Thow that hes lang done Venus lawis [M. law] teiche Sall now be freir
1513 Doug. xiii. vii. 52.
That manis … offens … Tha haly lawis [sc. of the gods] trublit and infest

8. A religious system; the Christian or pagan, Roman Catholic or Protestant faith or code. Cf. Lay n.1 a1400 Leg. S. xv. 171.
Haffand gret dowt that mony men Suld turne … to Cristis lav [: schaw]
14.. Acts I. 380/2.
All tha ar callit infames that … contrariis the reull of cristin law
1576 Crim. Trials I. ii. 56.
[Thom said to her] that this new law was nocht gude; and that the auld fayth suld cum hame againe

b. In the incantatory phrase (on, by) the law a ghost, the Devil, or a witch levis or lives on. See also Lay n. b.Also, in the later dial., by the law we (the fairies) leeve on: see R. Chambers Popular Rhymes of Scotl. (new ed.) 74. 15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 48.
Quhen ȝe se the littill gaist … speir quhat law it levis on
1590–1 Crim. Trials I. ii. 235.
Quhen sche putt him [the Devil] away, sche chargeit him to depart on the law he lewis one
1685 Sinclair Satan's Invisible World 149.
Wow! Whats thou doing here, Isabel Heriot? I charge thee by the law thou lives on, to tell me

9. Attrib. and comb.As law-act, -braker, -business, -clame, -manuscript, -place, -preacher, -term, -work. Also Law-bidand, -biding, -borch, -borowis, -buke, -day, -free, -gevar etc. Murray Early B. Organ. I. 33.
Courts of lawe sal be held and lawe-brakers punished
1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1845) 144.
Your law-preachers lead men from the foundation, Christ
Ib. 149.
It is likely Judas and Cain … had some law-work in their heart and yet were never converted
Ib. 198.
God healeth the sinner from his guiltiness (it is a law-word)
Ib. 201.
Christ's pardon in like manner doth remove a law-obligation to eternal death
Ib. 215.
The renewed apprehension of the grace of God … maketh not a new forensical and law-act
Ib. 231.
In regard of his law-place, or law-condition, he was … liable … to … punishment for our sins
a1652 Dickson Psalms I. 179.
In a case of law-businesses and civill matters
1669 Jus Populi 142.
If the covenant or compact which is betwixt prince and people, give law-clame to the people to pursue the prince, [etc.]
1681 in Dauney Anc. Sc. Melodies 23.
We renounce … law-works, inhibitions, [etc.]
1682 Irvine Nomenclatura 110.
Intestabilis is a law term
1680-6 Lauder Observes 208.
In my juridick or folio law manuscript

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Law n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: