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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lokman, Lockman, n.1 Also: loke-, loikman. [Of uncertain derivation.The evidence of our quots. (a) 1595, and (b) 1676 and 1698, lends some support to Sir Walter Scott's derivation f. Lok n.2 3, although this use of the latter word is first recorded somewhat later: ‘Lockman … so called from the small quantity of meal … which he was entitled to take out of every boll exposed to market in the city. In Edinburgh the duty has been very long commuted; but in Dumfries, the finisher of the law still exercises, or did lately exercise, his privilege, the quantity taken being regulated by a small iron ladle, which he uses as the measure of his perquisite’ (Heart Midl. note l). On the other hand, there appears to be nothing to suggest that the offices of turnkey or jailer and of hangman were once combined, as the deriv. f. Lok n.1 proposed by Jam. and OED. would seem to presuppose.Late e.m.E. and mod. Eng. lockman (1656) the coroner's summoner of the Isle of Man, is doubtless of separate origin, as prob. also is ME. lockeman (London, 1334) ? = locksmith.]

In southern Scotland and in Orkney: A public executioner, a hangman. Also fig.(a) c1475 Wall. xi. 1342.
The lokmen than thai bur Wallace … his martyrdom to tak
1490–1 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 58; 1506 Ib. 110.
The lokman quhaireuir he fyndis any swyne … owt of band that he tak of euery sow to his fie iiij d.
1500 Reg. Privy S. I. 80/2 (see Lokmanschip n.). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 174 (M).
Ay loungeand lyk ane lokman [B. loikman] on ane ledder
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark vi. 27.
The king … send a lokman [P. manqueller] and comandit that Johnes heid ware broucht in a disch
1529 Treas. Acc. V. 382.
To the lokman of Edinburgh that come to Linlithqw … [to] hang certane theifis
1535 Stewart 44146. 1536 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 80.
The baillies and counsale hes feyit Jhone Jaksoun, commoun lokman of the towne, for ten merks money to be paid to him yeirly with ane yeirly lufferay … at Yule
1545 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 27 Nov.
It is statut that quha ever first servis the punishment of deid be remittit to be comon lokman wythin this toun
1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 77, 1553–4 Ib. 108, 1557–8 Ib. 241, 1560–1 Ib. 346; etc. 1563 Dumfries B. Ct. 13 Oct.
The quhilk daye James Fergusson lokman is chosin swyne slayar that is fundin lois in the comond & streit
1565 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 646/1. 1573–4 Day Bk. J. Kyle fol. 1.
To ane man that come out of Fyff to be lokman at comand of the provest xiij s. iij d.
1581 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 209. 1583 Edinb. Treas. Acc. in Soc. Ant. VII. 553.
Gevin to the lokman for the keiping of the snap of the Madin
1584 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 378; 1586–7 Ib. 485; 1591 Ib. V. 51, 52, 54 etc. 1590–1 Ayr B. Acc. (S.H.S.) 167; 1613–4 Ib. 60; etc.
[To Richard] the lokman
1593 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 93.
In respect that Jhonn Michell, lokman, is failyeit and unhabill to exerce his office … constitutes Alane Neilsoun, warkman, thair lokman … and grants to him fourty pund yeirlie and ane garment of the touns leveray
1594 Ib. 122.
Grantis unto the awld lokman ane stand of gray clayth [etc.] … and this to be na preparative
1595 Ib. 148. Ib. 134.
That the meilmen resortand to the meil merkat wes content … to gif to Allane Neilsoun, lokman, ane penny of ilk laid of meill allanerlie, provyding that he be subject to keip the calsay clene and red and putt nocht his hand in thair seks as he uses to do … [and the baillies and council] dischairges the said lokman of all taking of any dewties of other sorts of victuall [etc.]
1599 Ib. 246.
In the tymes of executiounis at the merkat croce, … [the council] statutes … that … thair be nane admittet upoun the skaffalds bot the magestratts, ministers, lokman, and the persoun convict
1601 Ib. 279.
The thesaurer to geve to the lokman foure merkis for his expenssis … in his passing to Dunfermeling to ane executioun
1602 Ib. 305.
That the lokman be directet with the buitts to his M. upoun the touns expenssis
1605 Reg. Privy C. VII. 24. 1608 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 45. 1612 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. V. 47. 1616 Orkney & Shetl. Skeriff Ct. MS. 61 b.
The said Jonet to be taine to the place of executioun be the lokmane … thair to be weyrryet at ane staik quhill she be dead
1624 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 133. 1649 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV. 25.fig. a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxi. 17.
Delyvring me vnto this lokman Love, Vhose strenth at lenth Sall shuff thé by the skaith
(b) 1538 Haddington B. Ct. in Soc. Ant. II. 391.
The assys ordains Howm to be bundyn at the ers of ane cart … and the lockman to stryik hym with ane vand
1624 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 142. 1629 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 80. 1629 Peebles B. Rec. I. 416.
Directed to conduce with ane lockmane to the wiches
To … Johne Frank for furnisching lockmane and his sone
1631 Orkney Bishop Ct. 79 b.
Robirt Thomesoun lockman
1633 Orkney Witch Trial in Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. V. 555. 1641 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS. 10 b.
To lockman for scourging ane man
1649–50 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII. 426.
To the lockmans men for covering of James Grhames grave in the borrowmure over againe
1650 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS.
To the lockman for dresing Jo. Beattis woylt for to haue putt the whichis in
1659 Linlithgow Acc. in Anal. Scot. I. 204.
The lockman ane ȝeiris fie … £31/4/-
1676 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 281.
That … the dewtie of the said [fish-]mercat aught to be hightned and for the tacksmen incurradgement that the casualitie collected be the lockmen [sic] be taken away and something allowed him in place therof
1681 Ib. XI. 11.
John Whyt the good tounes lockman hes built … ane litle dwelling house
1682 Lauder Notices Affairs I. 346.
The provest and bailȝies of Edinburgh … doe judge Alexr Cowburne ther hangman or lockman within 3 suns
1685 Paterson Ayr & Wigt. I. 69.
The qlk day Thomas Burges was admitted and receaved lockman of the burgh of Air
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 587.
To the lockman [of Ayr] of pension and cloaths
1698 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II. 45.
George Gray in Spott to be executioner or lockman of the said burghe [Dunbar] … and obliges him to put sturdie beggars … out of the burghe and to shovell and mak clean the corn mercatplace [etc.] … [and he is allowed £24], ane suit of gray cloathes and housmaill and the benefit of the laddle at the mercat providing that he exact nothing under one furlet of corne or ane furlet of mealle
(c) 1574–5 Haddington Treas. Acc. 2.
To the lokeman for his fe

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"Lokman n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Feb 2024 <>



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