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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Narrative, n. Also: nerrative, -etive. [MF. narratif, -ive (15th c.) a narrative, f. narratif adj. pertaining to narration or recounting, L. narrātīv-us adj .; also e.m.E. narrative (1622) in sense 1.]

1. The action of relating or what is related; an account, recital, statement.Passing into next sense. 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 32.
This is nowther dreamit in ane wardrob nor hard throw ane boir bot ane trew narrative
1570 Leslie 40.
The indulgence … quhilk wes impetrat be the saide Patrick Grahame quha maid narrative to the Paip that [etc.]
c1650 Spalding II. 271.
Bot it is so strange to sie the convoyans of this od peice, hatcht and maid wp narrative in the Kinges owne name

2. A statement of alleged facts as the basis of a legal action or grounds of a complaint.Freq. with adjectives imputing falsity, misrepresentation or lack of substance, as fals, wrang, sklinder, specious.(1) 1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 316.
And the saidis pretendit provest and baillies … upoun thair narrative hes surreptiouslie purchest letters [etc.]
(2) 1566–7 Reg. Privy C. I. 496.
He … wes fred and relevit … upoun celerat and wrangus narrative without satisfactioun
1590 Conv. Burghs I. 330.
The burch of Innernes for suspending be ane wrang nerretiue the letteris raisit … for peyment of the said burchis pairt of the extent … hes incurit the pane … of tuentye poundis
1603 Inverness Rec. II. 9.
In mackinge of ane wrange narrative on the provest
1620 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 180.
The summonds being a verie infamous and wrangous narrative
Ib. 184.
The … inhabitants … being thairwith chargit upoun ane sklinder narrative
1622-6 Bisset I. 227/19.
The compliner salbe … declared to have used na fraude nor fals narrative
1695 Acts IX. 412/1.
Sir James Rochead did impetrat and elicit from them an act … whereby upon a specious narrative of right … he prevailed with the then magistrats [etc.]

3. That part of a legal document, as an act or statute or a writ, complaint, summons, supplication, etc., which contains the statement of alleged facts on which the action or plea is based. 1539 Prot. Bk. Hew Rig 31 a.
As to this precept ye sall understand it wants the haile conclusioun for it has nathing bot the nerratiue of the Kingis letters
c 1554 Misc. Bann. C. II. 28.
The titill na wayis verefeis that part of the narrative and fundiment that thai ar infeft in ane burgh callit Harbargary
1561 Reg. Privy C. I. 189.
The wordis (at the lest) to be haldin pro deleto in the said summondis sa oft as the samyn is thairin, viz. in the narrative and conclusion
1574 Ib. II. 382.
The haill narrative of the said supplicatioun [being] verefeit and understand to thair lordships
1585 James VI in Melvill 239. Ib. 240.
The second act hes twa parts, an narrative and a charge
1586 Conv. Burghs I. 210.
They afferming the samyn in the narrative of the saidis actis
1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 26.
And the haill narrative thairof [sc. of a complaint] being maist untrew
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 235.
A lybell conceavit alternative in the narrative, if in the conclusione the petition be simple, it is inept and irrelevant

4. That part of a literary work in which the facts or factual events are related. 1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 189.
Now he [Isaiah] subjoineth the narrative. Into the narrative he sayeth to the King that [etc.]. … Now I come to the proposition
Ib. 196.
There was twa things marked in the preface. … In the narrative he saith he heard the King's prayer. … Last he proponeth three things [etc.]

5. That part of a legal deed which states the relevant essential facts, including the names of the granter and grantee and cause of the granting. ? 1617 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 152.
Mak mentioun in the narrative of ȝour signature and gift how the said trone belangit of auld to umquhill Andro Wod
1681 Stair Inst. iii. vii. 2.
But though the narrative thereof [sc. dispositions of lands] bears expressly a cause onerous [etc.]

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



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