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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.

Notar, n.1 Also: -are, -air, -er, -ir; nottar(e, -ard, -aur, -er, -ir; (natar). [Sc. form corresp. to ME. and e.m.E. notary etc. (see Notarie n.2), e.m.E. (Caxton) also notaire, -ayre (1474), F. notaire, L. notārius, shorthand-writer, amanuensis.]For further examples see Instrument n. 5, Court clerk n. and Legality n.

1. A notary public; one authorized to practise publicly the business of a notary.i.e. to draw up, attest and record contracts and to record and attest other proceedings and transactions of a legal nature. For collocations with imperial (i.e. authorized by the Emperor), papal (i.e. authorized by the Pope), and with autentik, fals, famous, fidele, improvin (Improvin p.p.1 2), and loyal, see these adjs.(a) 1399 Melville Chart. 15.
Thir witnes … Williame of Ros, chapellane, Adam of Corry, notare … with othir syndry
1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 147.
The said Dauid askit at me notar ane instrument at the kill of the Blakhall
1469 Acts II. 95/1. 1488 Acta Aud. 123/1.
The said annexatioun to be transsumpit and copiit vnder notaris signe
1497 Halyb. 215. 1503 Reg. Soltre 158.
And notaris feis buddis and all expensis
1534 Bamff Chart. 62.
Certain instruments stown and ryvin furth of Sir Johne Galloway notars prothogall buik or ony uther notar or notarys bukes
1540 Acts II. 359/2. 1543 Reg. Morton II. 291.
The said Erle … revokit the samin befor ane notar auttentiklie apone the xxix day of Marche
1547 Perth Guildry 518 (17 Aug.).
And for the mair securite hes causit the notar vnderwritin and scribe of the said burgh subscriue the samyn
1555 Acts II. 496/1. c1575 Balfour Pract. 367; etc. 1587 Acts III. 449/1. 1589–90 Waus Corr. 443. 1597–8 Crim. Trials II. 35. 1599 Murray Lyon Hist. Lodge Edinb. 13.
The warden and deacon … elect … ane famous notar as ordinar clark and scryb
1615 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 167.
John Ewart [etc.] … constitute John Huttoun [etc.] … notaris procuratoris
1655 Galloway P. 11 Oct.
Johne Inglis notar inserter of the dait & witnes
1695 Brown Paisley I. 342.
John Fork, yor., wrytter, nether notar nor procurator
1719 Life and Death of Sharp 18.
Notars in that country so remote from the session, serving instead of better lawyers
(b) 1456 Hay I. 281/34.
And rycht sa … of notairis
1497 Liber Aberbr. 311.
1588 King Cat. 9.
(c) 1494 Acta Aud. 202/1.
The said noter wes declarit infamus and interdictioun put on him
1545 Grant Chart. 94.
With my hand leid at the pen be Robert Merser noter
1557–8 Prot. Bk. Gilbert Grote 26.
1579 Inverness Rec. I. 269. 1602 Dundee Shipping P. 78.
Y think to caws ane noter to wret it and to cawis fowr or fayf witnes to sowbskraywe it
1629 Boyd Last B. 461.
God's … word is faster than all the writs of men subscribed with a thousand noters
(d) 1498 Halyb. 217.
Gyffyn the nottar that maid iij quyttans betwix [etc.]
1555–6 Irons Leith II. 602. 1581 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 407.
Compeiring before us nottards underwritten
1582 Perth Guildry 450.
Quhilk decret … subscryuit be the commissionaris awn handis and be twa nottauris
1627 Rep. Parishes 198.
Johne Smith his mark insteid of his subscriptione for want of ane nottar
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 42. Ib. 257. 1652 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III. 66.
His admissione to the saids officis of nottar and messenger
1662 Decis. Lords G. 24. 1687 Rothesay B. Rec. 427.(e) 1471 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 527.
1567 Banff Ann. II. 385. 1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 241.
Procuratouris, messingeris, notteris and sic vtheris
1608 Crim. Trials II. 256.
George Sprote notter in Haymouth
1627 Justiciary Cases I. 68.

b. Attrib., or possess. without inflection. (Cf. Notory a.). — 1532 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) 2.
Ane instrument under notar subscription of Maister Jhone Howesoun
1574 St. A. Baxter Bks. 15.
Vpoun the quhilkis premis Alexander Patie, deken … fra me notar publict vnderwrittin tuk act and instrument in the notar hous at xi houris befoir noon befor thir witnes [etc.]

2. More fully, notar public, public notar, commoun notar.In plur. notar publiks, notaris public.(1) 1311 Reg. Dunferm. 228.
[Per me dominum Andream Pacok notarium publicum
1343 Liber Melros II. 424.
In presencia mei notarij publici
1366 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 57.] 1472 Liber Aberbr. II. 168.
Schir Jhon Harwar wycar off Banchre and notar public
1521 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 205.
I Robert Gray in presens of you notar publict … declaris to Marion Brovn … that this ground apon the quhilk scho intendis to big pertenis to me
1525 Ib. 224.
Vnder the signe and subscriptioun manuall of Sir Jhone Smyth notare publict
1530 Maxwell Mem. I. 263.
Georgis Kirk, notar publest
1579 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 400.
Notair public
1611 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 338.
The … evidentes … lyand in the hands of Hew Peiblis, nottar publick, my agent in Edinburch
1655 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I. 346.
Mr. Johne Waddrap, noter publict and connoter
1684 Edinb. B. Rec. XI. 106. 1691 Writers Signet lxiv.
To excerce the trust of a nottar-publick
1695 Brown Paisley I. 333.
William Tarbert, wryttar and notar publick
1696 Beale Fife Schools 231.
[The schoolmaster confessed that] his place as nottar public was a snare to him and occasioned him being late and air in ail houses
plur. 1503–4 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 101.
Befor thir witnes Schir Gilbert Hay … and Schir Johne Stiruelinge notar publiks
1508 Reg. Panmure II. 276.
Chaiplens and notaires publict
1546 Reg. Privy C. I. 46.
Noteris publict
(2) 1290 Liber Scon 90.]
[Ego Robertus de Garvald auctoritate apostolica publicus notarius
1439–40 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 240.
Thir vytnes Gilbert Menȝheis [etc.] … , Master Johnne of Cadiou publyk notar
1456 Wemyss Chart. 79. 1488–9 Liber Melros II. 618. 1521 Thanes of Cawdor 139.
Puplek noter
1555–6 Irons Leith II. 604.
Publicit nottars
1576 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek MS. 1.
We [Lords of Council] … vnderstanding … Thomas Auchinlek … to be sufficientlie instruktit … in his grammer and humanitie with the prettik of wreting als weill in our langage as vtheris … haife electit … the said Thomas in ane publict notar and tabellioun
1584 Gowrie P. 37.
I entered in shipp, as the balȝeis and publik notars of Dundie cane record
1649 Acts Sederunt ii. 62.
Admission … to the office of being publick nottars
1681 Stair Inst. xiii. 18. (1681) 240.
Publick nottar
(3) c1575 Balfour Pract. 372.
Gif it be sufficientlie provin that the said notar … was repute … ane honest, famous and commoun notar

3. predicatively. The person serving as notary in a particular transaction. 1490 Acta Conc. I. 189/1.
Anent the summondis maid … apon Maister Johne Baidȝenoch quhilk wes notare in ane accioun movit betuix the said Johne & Arthure Forbes
1494 Treas. Acc. I. 239.
Gevin to ane prest that was notare at the proclamacioune of the breiff of ydiotry of the Erle of Suddirland
1498–9 Acta Conc. II. 314. 1551 Treas. Acc. X. 25.
To Henry Foulis, notar, send to the Raith to be notar to the apprising of the cornis and gudis being thair
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 61.
Found that ane nottar quho wes chosen arbiter might not subscrive as nottare to the decreit arbitrall

4. A notary serving as clerk of a court; a clerk of court. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1174 (Bann.).
The fox wes clerk and notar in that caus
a1500 Bk. Chess 1421.
On the richt syd [of the judge] the notar situat, His richt hand a pair of scheris suld beire, The left a knyf
1540 Acts II. 360/1.
In the handis of the scribe and notar ordiner of the court
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2832.
To that, my lords, plainlie disassent; Noter [B. Natar], thairof I tak ane instrument
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I. 122.
At the day of judgement Christsonday wilbe nottar to accuse everie man, and ilk man will hawe his awin dittay
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 78.
And as there are … two registers, so there are two notars that … are continually writing the whole register of thy life
Ib. 178.
Thou hast a conscience within thee that sits as notar and pens up in register thereof every evil thought
1624 Perth Kirk S. MS. 17 Oct.
This buik of the actis of the sessioun … wreittin be me … notar of the same sessioun

5. A clerk or scribe more generally. 1533 Bell. Livy II. 63/23.
Vnder the quhilk suld be notaris [L. scribarum] and writaris to bere the charge of tabillis and registeris
1584 Acts (1597) ii. 59 b.
[Ministers] nocht to be … advocates, court clerkes or notaris in ony matters, the making of testamentes onely excepted
1622-6 Bisset I. 41/6.
At the sicht heirof … dewilie collationate be ane of oure … notaris or secretaris
1627 Bk. Carlaverock II. 91.
The scriver to the compenie … quha is … ane good notter

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



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