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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Relefe, -leve, n.2 Also: ra- and -lef, -leff(e, -leif(f)(e, -leyf(f, -lief(f, -liefe; -leef(e, -leeff; -leafe; -leeif; -lif(f)e; relewe; -leive; -lieve; -live. [ME and e.m.E. relefe, -leue (Manning), -lief (Gower), -leef (c1400), -lyue (c1440), -leyf (1472–3), -lyf (1483), -leffe (1503–4), OF relief (c1050 in Larousse), f. relever Relev(e v.1]In early use, freq. in plural form.There is some ambiguity between senses 2, 3 and 4 below, also perhaps occas. between senses 1 and 6.

1. The feudal casualty of relief, a sum ‘exigible from an heir on his entry with the superior’ (Bell Dict. Law Scotl.). a. The obligation to make a payment, ‘varying in value and kind according to rank and tenure’ (OED), to a superior before entering into possession of heritable lands held in ward by that superior. b. The right to such a superiority. c. The payment so due. d. ? An instrument recording such a payment.Also, once, letter of releive (this may however properly belong to 6 below).Also quasi-adv. in the phr. to hald (land) … ward and relefe. 11.. Reg. St. A. 143.
[Et de omnibus releuiis suis
1263 Reg. Episc. Morav. 138.
In relivio et warda
1264 Exch. R. I 10.
Cum finibus et releuiis
1284 Reg. Dunferm. 147.
Wardis releuiis auxiliis et omnibus aliis serviciis ad dictam terram de Halis pertinentibus
? 12.. Liber Melros 684.]
Cum wardis releuiis maritagiis [etc.]
(1) sing. 1375 Barb. xii 320.
His ayr but ward releff or taile On the fyrst day [his land] sall weld
1417 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 205.
Relef mariage wssiez of courtis or ony uthir profit falland
c1420 Wynt. iii 782.
He … gert thame … hald thare land off hym in cheffe … wytht serwys and releffe
c1515 Asl. MS I 259/2.
And thar the frehaldaris grantit him ward releif & mariage of thar childer
1559-60 Makgill Discours Partic. 7.
A l'entrée ausaites terres … les heritiers sont tenus d'aduancer les fruitz d'vne année au ray pour leur entrée; ce qui est appellée relief
1621 Acts IV 617/1.
Ane signatour of wairde nonentres releif and mariage tuentye schillingis
1626 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. I 352. 1686 Mackenzie Observ. 248.
Relief is a duty due by the vassal to the superiour at his entry, for relieving his fee out of the superiours hands
def. art. 1484 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 445.
Takand … for the releff fourty mark
c1615 Chron. Kings 51.
The use of thair lordschippis till thay suld haiff passit … xxi ȝeiris with the profite alsa of ane ȝeir, callit in Scottis the ward and releiff
1676 Sc. N. & Q. XII 156.
For payment of 130 merks for the ward, als much for the releiffe, and 300 merks for the mariage
1680 Cunningham Diary 122.
The said lands … holding of the crown for the relief of 1 l. sterl. yearly to the Lord of Erection
(b) 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Recognition.
The superiour may recognosce and reteine the samin [lands] vntil securitie be maid to him for payment of the relieue
indef. art. c1630 Hope Minor Pract.(1726) 49.
When the heir of ward-lands is major, and craves to be entred, he must pay to his superior a relief for relieving him out of his ward; which relief is the retoured duty of the lands for one year
pl. 1417 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 215.
The tend penny of all wardis, relefis [etc.] … and vtheris profitis falland to the kyng in the forsaid schirefdomys
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 2.
The mut of natyfis … of humagis to be maide ande relefys to be resawyt
Ib. c. 67.
Thai aw neuer the les to thole releffis to be tane & other seruice to thaim for thai landis to doo
a1500 Sir Eger 1957.
Withoutten wards, or reliefs [pr. relesies] Greatlords hold him all their chiefes
1531 Boyd Fam. P. No. 8 (1 Oct.).
Fre fra all ward nonentres releiffis [etc.]
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece I lxxxvi. 1610 Bk. Dunvegan I 79.
To be sac saiff and sure at all hands fra all begone wards releifis [etc.]
c1610 Skene in Misc. Stair Soc. I 150.
Releefis: That all stewartis and scherifes be chargeit for all releifes … according to the act of … 1587
1641 Acts V 482/1. 1676 Lauder Notices Affairs I 108.
Pretended casualties of superiority, as escheits, wairds, non-entries, releiffs, etc.
(b) 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 61.
Has releschyt remittyt & for gyffin … al wardis mariagis and relevis that qwhilom Walter … was oblist and haldyn tyl Schir Robart
1415 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 36.
The … rasyng of his teynd penny aucht til hyme of relewis, wardis [etc.]
1417 Ib. 38.
We treittande … for wardis or relewis for ony certane sowme or forgyffande thaim
1488–91 Treas. Acc. I 168.
He chargis him with [£5610, 14 s.] be composicionis of wardis, releuis … and vthir composicionis
1497 Acta Conc. II 89.
The inbringin of wardis, relevis, proffittis of mariages [etc.]
1533 Boece 450 h. of ch.
How the wardis and relevis war annext to the crowne
1582 Perth B. Ct. 28 May.
To be warrandit fra all wardis relevis [etc.]
1619 Breadalbane Doc. No. 430.
To warrand … the foirsaid aucht merkland of Kingars … to the said Coline … frei and saiff fra all wardis releves [etc.] … and fra all vtheris clames
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 67.
Releives should not be componed for bot made compt of in chequer to the full awaill therof
(2) sing. 1389 (1535)Cambuskenneth Chart. 260.
He sall assith the forsaid abbot for the releif of that ilk land
1393 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 26.
Saufand to the said lord erle … the warde or the relefe of the said landis
1464 Fam. Innes 78.
Of the releyf and doyteis of the said landis aucht to me in tym bygane I grant me fullely content and payt
1470 Breadalbane Doc.
That the … ayris sall nocht pay … bot xl merkis for the releff of all the hale landis that … Sire Colin haldis of vs
1492 Treas. Acc. I 207.
Of the relefe of Clesche … pait to the said lord … xxvj s. viij d.
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 371.
[Withholding from the king] the haile releif of the landis and barony of Dummanyng
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 246/2.
A lettre … dischargeand him of the hale releyf of his landis of Sexnok … quhilkis pertenis to the king be the deces of his fader, sa that he may … dispone thairapoun as he thinkis maste expedient
1529 Ib. II 16/1. 1536 Breadalbane Doc. No. 46.
In compleit payment of first terme of the composicion of the ward & releif … of Glenwrquhay
1541 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 98.
That nane … tak vpoun hand to mak ony impediment … in the peceable brouking … and disponyng vpoun the nonentres and releiff of the saidis landis
1552 Crail B. Ct. 5 Dec.
Ane testimoniall of annewall rent of viij s. of releyff of howsis that now James … occupiis
1557 Reg. Privy S. V i 33/1.
The gift of the releiff of the half of the landis and barony of Teling
1566 Crail B. Ct. 12 Nov.
The releyf of vast gryne
c1575 Balfour Pract. 255.
Quhen ony … frehalder … deceissis, … gif the air aw ony releif to his over-lord, he sould have and recover his heritage, makand sufficient payment thairof… The releif of ony landis haldin in blanche ferm is the double of the blanche ferm. The releif of ward landis is the ȝeirlie rent of the landis… The releif of few landis is the double of the few-maill
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Extent.
For taxation of landes ar raised conforme to the auld extent and the reliefe of landes is the retoured maill according to the new extent
pl. 1475 Acta Aud. 38/2.
To haue … relesit … Johne … of the … malis & releviz of the landis of vmquhile Sir Patrik
1491 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 409.
The kirk of Abirdene is feft of the tent penny of ald of all wardis and relevis of the said landis
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece (M) II 141.
The nobillis … gaif to King Macolme … all the wardis and relevis of thair landis
1567 Acts III 13/2.
Vpon the giftis of wairdis, nonentressis, and releuis of landis
(3) sing. 1398–9 Liber Melros 488.
Because of my releife of my said place of Malkarston
c1420 Wynt. vi Prol. 22.
Swa for hys warde and hys releffe Trete he wyth God
1434–5 Yester Wr. 49.
Acht to the king for the raleiffe off the said David
1473–4 Treas. Acc. I 4.
Componit wytht Vmfray Cunnynghame of Glengarnok for his releif, xxv li.
1501 Ib. II 107.
Ane inquest to preif the avale of the Lard of Bernbowgales releif
1501 Fam. Rose 172.
And sa he is dischargyt in the hayll for his raleyf the sowme of fourty powndis
1502 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 643 B.
To haue tane and ressauit … full contentacione, satisfactione, and hail payment for hir releif of the said landis
1513 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 1.
Gif ony man beis slane … or deis in his [sc. the king's] army enduring the tyme of his ost, his aieris sall have his ward, releife and mariage of the king free, dispensand with his aige
1551 Grant Chart. 104.
Acquhittand and dischargeand the said Finlais ward and releif of the foirnamit landis
1578 Reg. Privy C. III 21.
His air or airs sal have their awin ward, marriage, releif, and nonentres of his majestie frie
(b) 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 96 (Table), etc.
Gif the heire refuses to pay his releive he may be distrenȝeid & compelled be the overlord to make payment thereof
pl. 1417 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 215.
Wit that we tretande with ony of my lorde the kyngis liegis for thair relefis … that it is nocht our entent … til forgife ony thyng
(4) c1420 Wynt. viii 590.
The tenandis … thare feis war haldand Off the duke … In ward, or serwys, or releffe
1473–4 Treas. Acc. I 5.
A new infeodacione of his landis of Barnagehane … to be haldin of the king in warde and relef
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 60. a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 36.
The baronie of Winchburgh to be hauldin in frie blenche … quhilk befoir was haldin in wairde and releif
1657 Balfour Ann. III 393.(b) 1485 Breadalbane Doc. No. 22.
Quhilkis landis … I hald of our souerane lord the king in ward and relewe
(5) 1456 5th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 625/1.
The said landis … ar haldin of vs be seruice of ward and relief, mantrent and seruice
1499–1500 9th Rep. Hist. MSS App. ii 189.
Landis … haldin of our souerane lord in cheif be seruice of warde and raleif
1545–6 Reg. Privy S. III 237/2. 16.. Gordon Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 393.
The inferior nobilitie, who held thair lands immediatly of the crown be service of ward and releef or blanche or feu
(b) 1511 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 87.
Quhilks lands ar haldin of our souerane lord be seruice warde and relewe
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Relevivm.
After the expiring of the warde to his over lord of quhome he haldes his landes be knicht service, that is, be warde and relieue
(6) 1456 Wemyss Chart. 77.
And the tothir forsaid landis … ar haldyne ward and relefe
1487 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 632. 1509 Reg. Privy S. I 283/2.
Nochtwithstanding that thai are haldin of his hienes waird and releif
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 12.
The gentlemen of that erledome doe hold ther lands of the erle: most part waird and relieff
(7) a1524 Rec. Earld. Orkney 422.
Ane letter of releive to lowse five merk land … for foure pundis to be redemit fra Peter Paplais airis

2. Aid or succour in time of danger, need or difficulty, esp. help given to persons or communities engaged in fighting or war.Also, the deliverance of a place under siege.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii 5412.
Thryis in that fycht at gret myscheffe He wes, bot ay he gat releffe
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 177/9.
O lorde God, quhilk has … ordanit solace and releif to the lawbouris of men be dwm beistis
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary I 105.
The relief quhilk he sould make us in maniement of the publick affairis of oure realme
1570 Sat. P. xxi 4.
Quhat menis thir mischant murtherars In muifing mair mischeif … Waitting of na releif
1596 Dalr. I 173/19.
Agricola sayles into Britannie … in releife of the Romanis
1689 Siege Castle Edinb. 53.
To the end they might be in a condition to send releefe to the Castle, judgeing he could hold out no longer without he got succours
(b) 1570 St. A. Kirk S. 344.
Wanting … that support and releve in preaching of the word quhilk … utheris had befoir
(2) 1528 Douglas Corr. 133.
Sayand … that the kingis hienes of England nor nane within that realme, wald do ocht for my releiff
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV ii 83.
Thai … raisit men of warre … affirming the same to be for her releif
a1578 Pitsc. I 73/2. a1686 Turner Mem. 57.
To marche to his reliefe were to leave the halfe of our forces in Scotland and ane enemie behind our hand
(b) 1600 Crim. Trials II 152.
Certane … subiectis … saw and hard his majesteis cry; quha rynnand to his releve [etc.]
(3) 1594 James VI in Melvill 321.
Giff we be aydit be your kyndlie helpe and promised releiff
(4) 1546 Corr. M. Lorraine 170.
The armye off Ingland … cumis for the raleif off Sanctandros
1650 Laing MSS I 251.
We shall endevore … to act somthing … for the reliefe of these places

b. A body of men coming to (one's) aid. a1568 Bann. MS I p. 48/32.
So greit releivis of lordis [M. releiffis and lordis] thame to defend

3. Assistance (of a person, community or project), as in the form of donation or supply (to do something).Also, once, of a person's credit.To schawreleif to (a person), to succour.(1) 1522 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 209.
Maill payit beforand for the releif of the tovne to pay the taxitis of our gouernour of Scotland
?1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 239.
To molest yowr grace with my pwre adverseteis … haweand na wthyr, ondyr God, for my releiff
Ib. 240. 1578 Conv. Burghs I 67.
For releif of the dekayit burrowis
1608 Aberd. Council Lett. I 392.
As also of the taxation of [25,000 merkis] grantit be the estates for releiff of the burgh of Dunbartane
1621 Acts IV 616/2.
Pryces now sett doun … for the ease benefite and releiff of the subiectis of the cuntrey
1643 Kinghorn Kirk S. 49.
To the releefe of the poore of burghe and landward
1644 Spalding II 316.
Money … for the releif of the army send into England
1659 Cramond Kirk S. 15 May.
The contribution … for the releef of the Christians exiled out of Polonia and Bohemia
(b) 1541 Reg. Cupar A. II 13.
The sowm of tuelff pundis … to the relewe of the biggin of our said place
(2) 1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 484.
The Lord Reay was much thralled in debt; and forced he was, for the releef of his credit, to make away some of his lands
(3) 1574 Acts III 87/2.
And gif ony … gevis money … or schawis ony vther releif to ony vagabound [etc.]

4. Ease of mind; deliverance from distress or worry; a source of either of these. b. Ease from (also, (out) of) physical pain, illness, etc.(a) Arundel MS 260/24.
As thou said vnto the theif Quhilk hang besyid thé, for releif [etc.]
1567 G. Ball. 34.
Of ȝour faith it is a preif, To wirk in ȝow pacience for ȝour releif
1569 Q. Mary Facs. Nat. MSS III lix.
Releif of our troublit and afflictit sprite
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 324/11.
Gritter releif [is] in Liddisdaill [than Lothian] Now in this troublous tyme
Id. Ib. 328/33.
The commownis … seis nane apperance of releiff
c1590 Fowler I 346/31.
O deathe, … the troubled hartes releiffe
Ib. 25/24.
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. vii 19.
The mair thou loipis, the les is thy relief
Ib. vi 31. 1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. xi 25.
Sorow, smairt and greiff Be only thy releiff Since sche hath giwin thy dome
(b) 1567 G. Ball. 106.
Thairfoir … Thow say to God, My trew releue, My hope
1600-1610 Melvill 134.
This brought a grait releive to the kirk
b. a1568 Scott xxxiii 15.
Quhat is thy manrent bot … langour, but relief Off woundis wan
1580 Hay in Cath. Tr. 33/5.
Being in that contrie for the releafe of my helthe, … be the adwyse … of the phisicians …, qwha iwgeade that there was no other way to releafe me
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1353 (Wr.).
Be medciner unto this man … Syne looke what hee lackes for reliefe [E. what laiks for his relief]
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 202.
Thair wes na remeid for yow to recover your health without the principall man of your blude sould suffer death for yow… Eftir finding furth of this develisch devyce, for your releif [etc.]
1591 Ib. 252.
For relief of your payne in the tyme of the birth of youre twa sonnes
1596 Ib. 376.
That hir said husband and bairnis beand swa tormentit besyde hir, mycht move hir to mak ony confessioune for thair releif
Immediatlie eftir hir reliefe out of the said torment, sche revoikit the said confessioune
1614 Melvill lvii.
His only refreschment and releiff, in the extremitie of paine, wes prayer

5. Alleviation or mitigation of a trouble, burden, etc.; remedy.(a) 1528 Lynd. Dreme 879.
For thay in quhome dois ly our hole releif, I fynd thame rute and grund of all our greif
Ib. 954. 1549 Compl. 74/7.
Euyrye ane of ȝou seikis his particular releif
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. 55/187.
I feill the wo and can nocht se releif
c1590 Fowler II 89/16.
Geving new hope to there subiects off the … releif of there perplexiteis
1680 Dunlop P. III 7.
What way I might tacke to get relefe of it; … it hath bein a werry … heavey burdin for me
(b) 1533 Bell. Livy I 92/28.
The sonnys of Ancus, herand … that the king was levand … become disparit of ony releve

b. An antidote (against poison). 1614 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXVIII 84.
It [sc. tobacco] is present reliefe against the most part of poysons

6. The right of an obligant to reimbursement for payments made or expenses incurred in carrying out an obligation properly imposed upon or undertaken by him; reimbursement so made.Also, action of releif.(1) 1496 Acta Conc. II 35.
That the saidis officiaris … distrinȝe the saidis provest and bailȝeis … thai havand thair accione of thair releif hereof of the haile toune … and the haile toune havand thare releif of the remanent of the burowis of the realme awing ony part of the soume
Ib. 40.
The saidis provest and bailȝeis … to haf thare accione of releiff hereof
1498 Ib. 252.
[The Lords ordain the defender to pay the debt, conform to his bond produced, reserving to him to call for his relief]
1557 Admir. Ct. Bk. 37.
Capitane of … the Peter … protestit for his releif aganis the said Patrik safer as pertenis him to pay therof for him self and his cumpany
1559 Ib. 112.
That he may have his releif thairof of the said Jonet and of all … skaith that he sal happin to sustene thairthrow in hir default
1566 Reg. Privy C. I 492.
Becaus the said Johnne had enterit his men quhomewith he wes chargeit for relief of the wardane
1567 Ib. 582.
For thair releif aganis the personis havaris and detenaris of the said schip grayth
1571 Peebles B. Rec. I 327.
Anentis the payment of the scoilmaister, … the provest … to set the hillis … to the hieast awaill to mak him payment thairof for thair awne releif of the charge of the kingis letteres direct to thame thairupone
1596 Calderwood V 432.
1617–18 Misc. Spald. C. V 140.
For the taxatioun of Caprastoune for the bischops relieff of the first and secund termes thairoff, 5 lib. 9 s.
1621 Acts IV 599/2.
It sall not be lauchfull … for any creditour to gett releiff of his dettour of this taxatioun quhilk is imposit vpoun annuelrentis by this statute
Ib. 600/2, 601/1.
Anent the collecting and inbringing of the taxatione and releif to prelatis … that the prelattis … and vtheris for thair releiff have lettres chargeing thair vassallis [etc.] … to mak payment of thar pairtis of the said taxatioun
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 88.
Beneficed persones should have their releiff pro rata of their part of taxations upon the fewers … of their severall benefices
1684 Decis. Lords F. 62.
The defender might do diligence for his relief by discussing the heir of line
1684 Peebles B. Rec. II 116.
The masters to be lyable for the brothering, and have relief against the prenteise or jorneyman
(b) 1680 Dunlop P. III 9.
I have payed a part of the some and the graiter part is behind which I wald faine hop I wil newer pay, yett I must say if I be putt to it and do not get relife I wil newer be abel to pay
(c) 1556 Dundee B. Ct. III fol. 43 (13 April).
The baillies assignis Monnunday nixt to cum to George Lovell to call his releve as said is
1579 Glasgow B. Rec. I 75.
Johne Pollok … comperit nocht to persew and thairfor [Robert Baillie] protestit for releve thairof
1582 Conv. Burghs I 158.
And thatt they [sc. burghs] nochtwithstanding the premissis ar haldin and astricted to beir charge and releve for thair pairtt
1623 Melrose P. 543.
The tacsation wherof yow must pey, and then seik yowr relive
(2) 1557 Admir. Ct. Bk. 15.
Reservand to the said Johnne his actioun of relief therof aganis the remanent foure quartermaisteris of the said schip
1558 Ib. 59.

b. specif. ‘The right of anyone standing security for a debt to recover payment from his principal or from his fellow cautioners, if he has paid more than his share’ (SND, s.v. Relief n. 1 (2)). 1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II 192.
Alexander Park is becumin souerte for the said Alexanderis seruice … and the said Alexander Stewinsoun oblist for his releif in cais he mak nocht seruice [etc.]
1558 Admir. Ct. Bk. 53.
Thairfor the said Katherine … assignis to the said James hir … part of the said craer for his relief of the said cautioun
1586–7 Montrose Baillie Ct. II 14 March.
Compeirit the said William Baldeny confessit the cautioune … and desyrit ane lawfull day to call his releiffis
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 19.
The said William Sinclair, principall, actit him for releif of his saidis cautioneris of the premissis
1625 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 318.
[The cautioners] affirmed that thay had no hoipes of releiff of thair grite ingadgementis for the said earle if that infeftment wer exped
1625 Justiciary Cases I 19.
The pannell … protestis for releif of thair cautiouneris
1627 Ib. 83. 1640 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 25. 1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 41.
His haill horsse, nolt, and vtheris guidis belonging to him, for the farder relieff of the said cautionrie
1652 Dumfries Kirk S. 1 Jan.
And they oblist for thair releiffs
1652 Dumfries Council Min. 22 Jan.
1681 Stair Inst. i viii § 9.
From the natural obligation of recompence doth arise the obligation of relief … And upon the same ground relief is competent amongst cautioners [etc.]
1682 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 28 Sept. 1702 Boharm Kirk S. 5 July.
The said Grigor Grant enacted himself for the said Walter Grant his relief for his said undertaking

c. Reimbursement of an amount paid out. Also, in weakened sense, d. Payment of a debt. 1497 Treas. Acc. I 315.
I resauit … of the releif of few and blanchferme of the entre of Johne … [£33]
1534 Glasgow Prot. IV 72.
Geyf sa beiis thai … be tribulyt in ony maner of paeing of anwell for the forsayd ryg … it salbe leful to the sayd John … to … dystrenȝae the forsayd place for the raleyf of the anwell of the ryg
1572 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxii.
Her maiestie must se ordre taken for reparatioun of the losses we … have susteaned and for releiff off the debt we have contrakted for enterteyning of our men of weare
1589 (1602) Reg. Great S. 460/1.
Payand to ws &c. for releif of oure few maillis … for ane barrell butter 3 pundis [etc.]
1615 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 10 March.
To be unlawit in ane pecuniall sowme, to be convertit … to thair use for thair releif of taxatiounis
1615 Glasgow Weavers 75.
The haill craft have condiscendit … to pay amangst thame … for releif of thair commoun debt … befoir Hallow day nixt
1617 Acts IV 583/2.
Ony vassaill subvassaill [etc.] … iustlie bundin to mak releiff to the prelate lord of erectioun patroun or other beneficeit man of ony pairt of the said taxatioun
1617 Orkney Rentals ii 151.
For his relefe of the twa termes payment of the taxt
1688 Glamis Bk. Record 89.
Being sorely straited in my credit … I choiced … to insist for and clame releif of the debt since my father's undertaking of it was for him. The E. of Erroll being joyntly bound was in lyke manner persewed … I in persewance of my releif went up to court

e. (Band of) releif, a bond (or ? clause) setting out a (cautioner's) claim to relief. (See b above). 1677 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 28 Feb. —
Ane band off releiff granted be the said Johne Levingstoun
1670 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 16 Feb.
Cautioner George Livingstoune with releiff
1681 Ib. 27 April.
Cautioner John McCroick couper with releive

7. Only Sc.: The release or setting free (of a person) (from, out of captivity, restraint or imprisonment).(a) 1570 Sat. P. xxi 72.
And lippin for na gude to cum, Gif ȝe wirk hir releif
1581 Lanark B. Rec. 80.
That na nychtbur sall spek for the relef of the offender quhill [etc.]
1596 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II 295.
From the simple effect of the releeff of a prisoner unlawfullye takken
1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I 228.
Haifing purchest … releif to … his brother out of ward of the heich hows to the laiche tolbuithe
1616 Stirling B. Rec. I 145.
To procure the releiff of sa much of us as ar committit to waird
1622 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 235.
The soume … expendit be him … in his jornay to my Lord Chancellor for releiff of certain neighbouris
1623 Melrose P. 537.
The vnlawghfull taking of a laughfull subiect, and keeping him as a pledge for releif of a condamnit theif
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I 263.
For support to the captive sailleris in Dunkirk to pay thair ransom … If the burrowes will contribute … for releive of our nichtbor, we salbe content to contribute lykwayes for releiff of the saids sailleris
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 168.
He persuaded him to work his releiff
1657 Balfour Ann. III 419.
The last expeditione into England … for reliffe of our king
1657 Misc. Hist. Soc. VII 22.
Wedensday: subscriued a paper for Johns [sic in pr.] Maxwell's relife for two month in the tollboth of Edinb.
1677 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 298 marg.
Ane collection for releife of Williamsone … from the Turks
(b) 1601 Crim. Trials II 338.
Quha … requyring for hir relive, he refusit to grant the samyn
1600-1610 Melville 584.
But that we may be about with all lawfull indevouris to purches thair relive
1614 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 162.
I must alwayes deall for the relewe out of thais vilanes handis of my narrest freindis
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I 263 (see (a) above).

b. An order of release.In the quot. from Lynd., the sense may be merely another instance of 6 above. 1529 Lynd. Complaynt 364.
As tyrrannis, tratouris, and transgressouris … Men murdresaris, and commoun theiffis In to that court gat, all, releiffis
1576 Douglas Corr. 217.
For lacke of the delyverye of there bill, whiche sholde haue bene the releif for the lowsinge of the childe [from irons]

c. A setting free from a bad condition; a cessation of an activity.But releifis, without cessation.(1) 15.. Dum Wyf 39.
Vnder hir toung thow lay Of qwaiken espin leif … And scho sall haif releif Of speikeine
1587-99 Hume 171/156.
Ye obtende also the releif of the kirk from povertie and contempt
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I 354.
For redress of whiche abusse and releiffe of your maiesties faithfull subiectis
(2) 1513 Doug. viii Prol. 29.
Lufferis langis only to … louk but let or releifis

d. ? A setting free from the consequences of, or punishment due to, one's actions. 1639 Acts V 601/2.
The erle of Rothes promeist to produce efternoone some draught of the act of pacificatione and act of releife

8. A person who releases another from a task or the like by taking his place; a substitute. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 7821.
Ga tak him vp for to be ȝour releif And hang him vp quhair hangit was the theif

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"Relefe n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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