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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SASINE, n. Also obs. forms s(e)asin(g), se(a)sin(e), saisine. Sc. forms of Eng. Law term seisin. [′sezɪn]

1. Sc. Law: the act or procedure of giving possession of feudal property, until 1845 by the symbolical delivery of earth and stones or similar appropriate objects on the property itself, and by the later registration of the deed of conveyance in the local Register of Sasines. Symbolic delivery has now been abolished and all sasines are registered in the General Register of Sasines in Edinburgh. Hence phrs. to give, deliver, receive, take sasine; instrument of sasine, the deed or document recording the transference of property; precept of sasine, the mandate by which the superior authorised his agent to give possession. Now hist. See Precept.Sc. 1701 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 288:
To Caribber for his pains in drawing the conjunct gift to my sone Wm for the register of seasines, a ½ guinie.
Sc. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife (1803) 233:
To infeft the Earl himself in it, who shall presently receive sasine of the feud of the said earldom.
Lnk. 1715 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 160:
John Mure, writer, and clerk to the Register of Seasines at Glasgow.
Sc. 1734 J. Spotiswood Hope's Practicks 240:
Now, in Scotland, the only habile and sure Way to establish a Right in Lands, is by Charter and Seasin.
Sc. 1754 Erskine Principles iii. v. § 1:
Heritable rights, when they are clothed with infeftment, are transmitted by disposition, which is a writing, formerly containing procuratory resignation and precept of Seisin.
Sc. 1803 C. D. Bentinck Dornoch (1926) 303:
George Jaffery Baillie foresaid by Virtue of the office of Bailiary thereby committed to him gave and delivered heretable State and Sasine real, actual and Corporal possession to the said Capt. William Falconer of all and whole the foresaid House and Garden.
Sc. 1891 J. Craigie Conveyancing 29:
Infeftment Act, 1845, made unecessary symbolical delivery, and made it competent to take infeftment by having expede instrument of sasine in new form.
Sc. 1927 Gloag and Henderson Intro. Law Scot. 411:
If heritable subjects were sold, appropriate symbols . . . were handed over by the seller to the purchaser in the presence of witnesses. This constituted Sasine. The transaction was then recorded in a deed known as an Instrument of Sasine which described the subjects and detailed the ceremony; and this Instrument was registered in the Register of Sasines, thereby enabling the public to learn of the change in the ownership.
Sc. 1948 Scotsman (23 Jan.) 4:
For over three centuries no one in Scotland has completed a valid title to land, either by succession, purchase, or any other method without recording a writ in the appropriate Register of Sasines.
Dmf. 1964 Dmf. Standard (1 July) 1:
The Pursuivant hands “seisin” of earth, stone and water . . . a symbolic act in the march-riding ceremony.
Sc. 1986 Guardian 7 Feb :
In Scotland, the Register of Sasines is open to the public - though the statutes are difficult to interpret and no distinction is made between the legal, formal, landowner, and the real beneficiary.
Sc. 1990 Independent 10 Dec 18:
England and Wales are to be congratulated on opening up the Land Register to the public, a mere 373 years after Scotland (Law, 30 November).
The Registration Act 1617 was passed by the Parliament of Scotland ''considering the great hurt sustained by His Majesty's lieges'' because of various fraudulent practices; ''for remedy whereof'' the act set up ''ane publick Register'' - the Register of Sasines - which functions to this day.
Sc. 1999 Press and Journal 16 Oct 3:
From next April, the title to all properties sold in the area will be registered and guaranteed by a State indemnity, instead of being included in the Register of Sasines as is currently the case.
Sc. 2000 Herald 30 Sep 30:
... the Edinburgh solicitor co-ordinating the "opposition" to the Keeper's view, has identified 14 timeshares which are affected. ... "If the Keeper is correct, the dispositions which have been recorded in the Register of the Sasines over the 15 years or so of such schemes' existence have not validly conveyed a heritable interest," he says, ...
Sc. 2002 Scotsman 17 May 11:
The judges said ownership of any property could be transferred only at one moment. With houses, the transfer takes place on a formal recording of a sale in the General Register of Sasines.

2. The document which attests sasine, the instrument of sasine (see 1.).Inv. 1742 Steuart Letter Bk. (S.H.S.) 434:
Let the Contract and the sesin be return'd to me howsoon the infeftment is exped.
Sc. 1750 W. MacFarlane Geneal. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 185:
The youngest Son is designed (in divers Seasines and other Evidents) Notary Publick.
Sc. 1829 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (18 June) 325:
To copy all the formal words of the notary's doquet at the end of each seisin.
Sc. 1832 Scott St Ronan's W. Note A.:
By dint of excellent laws, the sasines, or deeds of delivery of such fiefs, are placed in record in such order, that every burden affecting the property can be seen for payment of a very moderate fee; so that a person proposing to lend money upon it, knows exactly the nature and extent of his security.
Rnf. 1880 W. Grossart Shotts 140:
In a scroll sasine, dated the 24th August, 1709.

[Late Lat. saysina, = 1., 1271, Fr. saisine, id., from the same orig. as seize, to give or take possession of.]

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"Sasine n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/sasine>

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