DSL - DOST Toun, Town(e, Ton(e, n. Also: toune, tounn, tound, townn, toon(e, tun(e, touin(e, towine, -un(e, -en, townith, towinthe, thoun(e, thown(e, thowine, thon. [ME and e.m.E. tun(e (both Orm), ton (Cursor M.), toun (Manning), toune (1377), town (Trevisa), OE tún, ON tûn.]
In early use in place-names referring to a farm settlement.
Hadyton; 1098 J. B. Johnston Place-names of Scotland (1970) 199. In Sprostona ... decem acras; 1119-24 Liber Calchou 4. Clerchetun; c1141 Early Chart. 101. Kyrchetune; c1145 Edinb. Chart. 4. Hadingtoun; a1150 J. B. Johnston Place-names of Scotland (1970) 199. Ecclesiam uille mee de Langtune; c1150 Liber Calchou 106. Ex alia parte super terra de Aberbuthenoth que appellatur Kirketun; 1206 Misc. Spald. C. V 209. Elia de Haultone; 1214-49 Liber Melros I 241. Milnetun [mill settlement]; c1250 Barrow Anglo-Norman Era App. C. 200. Terram quam Willelmus de Alwenton eis contulit in territorio de Halsington; 13... Liber Melros II 331. Alexandro de Cokburne de Langtoune; 13... Liber Scon 147. Carta de Capronstown; 1388 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 184. Cum tota villa de le Kyrktoune; 1403 Coll. Aberd. & B. 479. The towne of Sprouston; 1567 Liber Calchou 522. Rex ... concessit Jacobo Bett ... lie Nathertoun-mylne de Balmerinoche cum ejus terris; 1633 Reg. Great S. 754/2.
1. A settlement, a group of dwellings and other buildings inhabited by (a number of) the tenants of an estate; a farm or estate including dwelling house(s) and farm buildings and freq. the land. Freq. toun and lands, toun and sule (see
[SOIL(L] n. 1 for further examples). See also ferme toune ( [FERME] n. 5).
There may be some overlap with 3 below.
(1) He gaf of heretable rycht To Godis seruice al that ton In-to fre possessione; Leg. S. xxvii 93. The xiij fat of al that cumis to the myl of Achdouy to grynd be Alexander Wricht and his coteris of the toun of Achdouy; 1450-1 Reg. Episc. Brechin. II 85. To hafe grantyt, set and for ferm lattyn ane quarter of our toun of Lytyl Perth to John Sperk; 1472 Reg. Cupar A. I 164. To haf grantyt, set, and for ferm lattyn our landis of Cragnenady ... to ... Wilam Coly inhabitand in the samen with his biggyngis al profitis and esmentis pertenand to the sade toun; 1473 Reg. Cupar A. I 166. Tha sal devyd the toun at the next Quhissunday evynly in four tounys, or at the lest in thre; 1473 Reg. Cupar A. I 188. This wylie tod ... Full sair hungrie vnto the toun him drest; Henr. Fab. 426. I haue boucht a tovn [L. villam] and I haue nede to ga furth and se it; Nisbet Luke xiv 18. Michell Ranaldsone croft under the toun of husbandland; ?1529 Prot. Bk. J. Brydin No. 86. Galtovnsyd Dornyk and Newsteid quhilkis stedingis and tovnis ... is extreme lauborit that thai ar nocht sa fertill nor plentwus as thai war in auld tymes; 1536-7 Sc. Hist. Rev. VII 360. Four husband landis, thre cotlandis, and ane half cotland, liand in the toun of Ovir Ancrum; 1566 Reg. Privy C. I 421. Sir Richard would have the originall of the surname to be from the two old Saxon words Sey and Ton: the word sey signifying the sea, and ton a mansion place, in our language; Maitland Ho. Seytoun 49. To the plewmen of the towne and Windilawis; 1596 Oldcambus Acc. 16. The ground of this towne is wery fertil, and goud for al kynd of cornes that growes in Scotland; 1611 Reg. Panmure I xciii. Jura ... a mountanous barren iland having in all only twelff small tounes; 1626 Craven Argyll Diocese 47. In this parochine thair is first a populous toune quhairin thair is fortie single roumis; Rep. Parishes 197. Isobell, being in the byr milking the kye, hard such a din in the byr that shee thought that all the toun had been falling; 1650 Brechin Presb. 23. The toun of Whitestones pays by one tennant eighty-eight pounds of money, one ston of butter [etc.]; c1690 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 443.
(b) The comone landis off the thowine; 1479 Newburgh B. Ct. 22a.
(c) Ane hows pertenyng to the saidis abbot and convent liand in the thoun of Arkilston within the said barony of Renfrew; 1495 Reg. Paisley 405.
(d) Thai sall haue pastoring to fowr ky with the laiff of the cottaris of the towun; 1550 Reg. Cupar A. II 101.
(2) All the akeris that ar occupiit be the said Johne Bonar ... ar of the toune and landis of the Dron; 1485 Exch. R. IX 646 n. Landis ... lyand in the towne and sule of Pennyrsax; 1493 15th Rep. Hist. MSS App. viii 53. My forsaide land and toun of Malkarstoun ... with al the appourtenaunce vtouth and enovth; 1498 Liber Melros 489. The said Hew Muncreif wes sufficiently infeft in the said landis & toun of Petgorno; 1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 173. The toun and sulye of Byrkynsid within the schirefdom of Roxburgh; 1527 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 88. The toun and sule of Stanhous; 1532 Reg. Privy S. II 166/1. All and hale ane auchtane pairt of our town and landis of our grange of Abyrbothrie; 1539 Reg. Cupar A. II 11. Ane quarter and ane half quarter of our toun and landis of Wester Inneraritie; 1557 Reg. Cupar A. II 152. Tenentis of the half toun and landis of Elistoun; 1576 Reg. Privy C. II 558. The towne and landis of Kingorme; 1623 Brechin Test. IV 103a. James Grant ... cam to the toun and landis of Petchass, young Ballindallochis duelling place; Spalding I 22. The toun and landis of Belnagard with houssis ... crofts grassings, shellings [etc.]; 1659 Stewart Mem. 134. The town and lands called the dominical lands of Maynes of Lessendrum with the manor place houses ... and pertinents; 1693 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 520.
(b) Siklik is narast ... ayr ... of all and haill the half thowne and landis of Inuercabok; 1542 Grant Chart. 88.
(c) It is ... ordained that the said wpper toones and lands furnish for transporting baggadge tenn horss; 1689 Urie Baron Ct. 99.
Passing into: 2. A (large) village; a larger settlement or burgh which has its own administrative organisation, a town; a city. Also in collocation with castel, tour, etc. referring to the inhabited buildings in an area; see
[TOUR] n.1 1 b for further examples.
Freq. in contradistinction to the country or the city. For examples with qualifiers, e.g. burrow-toun, fisher-toun, parliament toun, etc. see under the first element.
There is some overlap with 3 below.
For further background information see Michael Lynch, Michael Spearman and Geoffrey Stell (eds.) The Scottish Medieval Town (1988).
(1) He ... all the land gan occupy Sa hale that bath castell & toune War in-till his possessioune; Barb. i 185. To Berwik ar thai cummyn ... sum logyt without the town ys In tentis and in pailownys; Barb. xi 145. Jerusalem the fare towne; Leg. S. vii 304. Alexander ... Lay to assege the toun of Tire; Alex. i 2. A mayster ... hyris his men in a toune that the schyp is of; Ship Laws c. 12 (B). Al man that has back yettes close thaim swa that thair cum na skath throw thaim to the toune; 1442 Aberd. B. Rec. I 9. [He] gart warne all mankynd ... In toun and land bayth hors and fute away To pas with him; Hay Alex. 3390. The scheip ... couth tak His way vnto ane merchand off the toun, And sauld the woll that he bure on his bak; Henr. Fab. 1253. O! towne of townes, patrone and not compare: London, thou art the floure of cities all; Dunb. (STS) lxxxviii 31. To ... cleing the towune of all myddingis; 1511 Aberd. B. Rec. in Dunb. (STS) III 338. To bet doun The principall palyce and all the ryall tovn; Doug. xii xi 90. Seik out throw all towns and cities; Lynd. Sat. 3163 (Ch.). Ewerie houshaldar in the towne wyth thair famelie be inrollit in ane buike be the clerk of the towne; 1563-4 Inverness Rec. I 114. The toun being the heid burgh of the barony quhair court is usit to be haulden it was lesum [etc.]; 1586 Jurid. Rev. IV 297. Gevand thame power to big and erect townis and burghis besyde the saidis myndis to creat bailleis officiaris and vtheris memberis within the samyn; 1602 Haigh Mining P. 12 Oct. The towne of Bruntelland begane to be cassaed; 1652 Lamont Diary 51. We [have] so framed the modell of the toun that everie toun lot hath a ga[rden] adjasent to it and two ackers of toun land lying near the toun; 1685 Dunlop P. III 11. Towns; 16... R. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 393 (see 3 (1) below). The councill appoints the magistrats ... to ... search for all the hand milnes within the good toun and suburbs therof; 1701 Edinb. B. Rec. XII 279.
(b) Thai of new wald wal thare tone; Leg. S. vii 810. Thar-for send he fare & nere To cyteis & tonys sere; Leg. S. xxix 683. A tone callyt Dyaspoly; Leg. S. xxxiii 351. Al and sundry thar tenement with the pertinens liand in the tone of Leith; 1444-5 Irons Leith I App. 542. Walter Bartrahame, prouest of the tone of Edinburgh; 1482 Edinb. Chart. 146.
(c) The custumys in the thown of Paslay wrangusly thayn; 1495 Reg. Paisley 404.
(d) King Edwart send ane greit army to besege Berwyk ... bot the nobill Scottis defendit the towen; Brevis Cronica 335.
(e) The toon and castell of Barwick; 1559 Knox VI 94.
(f) The saide archebischop come to the townith of Edinburgh; Leslie 106.
(g) Of Jhonne Blakis land besouth the towinthe, v s.; 1587 St. A. Baxter Bks. 42.
(2) How sal thow byg castel, towne or toure; Bernardus 257. Ceteis, castellis, tounis, and towris, Uillagis, bastaileis, and bowris; Lynd. Mon. 3459. Of townis and towris, greit villages & cieteis; Rolland Seven S. 9.
b. (Owt) off, fra, to, in, into, within toun, (out) of, etc. town as a geographical location or community contrasted with country, or with reference to a particular town (or towns). Also pl.
Chiefly without qualification.
sing. [He] bad him pas his way off toun; Barb. ii 132 (C). James ... Eftir Cristis ascencione Passit prechand fra tovne to towne; Leg. S. iv 12. Scho passit owt off town To seik hir sister; Henr. Fab. 181. Folkis ... Thankand God ... Thair lord was gane to toun; Rauf C. 349. He ... chargyt him tak souerte of Wallas, He suld him kepe fra merket toune or fair; Wall. iii 415. Schir lat it never in toune [M. toume] be tauld; Dunb. (OUP) 126/1. To town agane I sped with al my mycht; Doug. ii xi 115. That causit ws to leif the wildernes And draw to toun; Stewart 43904. Thay socht in mony sindrie toun, Be eist, be west, south, north, baith vp and doun; Rolland Seven S. 3748. Innocents ar murtherit downe Without remors, in land and towne; 1572 Sat. P. xxxi 38. The old Saviour needs must gang Now a new one's come to town; True Character Ragged Presbyter 78. When I com to toune I doe oblige myselfe to renew my tikett; 1665 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 47. Wives who rail and herbs in town sells; Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1681) ii 59. The other advocats in toun were taken up by the defender; 1695 Acts IX 433/1.
pl. Lat the pepile ga into townis, to by thame mete; Nisbet Matth. xiv 15. The pestelens is spred in diuerse tonis; 1529 Misc. Maitl. C. II 84. The same boldnes took diverse otheris, alsweall within townes as to landwarte; Knox I 276. This act ... sall extend ... aganis the heretouris and lyfrentaris of landis within townis and suburbis thairoff; 1594 Acts IV 73/1.
c. Immediately following the name of a town. Chiefly in verse.
The byschop off Androws towne; Barb. ii 81. In Parys toune; Wall. v 535. Wallace in to gud liking gais In Laynrik toun amang his mortaill fais; Wall. vi 110. This Corspatrick betrasit Berwik toun; Kennedy Flyt. 267. The mychty power of Rome toune; Doug. viii iii 7 (Sm.). Commandand him ... In Lundoun toun befoir him to compeir; Stewart 42633. In Cowpar toun; Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 97. Romulus, quhilk buyldit Romes toun; Rolland Seven S. 518. Edinburch toun; 1571 Sat. P. xxv 113. In Pettynweme toun; 1583 Pittenweem Ann. 9. S. Johnes toune; Dalr. II 244/3.
d. specif. ? A royal burgh.
For distrobillyn of the kyngis toun; 1473 Ayr B. Ct. 119b (15 Jan.). The king desiris the ... fauouris of his said cousing ... becaus of ... the repare of his liegis ... in his lordschippis and tovnys; 1460-88 Facs. Nat. MSS II lxxvi.
3. coll. The community of a town, the townspeople; the administrative body of a town, the council or corporation. Once, in pl. Also with plural verb.
There is some overlap with 2 (and ? 1) above.
(1) Batht land and towne Tyll Rome made contributyoune; Wynt. iv 2563. Sa am I counsailit be worthy men of the toun; Hay I 148/27. Eftir mydnycht at rest wes all the toun; Wall. i 88. The inquest ... said thai thocht it wes na preiudice nor hindering ... to the thon ... that the said land mycht haf interes in Sant Mychellis Wynd; 1481 Peebles B. Rec. I 189. The fischings of the watter of Forth pertening to the toun and burgh of Striueling; 1494 Stirling Chart. 54. Gevin to ... Hewe Lorde Montgumry ... the office of chaumerlanry of the towune of Erwyne; 1498 Montgomery Mem. II 55. At hir [sc. the queen's] cuming great was the mirth and joy ... Untill hir ludgeing the toun did hir convoy; Dunb. (OUP) 137/59. Towine; 1515 Mill Mediæv. Plays 140. For honor of the gud tovine; 1519 Anal. Scot. II 300. Thovne; 1527 Wigtown B. Ct. 188a. Doand at was in him till haif infekkit all the toune; 1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II 36. Efter the forme of an recognition mayd upone the sayd waest tenement, as is contenyt at lyntht in the ak bwkis of the town; 1534 Glasgow Prot. IV 71. The townn is decavit and puir; 1544 Aberd. B. Rec. I 194. The provust and town gaderit ... and comme to the castell; 1546 St. P. Henry VIII V 560. Tovnn; 1547 Aberd. B. Rec. I 254. The towne to elect ane vther persoun to be bailyie; 1585 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 442. That the toun pay the charges of the calsaying of the Kirkheuch Wynd; 1592 Edinb. B. Rec. V 72. Tennentis of all landis belangand to this burghe ... halden of the toun in few; 1611 Stirling B. Rec. I 127. His lordship desyres the len of sex peice of cannon for the vse of the toune of Montrois; 1639 Aberd. B. Rec. III 163. Proceedings regarding the purchase of ... Spanishe salt bot be Air burgesses to the prejudice of this toun; 1640 Dumbarton B. Rec. 62. For serving the toun with haickna choches; 1673 Glasgow B. Rec. III 166. Which is the expenssis of a treat given be the toun to my lord Ross and his lady; 1697 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 256. This wes to mak a distinction betwixt burrows royall and thois towns who held thair lands and towns of the Churche under the name of a regalitie; 16... R. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 393. ---
Thir haill townis [sc. Dundee, St. Andrews and Cupar] convenit ... to the nomber of fyve thowsand men; Pitsc. II 205/20.
(2) The heall toun of Edinburgh wer comming out with theare handsenyeis in all dilligence; Moysie 115. The toune of Abirdene ... ar chargit ... to declair the availl of thair goodis plunderit be the Irishis; Spalding II 435.
4. attrib. and possess. With the names of persons, things, places, rights, etc.: Of, belonging or pertaining to, located in, exercised by, for the use of, in the service of, etc. esp. (the community or governing body of) a town, also, rarely, of a farm or other settlement.
attrib. The tovne lordis that couth him meit Grat for sorowe; Seven S. 370. The narrownes of the passage at the nuke and point passande to the touin burne; 1547 Stirling B. Rec. I 50. The sovm of nyne punds mony payand the tone maill; 1563 Dumfries B. Ct. 196a. Stottis that ar ane eir auld out gain tway town calf tain; 1565 Kinnaird Farm Bk. 45a. Sax peaces of gret artaillyerie war planted ... hard at the toun syd; Leslie 208. Decernit ... for abyding fra the schering of the toun cornis of the landis of Killin; 1573 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 1. Vtheris tenentis of the towne croftis to be callit the outhous croft; 1589 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 16 Dec. Magdelein Robesone ... wes decernit to be scurgit throw the toun, and brint on the brow with the toun irn; 1589-90 Lanark B. Rec. 96. For ane stane weight of leid to the toune use; 1606 Dunferm. Acc. in Sc. Ant. IV 38. James Galt ... to dress the toune knok for ane yeir; 1667 Irvine Mun. II 215. Fynes Robert McClellane tailyeor in ten merks Scots for his intrusion wpon the toune meidous; 1682 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 19 April. The counsell allows ane accompt dew to John Lamb for match furnished to the toun guard; 1690 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 10 May. The counsell ... alloues him to inclose the south syd of the town loft from the first pew ... to be a seat for the dean of gild; 1698 Peebles B. Rec. II 160.
proverb. Tel yow and tel al the toun hennis; Carmichael Prov. No. 1442.
possess. That thai [sc. the mills] ly nocht ydill in the touns defaltt; 1463 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 21. Thai ... protestit that this lycens hurt nocht the townis rycht; 1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I 177. For wyne proponit to the quenys grace the gouernour and vthir lordis ... as the writin subscriuit be townis handis beris; 1546-7 Perth Guildry 239. That euery mesour haue the townys merk vpoun the lyp; 1573-4 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 11. [They] were feit hirds to keip the touns ky; 1600 Paisley B. Rec. 234. The townis part ... extendis ... to the sowme of ijclxx li.; 1613-14 Ayr B. Acc. 56. The taikins and tounes signe is givin to the tounes poor and they ordenit to wear them publictly on their breistis; 1620 Elgin Rec. II 163. Soum of our tounds foke; c1653 Irvine Mun. II 254. To speik the tua Dutch schipps ... anent this tounes dewis; 1653-4 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 199. To make weying stone weychtes, conforme to the tounes stone; 1662 Peebles B. Rec. II 52. The tounes papers ... wer laid in the charter chist; 1684 Peebles B. Rec. II 114. That the hay on that syde ... shall be applyed for keeping the touns common bull; 1692 Peebles B. Rec. II 139.
ellipt. Quhatsumeuer persoun ar poindit ... that thai lows thair poindis within xxiiij houris efter the dait heirof and efter thair poinding, vtherwayis the samen perpetuallie to be the tounis; 1593-4 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 295.
b. attrib. With termes, in the manner of the speech of townspeople, plain, simple; stalis (?
[STAL(L] n. 4), ? storage areas, barns, etc.
Quhair scho befoir with strange termis was offendit, I promeist hir of honestie to quyte thame, And with toun termes my bow it suld be bendit Fra clerklie termes my pen suld be suspendit; Rolland Seven S. Prol. 130. ---
Haif sett and for maill latting ... the Manys of Cranstoun, toun of the samyne, tounstalis and maner place [etc.]; 1550 Buccleuch Mun. II 199.