Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
BLACK STONE, n. (See quots.)
Sc. 1902 A. Lang Hist. of Scot. II. xxi.:
At that time  as in Glasgow [University] still, there were examinations upon the “black stone.” A seat with a stone in it still exists at Glasgow, a black capping stone at St Andrews [University]. Sc. 1927 Paraphrased from D. Murray Old College of Glasgow 81–92:
Used up to 1858 in Glasgow University in the expression “sit the Blackstone.” The black stone was a slab of black marble forming part of a wooden chair (still preserved in Glasgow University) on which a student sat for examination into his fitness for promotion into another class. The Black Stones of Aberdeen and Edinburgh have disappeared.
Hence blackstone chair, — examination (Gsw. 1909 J. Coutts Hist. Univ. Gsw. 343 and 344).[O.Sc. blak-stane, a dark-coloured stone used by students at their public examinations in some of the Scottish Universities. First quot. in D.O.S.T. 1581 and last 1659.]
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Black stone n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/black_stone>
Try an Advanced Search