Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HOLOGRAPH, adj., n. As in Eng. but mainly referring to Sc. law usage:

I. adj. Of a deed or letter: wholly in the handwriting of one person, and, in the case of a will, signed by him (Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 41). Sc. 1722  W. Forbes Institutes I. ii. 177:
Holograph Writs, that is, all written with the Granter's Hand, are good without Witnesses, but do not prove their Dates.
Sc. 1753  Trial of James Stewart 24:
Principal holograph letter, by Allan Stewart . . . addressed to Duncan Stewart of Glenbucky.
Sc. 1802  Morison Decisions 15952:
The deed which is not holograph, and which contains neither the name of the writer nor the designation of the witnesses.
Sc. 1953  Session Cases 270:
Since essential parts of the document were printed, the document was not a valid holograph will.

II. n. A letter or other document wholly in the handwriting of one person. Phr. in holograph, applied to the handwriting itself. Sc. 1755  Johnson Dictionary s.v.:
Holograph. This word is used in the Scottish law to denote a deed written altogether by the granter's own hand.
Slk. 1820  Hogg Tales (1874) 183:
Two short codicils in his own holograph.
Sc. 1848  J. J. S. Wharton Law Lexicon:
Holograph, a deed written entirely by the grantor himself, which . . . is held by the Scotch law valid without witnesses.
Sc. 1927  Gloag & Henderson Law Scot. 94:
In ordinary cases a writing may be rendered probative in three ways — . . . (2) if it is subscribed by the grantor, with a docquet, in his handwriting, with the words “adopted as holograph,” or words to a similar effect.

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"Holograph adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2019 <>



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