Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
MAIR, n.2 Also maire. Sc. form and usage of Eng. mayor. Sc. Law: an officer of justice with executive functions, known as mair of fee when this office is held by hereditary right. Comb. sheriff-mair, an official who puts the sheriff's writs into execution, a sheriff-officer. Deriv. mairship, the office of mair.
Sc. 1703 Morison Decisions Suppl. IV. 564:
The malversations of their mairs or messengers. Sc. 1707 Morison Decisions 7404:
How his sheriff-mair was insulted in the execution of his office. Lnl. 1739 Caled. Mercury (6 Nov.):
The Office of Mair of Fee and Serjeandrie of the Sheriffdom of Linlithgow. Per. 1746 T. L. K. Oliphant Lairds of Gask (1870) 166:
To 2 Sheriff Mairs for summoning 45 Gentlemen to be at Perth, the 1st of January. Fif. 1812 W. Tennant Anster Fair ii. xxxii.:
And Sheriffs learn'd, and unlearn'd Sheriff-mairs, And messengers-at-arms, (a fearful class!). Sc. 1827 C. 1. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. ix.:
The officer whistled as he looked about keenly and suspiciously; and in rushed the Sheriff maires from the hallan. Sc. 1930 I. F. Grant Soc. & Econom. Devel. Scot. 44:
The word mair . . . was still used for an official on Hebridean estates in the middle of the nineteenth century.
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"Mair n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Mar 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/mair_n2>
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