Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SERVITUDE, n. Sc. Law usage: an obligation attached to a piece of property limiting the proprietor's use of it or permitting others to exercise specified rights over it, “a burden over a piece of land, the servient tenement, whereby the proprietor is restrained in the interest of the dominant tenement from the full use of what is his own (a negative servitude): or obliged to suffer another to do something upon it (a positive servitude). Legal servitudes are imposed by law: conventional by agreement of parties. Praedial servitudes are servitudes over land: the single personal servitude is the life-rent” (Sc. 1754 Erskine Principles ii. ix. § 1, 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 81). The term corresponds more or less to the Eng. law term easement. Sc. 1715  Morison Decisions 14522:
The Lords found the builder of the wall liable to a servitude oneris ferendi both of the joists and laid-to chimnies; . . . he must build and lay-to the chimnies as they were before.
Sc. 1749  Records Conv. Burghs (1915) 294:
The foresaid servitude of common grazing should be sold by publick roup, or to the proprietors of the ground.
Ayr. 1793  W. Fullarton Agric. Ayr. 10:
The tenants were harassed with a multitude of vexatious servitudes; such as, ploughing and leading for the landlord. These are now almost entirely abolished.
Sc. 1797  Session Papers, Balfour v. Kirkwall T.C. (21 Nov.) 11:
A servitude of a foot-road on the petitioner's property.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xxvii.:
This is a' about a servitude of water-drap.
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize xlii.:
Eglinton Castle, where she had been with certain cocks and hens, a servitude of the Eglintons on their mailing.
Sc. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 I. 376:
The access to the pasturage in the wood of Calder being found not only extremely inconvenient in crossing the water in time of flood, but sometimes even dangerous, this servitude was afterwards exchanged for an additional piece of land.
Sc. 1891  J. Craigie Conveyancing 128:
The old law relating to the acquisition of any servitude or of any public right of way or other public right, to acquire which forty years' possession is still necessary.
Sc. 1927  Gloag and Henderson Intro. Law Scot. 434–5:
Urban Servitudes. — These are Support, Stillicide, and Light or Prospect. Rural Servitudes. — These include Way, Aqueduct, Aquaehaustus, Pasturage and Fuel, Feal and Divot.
Sc. 1936  St Andrews Citizen (14 March) 3:
The townspeople had succeeded in establishing a servitude of golfing over links adjoining the town [Crail].

[O.Sc. servitude, id., c.1575, the meaning being adapted from the Civil Law term servitus, Lat. “the condition of being a servant.”]

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"Servitude n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Oct 2018 <>



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