DSL - SND1 TOISEACH, n. Also toisech, -ich, toshach, -ich, -och, toschach. An official of the Celtic Kingdom of Scotland with civil and military authority over a tuath or tribal district, corresponding in the Lowlands to an Anglo-Saxon [THANE] and developing in feudal times into a clan chieftain. Gael. and hist. Derivs. ¶touchasser, id., toschachdor, an official in the Highland areas whose duties evolved into those of the feudal sergeant or mair of fee (see [MAIR], n.2 and 1941 quot.), tosche(o)derach, toschachdorach(t), the office of such (see etym. note). [t:x]
*Bnff. 1749 V. Gaffney Lordship Strathavon (S.C.) 146:
Your petitioner does not presume to address you as a touchasser nor to assume the boldness to found the least expectation on the score of name or clanship.
*Sc. 1768 J. Macpherson Crit. Dissert. 184:
Toshich was another title of honour which obtained among the Scots of the middle ages.
*Sc. 1807 G. Chalmers Caledonia I. 451:
Toscheoderach, an officer, or jurisdiction, not unlike to an baillierie, specially, in the isles, and highlands. This officer existed also among the Gaelic people of Galloway.
*Sc. 1859 C. Innes Thanes Cawdor (S.C.) x.:
The administrator of the Crown lands, the collector of rents, the magistrate and head man of a little district, known among his Celtic neighbours as the ``Toshach'', took a charter of the whole district from the Sovereign, whereby he became, under the Saxon name of Thane, hereditary tenant.
*Sc. 1862 E. W. Robertson Scot. under Early Kings I. 237, 240:
The Toshach and the Brehon --- the chief, or captain, and the judge of the clan. . . . The Toshachdorach, or captaincy of the family.
*Sc. 1880 W . F. Skene Celtic Scotland III. 281:
The Toschachdor was considered the equivalent of the coroner, and this office was mainly confined to the Highlands and Islands.
*Sc. 1911 Home Life Highlanders 2:
The earliest name for a tribe (or its land) was tuath, and for its head tòiseach or toshach . . . The tòiseach, becoming a thane, has his lands as a family possession, to be used in the building up of a family group.
*Sc. 1937 J. Cameron Celtic Law 169:
Under the Ardrí, immediately, and over the provinces, were the Mormaers who were the earls of later times, and under the Mormaers were the tribal chieftains or Tòiseachs.
*Sc. 1941 Juridical Review LIII. 106:
It may be possible to offer a final interpretation that the toschederach was the toiseach who had under him an officer or officers in charge of a sacred relic used in the administration of justice and notably in those functions later assigned to the feudal sergeant.
*Sc. 1957 W. R. Kermack Sc. Highlands 32:
The office of toisech was widespread, and within the Highland Line the Clan Mackintosh are Clann an Toisich, ``the toisech's children.'' The official position in question may have been that of toisech of Badenoch under the Comyns.
[O.Sc. tossachiorschip, 1351, tochachderety, 1430, tossochdoir, 1539, Gael. toiseach, toiseadrach, toiseadaireachd, id. Professor W. C. Dickinson in his article in the Juridical Review on toschederach quoted above holds that the second element represents deòrachd, the custodianship of a relic of a saint or the like.]