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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bludewite, -wit, -wet(e, n. Also: blod(e)-, bloid(e)-, blud-, blwde-, bluid-, bloud-, blowd-, blood-, and -uite, -wyte (-vyte), -wyet; -witt, -wyt(t, -wyth, -vi(c)t; -wett, -vet, -weit, -veit, -wiet, -weete; -weke, -weik, -wik, -wick, -weck; -wed, -wod. [ME. (rare) blodwite, blodewyt (1228), OE. blódwíte: see Blude n. 3 and Wite n. The second element was evidently not clearly understood; hence the remarkable number of later variations.]

1. Guiltiness of, or liability to a penalty for, bloodshed; an action against a person for bloodshed.(a) c 1272 Reg. Paisley 52.
Salvis nobis placitis et querelis vite et membrorum et de blodwite cum escaetis suis
1493 Lindores Abbey 179.
Anentis the bludwitis that happynnis in the said burgh, quhilkis the knawlag, pumssioun, and profite thereof pertenys to the said abbot
1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 48.
In the actioune … tueching the distroubillance & bloidwite allegeit
1567 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 242.
Quhatsumeuer persoun … being convict of bludewyte, sall pay ane vnlaw of fyve pund
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 8.
Richart Woddrop and … his brother ar fund in the wrang for occasion and bludvyte thairof
1618 Crim. Trials III. 455.
The said Adame … was ffund gyltie, and convict of the bluid and bluidwyte
1663 Stitchill Baron Ct. 29.
The inquest … finds the said Alexander Lowry to be guilty of the said bloodwyte
1664 Melrose Reg. Rec. II. 110.
Robert Mairton … deponed that the said Andro Fishare defender was in the bloodwyte of the samen [quarrel]
(b) 1208–18 Liber Calchou 76.
Curiam de blodewyt & birthinsake
Ib. 80.
De parvis querimoniis, s. de blodwit & de birthinsake
1271 Ib. 364.
Habentes curiam de bludwyth
14.. Acts I. 24/1.
Infra burgum non debet exaudiri blodewit nec styngisdynt
Ib. 24/2.
In burgh sall nocht be herde bludewyt na ȝit stokisdynt
1515 Fife Sheriff Ct. 5.
The actioune of blodewit betuix Robert Aysoune & Iohne Howisoune is continuit
Ib. 8 (bloidwit); 41 (bloidwyt). 1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. 20.
The inqueist … findis thaim batht in the blud & blud vit
1600 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 215.
All unlawis incurrit be the saidis merchandis for pleying, mispersoning, iniurring, or bludevict
(c) 1515 Alloway Court Bk. 28 June.
The said Adam & Jok denyit the bludweit, allegeand that thai war reddaris
1633 Reg. Great S. 45/1.
It sall not be leisum … to conveine or judge thair awin tennentis or subtennentis for any blude or bluideweitt
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. (1699) 207.
Sheriffs may at any time condemn for blood-weits
(d) 1519 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 353.
To … correct all maner of trespassouris … for all trespassis and faultis … outtaking bloudweck and deit
1638 Aboyne Rec. 283.
It sall not be lesume … to convein and judge thair awne tennantes … for bloods or bloode weiks
Ib. 289.
For blood or bloodwicks

2. A fine for bloodshed; the right of imposing or collecting this.Frequent in the enumeration of rights pertaining to landed property.(a) 1406 (1427) Reg. Great S. 17/2.
Landis … to be haldin … wyth bludewite, merchet and herielde and wyth al other fredomys
1447 (1451) Ib. 106/1.
Saulfande anerly to the said lady bludwite and merchete
1479 Reg. Morton II. 239.
Reseruatis nobis et heredibus nostris bludwyetis [etc.]
1504 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 216.
With all … hereȝeld, bludewite and merchete
1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 52.
Ionete Ramsay … becom souerte to the schirrafe … for the blodwitis in the actione and cause mowit betuix hir … and Dauid Balfoure
1561 Stirling B. Rec. I. 78.
The said Thomas … to remane in warde quhil he fynd souerte for his unlaw and bluidwite
1630 Skene Mem. 214.
With … court plent, heryeld, bluduite and mercheat
1641 Stirling Chart. 165.
Cum curijs, … amerciamentis, hereȝeldis, bludewitis
(b) 1488 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 320.
With all profytis and courtis excepte heriȝelde and bludwit
Payand heriȝeld and bludwit
1526 Reg. Privy S. I. 537/1.
With court plaint, heireȝeld, bludewittis and merchete
1564 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 91 b.
Cum … hereȝeldis, bludewittis [etc.]
1617 Acts IV. 535/2.
If ather the schirreff or bailȝee sall condeme any persoun in a bludwitt
1638 Elgin Rec. I. 261.
The burghe of Elgin hes guid and wndouttit rycht to all bluidvittis committit within the said burghe
1673 Rec. Justiciary Ct. II. 189.
Apprehending him for payment of a bloodwitt imposed by the magistrates for beating their servant
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 577.
Ther bloodwitts are imployed for the magistrats particular use
(c) 1448 Highland P. II. 181.
Eschaetis earundem cum bludvettis et herieldis
1450 Reg. Dunfermline 315.
Cum … bludewetis, heryheldis [etc.]
1542 Misc. Spald. C. II. 196.
With … hereyeld, merchete, bludwete
1561 Reg. Privy S. MS. XXX. 84 b.
To sett thame to tennentis … with court plent, heriold, blowdweit, and mercheit
1573 Irvine Mun. II. 18.
They sall suffir the committeris thairof … to depart butt farthir payment of ony bludwett
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v.
Bludveit … Ane vnlaw for wrang or injurie, sik as bloud
1601 Frasers of Philorth Chart. 268.
Bludweitis, amerchiamentis, vnlawes … to lyft
1641 Acts V. 627/2.
The bluides, bluidweittes, ischeas, … to receave and vptak
1668 Forbes Baron Ct. 271.
To pey £20 to William, Maister of Forbes, as an blood weete
(d) 1450 Coll. Aberd. & B. 428.
The quhilk sett of the landis … with hereyeld, merchett and bludewik … we retify and affirme
1500 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 219.
Thai sal pay the half of the reuenowis, herȝeldis, bluidweikis … to the said Maister Androw
1536 (1554) Reg. Great S. 203/2.
Si dicte persone … inciderent in aliquo amerchiamento, vulgariter bludewekis, soluerent dicto Alex. pro quolibet bludeweke, 40 solidos
1546 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 228.
The bailȝeis … being dotit with priuilege of bluid weik and vnlaw thairof
(e) 1557 Ayr Chart. 44.
Thay sall suffer the committaris thairof … to depart but forder pay ment of ony bluidwed
1607 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 270.
Ane laudabill act … anent the bestowing and imploying of the vnlawis and bluidwodis of said bruch

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"Bludewite n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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