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

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Commissar(e, Commisser, n. Also: commissair, comissar, -isar(e, -iser, -yser, -eser; comishar, -er. [Med. L. commissarius, F. commissaire, ME. commissarie (14th c.).]

1. A commissary; a delegate or representative, esp. one having an official position. Redres to be made be his commissaris & yhouris of all attemptatz done of ayther syde; 1384 Douglas Let. Rich. II 143.
That the commissairs of bathe partys sall mete … at place accordable betwene the wardeins; 1386 Rotuli Sc. II. 85/2.
Gif it befell that, on nede, thé behufit mak certane commissaris, mak na lesse na thre; Hay II. 153/10.
The said commisseris sal thairfor desire at … the paip to put silence to the said personis barraturis; 1485 Acts II. 171/2.
My cousing Quintene and my commissar; Kennedy Flyt. 34.
Pas to my commissar, and be confest; Ib. 329.
Dischargeing his ballies, commissaris of his forest courtis, or currouris of his said forest … of the takyn of ony entreis in the said steding; 1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 285/1.
Thomas Howeson said in iugement that thair is ane fals sentens gyffin aganis him … be the commissare; 1526 Carnwath Baron Ct. 30 b.
Galter, abbot of Glenluce, commissar generale of the ordour of Cistercian; 1537 Reg. Privy S. II. 381/2.
To ane commissair send witht the Franchemen to se thame luget; 1549 Treas. Acc. IX. 358.
Before the schereff, bailyeis, capitennis and commissaris; 1552 Reg. Privy C. I. 130.
A place … mast quyet to treit of al materis betuene the realmes, and nerrest to the commisseris; Dalr. II. 161/9.
The Quene … thocht verie necessar that commissaris conuinet to mak peice betuein the realmes; Ib. 355/5.

2. A representative in Parliament. Swa that of ilk shirefdome thare be sende … twa or ma wismen … the quhilk salbe callit commissaris of the schire, and be thir commissaris … sal be chosyn … the common spekar of the parliament; 1427 Acts II. 15/1.

3. A representative of a burgh at the annual convention of burghs. Alsua the commissaris of the burovys … has tane in hand … to mak the first payment of our lorde the kingis finance; 1425 Acts I. Pref. xix.
Androw Rede, burges and commissare of Inuernes; 1439 Acts II. 55/1.
Iames of Parklee … and Maister Iohne of Cadiou, commissaris of borowes; 1440 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 193.
Thir ar the names of the burghis beyond Forth … , and the taxt of the samen modifiit be the commissaris of burghs … at Edinburgh; 1483 Conv. Burghs I. 543.
That ȝerely in tyme to cum certane commissaris of all burrowis baith south and north convene … in the burgh of Inuerkethin; 1487 Acts II. 179.
It is … ordanit, in this court of parliament of foure borrowis, be my Lord Chalmerlane, and with avys of his assessouris and commissairis of borrowis, that … ; 1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 86.
It is auisit … with the commissaris of the burrois of Dundie [etc.] … that all the burrois … sall send thair commissaris to this toun; 1534 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 67.
Convenit in the Tolbuith of Edinburgh the prouestis and commissaris of the borrois of this realme following; 1552 Conv. Burghs I. .
The saidis commissaris takand the bourding vpoun thame, for thame selues and thair burrowis; 1574 Ib. 29.
The samine lands are possessit be the persons underwrittin, … videlicet … be Eduart Forrester commiser ane skair; 1612 Conv. Burghs II. 346.

4. A deputy appointed by a bishop or other ecclesiastical dignitary to act for him in judicial or legal matters. Maister Johne Mosset commissare of Dunblane; 1474 Acta Aud. 34/1.
Ane act of the commissaris of Sanctandres, subscrivit be the hande of maister Johne Boner clerk of the sammyn; 1488 Acta Conc. 88/2.
The saidis assisowris of perambulacione … sworne tharto … in presens of the Kyngs justice or his deput, the Bischop of Murray or his commissar; 1493 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 212.
Your Lordschipe man … writt to the commissar of Aberdene to essolye the man; 1511 Ib. III. 108.
The said commissare, dene Thomas Fasyntoun, with his adjunct abbot or monk; 1516 Reg. Privy S. I. 441/2.
Schir Mawnis Vaus, commissar of Invernes; 1544 Ib. III. 92/1.
Schir Persone, ȝe sall be my commissair, To put this mater till executioun; Lynd. Sat. 1120.
Comperit alsua Sir William Bannatyne, chaplane, as commissar to the Archebischope of Glasgw; 1555 Crim. Trials I. 378.

5. A civil diocesan official taking the place of the former ecclesiastical deputy. On the establishment of these, and the matters coming under their jurisdiction, see Erskine Inst. i. v. § § 26–31. (a) That this contrak be regestrat in the beukis of our souerane lordis consall, commessaris beukis [etc.]; 1568 Douglas Chart. 265.
To discharge the office of ane commissar within the boundis of Teviotdaill, Liddisdaill, Tweddaill and vtheris boundis; 1609 Peebles B. Rec. 75.
For carying ane letter to the commissar concerning the planting of Mr William Forbes, minister, at this burgh; 1616–7 Miscell. Spald. C. V. 95.
That the commissaris salbe iudges to all contractis … quhereunto the commissaris auctoritie is interponed; Bisset II. 63/10.
A commissar may transfer his own decreet given before himself; Spotisw. Practicks 38.
The counsall ordanit the act of parliament, anent the transplantatioun of the comissar, to be registrat in the counsell buiks; 1649 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 94.
Yow knowe what ane aweband it will be on the popell to hawe ane stranger commissar of this shyre; 1660 Sutherland Corr. 181.
With us the Justices have only a criminal jurisdiction, the Lords of Session and Commissars, a meerly civil jurisdiction; Mackenzie Laws & C. ii. i. § .
(b) For affirmacione of this compremissioun boyth the saidis parteis ar contentit the samin be inscherit in the commiseris, or scherefis, buikis; 1568 Waus Corr. I. 43.
The commisser is to pronunce ane decreit aganis me and my tenentis tueching certane byrovn teyndis; c 1575 Ib. 104.
I am sowmond afor the commyseris; 1586 Wemyss Corr. 104.
The commisseris ar nocht iudges to airschip geir; Bisset II. 92/9.
In comes Lord Commisser, and he protests For clyents and decreets; 1633 Lithgow Poet. Rem. 112.
Remember my service … to … Sir Peter Watherburne and the Comisher; 1661 Carnegie Lett. & Chart. 351.
To haw … recourse to the comishers for a divorce; 1675 Inverness Presb. 334.

b. With addition of a place-name. The saidis Iames and Iames Stewartis sall act thame in the Commissaris buikis of Dunkeld for payment … of the saidis sowmis; 1567 Stewart Mem. 102.
The wiccarech of the same kyrk set to the Comeser of Lauder; c 1580 Liber Dryburgh 363.
The provest … and communitie of the citie of Sanctandrois, Maister William Skene, commissar thairof [etc.]; 1581 Reg. Privy C. III. 342.
The bisschop be his seruand, the comiser of Caithnes, hes [etc.]; 1618 Haddington Corr. 135.
Turnbull having obtained a decreet … before the commissar of Peebles; Spotisw. Practicks 39.
The counsall … taking to thair consideratioun that the Commissar of Abirden hes his seat of justice within ane village callit Old Aberdein [etc.]; 1649 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 94.
Iames Nicolsone, advocat, Comissar of Brechine, appointed for confirmatione of testaments within the boundis of the dyocies of the comissariot thairof; 1665 Brechin Test. VI. 306 b.
Ane decreitt of absolvitour obteined befoir the comissar of Dunkeld; 1673 Bamff Chart. 331.
David Stewart of Newtoune, comissar of Murray, petitioned the session that the accommodation aloted to him in the … church [etc.]; 1684 Elgin Rec. II. 314.

c. Commissaris of Edinburgh, the four members of the commissary court established in 1564. Anent the artikle proponit be the Commissaris of Edinburgh, beirand that thair is diuers and sindrie beneficiall actiouns depending befoir thame, vpon the rycht & propirtie of the beneficis; 1567 Acts III. 33/2.
As the commisseris of Edinburgh hes power … to reduce the decreittis wranguslie gevin be all inferioure commisseris; Bisset I. 272/15.
All reductions of sentences given by inferior commissars, or by the commissars of Edinburgh, … should be pursued within year and day; Spotisw. Practicks 38.
In the beginning of Iune 1676 died Mr Iames Aikenhead, on of the comisars of Edinburgh; Lauder Journal 226.

6. The commissary of a military force. The Committie ordaines Barquhillantie … to be answerable to the Commissar Depute; 1640 Kirkcudbright Min. Bk. 75.
Sic soumes of money as John Denholme, commissar of the said armie, hes receauit … for the vse thairof; 1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 26.
The committie of the estaittis … elected Mr Alexander Gibsone … to be general commisser of the haill kingdome of Scotland and of all the forceis, armeis, regiments [etc.]; 1640 Acts V. 320/2.
That commissars be appoynted to make magazines of provisiones for horse meat; 1689 Acts XII. 71/2.

7. Attrib. (in sense 5) with buik, clerk. That Maister George Portewis … be actit souertie … in the buikis of Counsale or Commissar Buiks of Edinburch; 1565 Reg. Soltre 127.
I am content … that thir presenttis be insert [and] registrat in the bookis of Counsell and Sessione, schireffe or commissar buikis; 1646 Grant Chart. 241.
That thir presents be insert and registrat in the … shireff, comissar or borrow books of Inuernes; 1668 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. II. 478.
Sebastiane Davillour, burges of Edinburgh, sumtyme commissar clerk thairof; 1604 Edinb. Test. 92 b.
Robert Patersone, commissar-clerk; 1695 Peebles B. Rec. II. 149.
Iames Brotherstaines, late commiser clark in Peebles; 1704 Ib. 172.

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"Commissar(e n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/commissare>

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