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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.

Court, n. Also: courte, cowrt(e, corte. [ME. court(e, cowrt(e, OF. court, var. of cort, curt. Cf. Curt.]

1. The company of persons attending on a king or other person of high rank. c1420 Wynt. v. 4411.
The kyng off Lumbardy Come wyth hys court off cas rydand
Ib. vii. 646; etc.
With his court apertly On thame he chasyd
1456 Hay II. 164/23.
Thai will nocht lufe thé, na honoure thé na thi court
c1450-2 Howlat 634.
I will … begyn quhar I left, at lordingis deir, The court of the Empriour
1513 Doug. v. iii. 8.
Sum [came] to behald Eneas cowrt and rowt
1567 Sat. P. vi. 1.
Dian … with hir court of poyetis cleir

b. A retinue, company, or troop. c1420 Wynt. iv. 1005.
The fowlis wyld and bestis fell, That fey court ay folowyd nere
c1475 Wall. i. 381.
Ridand thar come … The lorde Persye … , Part of the court had Wallace labour seyne
Ib. iv. 32.
Wallace sum part befor the court furth raid
1535 Stewart 9716.
With mony court that wer rycht curious, Tha come and met this ilk Suetonius
1596 Dalr. II. 177/30.
How sune Angus kin … knew that Angus was ruler … , [they] with gret courtis cam al to visit him

2. The royal entourage, or place of residence for the time being. c1420 Wynt. v. 2069.
Quhen the empryoure herd tell … Owt off hys cowrt he sent a knycht
1456 Hay I. 145/30.
Othir is thare, that … takis thair lyfing at his court
Ib. II. 68/10.
All prince … that honouris knychthede, outhir in court or in counsale
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 77.
Than desolait sho walkit vp and doun, And, sum men sayis, into the Court commoun
1492 Myll Spect. 297/16.
Venus … gaif me thre gyftis, lyk as scho dois to all thaim that contynewis in to hyr cowrt
1513 Doug. x. Prol. 166.
Thow haldis court our cristall hevynnys cleir
1548 Treas. Acc. IX. 221.
To … Lady Barbara, at hir passing to the Court to the Quenis grace
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. i.
Sen into courts is curiositie, Manheid, maners, nurtour and courtasie
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 26.
The erll of Arrane … fled to … the Lord Hume, being than out of court
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. cxii. 37.
Bettir it is … Into the courte to get supple [etc.]

b. The court of Rome, the papal court. c1420 Wynt. vii. 2206.
Jhon off Salerne … than legate come In Scotland fra the Court of Rome
Ib. 2313. 1456 Hay I. 26/19.
Quhen … he held the court of Rome clere and clene of all symony
Ib. 82/11.
The cardinalis in the court of Rome

c. The court of hevin, etc. 1456 Hay II. 41/27.
At the plesaunce of God, and the haly court of hevin
1490 Irland Mir. I. 109/36.
The realme of Paradice ware disolat, the hevinly court cuthe neuir incres
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6131.
Thare sal be sene the court celestiall

3. A court of justice or administration.Freq. in grants of power ‘courtis to hald’, etc., or of lands ‘with court and plaint’, etc. 1388 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 294.
In the mene tyme all the courtis of that land … sall be haldin thruch thaim bathe
The profites of thir courtes
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1599.
How he made hym his court to lede, Qwhen this Makduff entryd in plede
1423 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 259.
Til the … baylȝeis and to the corte of the said burgh
1439 Edinb. Chart. 64.
Oure courts to halde, … trespassouris to punyse
1469 Ib. 97.
The court of Parliament … or sic like courtis that has continuacione
1476 Peebles B. Rec. 178.
In witnes of the quhylk thyng this was done in plane court, befor the balyeis
1504 Mun. Melros 601.
That the said schirref was in vse of calling of the said landis … in thare courtis
1518 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 182.
To haif power to hald courtis quhilkis sall be callit courtis of Gildry
c 1525 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 389.
Gif the said seriand hade maid summondis … to this cowrt peremptour as to the last cowrt of his process resplatit and continewit fra the ferd cowrt
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 208.
To caus mak twa saittis … for serving of the schereff courte and vther courttis of commissioun
a1578 Pitsc. I. 351/17.
The king passit to the Iillis, and thair held courttis of iustice
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. ci. 94.
Syne perfyte iustice we may se In courtis, constrie, and in sessioun
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Schireff.
Na barrone may hald court of battell, water or iron, except the schiref, or his deputes, be present to see justice done
fig. c1420 Wynt. ix. Prol. 45.
On schorte delay At a court I mon appeir
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 58.
Appele fra the court of iustice rigorus to the court of mercy and thow wilbe seker
c1500-c1512 Dunb. ix. 163–4.
Appeling fra thy justice court extreme Vnto thy court of mercy exvltyf

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"Court n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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