A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
Let, v. Also: lett(e, lete, leit. P.t. lettit etc., also let, leit. P.p. lettit etc., also lettyne, let(t. [ME. lettn, later let(t, p.t. lettede (13th c.), lette (14th c.), let (Cursor M.), p.p. ilet, ylet, letted, let(t (14th c.), OE. lęttan (f. læt Lat a.): cf. also Lat v.2]
1. tr. To hinder, impede, obstruct; to hold back, restrain; to prevent. a. An action, event, etc.
Common, in the formula illustrated as (2), in bonds of alliance and of manrent, and in oaths of allegiance.
(a) (1) In cas thay may noght let it thai sall ger warne the tother part of xv days and … thay sall lely let thaim of thair boundes at thair powair forowten fraude or gile; 1384 Acts I. 349/2.
Consyderand to lete mykyl yl scath and grete sclandyr; 1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 139*.
At the kynge be obliste that he sal nocht lette his office na the execucion of it be na contramandmentis as sumquhile has bene seyne; 1398 Acts I. 211/1.
For the jugement extraordinar sall nocht lett the justice ordynare; Hay I. 274/21.
The remaynis … lettis appetite to drynke sone efter dyner; Ib. II. 123/31.
I disasent tharto and wil let it eftir my power; 1459–60 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 189.
Quhair that I fynd bot feid My langour for to lett; Scott xxii. 20.
My ladie … With … shamefastnes, did lett his high pretence; Fowler I. 69/70.
That olde blinde dame delytes to lett the ioy Of all; James VI Poems I. 43/4.
Monie respectit maye laufullie lett ane admission that will not be sufficiens causis of depriuation; Id. Basil. Doron 107/6.
(2) Als safere as thai may letit at thair gudely powere to warn him in al gudely haist; 1445 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 311.
Nane of thaim to heir se nor wit harme … til uderis … bot thai sal … let it at all thare power; 1468 Ayr & W. Coll. III. 133.
Geif we dove nocht lett the samyn, we sall warne hym thairof; 1525 Bk. Carlaverock II. 463.
I … sall not sie ȝour skaith nor heir it bot I sall let it at all my power and warne ȝou thairof; Balfour Pract. 23.
I shall not know … of any maner of thing to be attempted … against his Majesties persone … bot I shall lett and withstand the same; 1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I. 5.
(b) And neuir to here his or tharis skaithis nor se it bot sall leit it [etc.]; 1506 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 693.
(b) The rayne thus lettyt the fechtyn; Barb. iii. 241.
This Valentynyane emperour Gaynstude and lettit his honour; Wynt. v. 3606 (W).
(c) For a word he mycht haf lettit the distrobillans of the toune be Elene Broune; 1497 Prestwick B. Rec. 34.
(b) My suit … being lett to this day by disease of him who suld have enteryt and releisit that other; 1560 Cal. Sc. P. I. 524.
The persewar obtenis the libell … , the quhilk being let or protestatioun maid in the contrair [etc.]; Instit. Court Sess. 149.
b. With object and infin., always with to or till (and thus in contrast with Lat. v.1 7); also with noun clause.
(1) (a) Bot mycht nane eys let hyr to think On the King; Barb. iii. 362.
Strynth of this place, as ȝhe se, Sall let vs enveronyt to be; Ib. xii. 302.
I sall … mak a bysine wyf of thæ To let wthire to Cristine be; Leg. S. l. 945.
Thare is mare That lettys me wyth thæ to fare; Wynt. vi. 2140.
Geldyd … To lete hym fadyre for to be To ma barnys; Ib. vii. 1248.
Gyf it hapynnys that Pattown … vexis or dystrubylys or lettis the said byschap … to dyspone of the said landis; 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 109.
The quhilk lettis to have perfyte resoun of grace to understand rychtwisly; Hay I. 13/7.
It … lettis a man to be sone beld; Ib. II. 122/1.
Quhilkis … lettis man to slepe and rest; Ib. 127/18.
To … persew … al and sindry quhatsumeuer lettis or stoppes the said James to bruk … the foresaid mareaghe; 1486 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 76.
Mony galt, mony gilt, Come let the pig to be spilt; Colk. Sow i. 178.
Sal neyther gold nor gude let him to die; Prestis of Peblis 734.
Thre causes be … that should a generall lett On Fortounis … quheill the uictorie to sett; James VI Poems I. 213/108.
Thaime to lett or fray … thaire greiuouse hairmes with lyke for to repay; Ib. 235/318.
(b) Thai … That schame letit till ta the flicht; Barb. xiii. 279.
Scho strak Julyane in the e … & lettyt hyme thane to se; Leg. S. xlv. 296.
This lady … Hys purpos lettyde done to be; Wynt. vi. 2040.
The caus … stud sa thrang That lettit me to speik sa lang; Seven S. 2542.
Layke of skill Quhich lettit me to imitat his … loftie uerse; James VI Poems I. 195/763.
(b) Thoucht bludy teris leit hir to se; Kennedy Pass. Christ 1266.
He grantit that he stopit the evinaris & let thaim to deill equalie as thai wer ordanit; 1511 Alloway Baron Ct. MS. 6 May.
Quhilk leit the ȝettis that tyme for to clois; Stewart 54231.
(c) I trow thai sall lettit be To purchas mair in the cuntre; Barb. x. 320.
Hanyball … thoucht That he be man wes lettyd [W. lettyne] noucht To wast … the cyté; Wynt. iv. 1646.
(2) I sall wyth-stand, and let that he Wyth-in the kyrk sall mak entre; Wynt. v. 3769.
Sen that no thing may let, Bot thy bricht hew mon be with yeris fret; Bell. Boece I. Proh. ix.
c. With a person or other agent as the object: To hinder, restrain or prevent, from some action stated or implied in the context.
Common, in the formula illustrated as (2), in letters of lawburrows.
(a) (1) He had wil hyme-self to sla, & lukit a-bout, that na mane Ware nere by for to lete hym thane; Leg. S. xxxvi. 1104.
Thai trawalys sal thé think ful suet, Suppos thow think thai do thé lete Of sa lang tyme in vthir thinge; Ratis R. 1593.
Yo.e aw nocht to lett me, bot aw, be the law, to leve me to pas; Hay I. 148/25.
I sall neuer … stop, hendyr, nothir let the saide Robert … in the vsyng of the saidis letteris; 1469 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 419.
Syne dovne scho come quhen thair was nane to let hir; Henr. Twa Mys 173 (Asl.).
Bot Wallace kest thair power for to let; Wall. v. 876.
Quhilk is ane sufficient warrand to him to stay and lett him; 1595 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 61.
(2) The said Neill and all that he may lett sal … tak na part with nouther of the said lordis; 1477 Stewart Mem. 75.
For thaim self, ther partij and aneredance and al that thai may let; 1479 Acta Conc. I. 21/1.
Schir James Ogilby salbe harmles and scaithles of Alexander, Lord Glammis, and all that he may let; 1482–3 Ib. II. cxxi.
I sal keyp me my kyne and al that I may let onedowne ony skaith to the said Sir Johne; 1520 Thanes of Cawdor 139.
Quhome thai may stop or let direclie or indireclie; 1581 Acts III. 223/1.
For thair prenteiss, servands and vthers whom they may stop or lett; 1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 45.
Be him or any he may stop or lett; 1689 Peebles B. Rec. II. 128.
(b) [If] dout of Rome lettit nocht me, Thai suld al de; Leg. S. xi. 118.
His sistire son … the knyfe gat & his arme & lettit hyme; Ib. xxxvi. 1110.
He came rigorusli withtin hir lande and lettit certane persounis chosing to lyin certane landis; 1474 Prestwick B. Rec. 24.
(c) Gif the myl beis brokyn … or lettyt wyth frost; Acts I. 59/2.
Gefe it happinnis the saide Andro … to be inqueet, distroublit or letit be the airis of … Schir Willeame of Douglas; 1434 14th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. iii. 11.
Quhilk sal happin … to be lettit in the browking of the said landis; 1454 Douglas Chart. 383.
To prufe that he was stoppit and lettit be our souerane lordis lettres of recognitioun; 1481 Acta Aud. 95/1.
Who … am letted in my interpryse; Fowler I. 17.
By occasion of his sickness [he] is lettit divers times [from attending church]; 1623 Perth Kirk S. 305.
(b) Sa that thow have na caus to say Thow knew thaim nocht and let thar-by Thow kepyt thaim nocht tendrely; Ratis R. 121.
d. Const. of (off) (= from).
(a) How we may let thame of purpos [E. thair purpos]; Barb. xi. 276.
[Of female children] away thai walde ger bryn The rycht pape … For dowt it sulde let thame off schot; Wynt. ii. 1502.
I will on na kin wyse Let Perdicas of his empryse; Alex. ii. 8162.
And the duk lett him of his voyage; Hay I. 186/29.
(b) His outrageous succudry … Of purpos letit hym; Barb. xvi. 329.
(c) Of the qwhilk pensione scho … plenneit that scho was lettit thruch the deputez of chamberlane; 1398 Acts I. 212/1.
e. concr. To obstruct or keep off (something) from (fra) (something else).
Na kyn wapnys that men mycht get Mycht thai myis fra hys body lete; Wynt. vi. 1450.
f. intr. in passive sense, To be hindered or prevented, to be delayed.
Ȝit than I thocht my brydall suld not let; Rolland Seven S. 9485.
2. a. To neglect, leave undone (a task). b. To neglect, forbear, refrain or desist to do something.
This and ME. lette(n in the same uses, seem, from the forms, clearly to belong here rather than with Lat v.1 (to which, however, they are assigned in OED.).
Not found after the 15th c. (but cf. Lat v.2 2).
a. Quhethir he his lordis neid suld let [: det] And pay fryst that he awcht, & syne Do furth his lordis commandyne; Barb. i. 254.
He is not worth ane swayn that letis his labour for the rain; Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 776.
b. Thair wes nane auentur that mocht Stunay hys hart, na ger him let To do the thing he wes on set; Barb. i. 299.
Thai said emang thaim all that thai Vald nocht let for thame land to ta; Ib. xvi. 561.
Hym worthit neyd to pay the det That na man for till pay may let; Ib. xix. 210.
For all the gould fra thine to France I wald nocht let to tak vengeance; Alex. ii. 148.
Mony lesingis he maid wald let for no man To speike quhill he spokin had; Howlat 807.
And ȝit … the peple lettis nocht for that to lofe and serve God; Hay II. 100/20.
For na largese my lord noght wil he neuer let Na for na riches to rigne; Gol. & Gaw. 423.
Gold and siluer that I micht gett … Frely to gife I wald nocht lett; Kennedy Bann. MS. 268 a/19.
Wynt. vi. 2151.
Hay II. 84/32.
c. absol. and intr. To fail or to leave off; to hesitate, tarry, delay.
(1) For I ame of wyt and wil Spedful consel to gyf thé til, & thocht I ald be, let thu nocht! Leg. S. xxx. 141.
‘Se that thow let nocht, I pray thé,’ said the King; Rauf C. 306.
(2) Quhen the King saw he vald nocht let Bot ay cum on, fenȝeand falset [etc.]; Barb. v. 623.
The chalmerlane ane rob him brocht And clethit him sone and lettit nocht; Alex. ii. 308.
Let nocht tharfor, tak redres of this mys; Wall. vii. 103.
Jop past north, for leiching wald nocht let; Ib. ix. 1251.
For that strake I would not let, Another upon him soon I set; Sir Eger 171.
(3) Myn wil has ben ay Of my kith to pas my way, … Bot for thi kyne I lettyt mare, That, gyf thu sa dide, wald haf care; Leg. S. xxvii. 449.
And he hafe weddyr befor hym and gyf he lettys or bydys he sal pay the skath; Bute MS. fol. 173.
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