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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Messuage, n. [(1) Med. L. messuagium, (2) e.m.E. and ME. (Chaucer) messuage, AF. messuage.] A landowner's dwelling-house, espec. his principal dwellinghouse, a manor-house or mansion. Chiefly principall or cheif messuage (of a landed property).a. In contexts rendering or referring to the several instances of L. messuagium in the Regiam Majestatem and the Leges Burgorum. b. In more general use.a. Reg. Maj. ii. c. 13 in 14.. Acts I. 248/1; etc.
[Excipitur principale [Skene capitale] messuagium quod [etc.]
14.. Leg. Burg. c. 106 in 14.. Acts I. 42/1.]
De capitali messuagio non alienando
c1575 Balfour Pract. 109.
The chemise or principall messuage sould not be devidit nor gevin in name of dowrie or tierce to the woman, but sould remane … with the air, quha thairfoir is oblist to big or give to hir ane uther messuage
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Messuagium. Id. Reg. Maj. i. 33. Ib. Table ii. 87 b, s.v. Messuage.
The messuage or principall dwelling house of ane burges sould not be given [etc.]
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 199.b. 1581 Acts III. 235/1.
The castell of Doun foirsaid the principall messuage and cheif schimmeis of the said lordschip
1667 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. III. 30.
Excepting always from this disposition … the messuage and dwelling-house called Reidhouse … with the teynd barnes
1672 Wauchopes 33.
The maner place therof to be the principall messuage of the said barronie
16.. Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 196.
The chief messuage of the barony of Colquhon

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"Messuage n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Sep 2022 <>



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