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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mur(e)-, Muir-burn(e, n. Also: mwir-, moor- and -byrn. The burning of moorland, heath-burning.‘The controlled burning of old heather and rough grass on moorland to clear the way for new growth’ (SND, s.v. Muir n. 1 (7)). 1400 Acts I. 214/2.]
[Quod non fiat combustio morum siue bruarii nisi in mense marcij et non post durante estate seu autumpno
(a) 1424 Acts II. 6/1.
That na man mak murbyrn efter the monethe of Marche quhill all cornis be schorne
1478 Ib. 119/1.
Anent the mureburne that is sa planly now done in all monethis … that na mureburne be maid fra the last day of Marche quhill Michelmes day
1479 Acta Conc. I. 33/2.
For vnlawis of grenewod, mureburne, forsmentis and vtheris
1493 Acts II. 235/1.
Lettaris of mureburne
1503 Ib. 242/2. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Schireff.
Makers of mure-burne in for-bidden time
1617 Acts IV. 537/1.
Makaris of murburne and mosburne
1619 Reg. Privy C. XI. 525. 1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 352.
That na maner of … persones … mak murburne … bot … upone grass only, saiffand hedder and young wood
1672 M. Bruce Rattling Dry Bones 39.
He maks religion go throw like mureburn, smiting at the fields
(b) 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. (Latin, 1613) ii. 65 b. marg.
1620 Grant Chart. 320.
Destroying of onie of my wodis be raising of muirburne
1630 Urie Baron Ct. 69.
The haill tennents … sall pay tene pundis … to the laird for ilk mwir burne to be reasit be thame
1661 Forbes Baron Ct. 228.
To burn no muirburn in forbidin tymes
1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 79 (4 June).
[To] sett kaill [make] muir burne [etc.]
1683 Fountainhall Decis. I. 253.
It could do no more hurt … than the muir-burn of Scotland did by a chimerical fancy to the wines of France
(c) 1673 Argyll Justic. Rec. I. 22.

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"Muir-burn n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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