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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.

Mure, Muir, Mor(e, Moir, n. Also: mur, mwr(e, mwure, muer, murr-; muire, muyr(e, mwir(e, mwyr; moyr, moer; mour, mowr, mowir, mowyr; moor(e. [ME. mor(e, e.m.E. moor(e, OE. mór.]

1. Barren open country, moorland, heath. 1375 Barb. xiii. 552 (E).
As he throuch the Torwod fur Sa met he ridand on the mur Schyr Laurence off Abyrnethy
1458 Liber Aberbr. II. 104.
And fra thyn north owr athowrt the mwr tyll ane strype
a1500 Henr. Fab. 184 (Asl.).
Throw mure [&] mos, throw banke, busk & brer
Ib. 356.
And merely scho merkit unto the mur
Ib. 1043 (Bann.). c1475 Wall. v. 293.
And rycht wysly can flee Quhill that he cum the myrkest mur amang
Ib. i. 421. a1500 Rauf C. 14.
And as that ryall raid ouir the rude mure
1493 Liber Aberbr. II. 279.
And the landis outwyth the sayd marchis as the muyr strykis in lynthe and bred to Auchynhaglys
a1500 K. Hart 850. 1511–2 Wemyss Chart. 139.
Fra that bog … all the mwir northt to Bagtoune Mos
1535 Stewart 635.
The mos, the mure, the craigis, and the clewis
1559 Rec. Earld. Orkney iii. a1570-86 Maitl. F. xcv. 50.
Ouir mwir and myris ouir gude a gyd
1596 Dalr. I. 9/17. Ib. 163/17.
Ruch, scharpe and hard hillis full of mosse, more and marrase
1597 Reg. Great S. 186/1. ?1549 Monro W. Isles 36.
In this ile will be gottin … als many wild nests upon the plane mure as men pleasis to gadder
1602 Reg. Privy C. VI. 469.
[They seized their horses and] carryit thame furth of his majesteis hie way to a darne place in the mure
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 235.
Better ow over the midding nor over the moor
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1669.
Wow over mure bot wed over middin
1610 Milne-Home MSS. 81.
Throw the moer … to the hie gait and yond the gaite to the Fallay Birk
1716 Misc. Spald. C. II. 97.
With the heath and muire reaching in angles or goushets to the gate

b. Rough, uncultivated, heathery land considered as part of an estate.Often as used for grazing or as a source of heather, whin, turf etc. See also Mos n. 4 for further examples. 1475 Lennox Mun. 104.
With halking, huntyng [etc.] … , with mur, mose [etc.]
1535 Selkirk B. Ct. 197 b (3 Aug.).
Mos, mvir and lynggers
1550 Rec. Earld. Orkney 239.
Pertenand to the said mark land in muyr and dail
1585 Prot. Bk. R. Brown 5.
Mos, medow, mvr & myr, faill [etc.]
1626 Linlithgow B. Rec. 12 May.
Not to dyik in the peice mwre … bot onlie sall pastur thairwpoun and cutt the quhines that growis thairintill
1627 Rep. Parishes 37.
The libertie of hether and muir for thair scheip
1630 Urie Baron Ct. 69.
Tenants … that sall happin … to reais fyir and burne mwir
1662 Old Ross-shire II. 50.
1669 Melrose Reg. Rec. II. 247.
And tua hill soume and halff moss and moor

2. A tract or expanse of heath or moorland.a. 1375 Barb. vii. 108.
Syne in a mwre thai enterit ar, That wes bath hee & lang & braid
1466 Acta Aud. 5/2.
Anent certane lede vre takin out of the fre mure
a1500 Henr. Orph. 303 (Ch. & M.).
Beyond this more he fand a ferefull strete
Ib. 289. a1500 Rauf C. 564.
That I sall meit thé heir vpon this mure to morne
1545 Reg. Privy C. I. 8.
[The five merk land of Quhitesyde … called the] auld mur
1535 Stewart 35257. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 943.
It is a bair mure ye gang over and gets not a kow af
c1650 Spalding II. 20.
This feild wes foughten … vpone a fair heth or mvre
?1661-5 M. Bruce Soul-Confirmation 19.
Now I am going through a long muer where there is nothing to be gotten

b. plur., = sense 1 above. a1500 Henr. Fab. 441 (Bann.).
Ȝour Fader oft fulfillit hes my wame And send me mete fra middingis to the muris
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 56.
Brovne muris kythit thar wysnyt mossy hew
1560 Rolland Seven S. 326/48.
Fond fillokis up in the mures
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 271.
Now mon thay … Ryue out the mures, the bestialls gers intak
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 32.
And ȝeid throw the pethis and muris
1590 Burel Pilgr. ii. 2.
Mountain and muris orecled with snaw
?1549 Monro W. Isles 21.
The … scheip … ly furth evir in mures & glennis
1596 Dalr. I. 60/7.
To remane amang the … myrie places and amang the hathir and mures amang ws
1629 Lowther's Jrnl. 43.]
[Mours, hills
1688 A. Shields Elegie James Renwick (1711) .
Through wettest mosses and through vilest muires
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. 30.
Deserta nostra ericosa sunt quae moors nostratibus dicuntur

3. A tract of open uncultivated ground appropriated to a proprietor or a community; a common; a park. b. plur.See also Borowmure and commoun mure, Commoun a. 1 c (2).(a) 1466 Reg. Great S. 215/1.
Johnne and his airis sall brouke comoun pastour and fewell … in our south mure
1488 Reg. Morton II. 243. 1494 Treas. Acc. I. 235.
To Henry Schaw at the kirk of the mwre
1518 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 176.
The seriands to pas this nicht and bring in of the mure James Smyth
1530 (c 1580) Ib. II. 30. 1535 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 188.
Inneuth the bowndis before expremit the haill mur to be commonte
1536–7 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II. 83.
[Resolved] to roupe the vacand commoun aikeris of the mure
1573 Digest Justiciary Proc. I. 46.
It salbe lawfull to all nobilmen … to schute for thair pastyme within thair mwre … in landwart
1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 177.
In casting faill or duffett on the said mwure and flaying of the same for seruing of his feld landis
1585 Ib. 419.
To serue in the clene mwre as ane clene clenger
1596 Ib. V. 16.
Upoun the commoun lone in the mure besyde S. Gely graynge
1606–7 Ayr B. Acc. 232.
[On the] foull mur
1630 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II. 133.
For pulling hether in the lairds hainet mure
1641 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I. 282.
Off infeild nynscore fyftein [acres], and of outside called the mure above sax score aikers
1611-57 Mure Hist. Rowallane 242.
With priviledge of pasturage in his comone mure
1684 Edinb. B. Rec. XI. 122.
Togither also with the links comonly called Bruntsfield links or fore mure
(b) 1410 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 30.
Thir aw na man … haiff pastour in our propir muyr
1549 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XVII. 205.
[Plague victims] to be put to muyr without delay
That na persoun beand put to the mwyr seik or suspect return to the said burgh agane
1570 Lanark B. Rec. 49. 1573 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 3.
That ane sufficient kepar be provydit to the muir and ane commoun hyrd
1593 Lanark B. Rec. 110.
That the toun muir be delt amang the burgessis
1647 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 113.
James Robiesoune … is maid choyse of to be visitour of the mwire
1655 Rothesay B. Rec. 257. 1662 Decis. Lords G. 19.
There is a muire proper to Newthorn, interjected betwixt it and Purdies mill
1670 Dunferm. Ann. 343.
The Earls … were satisfied the coill in the touns muire be wrought be the toun
1676 Cunningham Diary 73.
For a bait on the muir on my way to Edinburgh 8s. 10d.
1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 326.
Four aikers of land … in the back muir
1695 Fountainhall Decis. I. 655.
That a relict kenned to a terce of lands could not claim a terce of pasturage in a muir which followed these lands
1698 Maxwell Mem. II. 347.
The people of Duncow … came early this day … to the muire … and sat down … in the midst of my peats
(c) 1410 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 30.
The moir lyand to the manys of Fernwell is the kyrkis of Brechine
1671 Lauder Jrnl. 209.
The Lo. Renton dealt to have had the gift of the wholle moir
b. (a) 1400 Charter (Honess Doc. No. 1, Reg. H.) MS.
Wyth al … esmentis in boscis in ways in playnis in moris in marresse [etc.]
1440 Cop. St. A. 198.
To win fewale in oure morys
1441 (1450) Reg. Great S. 69/2. 1461 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 263.(b) 1386 Bk. Carlaverock II. 418.
To halde the forsaide landis … in stankis in muris in marras
1457 Stirlings of Keir 231. 1595 Douglas Bequest 7 July. 1600 Acts IV. 228/1.
Great quantitie of mureis and vtheris commoun landis
1622-6 Bisset I. 298/27.
The generall clause thereof … comprehendis housis biggingis muris mosis woddis [etc.]
Ib. II. 274/2.
Quhasumevir … labouris … any pairt of his hienes muris
1629 Dundonald Par. Rec. 293.
For bringing thair sheip out of the murres vpon the sabbath daye
1669 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. III. 107.
To pasture and cast foggage and faill in their owne mures and mosses
(c) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 6.
Common muires and pastures of Orkney
1614 Argyll Mun. No. 468.
The deir mwiris
1620 Grant Chart. 318.
Thrie oxgang land … with the … grassingis, pasturageis, moisis, muiris etc.]
1627 Bamff Chart. 211.
Throw the loyne that gangis to the muiris
1659 Marischal Coll. Rec. I. 295.
With … tofts, crofts, outsets, insets, mosses, muirs
1659 Stewart Mem. 134.(d) 1639 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXI. 130.
Withe … mossis mueris peattis peatmosses [etc.]
(e) 1567 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 146.
Mowrs pettis millis mowtris

4. Defined by a place-name in the following constructions.(1) The Mure of A., found throughout the country. (2) A. Mure, apparently used only in the southern half of the country.(1) 1160 Facs. Nat. MSS. I. 17.
[De mora de Edenham ad fodiendas petas
12.. Liber Scon 42.
In excambium communionis more de Blar
1358 Exch. R. I. 562.]
Warrenario mori de Carale
1501 Chart. Coupar A. II. 103.
For the fewall pastour and gattis in the moyr of the hail More of Cargyl and Lisstone
1519 Reg. Panmure II. 291.
Fre … entre in his More of Panmure
(b) 1264 Exch. R. I. 30.].
[In carriagio … plumbi de mura de Craufurd
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 178.
Tha sall haue licens … for hathir in the Mure of Ledcasse
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 163.
Quhen he raide to the Mure of Glescow
1535 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 186.
Quhair tha haf the Mur of Brechyn with the pertinentis pertenyng to thaim in commonte
1545 Reg. Cupar A. II. 51.
Hawand thair commonte in the Mwre of Montkell
1550 Ib. 82.
In our Mwre and Myre of Glenboy
1562 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I. 177.
In viij s. iiij d. land in the Mwr of Gartinquene
1571 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 395.
Touching the merching of the … Mure of Rattray
a1578 Pitsc. II. 108/25. 1585 Reg. Privy C. III. 744.
Upoun the coilpott Mure of Pittinweyme
1601 Reg. Great S. 418/1.
The proper Mure of Newgrange
1611 Reg. Panmure I. xxxii.
He tuk pleswr in playine at the fut bale, and for that caws the Mwr of Bathil wos appointed
1621 Bentinck Dornoch 190.
To his lands and Mure of the Coull
1641 Peebles B. Rec. I. 101.
Frie iche … to the Mwre of Caidmwre
1611-57 Mure Hist. Rowallane 242.
A proper part of the Mure of Rowallane
c1650 Spalding II. 232.
Lykuaies in the Mvre of Forfar armeis of men sein in the air
1688 Dunkeld Presb. I. 502.
He was provided with grasse and fewell out of the Mure of Scone
plur. 1598 Reg. Great S. 215/1.
Cum lie mureis de Gawstoun et Lefnok
1602 Ib. 474/2.
Power to cast faill … in the mures and myres of Eister Kirktounhill
(c) 1566 Crail B. Ct. MS. 31 Oct.
The rydyng of the proper Muyr of Craill
1707 Glasgow Chart. II. 426.
In the said Muir of Gorballs
(2) c1475 Wall. iii. 60.
Wyth thar serwandis fra Ricardtoun thai raid To Mawchtlyne Mur
Ib. viii. 1573.
On Caram Mur
1490 Acta Aud. 146/1.
Thre akeris ofland liand on the hip of Gaustoune Mure
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 242/16.
At Pentiand Mure
1511–12 Treas. Acc. IV. 273.
Tuelf werkmenis wagis with him in Craufurd Mure
1522 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 104.
To conueyne … on Rosling Muyr
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3248.
That he and I sould tak the flicht Throch Dysert Mure
1549 Reg. Privy S. MS. XXIII. 96.
On Glasqw Mure
1558 Inverness Rec. I. 24.
Ane rayd dewysit at Fala Mowyr the said day
1570 Leslie 163.
To Faley Mure
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 194.
Nota, the hereing of Bothuile Mure
a1578 Pitsc. II. 41 n. 1. c1615 Chron. Kings 86.
The goldin mynd of Crawfuird Mwir
1647 Durham Univ. Jrnl. XXXII. 65.
The Kirktowne Mure [of Livingston]
c1650 Spalding II. 403.
Vpone ane mvir four myllis be wast Sanct Johnstoun callit Tibber Mure
1664 Maxwell Mem. I. 342.
In Titwood muire
1665 Peebles B. Rec. II. 63.
Upon the Whythauch Mure
1685 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XI. 2.
From thence to attend him to Tranent Muire

5. In place-names.a. As the second element of early place-names. a 1153 Reg. Dunferm. 6.
Inter Lambremor et Tay
c 1170 Liber Dryburgh 268.
Terram de Pilemor
1214–49 Liber Melros I. 202.
Totum vastum nostrum de Lambremor
a 1232 Coldstream Chart. 3.
Illam terram de Scaithemor
a 1258 Reg. St. A. 178.
Henrico de Dundemore
c 1320 Liber Calchou 199.
Ad finem del Kenelmore
a 1436 Liber Melros II. 498.

b. As the second element of later place-names. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 269.
The battell syne of Scottis Muir he gart caus
1533 Boece xii. xi. 475.
Betuix the Stany more … and Twede
1586 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 470.
The Eister Mure of this burgh

c. Attrib. with topographical terms, forming place-names. a 1153 Reg. Neubotle 13.
c 1170 Liber Dryburgh 268.
Cum communi pastura de Morlei
1214–49 Liber Melros I. 224.
A terra monachorum de Morhus
c 1320 Liber Calchou 199.
Per extremitatem terre de Morehuses
1408 Reg. Great S. 236/1.
De tota terra sua de Mure crofte
1410 Ib. 244/1.
Inter duas fauldas, viz. le Kochilfauld et le Morefauld
1410–11 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 30.
At the foirsaid Moirsyd … the foirsaid Moirsyid of Fernwell
1446 Coll. Aberd. & B. 485.
Gilberto de Sanchar de Murecroft
1456–7 Liber Scon 190.
Andree Gray de Muretoun
1466 Chart. Coupar A. II. 59.
Vsque ad quoddam vadum dictum le Murtone Nuke furde
c1475 Wall. iv. 55.
In the Mwrsyde sone with his eyme he mett
1503 Coll. Aberd. & B. 504.
Ricardo Murehede decano Glasguensi
1550 Reg. Cupar A. II. 92.
Our landis and tak callit the Mvrehowse
1584 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 87.
The tenand off the Mure houssis
1625 Linlithgow B. Rec. 16 Sept.
To the new pannes in Mwrehous
1662 Burnett Fam. P. MS.
The tounes … of Sauchan, muirtoun therof
1677 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 754 (6 Dec.).
John Broune, elder of Mowirheidstoune

6. Attrib. and comb.Also Mur(e)-burn(e, -cok(e, -evil, etc.a. With topographical terms or terms denoting buildings, forming general compounds. 1399 Hist. Carnegies 500.
Et molendinum vocatum the Mure Milnis
1506 Treas. Acc. III. 372.
To the wif of the mure alhous quhair the King disjunit
1535 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 187.
Fra that murefald dyk to the boig dyk
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. viii.
As sound doe they sleepe by the mure edge … as in the most stately tombe
1651 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 204.
The muir heuche of the Gorballis
c 1680 Bothwell Lines 46 in Fugitive Poetry I.
Upon the hight of the Moorhead They laid their ligour down
1681 Wodrow Hist. (1829) III. 352.
On hill-sides and muir-sides
1688 Reg. Privy C. XIII. 343.
They … calls for meat in mure houses amongst the mountaines

b. Pertaining to, or consisting of, moor or moor-land, in senses 1–3. 1514 Prestwick B. Rec. 47.
He scathit hym wyth his geys in the mwr corn
1544 Reg. Cupar A. II. 225.
ij acris of outfeld land to be gevin to ane mwre gres
1601 Reg. Great S. 425/1.
5 sol. domino de Murelawderwod pro lie mure-male
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 289.
His out-fields and muir-ground
1668 Lauder Jrnl. 186.
Came in to the muire way for Glasco: wery ill way
1684 Symson Descr. Galloway 72.
Their wool is of three sorts: laid-wool moor-wool and deal-wool
Ib. 73.
The next sort, viz. moor-wool. This is the best of the three sorts, being very cleane, because not tarr'd, and consequently much whiter
1689 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 525 (4 March).
[Both parties agree that the] muire mos [be equally divided]

c. Mure-greif, the overseer of amoor (sense 3). d. Moorman, an inhabitant of moorland (sense 1). 1590 Reg. Privy C. IV. 499.
[Thomas Strauchane his] mure greiff
1684 Symson Descr. Galloway in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 70.
It [Minnigaff] hath a very considerable market every Saturday frequented by the moormen of Carrick, Monnygaffe and other moor places

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



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