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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).

Portion-, Porcionar, -er, n. Also: portioun-, porchion-, (porcioan-), poirtion-, porson- and -are, -aire, -or. [med. L. (Brit.) portionarius joint tenant, parcener (1286), also (Sc.) portionaria fem. (1320, see 1 below), f. as Portio(u)n(e n.Cf. e.m.E. portion-, porcyonarie (1548) and portioner (1670), portionist or sharer of a benefice, med. L. portionarius (c 1200 in Du Cange), MF porcionaire (1442 in Godef.).]

One who has a share of something.

1. a. One of several heirs each of whom inherited a separate individual share of an estate, a joint heir; chiefly, a female heir-portioner or her successor, see 2 a below. b. A proprietor of a (comparatively small) piece of land once forming part of an estate thus divided into ‘portions’. c. One who shares in a joint occupancy or a kindly tenancy; a joint-tenant. d. One who owns, or has an interest in, a property jointly with another; (one's) joint-proprietor. = Parsenere n. 1.a., b., c. (1) 1320 Cart. Levenax 82.]
[Consensum Matilde, Forveleth et Elisabet heredum et portionariarum medietatis terrarum quondam domini Thome de Cremennane
1476 Acta Aud. 41/2.
Tueching the … detention of the landis … & withhalding of the fisching & havin of Panbryde be … Johne Forbas ane of the porcionaris of the sadis landis of Panbride
1490 Lennox Mun. 134.
Elesabeth of Menteth … as ane of the porsonaris and ayeris of the sade erldome [sc. of Lennox]
1497–8 Acta Conc. II 119.
The Lordis ordanis that because thir partiis allegis thare portionaris of thir landis … that the chancellary be opin and that brevis of divisione be gevin thame
1501 Ib. III 61.
Gif that the Lard of Durmry previt the remanent of the porcionaris tuke componicione fra the twa lardis of Wemys
1502 Ib. 183.
For the … wele of his liegis quhilkis ar now gretlye … skaithit … throw the calling of small porcionaris and landit men to commone soyt to schiref courtis [etc.] … his hienes … ordanis that … na porcionare tennent nor uthir tennent immediat to him within the availe of ten pundis of new extent … gif ony soyt … bot alanerlye thre soytis [etc.]
1514 Aberd. B. Rec. I 91.
That all common wennellis and oppin yardis … be … mad wp, euery porcioaner or awanar of the samyn to mak his dikis sufficient … and gif the lard of the ground refuse to big his dikis that his tennentis big vp the samyn apon the lardis expensis
1530 Reg. Soltre 98. 1552 Reg. Privy C. I 130.
Of everie fourtie merk land of auld extent … thair be ane ebill sufficient fitman weill furnischit … And quhair happinis to be sindrie portioneris of landis within the schyir the scheref sall adjown the samyn togidder quhill he mak the fouretie mark land of auld extent, and gif ony of thir portioneris that hes maist land hes ane ebill … man upon his landis that man sall be taikin and the leif of the portioneris sall contribiutt for the furnisching of his gere
1562 Riddell Tracts 107.
The said Jhone Halden, and James his sone, as eldast portioneris, sall tak for ther first chimmeis of Ruske the place wytin the loche of Ruske
1562 Charter (Reg. H.) 11 April.
Ane breve of diuisioun of our souerane ladeis chapell purchest be the said Johne Levingstoun … for deuiding and pairting of the saidis landis betuix the saidis portionaris
The said diuisioun being maid be foure pairtis … and writtin in vallentynis for cavillis the samin being put within ane haitt and drawin be the saidis poirtionaris
c1575 Balfour Pract. 440.
Gif ony portioneris of landis … occupyand the samin in thrid partis, feird partis, saxt partis [etc.] … ony of the parties … may … raise ane breve of divisioun
Ib. 441. 1576–7 Reg. Privy C. II 580.
Anent the complaintis … upoun utheris [by] … Johnne Dalyell portionar of Sauchtounhall … and Johnne Stennop of Stennop Mylne … anent the casting of dykes [etc.] … upoun the landis … acclamit to appertene to ayther of thame and utheris portionaris of the saidis landis
1622-6 Bisset I 297/13. 1681 Stair Inst. iv iii §12 (1832) 576.
The portioners [in the brieve of division] are such as bruik pro indiviso whether they be heirs-portioners or portioners by apprising or adjudication or if there be divers tercers who have not been kenned to a particular division
(2) c1575 Balfour Pract. 441.
The service of ane breve of divisioun is of nane avail … gif the landis wer unequallie dividit and ony of the parties portioneris … be hurt be divisioun thairof
(3) sing. 1488 Reg. Panmure I xxviii.
He wes also portionaire withe the Larde of Parbrothe of the landis of Lukland and Hedderweik as I hard say
1498 Acta Conc. II 217.
The spouse of umquhile Jhone Gardin porcionare of Latheris
1542 Misc. Spald. C. II 196.
Our escheate of all landis … and gudis movable and vnmovable quhatsumeuir quhilkis pertenit to Charlis Fullartoun portionar of Cragy of before
1543 Reg. Privy S. III 79/2.
1556–7 Ib. V i 15/1.
Of the gift of the warde … of all and haill the portioun and parte of the landis of Auchtyforfare … Johnne Erskin, portionar of Auchtyforfare of befoir
1562 Dysart Rec. 16. 1569–70 Canongate Ct. Bk. 172.
Aganis Johnne Mathesoun portionar of Brochtoun
1570 Liber Scon 212. 1585 Reg. Privy C. III 752.
George Logane, portioner, and Grissell Fairny, his mother, liferenter, of Bonytown, … Williame Wod, portioner of Bonytoun, and Jennett Cokburn, his mother, liferentrix thereof
1595 Misc. Spald. C. II 129. 1595 Logie Par. Hist. I 42. 1597 Old Ross-shire I 28. 1614 Reg. Great S. 374/2.]
[Joanni Muirheid portionario de Bordland 20 sol. ant. ext. de 33 solidatis 4 den. de Bordland (per quond. Thomam Muirheid possessas), Joanni Muirheid juniori, filio legit. Harberti M., portionario ejusdem, mercatam ant. ext. de Bordland (per dictum Harb. possessam)
1626 Justiciary Cases I 49.
Alexander Dudingstoun of Strykinnes, James Month portioner thair, Jon Cowart elder of Kingisbarnes, Alexander Brig portioner thair, William Donaldsone portioner of Polduf
1643 Ib. III 578.
David Howiesone, son to Alexander Howiesone, portioner of Crawmond, … Robert Logie, also portioner of Crawmond
1654 Glasgow Chart. II 30. 1667 Old-lore Misc. IX iii 140.
Andrew Fraser portioner of North Seatter, Wm Henderson portioner of Gloup [in Shetland]
1670 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 82 (21 May).
John Greggan portioner of Corbillie John Turner portioner there
1671 Meikle Old Session Bk. 29.
John Crokat in Bairdmonie, Patrik Duncan portioner their
1673 Rothesay B. Rec. 315. 1676 Old Ross-shire I 110.
Against Donald Fouler of Meikle Allan Rorie Fouler his son … John Monro portioner of ane quarter of the same
1684 Proclamation Anent Persons Denunced Fugitives for Rebellion 1679 6.
William Cadȝew portioner of Wester Cadȝew
1691 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 10 Nov.
To William Smyth portioner of the Nungait
plur. 1500–1 Reg. Privy S. I 93/1.
Throw the deces of Jonet Lunderis ane of the porchionaris thairof [the sixth part of the lands of Lunderston]
1551 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 20.
And Alexander Chalmer … Arthur Forbes Alexander Hay portioneris of Nether Ardlethin
1562 Charter (Reg. H.) 11 April.
Williame Mvir and George Callendar … heritable fewaris & portionaris of the saidis landis
1566 Crail B. Ct. MS 1 Sept.
The portionaris and occupiaris of the Kyngis Bernis … ar acttit in the tounis buykis … for thair teyndis
1586 Reg. Privy C. IV 77.
Complaint by Mr Petir Danielstoun, parson of Duns, and Johnne and David Humes, portioners of Blacader, his tacksmen there
1587 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 5 June.
Before vitnes Archibald Mursone Johne Neill portionaris … personaly comperit Johne Murray
1639 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXI 129.
Eldest lawfull sone and air of umquhill David Folisdaill and of wmquhill Barbara Swansdochter my mother portionars of Lumbesta and richteous vddallars and heritours of the landis
1643 Dunkeld Presb. I 328.
1666 Murray Lyon Hist. Lodge Edinb. 408.
From the seamen of Fisherrow, Robert Gardner and William Hempferd portioners in Fisherraw
d. 1443 (1450) Reg. Great S. 85/2.
Be it kend … me … til have set … to my luffit porcionare and freinde Williame Strang of Balcasky all my hale quartar of Balcasky … for the termez of nynetene yeris
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 47. 1498 Ib. 183.
Apone the commone betuex the saidis Thomas and his porcionare of ij yeris bigane
1583 Colville in A. Hay Nobility 30.
Although therle Marshall and the Lorde Oliphonte be porcioners with him of that countrye

e. Comb. with fear, tenant and lady, and heretable (= air) portioner.(1) 1493 Lennox Mun. 147.
Ane of the porsonaris fearis of the said erldome
1502 Acta Conc. III 183 (see (1) in prec. sense).
Porcionare tennant
1537–8 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 151.
The actione … mowit be David Bosuell … aganys Thom Kyngorn and Williame Swyne portioneris tenentis of the landis of Gaitmylk
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 264/1.
Margaret Libertoun, his spous, ane of the portionare ladyis of Libertoun
(2) 1564 Riddell Tracts 101.
That the said Mergreit Carnis … of the saidis thre heretable portioneris sall have the principall best chymmis of the hail foirnamit nyne merk landis of Orchertoun … , the said Jenett Carnis secounde portioner sall have the nixt best chymmis [etc.]

f. In various more general applications.One who shares ownership of anything; a sharer in part of an inheritance; ? a co-tenant. 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix.
The rest are but portioners and possessors of old (as they alledge) of a kirk-buriall place
1659 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 43.
[The said Elizabeth] sall be ane bairne and portioner at the hinder end with the rest of his bairnes in his moveables
1698 Stitchill Baron Ct. 131.
Whatever portioner in the mayns shall be convicted of having lifted corne off ther neighbours rigg [etc.]

2. Air portionar a. One of several female heirs who succeed to equal portions of a heritage in default of a surviving heir male; also, the successor of such a joint-heiress. 1540 (1661) Acts VII 139/2.
At the instance of Margaret Halyburtoun one of the thrie sisters and airs portioners of Dirletoun
1576 Reg. Privy C. II 571.
Alisoun Dunbar ane of the airis portionaris of the lordschip of Loch and Kilconquhair
1579 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 100. 1600 Paisley B. Rec. 233.
Desyrit the said pupillis to be servit as neirest and lauchfull airis portiounaris to umquhile Stevin Cuming thair fathir
1630 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 415. 1632 Cullen B. Rec. 6 June. 1639 Acts V 604/1.
Act anent the breifis of airis portioneris and tutoures
1650 Laing MSS. I 252.
For serveing lykewayes of John Thomsone as ane uther air portioner to the defunct, he being sone to Katherin Naiper
1655 Boyd Zion's Fl. App. xxix. 1665 Rothesay B. Rec. 103. 1679 Fountainhall Decis. I 38. 1681 Stair Inst. ii iv § 17 (1832) 256.
Superiority falling to more persons doth not oblige the vassal to take infeftment of them all, but if heirs-portioners, of the eldest only
Ib. iii v §11 (1832) 477.
For when more women or their issue succeed failing males of that degree … because they succeed not in solidum but in equal portions, they are called heirs-portioners

b. A joint heir, generally: cf. 1. 1681 Stair Inst. iii v §52 (1832) 503.
A clause of conquest … found to constitute all the bairns of the marriage, male and female, heirs portioners

c. A joint heir under Udal Law.By which all legitimate children, male and female, shared in the inheritance of land: see further Outhall n. 1624 Orkney & Shetl. Test. I 117 b.
Ane of the lauchfull sones and airis portioneris of vmquhile Robert Craigie

3. One who shares with another in a joint venture or jointly owned commercial property. 1516 Reg. Privy S. I 438/2.
Ane half schip … quhilkis wes usit and occupiit be umquhile Johne Lauson portionar of the said schip
1562 Dumfries B. Ct. fol. 165 b.
George Maxwell provest maid coumpt to his portionaris of the schip of all sovmis [etc.]
1607 Highland P. III 103.
The dewytie payit to the portionaris of the Lewis
1630 Aberd. Chart. 367.
Heretabill fewares and portionares of the cran situat vpon the shoir … of … Aberdeine

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"Porcionar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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