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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Purprestur(e, n. Also: pourprest-, pureprest-, puireprest- and -o(u)r, -re. [Late ME and e.m.E. purpresture (1421), also preprestur (c 1384), an illegal encroachment or enclosure, also (c 1384–1480) a payment to a feudal superior for the right to enclose land, med. L. purprestura (1086 in Latham), also proprestura (1167 in Latham), OF por-, pur-, pour- presture, altered from por-, pourpresure, f. por-, pur-, pourprendre, seize, usurp, appropriate, enclose, encroach upon: cf. Purprisio(u)n(e n. (also Purprisitioune).] Purpresture: illegal enclosure of or encroachment upon the land or property of another.Most freq. applied to encroachment on public land viewed as the king's.(1) 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 106.
Purprestur is said quhen that ony man a pone the lorde the king ony thing wnrychtwisly occupyis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 442.
Purpresture is quhen ony man occupyis wrangouslie ony thing pertening to our soverane lord the king … as in his domain, or in stopping of the commoun gaittis, or of ony passages, or in turning water fra the richt course, or … be bigging in the king's streit or commoun calsey, … and schortlie, be doing ony thing to the noy and hurt of the king's tenentis, the king's streit, or to the king's citie
1597 Skene Verb. S. (1599) s.v. Assisa.
Ane assise is … to judg … in … perambulations, commissions, molestations, purpresture
Ib. s.v.
Pvrprestvre, Purprision … ane wrangeous vsurpation taking or occupation of ane vther man's landes, quhairof there is three kindes … The first is quhen any man occupies vnjustlie ony pairte of the kings domaine & hellip; The second kinde is quhen ony vassal occupies and vsurpes ony landes against his over lorde … The thrid kinde … is against ony vther … as betuixt nichtbour and nichtbour, subject and subject
1622-6 Bisset I 127/18. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 11.
The justice is only judge to purprestur, and the lords of sessione nowayes, committed against the king
(2) 1476 Stirling B. Rec. I 259.
Inhibited all lords, barons, vassals … from usurping or making purpresture on any property … pertaining to the king
1559 Inverness Rec. I 32.
That the said James [etc.] … possed … onne part of the said wennall bot the same to be left woyd to … the quenis legis … onder the panis that the brekaris heyrof be persewit for purprestour
c1575 Balfour Pract. 443 (see Purprisio(u)n(e n. (3)). 1599 Aberd. B. Rec. II 187.
And that theirby they had committit purpresture in niddering of the kingis commoun gett and sawing of cornis theirvpon
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 176.
When the wassall committs purprestur against his superior be usurpeing or incroacheing upon his property the superior may [etc.]
1662 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 230.
All right, title, interesse, … which his majesty … hes or anywayes may have or clame to the lands … by reason of escheit, forfaultour, recognition, purprestur, disclamation [etc.]
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. ii xv §2 (1678) 424.
They were judges to recognitions [etc.], … purpresture, and districtions for debts
(3) 1292 Facs. Nat. MSS I 39.]
[Inquisiciones purpresture, et perambulaciones
c1575 Balfour Pract. 418.
Actiounis of recognitioun, purpresture [etc.] … sould be decidit … befoir the king's justice
1588 Burntisland B. Ct. 31 May.
Comperit … Iames Lune … and … protestis in name … off our sowerane lord and his adwocat for damnage wilfull error and remeid off law … and actione off pourprestour
1622-6 Bisset I 75/2.
Togidder with the auld formes … of falsing of domes, [etc.], … the proces of schawing of halding and the proces of purpresture, collected [etc.]
Ib. 310/24.
Forsamekill as I propone me to hald ane courte of purpresture
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 10.
The breive of mortancestrie [etc.] … [and] of purprestur

b. As one of the casualties renounced by the crown in renunciations of claims on the property in royal charters, or listed among the claims or liabilities warranted against in the warrandice clause of grants or of other conveyances of land.For further examples, f. 1562, see Disclamatioun n.sing. 1541 Frasers of Philorth 242.
Be resoun of nonenteres of airis, … forfaltour, purpresture, disclamatioun [etc.]
pl. 1552–3 Lochwinnoch Par. 38.
Fre fra all wardis [etc.] … apprisingis purprestouris quiett sesingis
1573–4 Waus Corr. 88.
And sall warrand all the saidis landis … fra all and sundry wardis, … pureprestoris, foirfaltis [etc.]
1580 Crail B. Ct. MS 26 April.
To … infeft heretablie be chairtour and sasine of alienatioun and weinditioun … the said Thomas Scott … in … the nether mylne … fre all wairdis … sasines rychtis … purprestris
1589 Boyd Fam. P. No. 74 (9 Nov.).
To warrand the saids lands … frie and saiff to the saids Adam Jonet spouses and ther foirsaids fra all and sindrie vardeis releveis … recognitionis foirfaltours puirepresturis inhibitionis [etc.]
1614 Oliphants 185. 1638 Aboyne Rec. 306.
To warrand … to the said George [etc.] … the toun and landes … to be frie and salve from all former alienationes [etc.] … forfaultoures recognitiones purpresturas [sic] disclamationes [etc.]
1667 Glasgow Chart. II 125.

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"Purprestur n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2023 <>



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