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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).

Querel(l, Querrel(l, Quer(r)al(l, Quar(r)el(l, Querele, n. Also: querelle, qwerrell; querale, -aill, -ael; qwerrele, quereill(e, -ile; querrill; querll; qwar(r)ell; quarrelle; quarall, quarraill; qwarele, quharel(e; qwairell, quairll(e; warriell; and Correll. [ME querele (1340), querel (1380), quarel(l (c1440), e.m.E. querel(l, quar(r)el(l, OF querele, -elle, L. querēla, -ella complaint.]

1. A complaint, charge or accusation advanced as a legal plea; an action or suit at law.Also with adj. specifying the importance of the suit or the justice of the plea.(1) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 22 (A).
He that ledis the pruff in ony querell is nocht haldin to suer
14.. Reg. Maj. fol. 14.
To fors the defendour the cause to slokyn & the querel of his aduersar be excepcone
14.. Acts I 25/2.
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2334 (Ch.).
‘Thir hennis’, quod he, ‘sall mak thy querrell [H. quarell] sure’
Id. Test. Cress. 219 (Ch.). 1496 Acta Conc. II 28. c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 7a.
Gif ony party followand challanges ony party defendand of ony querell in forme of law [etc.]
1513 Doug. x ii 98.
With siclyke wordis Iuno … Gan hir querrell sustene and als defend
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 171.
Gif the warrand plesit he mycht allege for the richt of the querell quhat he wald
1543–4 Reg. Privy S. III 97/2. a1585 Maitl. Q. iv 47.
Men of law … Tak na euill querrellis be the end
c1575 Balfour Pract. 577. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 92a.
Pley (action querelle) is criminall anent the paine of blude
Ib. 95a.(b) 14.. Acts I 72/2.
Of plaintis in querelis of wrang and unreson
1456 Hay I 139/5.
A gude jurist wald sustene grete querele and grete argument tharapon
1472 Bamff Chart. 28.
Ib. 29.
1524 Dumbarton B. Rec. App. ii 4.
To … determine, & to end all querelis, debatible materris
(c) 1497 Acta Conc. II 81.
1497–8 Ib. 125.
His procwratouris in al and sindri his accions, causis and quereillis … movit be him aganis [etc.]
(d) 1528 Reg. Privy S. I 582/2.
All … actionis, causis and querrillis criminale and civile intentit or to be intentit be our soverane lord agains him
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 95b.
Querrillis and pleyes sould be determed in the proper courts of the lords
(e) 1488 Acta Conc. I 86/2.
Alexander and Hew sall nocht be hard in jugement in that querale quhill [etc.]
1494 Loutfut MS 47a.
Quhilkis in thair ymaginacioun wald be iuges in thair awine queraillis
1521 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XXXV 106.
(f) 1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 397.
To hef iust actioun and querall to compell ws … to compleit … this oure said obligatioun
(g) 1652 Lamont Diary 42.
At this time, many old querlls of law were reuiued
(h) a1500 Henr. Fab. 566 (Bann.).
This fox, thocht he … hes fraudis his quarrellis [v.rr. quer(r)ell] to defend
1485 Peebles B. Rec. I 192.
1530 Lennox Mun. 233.
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 123.
In chance the court fra thy quarell dekey
1592 Acts III 624/2.
In all and sindre his and thair actionis quarrellis caussis and bussines criminall
(i) 1456 Wemyss Chart. 73.
That thai salle abyde … the ordinans … of thir personis … in alle the said changis and quarraillis
1534–5 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 146.
Thai ar finelie aggreit of all pleis and quairlles
1535 Ib. 154.
Arbitouris … to aggre all ackis and qwairellis done be the saidis partes
(2) proverb. a1500 Henr. (O.U.P.) Fab. 2320.
Tyne nocht thy querrell in thy awin defence
1567 G. Ball. 30.
The ryche man, helpis not his gude, The nobill nocht his royall blude, For thay sall baith thair quarrell tyne

b. A complaint or accusation more generally. 1405 Facs. Nat. MSS II liv.
It hade bene fayrar for him to haffe send me that querell in to wyrt vndir his selle
1570 Leslie 94.
And send his querell in writt to the said erle

2. Grounds of complaint or occasion of contention or the state of hostility resulting from these; grievance or dispute. 1456 Hay I 184/35.
The King of Fraunce has querele to mak were apon the King of Ungary
a1500 Bk. Chess 978.
The king … Remittit all the querell & the scaith
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2256.
Ane knicht that … Was put to schame, without querrel or caus
Ib. 5553. a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xviii 34.
God grant his grace to the inferiouris Off this puir realme thair querele to considder
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary I 127.
And occasioun of querrell takin upoun fals and untrew sclander
1587 Acts III 434/2.
Exceptand quhair our said souerane lord … may haue querrell or impreve the saidis infeftmentis gif ony of thame be fals
1618 Sc. N. & Q. 2 Ser. I 1.
To ony person aganis whome he beiris querrell

b. An instance of this; a ground of complaint or occasion of contention; a grievance; a cause; one's side or behalf in a dispute.(a) 14.. Acts I 377/2.
Giff ony pledis ane other of ony querel … quhether it be mut [of dett] or of jniur [etc.]
1456 Misc. Bann. C. III 99.
For his gud lordschyp done to me, … and for the expenses that he has made upon me, and in my querell
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1084.
To saif the blude of man … That of oure querell no thing culpabill is
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 586.
Quhill this querrell be quyt, I cover neuer in quert
1491 Acta Conc. I 206/1.
Ȝour hienes … knawis that thai ar my partij aduersare and fauoris me nocht nor my querell
c1500 Fyve Bestes 307. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxviii 26, liv 14. 1521 Douglas Corr. 79.
1533 Boece 191.
Committing all his querell to that ane batell
1535 Stewart 40275.
For ony rycht or querrell, I purpois nocht to put my self in perrell
1540 Lynd. Sat. 679. c1550 Id. Meldrum 1273.
To thé my querrell I do commend
Ib. 1374. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 737.
This was the maist motiue, the caus and the querrell, That causit thir princes compeir to schaw all the perrell
Ib. 9428.
Gif ȝour querrell be richt
1565 Facs. Nat. MSS III xlix.
To syle the eyis of the sempill pepill hes gevin thame to vndirstand that the qwerrell thai had in hand wes onelie religioun
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary II 222.
To enter in the querrell for reuengeing of the samin
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 547.
The murtherar dispairit of his querrell
c1590 Fowler II 24/22.
Seing gif that querrell war to be debaitit … or that controuersy decydit betuixt me & him onlye
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 76/3. 1606 Acts IV 292/2.
For na vther querrell bot his fidelitie to his prince and maister
1619 Garden Elphinstoun 1399. c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. fol. 37.
I have espoused its querrell
(b) 1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 96.
To hawe bein his and debatit his querall
1558-66 Knox II 320.
Amangis otheris cam Andro Stewart, Lord Ochiltree, … and demanded the querrall
1571 Bann. Memor. 150. 1572 Id. Trans. 392.
Mony privat querallis revenged
1650 Misc. Maitl. C. II 486.
In relatione to the justice of the querall
(c) 1456 Hay I 74/32.
For oft tymes the Cristyn men gevis bataill to the Sarrazenis, bot for that, the querele of the faith failȝeis nocht
Ib. 80/3.
Quhilum thare is rychtwis weris amang wis men, to manetene the querelis of thair fore elderis and ancestris
Ib. 82/25.
That gif … he consideris the caus, and the querele that may cum in tyme tocum
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Collossians iii 13.
Gif ony man aganes ony has a qwerrele
(d) a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 26.
To se gif bayth Lausoun and Hendersoun durst fecht wyth me in that querile, als auld as I am
(e) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1899.
And quhen his foes saw … That none wald in that quarell ficht
1434–5 Reg. St. A. 424.
As the said Walter is … grefit in his quarrelle
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1087.
I knaw my avne quarrell [: beryell, pereill]
c1475 Wall. viii 520.
a1500 Bk. Chess 1023.
c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 15b.
Na fremane aw to be presonit be the law of Scotland for ony quarell quhill [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvii 22.
To turne to trew luve his intent, And still the quarrell to sustene
a1568 Scott xxxiii 10.
Thy scheruice mony soir repentis, Knawing the quarrell
Ib. ii 28. 1567 Sat. P. v 14. 1567 G. Ball. 48.
Thy cairfull quarrell to defend
1572 Sempill Sat. P. xxxviii 88. a1578 Pitsc. I 79/26.
c1590 Fowler II 162/9.
To heille her wonds and revenge her quarells
1626 Garden Worthies 179.
All such that panse nought for no perrell, And hazarding dies in there countries quarrell
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. I 156.
1682 Peden Lords Trumpet 28.
For the quarrel of a broken covenant
1685 Red Bk. Grandtully II 276.
And for all that quarrell, and angry letter, which your father wrote to him
(f) 1434–5 Reg. St. A. 424.
His lord and his maisteris qwarele

c. In phrases referring to the picking of a quarrel or contriving a pretext for hostility.For further examples see Pik v.2 3, Pike v.1 4, Pikit ppl. adj. 1. c1500 Makc. MS xiv 37.
Agane thi fallow na querell til contryf
1533 Boece 96b.
Be fenȝete querellis, fra kingis thai reft scepteris and regnis
1549 Compl. 89/26.
Than thai forgit fenȝet querrellis contrar our realme
1551 Acts II 482/2.
To moue ony questioun pik gruge or querrell or beir ony rancour … aganis [etc.]
1558-66 Knox II 362.
The courteouris … began to pyck querrallis against the preachearis
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 30.
Scho seking ane querrell agains the said duke and sum uther lordis
Ib. 46.
The quene … maid ane qwerrell aganis certane lordis of the principallis of Scotland
a1578 Pitsc. I 124/31. 1603 Crim. Trials II 416.
For ony forget querrell

d. With epithet specifying the justice or otherwise of the cause. 1456 Hay I 6/1.
To reforme throu fors of armys a displesand querele of wrang
Ib. 73/6.
Oft tymes … he that has gude rycht tynis the felde, and the wrang querele wynnis
Ib. 82/22.
And to defend rychtwis causis and querelis
Ib. 73/3, 266/18, etc. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 380.
Thai tak debait one lytil evyne For lytill querell
1463 Lennox Mun. 76.
To haue had his fauouris … in all my richtwis querel and erandis
a1500 Colk. Sow ii 193.
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 176/18 (Asl.).
c1515 Asl. MS I 190/26.
1531 Bell. Boece I 267.
1535 Stewart 32470.
Rycht weill ȝe wait I haue Ane just querrell at ȝow my croun to craue
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 76.
And gif we be fundin honest men … your grace will defend our honest querelis as accordis
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 52.
1567 Sat. P. v 44.
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxvii 12.
And gif we move the weir our sell We say we haue ane gud querrell
a1578 Pitsc. I 74/9.
To remember it is nocht for no wrangous quarrell that we haue assembellit … bot rather for our awin defence
Ib. 221/11.
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 273.
Where God and a good quarrel concurreth
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 97/4.
& thairfore uarris upon iuste querrellis are laufull
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 307.

e. Common in bonds of alliance or of manrent and the like in the formula in all his … querrellis and variants of this. 1391 Lennox Mun. 44.
In all his actionis, causes and querellis him twichand or may twich
1465 Bk. Carlaverock I 145.
In all thair caussis and querrell
1465–6 Misc. Spald. C. II 251.
That he sall be for hym, … his kynne and freindis ande ther querallis in consael help supplee mantenans ande defens
1490 Thanes of Cawdor 74.
In all his honest and rychtuys querrellis that he has adow
1491 Lennox Mun. 143.
In all accionis and quharelis to be muffyt, leffull, and honest
1512 9th Rep. Hist. MSS App. ii 190/2.
1521 Liber Melros II 630.
1543 Misc. Spald. C. IV 210. 1549 Buccleuch Mun. II 190.

3. A state of enmity or feud between persons arising from contention as in the preceding sense; a more or less long-standing disagreement, dispute, grudge or feud. 1494 Loutfut MS 4b.
Gif it hapnyt that the king … wil tak the querell in his hand & mak thaim to be accordit
a1570-86 J. Maitland Maitl. F. clxxvii 35.
Inglis forcis … Sic ar nocht meit for to decyde our querrell
1571 Bann. Memor. 145.
Whair nane sall mell in the querall [T. querrall] but our selues
a1578 Pitsc. I 68/25.
Bot also became wictouris ower quhatsumewer pepill or natioun witht quhom they had debaitt or quarrell
1583 Wemyss Corr. 81.
Gar seik me ane guid kemp, for I will fecht in that quarrell
1585 Gray Lett. & P. 54.
I haue … left afe all particulair querell
c1590 Fowler II 138/37.
Nurished in thes lands that wer subiect vnto theme querrells and dissensions
1597 Misc. Spald. C. II lx. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 119/2. 1600 Aberd. Council Lett. I 89.
Of all deidlie feidis … and warriells and debaittis standing amangis nobilmen, clannis or surnames
1603 Aberd. B. Rec. II 249.
1611 Crim. Trials III 163.
He had absteaned from assisting his nevew the erle in his querrell aganis Barganie
Ib. 165. c1650 Spalding I 80.
Heir you may sie thay begin at religioun as the ground of thair querrell

4. A violent contention or altercation (among certain persons). 1558-66 Knox II 280.
In Berwick, whair commonlie befoir thair used to be slauchter be ressone of quarrellis that used to aryse amongis soldartis
1611 Laing MSS I 351.
That som friends may allways be with him to prevent a quarall

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"Querel n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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