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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

Sacristan(e, Secrestane, Segirstane, n. Also: sacristene, sacresta(i)ne, sachristane, sakirstane; secristane; segyrstane, segestayne, saggatstan, (sagristane). [Late ME and (chiefly north.) e.m.E. sacristan (c1440), sacristane (Cath. Angl.), also secristeyne (1463), secristane (Cath. Angl.), secristoun (15th c.), secristan (1513), sekyrsteyn (c1475), north. ME and e.m.E. segerstane (1391), sequestern (1537), segezstane, segerson (1546), seggerston (1637), med. L. sacristanus, secrestanus, segrestanus (all 12th c. in Latham), OF secrestain, sacrestain (1155 and 1375 in Larousse), segretain (12th c. in Greimas).] a. An ecclesiastical official of a religious house or a church, having charge of the fabric and contents, a sacrist. b. A church officer or beadle. = Bedel n.1 3. c. Attrib. with silver.a., b. 1546 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 548.]
[A citizen of Glasgow called before the official by the sacristan anent an annual rent
(a) a1400 Leg. S. xvii 245.
Quhene I mad me bowne That holy body to lay done, & to the sacristane to kepe Gafe [sc. at the burial]
Ib. xxiv 238.
Ane ymag thane of oure laydy … This to the sacristane cane say, ‘Bryng in ȝoure powre man thar-owt For he is worthy [etc.]'
1501 Treas. Acc. II 66.
To Maister David Trail, sacristane [of the College of Stirling], x li.
1506 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 158. 1527 Treas. Acc. V 324.
Gevin to Dene David Jameson, Sacristane of Newbottill, in recompens of a gilt challice stollin furtht of the abbay of Newbottill
c1530–40 Reg. Soltre 213.
The sacristan … sal fynd … in the furth gangeyn and incummyn of the sacrament four torscheis
1537 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 414.
Tway schillingis to the sacristene for the settyng of the stwyll at his graif and fynding wax at derege and sawll mess togiddir with the ringeyne of the bellis
1539 Liber Melros II 627. 1539–40 Treas. Acc. VII 280.
Gevin to the sacristane of the Kingis Chapell for cariage of the chapell gair
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4297.
Thare chantouris and thare sacristanis, Thare tresoureris and thare subdenis
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II 195.
And als be consent of Sir Henry Loch sacristane of Sanct Gelis queir that the said Sir aucht to find and serue the said kirk at all tymes neidfull lycht of fyre and watter to serue all the chaplanis of the kirk and als to find stringis to all the bellis … and siclik to watter and sowp the queir
1563 Reg. Privy C. I 246, 247.
That quhair in tymes bigane … the abbottis … of Dunfermling wer … in use … to uphald … the wallis of the paroche kirk … and als the sacristanis, beand vicaris of the said paroche kirk, wer in use … to … uphald the glassin windoes of the said kirk … the saidis abbot and sacristane will do nathing thairto
1565–6 Reg. Privy S. V ii 63/1.
Totis … terris nuncupatis Sacristanis landis
1579 Ib. VII 306/1.
[A] gift … to Thomas Mawerris, of the … office of sacristane of the cathedrall kirk of Abirdene … [whose duties include] keping of the said kirk, stanching of tumultis in tyme of preiching … , ringing of bellis to … preiching, communiounis, als weill ouklie as provinsiall assembleis, rewling of the knok [etc.]
1582 Old Ross-shire I 22.
The lands of Cambuscurry … haldin immediatlie of the sacristane of Tayn in few ferme … fra Alexr. Ross … his fader
1584 Reg. Soltre 241.
(b) 1553–4 Dundee B. Ct. II fol. 277b (8 Jan.).
xij d. to sakirstane ringair of the said bellis
(c) 1520 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II 65.
He protestit that it hurt nocht his richt nor privilege of secrestane
1529 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 279.
Thaj payand … ij s. to the secrestane of Dunfermlyn
1537 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 364.
That the personis aboun wryten pas with Sanct Nicholace breid quhen thai ar warnit be the secrestanis seruandis or hym self
1557–85 Reg. Dunferm. App. iii 491.
The secristane of Dumfermling tak off the teindis of the half landis of Pitcorthe to Wm Lumisden persoune of Cleishe
(d) 1397 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 35.
Thai sal sende thair billes indentid of thair playntes to the Abbey of Kelsow & deliuer thaim to the Abbot or the segestayne of the same abbay
1407 Ib. No. 65.
Dann William Drakes oure felaw & segyrstane of the saide place [sc. the Priory of Coldingham]
1491 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. I 255.
That the segirstane sale keip his houris in ringynge of bellis that is lymmit to him be the sicht of the cheptour
(e) 1533 Dumfries B. Ct. fol. 135a.
Twa stane of tallou lycht acclamit be the saggatstane of the college of Linclowden
(f) 1503 Aberd. B. Rec. I 72 (see Sacristar(e n. (c).
c. 1577 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 35.
All rycht … in and to the small common siluer of the conuent of Sanctandrois sum tyme callit the pittance siluer wark siluer sachristane siluer thairof

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"Sacristan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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