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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

Stablis, Stablis(c)h, v. Also: -ise, -ys(e, -e(i)s, -is(c)he, -eisch, stabilis, -ys, stabylys, stabelas, steableis. [ME and e.m.E. stablis (Cursor M.), stablissh (1387-8), stablysh (a1483); Establis v.] tr.

1. lit. and fig. To put in position, establish, fix (something or someone) (in (on, etc.) a place, situation, etc.). Also reflex. Cf. Stabil(l v.1 1.(a) c1420 Wynt. iii Prol. 25.
The dayis sulde be set for terme A certane purpos for tyll afferme Swa stablyst [C. stabilist, W. stablist] have I my delyte
1513 Doug. iii ii 17.
Appollo … it [sc. Delos] … band betwix other ilis twa … Stablisyng so that it mycht lauborit be
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xvi 26.
In al thir thingis, a gret myrk place is stabliset [P. stablischid] betuix vs and you
(b) 1567 Sat. P. iv 180.
Let princes pryde thame not … In warldlie welth … Bot stablishe thair strenth, with Dauid on the Lord
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 58/6.
Follouing the uaye of uertu to stablishe youre standing
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 206/75.
Whose approouing … Did stablish all … By force of voice deuine
1650 Sc. Metrical Psalter xciii 5.
The world is also stablished, that it can not depart
reflex. a1400 Leg. S. vii 167.
Jamis … stabliste hym one the mast heycht Of the tempil … & criand lowd sad [etc.]
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV i 120.
Men, mony, and munitioun … , quhairby scho may … stableis hir againe in hir awin realme

b. To form (a person, his or her character, etc.). a1400 Leg. S. iii 909.
I stabelaste in ȝouthed … And fosterit is delecatly

2. To bring into being, institute, ordain, put into effect (a law, state of affairs, etc.); to found (an institution, etc.). Cf. Stabil(l v.1 2, 3.(a) c1420 Wynt. v 1717.
Thare stablyst wes that Pasce suld ay Be done apone [the] Sownday
c1420 Wynt. vii 901.
Alysandar … Off that [sc. a religious house] before hys last endyng Stablysyd, and mad ordynance
c1420 Wynt. ix 3088.
Thaire purpos thai stablist rycht fermly
1456 Hay II 65/10.
For quhy … knychthede was foundyn, stablyst, and ordanyt
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rom. iii 31.
Destroy we tharfore the law be faithe? God forbede; bot we stablise [W., P. stablischen, GMP stablen; Vulg. statuimus] the law
1563 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 234.
Ȝit because thay wantit … the Haly Spirit … thay stablesit the ground of all hereseis
1562-92 Wode's Psalter (ed.) 3.
The papisticall service abolished and the preaching of the evangell stablisit heir into Sanctandrous
(b) c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 332/5.
Here with now stablischede Sanct Paull his doctrynne of faith
1580–1 Kings Confession in Row 74.
The confession of owre fayth stablished and publictly confirmed by sindrie actis of Perlamentis
1589 Crim. Trials I ii 172.
The religioune presentlie professit within this realme … the quyet of the same stableischt be commoun consent
1677 Dunblane Synod 122.
And that noe les be paid him be the severall ministers then what is alreadie stablished by former viz., eighteine pence at least

3. To put (a person) (in a position); to establish or appoint (a person (as) an official). Cf. Stabil(l v.1 4.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xii 318.
Petyr … sad: Spedful thinge vare … That we stablyste ane in the place, … of Judas
1447–8 (1449–50) Reg. Great S. 71/1.
I haldand and for to hald ferme and stablis quhatsumever … my schyreff-depute in the said office
(2) 1406 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 63.
Forthy that we hafe made ordanit and stablisit our lufit squyer & allie Alexander of Home our substitute & kepare vndir vs of the forsaide landis … of Coldinghame
1423 (1429–30) Reg. Great S. 30/1.
Wyt yhe us til haf made ordanyt and stabilist and be thir present lettrez makkys, ordanys and stabilys … Michel the Ramsay our capitane … of our castel
1423 15th Rep. Hist. MSS App. viii 33.
1437 Stirlings of Keir 213.
1439 Edinb. Chart. 64.
1522–3 Dundee B. Ct. I 128 (13 Feb.).
The said Gilbert has stablist Jhon Rolland & Will Rolland his broder his procuratouris
c1615 Chron. Kings 183.
Efter the deathe of the … Erlle of Dunbar thair wes auchtt chossin to rewll the kingis effairis … Thir war steableissit be the King at Lundone about the xxvi day of Marche and allowit be the counsall on the xxiiii day of Apryll at Edinburgh

4. To bring (a country, its affairs, etc.) into a settled or peaceable state; to establish authority or order. Cf. Stabil(l v.1 5 a.(a) 1375 Barb. x 308.
His land fyrst weill … stablyst he And syne he sped him … Till help his eyme
c1420 Wynt. iv 2488.
He … stablyst all the warld in pes
c1420 Wynt. viii 6635.
Stablyst [C. stablit, W. stablist]
(b) 1570 Sat. P. x 303.
He maid thame all subscriue vnto the king … Acknawledgeing the kingis authoritie. … Sa hauing stablischt all thing in this sort To Liddisdaill agane he did resort
a1578 Pitsc. I 304/19.
The Duike of Albanie … stablischit the realme in maner as efter followis: That is to say he maid the Earle of Lennox [etc.] … regentis quhill [etc.]

5. To keep a horse in, ? as in a stable. ? = Stabil(l v.2 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 49.
Thai brunt tua barnyȝairdis in Nether Keith … with mony hous that stablishit thair hors in the place

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"Stablis v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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