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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Tun(n)ag(e, n. Also: tunnadge, -aig, townage. [Late ME and e.m.E. tonage (1422), tunnage (1640), OF tonnage, tonaige, med. L. tonnāgium.] A duty imposed on the cargo of a ship charged at so much the barrel or ton capacity. Also tunnage and poundage, a similar tax of English origin not levied in Scotland until the late 17th c. (see OED Tonnage n. 1).(a) ?14.. Ship Laws c. 9 (H1).
A schip … cumis with his charge and tunnaig laidmannaige
?14.. Ship Laws c. 13 (A).
1551–2 Dundee B. Ct. II 142b (22 March).
Quhilk wyne the said Villem allegit schipit in the said schip vpon [Gilbart] Quhyttis tunnage
1611 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 99.
The tunnage ankarage and entres of the Vnicorne of Air of iiijxx tunis xl s.
1613 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 137.
The ankarge and entres and tunnage of the schip of the Daillis xl tunis xxvj s. viij d.
1617 Aberd. Council Lett. I 146.
To conteine in the new infeftment the tunage … omittit in the last infeftment
1656 Acts VI ii 856/2.
An act for continuing the subsidy of tunnage and poundage
1666 Glasgow Chart. II 65.
The brugh of Dumbartowne hes no right to exact … any anchorage, weyadge, measuradge, tunnadge, dock maill, cockits or wther dewes
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1681) ii 19.
Your quarrel was, pretended bondage, By reason of tunage and of poundage, to get militia by law, To keep his majesty in aw
1704 Acts XI 197/1.
Account of what is resting to the publick of the cess excise hearthmoney polemoney and tunnage since the year 1689 to 1701
(b) 1583–4 Dundee B. Laws 122.
Als meikle guides geir and merchandise as will lay in the townage whilk he is obleist for

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"Tunag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Jun 2023 <>



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