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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ure, n.4 Possess. uris-, ur(e)s-, uiris-, uyerris-, wiris-. [ON øyrir, Icel. eyrir an ounce of silver, L. aureus.] ‘The monetary value of an ounce of silver used as a unit in calculations for the imposition of skatt (Scat(t n.); hence, in Shetland and Orkney, a piece of land assessed to this amount, corresponding to the Celtic Davach which it superseded in the Norse areas of the West of Scotland’ (SND, s.v. Ure n.4). Cf. Penny-land n. 1, Scat(t n. 4 and Unce n.1 b. Chiefly possess. with land (L. terre): An ounceland, the equivalent of eighteen pennylands. Also const. of land and, once, ellipt.(1) 1561 Shetland Doc. 90.
Fra Gawald sax uris of land, and fra Anna twa uris of land
1612 Orkney Rentals ii 2.
Ane vre of land is xviij d. land
1628 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 178.
Aught uris of land makis ane merk of land
1692 Retours I Inq. Spec. Orkney et Shetland (142).
3 mercatis 6 urs udel land in Wastfandick
ellipt. 1544 Shetland Doc. 52.
Twa mark of land and sax uris lyand in to the town of Glus
(2) 1502 Orkney Rentals i 9.
Brabustare ane uris terre anteriore in butter scat vj span
1503 Orkney Rentals i 26.
And to remember that in this uris terre iiij merk makis the d. terre and vj m. iiij s. in land skuld on ilk d. terre
c1507–13 Shetland Doc. 258.
All Quhailsay iij urisland
1534 Rec. Earld. Orkney 215.
Bayth rycht and rotht quhatsumevir that pertenis [to them within the half uris land of Sabbaye]
1580 Reg. Privy S. VII 418/1.
The teyndis and teynd schaves of the landis and bull of Burgh, extending to ane urisland, viz. auchtene pennyland
1581 Soc. Ant. XVI 201.
Four ures land in Litilholm in Quhalsay Sound [etc.] … all six pennies the mark
1589 (1591) Reg. Great S. 640/1.
18 denariatas terrarum in Linklet vocatas ane urisland
1592 (1610) Reg. Great S. 117/2.
2 uyerris land
1627 Orkney Rentals iii 85.
South Ronoldsay … is dewydit in sa money vrslandis, ewerie vrsland conteining auchtein pennie land possest in smallis by mein men
1634 Orkney Bp. Ct. MS 92b.
The auchtein penny land … callit ane vrsland
1635 Stirling's Royal Lett. II 862.
The tuo vres land of Rackwick
1678 Craven Ch. in Orkney I 74.
He wold have them more active in causing the people to attend the weekly catechising, whereupon the elders were ordained that each should bring the inhabitants of his urisland with him

b. Uriscop (ON øyris-, eyriskamp), = urisland in (2) above. 1500 Rental of Westray in Marwick The Orkney Norn s.v. Uris coppis.
Langscaile iiii uris coppis
1500 Rental of Westray in Marwick The Orkney Norn s.v. Uris coppis.
vj m. coppis or ilk vj uris coppis
1609 (1610) Reg. Great S. 128/2.
6 lie uriscoppis in Glenna, cum lie quoyis … 9 lie uriscoppis de Mo

c. Uris thift, stolen goods to the value of an ounce of silver. 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 2.
Gife he beis apprehendit with the valour of ane uiris thift heirefter to be tane and hangit be the craige
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. MS 71b.
Incaice ony of them beis apprehendit with the walour of ane wiris thift hearefter to be tane and execute

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"Ure n.4". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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