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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bailȝe, Balȝe, n.1 Also: bailȝee, -ȝie, -ȝhe, baileȝe, baill(i)ȝe, baillȝie; baylȝe(a), -ȝhe, bayhlȝe, bayllȝie; balȝee, -ȝei, -ȝie, -ȝhe, -ȝae (pl. -ȝais); baleȝe, baliȝee; ballȝe, -ȝie, -ȝhe, ballieȝe; belȝe, -ȝie, bealȝe, -ȝie. (Freq. printed with y for ȝ, and so occas. in MSS.) [Variant of Baillie, Ballie, with for OF. ll.]

1. An executive officer having jurisdiction in a lordship, barony, or regality; an official appointed by the king, a bishop or abbot, etc., to discharge the duties of a steward or bailiff.(a) 1375 Barb. i. 190.
Schyrreffys and bailȝheys maid he then
c1420 Wynt. viii. 2465.
Schyrravis, bayhlyis, and keparis Off castellys, and othir offycyaris That ware the kyng off Inglandis men
1439 Edinb. Chart. 64.
Wit yhe vs … to hafe made … schir Robert Logane … oure baileye of fee and herytage of al and sindry oure landis [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 130/20.
Gif a commandement cum fra a bailȝe or a scheref till a lord
1460 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 189.
Dawy Dempster bailȝe and chawmirlane
1468 Inchaffray Chart. 159.
We sal mak the said lord Oliphant our full bailȝe of all landis … pertenand … to the said Abbay
1480 Acta Conc. 63/1.
Takin of double malis of the said tennandis … for hir terce and as bailȝe till hir
1506 Reg. Privy S. I. 187/2.
A lettre maid to William Forbes of Tolleis, makand him bailȝe within the landis and boundis of Mar and Gareauch
1526 Liber Aberbr. 460.
For ministracioun of iustice apon personis replegyt be tham and thar bailye furth of owr said iustice ayr
1549 Reg. Cupar A. II. 64.
We … be thir presentis makis … Johne Cwmyng, … Jhone Sowter … oure veray lauchfull and indouttit bailȝe or bailȝeis
1566 Fam. Innes 121.
Chargeing … Alexander Innes as heretable bailye of the toun and Imminitee of Tayne to hauld court … als oft as neid beis
1596 Dalr. II. 177/13.
The neist day Farniherst in the tolbuith of Jedburgh held court, as Angus his bailȝie
1617 Acts IV. 535/2.
If ather the schirreff or bailȝee sall condeme any persoun in a bludwitt or vtherwayis
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii. 4003.
Thai … made balyheys, schyrrawys, and justyis, And offycyaris on syndry wyis
1425 Milne Home MSS. 19.
The sayd Alexander beand balȝe, browkand the sayde office
1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 109.
Davy Dempstar of Ochterles, balȝe of the said byschap
1455 Edinb. Chart. 80.
The balyies of the watter and al vthir custumaris and officiaris of the toune
Ib. 81.
The said Sir James or his balyeis to do justice thairapon
1464 Soc. Ant. XVII. 315.
I as baleyhe … til a venerable and religius man Frere Henry of Levyngstonne [etc.]
1473 Peebles B. Rec. 20.
Oure balyeis, currouris, officiaris, and ministeris of oure saide forest of Ettrik
1491 Treas. Acc. I. 178.
To charge the schireffis, balȝeis and custummaris of Stirlingschyre to the Chekar
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 233/2.
A lettre maid to Johne Forman … knycht, makand him balȝe within the boundis of the lordschip and barony of Dunbar
1526 Liber Aberbr. 460.
Forasmekill as … owr abbay of Arbroyth and abbottis tharof ar infeft of ald of fre regalite and iustice ayris to be haldyn be thar balyeis wythin thar landys
1611 Reg. Panmure I. p. xcviii.
Robert Strachwne … is balȝei in ane precept of sasine gewine be Sir Thomas Maule … to his neuewe
1672 Corshill Baron Ct. 100.
Court holden … be the … Lard of Corshill, and Johne Deane, his baliȝee
1699 Urie Baron Ct. 108.
The judge and balȝie, haveing heard ane compleant [etc.]
Ib. 110.
The balȝie prohibits all tennentis [etc.]
(c) 1459 Rep. Hist. MSS., Var. Coll. V. 81.
The Curt haldyn at the Hal of Lystor be Eddwart of Lewynston, belȝe of that Ilk
1553 Rec. Earld. Orkney 106.
Henry Synclar belȝe for the tyme
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 3.
The lard and his belȝe ordannis … that na sik misordour be vsit
1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 88.
D. Cromertye … bealyie off the Northe Parochin

2. A town-magistrate ranking next to the provost.(a) 14.. Acts I. 21/2.
[A] new burges … sall swer fewte … to the bailȝeis and to the communyte of that burgh
Ib. *90/2.
All forrautis … outtayne thaim … that pertenys to the richt and the fredomis of the baylȝheis
1423 Edinb. Chart. 55.
Johne of Leuyntone alderman, … Richarde Lamb and Robert of Bonkyl baylyes, of Edinburgh
1476–7 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 460.
In the handis of the alderman or bailȝeis of the said cite
1487 Wemyss Chart. II. 110.
The seile of Thomas Lindessay, ane of the baylyeis of Leith
1513 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 86.
Quhilk restis of money … the provest … ordanit Andro Fif, bailȝe, to ressaue
1545 Soc. Ant. II. 395.
The Provost and Connsall … hes creat Thomas Dykson bailȝie for this ȝeir
1553 Lanark B. Rec. 25.
Johne Mowat, ane of the bailȝes of the burgh
1570 Leslie 113.
The evill governement of the baylyeis of the townn [of Dundee]
1575 Mun. Univ. Glasg. I. 94.
Bailliȝeis of the burght of Ruthirglen
1626 Ann. Banff II. 26.
That averie quarter the bairnes suld be tryed befoir the minister, bailyies, and eldares
1647 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 72.
The saids bailȝies producit ane letter
1681 Irvine Mun. II. 298.
Baillye Hew Montgomries ordar
1686 Acts VIII. 611/1.
One of the bailȝies of the burghs Royall within the Shyre
1686 Hawick Arch. Soc. Trans. (1868) 34/2.
Jas. Scott, littster, lat Baylyea in Hawick
The two present Baylyeas of the s[ai]d tonne
1695 Cromarty Corr. I. 117.
Ar. Speidiman, bayllȝie
(b) 1432 Soc. Ant. II. 388.
We the sayd balyhes [of Haddington] … thocht it spedful [etc.]
1441 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 7.
The rentaile that the balyes sal haue to free … the pensiones of the toune
1445 Peebles B. Rec. 9.
The balyheis, the burges and the hale communite of the burgh of Peblis
1450 Ib. 14.
The balyeis and the burgeis
1455 Edinb. Chart. 60.
The Prouost, Balyies, Counsale and Communite of the Burgh of Edynburgh
1488 Lanark B. Rec. 2.
It [the action] pertenyt nocht to the balye, na to that court
Ib. 3.
The balyeis assignit … that ilk day xv dayis [etc.]
1494 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 213.
A bill to the alderman, baleyeis, and communite of Aberdene
1538 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 154.
It selbe lesum to ony man … to … present the same to the balȝes for thair wnlaw
1556 Carte Northberwic 73.
The said balȝeis … put hym in the towbutht wythtin the burght of Northtberwyk
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 61.
William Wilkin … ansueret … that hie aucht nocht to be ellectet ballyie for this instant yeir
1597 Stirling Merch. Guild 10.
Ane magistrat, … den of gild, or balȝie
1621 Melville Chart. 156.
Robert Piteirsoun, balyee … of Cupper
1651 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 214.
James Hammiltoune … is chosine balyee of the Gorballis
(c) 1566 St. A. Baxter Bks. .
[The] act med … betuix the said belȝeis and craft
1588–9 Dundee Acc. MS.
Gyffen at comand of the bealȝes to the peyper
1603 Conv. Burghs II. 166.
Iames Scot, belȝe
1644 Irvine Mun. I. 103.
Resaved … from the bealyies of the brughe of Irving
1669 Ellon Presb. 171.
Sometyme belȝie in old Aberdeen

3. With adjs., as bailȝe deput, general, principal. 1480 Acta Conc. 53/1.
The said Johne Lawmondsoun bailȝe deput has done wrange in the ministracion of his office
1507 Montgomery Mem. 67.
At the command of Johne Montgomery, balȝe depat
1516 Reg. Privy S. I. 407/1.
Makand George Schaw … and James Dog capitane, stewart and bailȝe deputis to the said William and Archibald
1557 Reg. Cupar A. II. 129.
Maister Dauid Campbell, bailȝe deput to … James, Lord Ogiluy, baillie principall of the said abbay
1565 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 17.
Patrik Lord Lyndsay of the Byrris, bailȝe generall of the priorie of Sanctandrois

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"Bailȝe n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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