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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Dewité, Dewitie, n. Also: dewyte, -ytie, dewity(e, -itey, -itt(i)e, -itty; deuité, -itie, devyté, -ité, -itie; deweté, -etie, dieweté, deuetie; dewaté, -atie, -atty, deuatie; dew-, deuoté. [ME. deweté (e.m.E. dewetye), deuyté (c 1300), AF. deweté, dueté, -ité, f. Dew a. Cf. Dewty, Dowité, and Duité.]

1. Duty which is or ought to be performed.(a) 1456 Hay II. 39/5.
The grete chargis and dewiteis that folowis the said ordre [of knighthood]
1513 Doug. xi. vii. 154.
So that the kyng … Mycht oys and do hys proper dewyte
1533 Bell. Livy I. 83/4.
To obey the said prince with faith, amyte, and observance, with all vthir dewiteis possibill
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 221.
To decern … gif the office of thesaurary aucht of dewite to haif ane burgesschip yeirlie or nocht
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xviii. 45.
Ȝe liegeis … with trew hairt serve the authoritie, And ȝe kirkmen do ȝour dewitie
1598 St. A. Baxter Bks. 63.
Quhat maister sall nocht … aduerteis his servand of thair dewitie salbe convict of the said penaltie
16.. Hist. Kennedy 32.
Ȝe will do ȝour honourabill dewitty to me
Ib. 33.
I man do my dewittie to his Lordschip
1622-6 Bisset II. 187/31.
To … honoure and obey thame … according to oure bundin dewitie of allegeance
1704 Ann. Banff II. 179.
He … is not in ane capacitie to say evining and morneing prayer … being ane part of the schoollmasteris dewitye
(b) 1542 Reg. Privy S. II. 727/2.
He … is maid almaist unable to ordour his benefice as deuite requiris
1558-66 Knox II. 356.
The Secreatarie … willed everie man … to remember his deuitie
1596 Rep. Milne Home MSS. 62.
I hawe deltt with his Majeste as off deuittey I awcht till hawe done
(c) 1566 Rep. Milne Home MSS. 46.
That he sall gif … sic reasonabill ansuer as sall appertene to him to gif unto thame of his dewetie
1578 Red Bk. Menteith I. 538.
Euerie ane sall do thair freindlie dewetie
1584 Edinb. Test. XIV. 176 b.
Sa beand he do his deuetie and stand kynd to my wyf & barnes

2. A service obligatory on a feudal tenant. 1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 170.
Scho doand to the sade Alexander in al seruys and dewiteys as vther wald do
1483 Acta Conc. II. Introd. 133.
The ferm and cane fowlis of the landis of the Pirrotholme, with the cariage and dewiteis of the samyn
1503 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 74.
Thar arrages and carages and all uther deuyteis
1521 Misc. Spald. C. V. 293.
Thai sall do thair dewyties to our myl as the laif of the suckyn dois
1526 Red Bk. Menteith II. 330.
Auriagis, cariagis, and all vther deviteis and dewseruice aucht and wonth
1557 Reg. Cupar A. II. 128.
With all vther average, carage, dewiteis and dew seruice
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 9.
Sic tennenttis as beis fund disobedient toward thair detfull dewittie off serwice

3. A payment due from a tenant to a feudal superior. (Cf. Few-dewité.)Very common throughout the 16th century.(a) 1473 Peebles B. Rec. 21.
Efter the tenour of thair infeftment of thair commoun rentis and dewiteis
1493 Reg. Cupar A. I. 244.
Our landis forsaid to set, malis, customys, dewiteis of the samyn to rais and vptak
1501 Acta Conc. MS. XI. 120 b.
The byrunnyn malis, fermez, proffittis & dewiteis of the saidis landis
1507 Reg. Privy S. I. 222/2.
To set the landis … for male, gersom and dewiteis to be pait thairfor
1539 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) No. x.
The said vmquhile Walter … vptuke the malis and dewiteis of his blancheferme landis
1561 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 331.
Dauid Mar, thesaurar of this guid towne to reseawe and vptak the maillis, fermis, proffittis, and dewiteis of the freiris croftis, to be applyit to the townis vtilite and proffitt
a1578 Pitsc. II. 103/19.
Thay … lutte tham noway labour bot so money as … payit thame maillis and dewitieis
1607 Highland P. III. 104.
In that poynt of the yearlie dewytie wherupoun we and he contrauertit ȝour Maiestie hes gevin ws no resolutioun
1622-6 Bisset I. 189/15.
The dewitie of the ground, or house maill … quhilk suld be defalked and defeased in the actioun
(b) 1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 181.
He vnderlyand … al chargis and deviteis tharfor in housyng, hors met, and mannis met
1516 Dunferm. B. Rec. 295.
Payand tharfor … xxix s. of annuell rent, and … j d. of burrov maill alanirly for ony vthir deviteis that may be askit of the said tenement
1519 Fife Sheriff Ct. 162.
The byroune malis & deuiteis of the saidis landis awing to hir
a1578 Pitsc. I. 162 h.
The uptakin of the proffietes and deuities of the Erledom of Marche
(c) 1478 Acta Conc. 15/2.
The annuel in Leith pertening to Iohne Nap … for his deweteis aucht to him the tyme the said annuell was in his handis
1520 Red Bk. Menteith II. 370.
Gif sa beis that Walter Buquhannan falȝeis in the inbringing of the samyne … we sall pund and distrenȝe for hir saidis males and dieweteis
1573 Douglas Bequest (Reg. H.) 8 D.
To intromet and tak vp the haill males … and deweteis of all and haill the landis … abonewrittin
1588 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 8.
Ane procuratorie … to uplift … meillis and deweties quhill the lawfull redemsione
(d) 1536 Prot. Bk. M. Fleming 99.
The sayd Wyolet hes … mayd … hyr awnt hyr werra cessionar & assigna in & to the wptakin … the … dewoteis of the saydis place
1544 Prestwick B. Rec. 59.
Nodir ferme na mail na deuote pertenand the land of Prestwik schau
1568 Grant Chart. 134.
Betuix the dait heirof and … Ȝuill nixt to cum, frie, but pament of ony deuatie
1571 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 32.
The fermes, canis, maillis, teindis, and dewateis auchtand furth of the saidis landis
1585 Acts III. 408/1.
The mailles, fermis, proffeittis, canes, custumes, and dewateis of quhatsumeuir landis … pertening to him
1593 Fam. Innes 160.
The fewe maillis and dewattyis contenit in his ewident

4. A payment required or collected by some authority from a certain source or for a special purpose.(a) 1460 Ayr Charters 89.
That thair be na unlawis, dewiteis, nor proffitis taken up be the said schireff
1471 Edinb. Chart. 133.
Thir custumis and dewiteis vnderwritin to be raisit … be thame and thare successouris
1482 Ib. 168.
The grete custumys and dewiteis that the thesaurare of the toun resavis and takis of strangearis
1493 Ib. 173.
The payment to thame of thair anchorage, custumes and dewiteis of thare schippis
1524 Reg. Privy S. I. 497/2.
The Kingis myln of Malynnab, … with the sukkin, multuris and utheris dewiteis of the samyn
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 22.
Till pay our dewiteis to the reperatioun and wphalding of Godis seruice … baith in oukly penneis, preistis meit, and all vthir dewiteis
1555 Ib. 208.
[The council] grantis … the dewyte of the gildry to Robert Lindesay, gratis
1559 Reg. Privy S. MS. XXX. 10.
Oure soueranis … grantis to the said Andro all feis and dewiteis … to be payit to him ȝeirlie be the maister of cunȝe
1561-2 Reg. Privy C. I. 199.
All and sindrie males, fermes, … canis, proffittis, and dewiteis, of quhatsumevir benefices
1586 St. A. Test. II. 61 b.
Be Patrik Bonkle for the lammes and alhallow termes of his dewite of the clerkschip
1596 Edinb. Test. XXIX. 316.
For making, paking, cairthyre of the said woll & vther dewiteis
1600 Reg. Privy C. VI. 177.
The uplifting of the assyse herring and dewitie thairof
1622-6 Bisset I. 29/8.
He brocht the first craftismen within this realme, with fies and dewities for thairwayges
(b) 1488 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 44.
The aldirman and consaile … hes gevin … to Androw Coupar the haile clerkschip of the Castalgate of the said burghe with all fredomes … profitis and deviteis … perteninge … thairto
1614 Burnett Fam. P. MS.
The ald ȝeirlie rent and dewatie of the said vickerage
1641 Acts V. 585/1.
All veschellis cuming ... within the kingdome ... for northland victuallers sall be frie of all dewetie

5. Something due to a person. 1456 Hay I. 289/18.
Gif the pape apprevis him, he may than ask the croune imperiale, and his othir dewiteis

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"Dewité n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Apr 2024 <>



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