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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.

Distrenȝe, -treinȝe, -trinȝe, v. Also: dystrenȝe, distrenȝhe, -ȝie, -eȝe, destrenȝe, destreingȝe; distreynȝe, -treinȝhe, -ȝie; distrengȝie, -treyngȝie, -treingȝee, -tringȝe; distrinȝie. [Normal Sc. variant of distreigne: see Distreignev.]

1. tr. To constrain or compel (one) to do something. 1375 Barb. iv. 231.
Quhen fendis distrenȝit ar For till apper and mak ansuar
Ib. xii. 338.
Thar gret vaward alsua Wes distrenȝeit the bak till ta
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 574.
For that wil I Distrenȝe thé for to sacrify
Ib. xiii. 66, etc.
Sanct Petris autoryte Distrinȝet hyme byschape to be Of Alisandir
1469 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 419.
In falt of payment of the principall … vnder al compulsion of aw to be compellet ande dystrenȝeit
1472 Edinb. Chart. 135.
Gif ony outeburges or occupiaris … dissobeis or refusis to help … that thai compell and distrenyhe thaim thareto as afferis
1487 Breadalbane Coll. (Reg. H.) Doc. 23.
That in tyme to-cum ȝe and ilkane tak neuer in hand to compell nor distreneȝe him to … ansuere to ȝow

2. To subject to constraint or distress. a1400 Leg. S. xli. 75.
Persawyng … That hyme nothire ailyt mare ne myn Bot that luf distrenȝet hyme
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5043.
Thare tuk hym a gret seknes, That … hym dystrenyheit so wondyr fast, That the dede folowyd at the last
?1438 Alex. ii. 2209.
His hart was woundit into that thraw With … strenth of ȝarning that him distrenȝeit
Ib. 9527.
Quhais battell was new dungin doun, And sa distreinȝeit with force in fecht That [etc.]
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 511.
Loude as I mocht in dolour all destrenȝeit, This lay I sang

b. To restrain. c1420 Wynt. i. 1346 (C).
Bot thar fe Fra fauythe [R. fwlth] of met distreynȝhede [R. refrenyhit] be [etc.]

3. To take possession of, to seize (lands or goods) by way of enforcing payment or fulfilment of an obligation.(a) 1393 Reg. Morton II. 190.
It sal be leful tyl him or his ayres … the fornemyt landes … to distrenȝe
1423 Wemyss Chart. 48.
Al oure landis … and al owre gudis, mofeable and unmofeable … withowtyn leif of ony iugge … to be distrenȝit, away led, and sald
1455 Liber Scon 185.
Al oure gudis, mouabil and vnmouabil, … to be distrenȝet, pundit, awai led [etc.]
1467 Acta Aud. 6/2.
The spoliacioune … of certane gudis … quhilk he pundit and distrenȝeit for vj merkis of … male of the said landis
1483 Acta Conc. II. Introd. 130.
For the takin of the poyndis fra the said Marjory distrenȝeit be hir for the said annuelle of thre termes bigane
1506 Prestwick B. Rec. 39.
James Housone seriand … fand bot erd & stane to distrenȝe to this curt as to the first curt
1526 Reg. Soltre 96.
The officiaris … to pas termelie, poynd and distrenyhe the said thesauraris rediest gudis for payment of the said tene pund
1557 Peebles B. Rec. 238.
To caus officeris pas and poynd and destrenye the reddyest guddis of the tennentis and occupiaris of the hillis of Caidmuir
1574 Ayr B. Ct. Bk. MS. 25 Nov.
[He] fand rycht nocht bot erde & stan for to distrenȝe for iij s. of annuell acht to ye abbot of Corsragwell
(b) 1485 Breadalbane Coll. (Reg. H.) No. 22.
Al our gudis … to be pundit and distreinȝhet … til a ful asithment be maid of the saidis soumes
1582 Prot. Bk. I. Masoun 66.
Thair reddiest guidis & geir to be poyndit & distreinȝeit thairfoir
1597 Acts I. 97.
That na schireffe nor officiar distreinȝie or poynd ony thing belangand to the pleuch in tyme of teilling
1621 Acts IV. 603/2.
Gif neid be … [to] poynd & distreinȝee the reddiest guidis and geir
(c) 1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. 54.
The balye … gert thame in jugement depone … that thar was na gudis apone that grwnd to be distrinyed for the annuell
1496 Acta Conc. II. 9.
Robert the Bruse to haf letters to compell and distrinȝe thare landis and gudis tharfore
1544 Reg. Privy S. III. 136/1.
That ye poynd and distringye the reddiest gudis and cornis of the said Iohnne Seytoun
1569 Reg. Privy C. II. 65.
That the saidis schereffis … compell, poind, and distringye the rediest gudis and geir [etc.]
(d) 1603 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 325.
That the officeris of the burgh poynd and destreyngyie the reddiest gudes … of the persons … stoppand the said passage
1638 Aboyne Rec. 282.
It sall be lesume to us … to poynd and distrengȝie the ground of the saids lands

4. intr. To levy a distress on a person.(a) 1393 Reg. Morton II. 190.
Gif it hapnys to distrenȝe noucht agaynstandand this grante
1415 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 36.
We byd ȝou … that … ȝe rais and distrenȝe for the teind penny aucht to the said bischop of the foirsaid thingis
1417 Ib. 38.
That … ȝe gare the foirsaide bischope haff his teind pennye, distrenȝeande thairfoir
14.. Acts I. 108/2.
It is ordanyt … at nan sal distrenȝe utouth his fe for the service that is til him aucht
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 239/2.
To rais and inbring to the Kingis use … the males, fermes [etc.], and thairfor, gif neid beis, to distrenȝe
1512 Treas. Acc. IV. 341.
To Johne Adamsone, messingeir, to pas to distrenȝe for restis and dettis
1541 Reg. Privy S. II. 645/2.
Quhen thai war poyndand and distreneȝeand for the castell wardis … of the landis of West Nesbit
1575 Conv. Burghs I. 39.
The said Maister George to poynd, areist, and distrenȝie at his plesour … thairfoir
1596 Misc. Spald. C. I. 83.
Unlawis … of the saidis courtis to ask, lift, and rais, and for the same, giff neid beis, to poind and distrenȝie
1622-6 Bisset I. 104/36.
Letteres to be direct to poynd and distrenȝe etc. ffor ingetting of the contributioun
1640-1 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 137.
To sie the said Mr Hew compleitlie peyit, … and if neid beis to poynd and distrenȝie thairfore
(b) 1536 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 79.
That the said kirkmaister … sall haue full faculte … [to] poynd, distreynye gif neid beis, for … inbringing of thir deviteis foirsaidis
1602 Grant Chart. 199.
Vnlawis and amerchiamentis … to lift and rais, … and for the same to poind and distreinȝie
1605 Glasgow Chart. I. dcxvi.
[They] sall have power to chuis ane officer quha sall have power to poynd and distreinȝie
(c) 1513 Lennox Mun. 208.
To poynd and distrinȝe for the samyn, nochtstanding oure said cousing be vnenterit thairto
1528 Red Bk. Menteith II. 386.
Gif neid beis, to pvynd and distringȝe tharefor
1541 Rec. Earld. Orkney 62.
Unlawis … to rais … , and gif neid be, to poynd and distrinȝe therfor
1585 Acts III. 401/1.
It sall be lesum to thame to call, fallow, poynd and distrinȝie for the mailles … and dewateis of the saidis landis
(d) 1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 270.
That nather the merchants amang thameselffis, nather the craftis … sall … poind and distreyngyie at thair awin handis for transgressiouns
1621 Acts IV. 601/1.
Giff they faill [to pay the tax] … to poynd and distreingȝie thairfore
c1650 Spalding II. 315.
To direct thair preceptis to messingeris of armes to poind and distreingȝie for the samen
(e) 1632 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 46.
For the better obteaning peyment of the saidis penalties ... the saidis prouest [etc.] ... ordainis the tounes officiares ... to... assist the said Thomas in poynding and destreingȝeand thairfoir

5. tr. To apply distraint to (a person).(a) 1432 Highland P. II. 173.
Ful powere … to distrenȝe and punde the tenands of Menstry for malis, wnlawis, or ony othir rychtis
1474 Treas. Acc. I. 51.
Gevin to ane passande … to distrenȝe William of Striueline for the soume of 1 li.
1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 280/1.
That nane of ȝow tak apone hand to vex … attaich, arreist, distrenȝe or truble the said Andro
1538 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 88.
The officeris to pas, poynd, and distrenȝie all and sindrie the flescheouris … ilk persoune for the sowme of xl s.
1556 Liber Coll. Glasg. 226.
The saidis priour and convent … poyndit and distrenyeit the tenentis and occupyaris of the saidis landis
1572 Peebles B. Rec. 337.
To caus compell, poynd, and destrenȝe all thame quha ar nocht bent for the defence of the tovne baith in body and gudis
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. Table, 75.
He quha deforces the kings officiars … may be distrenȝeid in his gudes
(b) 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Iter § 11.
Gif he … verified not his essoinȝies to be lauchfull, he was distreinȝied, & poynded therefore
1655 Stitchill Baron Ct. 6.
[The Baron] authorises his barroun officer to poynd and distreinȝie the failȝiers thairfor
1718 Glasgow B. Rec. IV. 21.
The magistrats … grant power and warrand to him … to poynd and distreinȝie the deficients for payment therof
(c) 1470 Prestwick B. Rec. 16.
Incontinent he salbe distrinȝit for alsmekle as he wantis of his compt
1510 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 354.
That lettres be directit to compel and distrinȝe the said Alexander … for payment of the said sowme
(d) 1551 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 152.
That thai distreyngyie ilk persoun brekkare thairof for the sowm of xx li.

b. With double object (person and property). 1466 Acta Aud. 4/1.
Lettres to be writin to distrenȝe hir hir landis and gudis therfore
1490 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 102.
That lettrez be writtin to distrenye him his landis and gudis thairfore
1517 Misc. Spald. C. II. 80.
That … ye pas, compell, and distrenȝe the saidis personis thar landis, and mak penny of thair reddiest gudis
1569 Reg. Privy C. II. 17.
To arrest, appryise, poind and distrenye the said Sir Walter Scott … and Iames Gledstanis … thair landis and guidis
1620 Wemyss of Bogie.
That you … arrest, poynd, and distrenȝie the said Jhone his reddiest gudis and geir
1641 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 165.
That the said Alexander … poynd and distrenȝie the said Johne Makmollane his rediest moveable goodes and geir

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"Distrenȝe v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2024 <>



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