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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.

Fe, Fee, Fey, n.2 Also: fie, fye, fea. [ME. fe, fee, AF. fee, fie, OF. fe, fie.]

1. A feudal holding; a fief; an estate of inheritance in land. 1375 Barb. i. 58.
Thai said successioun of kyngrik Was nocht to lawer feys lik
Ib. xiii. 725.
Quha sa clamyt to haf richt To hald in Scotland land or fe
c1420 Wynt. v. 2905.
The teyndys off all feys, Landys, and regalyteis
Ib. viii. 465.
Quhen thare fallis sic dystawns In grettare feis, or smallare
?1438 Alex. i. 66.
Thus think thay … Sa stoutly to defend thair fee
1456 Hay I. 129/28.
Gif he commyttit the vice of ingratitude agaynis his naturale lord of the fee

2. The state or right of holding land as a fief. 1456 Hay I. 143/5.
The bischopis and othir clerkis, the quhilkis halds erledomes, baronryis, and castellis under fee of the king
c1460 Vert. Mess 3927.
The fee of sa mickle land as a man may ourgang quhill the mes is in doinge
1472 Lennox Mun. 90.
Quhen the said Erle … dissesyt, the rycht fe deit with hym
1478 Acta Conc. 8/2.
Johne … sall infeft and gife the bas fee of the said landis … to the saide Cristiane
Ib. 8/13.
For the quhilk the said Robert … has na maner of fee, nouther richt heretage nor bas fee
1500 Dunferm. B. Rec. 102.
The … bailye deliuerit eritabil stait and possessione, bath of fe & franktenement, of ane land liand [etc.]
c1650 Spalding II. 175.
He craveit his evidentis fra his mother, as he that was put in fie of the landis of Geicht be his goodschir
1661 Decis. Lords G. 7.
6000 merks, which he obliges to repay to her in liferent, and after her decease to her two sons in fie

b. Coupled with heritage (Cf. 3 b.). c1420 Wynt. viii. 2588.
Yhe ar all cummyn ... Off lordis off fe and herytage
1478 Decr. Ld. Abernethy (MS.).
The compromes … tuiching the fee and heritage of ten markes vorth of the landes of Ben with the pertinentes
1488 Dunferm. B. Rec. 5.
Thar aw na bref to pas on his fe & heritagis quhil his haymcumyn
1491 Acta Conc. 177/1.
James Gibsone producit … certane witnes to the quhilkis witnes the lordis walde nocht defer because it concernit fee and heretage

3. In fe, as a fief; in feudal or heritable possession. a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 66.
Syne to Martha fel in fe Bethanya
Ib. xxxvi. 500.
Scho gert the kinge … Assemble hale his barne, That landis held of hyme in fee
c1420 Wynt. vi. 538.
He … ekyd the dotatyowne Off Saynt Andrewys Kyrk in fe
Ib. vii. 1421.
That lordschype till hald ay Fra thine in herytabill fe
1473–4 Treas. Acc. I. 4.
Componit wytht Andro Cardny for the putting of him in fee of his faderis landis
c1475 Wall. x. 977.
Schyr Amer hecht he suid it haiff in hyr Till hald in fe and othir landis mo
1512 Reg. Privy S. I. 365/2.
To furnys expens for puttin of thair airis apperandis in fee of thair heretage
1515 Ib. 408/2.
Quhat landis the said William had umquhile in fe, the tyme of his deid
1550 Glasgow Prot. I. 58.
Maister Patrik was in fie of the half thairof befoir his wmquhill faderis deceis
1566 Edinb. B. Deeds 204.
The said Williameis eldest sone is … put in fee of ane part of the saidis landis
c1650 Spalding II. 175.
He craveit his evidentis fra his mother, as he that was put in fie of the landis … be his goodschir

b. Coupled with heritage. (Cf. 2 b.) 1388 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 294.
John Moigne has giffin … to the forsaid Alexander all his land … in fee and heritage frely and for euirmare
1417 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 249.
Land … to be haldin … in fee and heritage
c1420 Wynt. viii. 285.
This kyng in fe and herytage That kynrik held
1466 Acta Aud. 5/2.
Allegiand the said landis to pertene to him in fee and heritage
1490 Foulis Chart. (Reg. H.) 4 Dec.
The saide land to be haldyn … in fe and erytage to the saide Johnne Makanedye
1535 Stewart 41791.
Of Coldinghame the baronie he gaif To Durhame kirk in heretage and fie
1537 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 83.
Jhonn Scott offerit … the sovme of ten merkis in handis to haif the said pece land in fie and heretage frie for ever

4. Of fee, by feudal or heritable right (to lands). a 1380 Rep. Hist. MSS., Var. Coll. v. 77.
He that is yer and day in peseabyll possession in any lande, clamande it of fee and herytage
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3327.
He syndry lordis fand, That clamyde till hald thare land off fe In Scotland
1491 Acta Aud. 159/1.
John of Wemis deit last westit and sesit of the saidis landis as of fee
1537 Colquhoun Chart. II. 1342.
Johnne Colquhone … died vest and seased of Saulute myln, … as of fe

5. Feudal or heritable right to an office. Usu. in phrase of fe. (See also mair of fe. 1375 Barb. xi. 456.
Schir Robert of Keth, that was Marshallof all the host of fee
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.]
c1475 Wall. vii. 1028.
He … In heretage gaiff him office to fee Off all Straithern
1622-6 Bisset I. 140/12.
All mairis, and officeris, alsweill of fie as in that pairt, quha executis … his majesties letteres
1642 Spalding II. 171.
The Erll of Northumberland, gryte admirall of England of fie and heritage, about this tyme … laid doun his admiraltie

6. A regular or occasional payment for services; remuneration.Freq. in the phrases fe and bounteth (see Bounteth), mete and fe (see Mete n.). Also with defining terms, as harvest, office, pynour, stabill, Yule fe.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxv. 265.
Lele seruice I wald mak ȝou til, & at ȝoure wil tak of ȝow fe
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1660.
He Payid till his knychtys large fe
Ib. v. 1546.
Hys weschale … He gave his knychtis in thare fe
c1475 Wall. xi. 460.
The Butler said, ‘I wald fayn spek with thé’. Wallace ansuerd, ‘Thow may for litill fe’
1524 Reg. Privy S. I. 497/1.
Ane Lettre to James Dog, ȝoungar, makand him ȝeman of the kingis wardrop, … and gifand him fe, liveray, clething [etc.]
1527 Treas. Asc. v. 329.
To Johne Davidson, cordonar, takand ȝeirlie x li. in his fe
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 291.
To the thre procurators pentionars … for their half yeir's fe
c1568 Lauder Minor P. ii. 43.
The Deuyll, he wyll get one [sc. a procurator] for fe
(b) 1456 Hay I. 113/31.
Ane gude knycht that is at a lordis fee or wagis
1478 Decr. Ld. Abernethy MS.
Four score of markis … clamyt be said James Barklay … , and sex and tuenty marks of his fee of curatre
1504–5 Treas. Acc. II. 473.
To Alexander furrour, that brocht the Kingis lynyng of ermyng, to fee
1544 Buccleuch Mun. II. 420.
Ane fee of ane hundreth merkis … to be payit to thaim
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. Il. 271.
To the kepar of the knok, for his fee
1578 Prot. Bk. J. Robesone 16 b.
xxx s. awand … to him for his fee of the terme of Witsonday last
1612 Peebles B. Rec. 360.
The counsall … modifeis thame for thair fea, viz., the best men scheiraris xxxd.
(c) 1565 Prot. Bk. G. Grote 69.
To … my maiden xs. and xviis … that I restis awand hir of thre half zeris feye
1596 Paisley B. Rec. 171.
Johne Huchesoun wes creat Thesaurer … for ingathering of the comoun guid for fyve punds fey
1632 Dundonald Par. Rec. 346.
The quhilk day was tane out of the Corsbie box … 20s. for … the Kirk bedallis fey
(d) 1562 Reg. Cupar A. I. 362.
To the baillie fie, portar and vthir ordinar seruandis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxviii. 10.
Seruandis and sic as luifis on fie
1588 Argyll Lett. 87.
To William Oyt, allacay to the said nobill Ladie, for his ȝeiris fie
1605 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 37.
[She] to enter hame to the said Johnes seruice or els to pay hir fie
1644 Strathbogie Presb. 50.
Vpon hir refusall, he told hir that shoe sould not vinne hir fie that yeir
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 571.
To the knocksmith of fie, 91 lib.
(e) 1558 Haddington Treas. Acc.
To the commone schiphird of Gladismure of fye, iiij li.
1558-66 Knox I. 39.
That keapis our corne better nor the sleaping boy, that will have three schilling of fye … in the year
1590 Conv. Burghs I. 328.
To elect … ane sufficient qualefeit agent … vpoun the conditiounis and fye peyit to vmquhile Willeam Makcartnay
1659 Hay Diary 210.
To tak Ellen Scott, … to be her waiting maid, … and referred the fye to me

b. In plural feis, feys, feyis, fies.(a) c1420 Wynt. viii. 3029.
For wagys and for large feis Wageowris scho gaddryde off sere cuntreis
1445 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 14.
That in time to cum thai will giue na feis to na sic abbotis
1506 Treas. Acc. III. 324.
The Chekker payit to the Inglismen and ladyis thar feis of the terme of Lammes
1513 Doug. i. viii. 25.
Sche … The feys of thar labouris equaly Gart distribut
1551 Reg. Cupar A. II. 70.
We … dischargis ten merkys ilk ȝeir … in thair feys
1559 Reg. Privy S. (MS.) XXX. 10.
All feis and dewiteis … tobe payit to him ȝeirlie
(b) 1489 Treas. Acc. I. 125.
For … ankir, cabil, schipmennis feyis
1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 406/1.
Reservand … to the said Robert … richtis, privilegis, feys and dewiteis of the said Ile
1553 Treas. Acc. X. 165.
To Schir Jhone Campbell … for his feyis be the space of viij dayis
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiv. 67.
Becaus the lordis hes our lytill feyis Bot off vncertane casualiteyis
1606 Conv. Burghs II. 228.
Giff ony persoun sall depairt without payment of thair … feyis
(c) 1567 Acts II. 550.
With all … fies and deuories pertening to the keping of the said castell
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 281.
He desyred his wyfe to pay his servandis fies
1622-6 Bisset I. 29/18.
He brocht the first craftismen within this realme, with fies, and dewities, for thair wayges
1635 Maxwell Stuart Mun. ii.
He and the seruants of our wardrop haue not … been payed of their fies due to them

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"Fe n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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