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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.

Few, Feu, n. Also: fewe, fue, fiue. [OF. feu, fieu, fiu.]

1. A feudal tenure of land, ‘where the vassal, in place of military service, makes a return in grain or in money’ (Bell); a lease of land in return for the payment of rent.(a) sing. 1497 Treas. Acc. I. 315.
I resauit fra the Lard of Teling … of the releif of few and blanchferme of the entre of Johne Lord Glammys, thretj thre lib.
1541–2 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 110.
The few of the landis of Grottell set … to Alexander Scott
1549 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 623.
The said Williame Lord Forbes sall obtene … ane heretable few … of the landis of Fechill betuix this and Lambmes nixt
1558 Reg. Cupar A. II. 269.
Componit with Dauid Ogiluy for ane charter of few of the Newton of Bellite
1596 Dalr. II. 362/14.
That tha for the ffew quhilk the King gaue thame … ar haldne, that [etc.]
1662 Decis. Lords G. 12.
If the Earl should … think fit rather to have back the feu, than that Grant should bruik it
plur. 1511 Exch. R. XIII. 444n.
Gifony takkis or fewis be sett or maid … without consent of the said reverend fadir … we decerne thaim irritant
1555 Treas. Acc. X. 279.
Ane letter of inhibitioun upoun the abbot of Londoris to sett ony takis or fewis
1571 Acts (1597) § 38.
All … feweris or heretable tenentis … after the decease, decay, or inlaik of thair said superiours … sal hald their fewes … of our Soverane Lord
1597 Acts IV. 133/1.
All fewis may be decernit null for nocht payment of the dewtie
(b) 1552 Treas. Acc. X. 110.
Ane boy send to my lord of Ros witht ane precept … to summond hym to compeir for his entres to the samyn feuis
1561 Ib. XI. 56.
Lettres of proclamatioun … charging all kirkmen and wemen that thai sett na feuis
1588 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 44.
The Laird of Melgound has haldin Banhethis fieu abak

b. In few, in tenure of this kind; freq. with have or set. 1493 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 582.
The saide cominete [of Ruglen] has rasignyt … all the assedacion in few that the said cominete hade [etc.]
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 246/1.
We have gevin … consent to … gife, sell, analy, or sett in few all and hale the saidis landis
1532 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 58.
The prouest … granttis till Gilbert Lauder the landis of Petravye … in few
1542 Reg. Privy S. II. 689/2.
His landis of Monassen … quhilkis the said Johne hes in few of oure soverane lord
1570 Sat. P. xxiii. 30.
Thocht thair was sum that tuik thy rowmes in few
1584 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 316.
That the said commoun mwre … sallbe set furth in few be acre, daill, and pairts
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 40.
The said Mr John Alexander … is desyreous to haue the same peice of ground set to him in few heretable

c. To hald few, to have in feu. 1620Black Bk. Taymouth 56.
Quhilk aucht markland … Sir Duncane disponit … to be hauldin few of the hous of Glenurquhay
1694 Lanark B. Rec. 250.
George Baillie, … who holds few of the said burgh near a third part of the burghe lands

2. = Few-dewtie. 1513 Reg. Privy S. I. 380/11.
The Kingis grace gaif to him … his landis … of Stratherne … in few and heretage for a ȝerely few to be pait thairfor
1527 Caldwell P. 61.
I wil … nevar lift, raisse, nor uptak, ony profitte, malis, feuis, dewties, nor deservice, of the said fif merk land of Cauldwel
1527 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 248.
To … inbryng [these] to thar awin proffetis … with all annuellis and fewis pertenyng to the same

3. Attrib. with annuell, annuellar, gersome, grassum, rentalar, setting, silver. Also Few chartour, etc. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Annuell.
Few annuell is ather quhen the few maill, or dewtie, is disponed as ane zeirelie annuel. Or quhen the land, or tenementis sette in few-ferme heretablie for ane certaine annuell
1555 Acts II. 490/2.
The few annuellaris sall in lykewise want the fyft part of thair annuellis
1587 (16 … ) Orkn. & Shet. Recs. I. 209.
Soumes of money payed and delyvered to us … in neame of few gearsome
1591 Misc. Spald. C. III. 157.
The few grassum siluer resauit be thame for [lands set] furth in few ferme
1576 Exch. Rolls XX. 368 n.
It will pleis yow resaif the personis abounewreittin as fewrentalaris
1511–2 Reg. Soltre 86.
We gat our new … mortificacioun of our landis … to keip it fra fewsetting till courteouris and vthir inconuenientis apperand for the tyme
1556 Liber Calchou 483.
Be deliuerance maid … for ressaving of the few siluir

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"Few n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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