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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
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Kind-, Kyndnes, n. Also: kinde-, kynde-, kaind-, caynd-, kend-, keyndnes(se, kindennes, kyndnas, kyn(n)es. [ME. and e.m.E. kind(e- (a 1350), kynd(e)nes(se, ME. kundenesse (c 1290), = (1) kind disposition or action, kind feeling, a kind act, (2) natural inclination (a 1400–50), (3) near relationship (1511–12); f. Kind a. (OE. ᵹecyndnys = nation.) Sense 1 below chiefly, and sense 2 only, Sc.]

1. a. Kinship; relationship by birth. c1420 Wynt. vii. 1782.
Bathe kyn and kyndnes he foryhet
1513 Doug. Direct. 75.
For ȝou maid I this buke, my lord, … for … Kyndnes of blude grundyt in natural law
1531 Bell. Boece II. 469.
Howbeit this man pertenit na thing to thaim in blud nor kindnes
1568 Breadalbane Lett. (Reg. H.) 1 Nov.
I am sibbar to his ll. nor ony of thame gif kyndnes war kepit
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 31.
That of hir accustumat clemency and kyndnes of blude scho wald not abandoun him
1635 Dickson Wr. 29.
Thus David claims kindness to God because he is his workmanship

b. The inherent or natural character, the nature (of something). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvii. 16.
[Of perfect and feigned love:] Thair kyndnes is so contrair clene

2. The prescriptive right of a ‘kindly’ occupier (Kindly adj. 5) to his holding or tack.The orig. meaning may have been ‘native right, the right of one belonging by birth to the lands or the landlord’ (see Kind adj. 3 a), but cf. c below.As all the earliest occurrences refer to places in the southern part of the country and nearly all before c 1550 to places in Lanarkshire or further west or south-west, it seems likely that the usage originated in this area.(1) 1522 Dumfries & Galloway Soc. XV. 305.
The inqueist admittis Cristane McGee … to the kyndnes of half ane akyr of the commone lands
1523-4 Wigtown B. Ct. 145 a (20 Jan.).
Schir Jhone McGarue hais gevyne ovr his kynnes of the quarter of Crevernye to Jhone McYlhaus
c 1525–35 Glasg. Dioc. Reg. I. 55.
The barnis moder … was last posssessour of this pece lande and at hir latter hour left hir kyndnes of the samyn to Andro Clerkson, faillande hir barne
1530 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 10.
The said erle of Eglyntoun sal gif our his entres rycht and kyndnes fra him and his of the stedyng of the Law with the mylne … to the said Robert
1531 Reg. Soltre 104.
Johne Foulirtowne … to occupy the third rig … induring the said provest gudwill without allegeing off ony fordir kindnes
It sall nocht be lesum to the said Johne to mak ony subtenent nor to giwe his kindnes of his interes bot to the said prowest
1533 Prot. Bk. M. Fleming MS. 51 b.
Scho sauld & gaif our hyr kyndnes in the balȝaes handis of the sayd tenement
1533 Wigtown B. Ct. 281 b.
1541 Reg. Privy S. II. 686/2.
The gift of … the … lands of the Coychenoche, haldin of the abbay of Paslay … and takis, rycht and kyndnes of the rentale thairof
1552 Reg. Cupar A. II. 101.
Andro … and Besse … ressignit … thair rycht and kyndnes … to the saidis acris, houssis and toft in our handis in favouris of the said William … for certane … sowmes of money
1553 Glasg. Dioc. Reg. I. 200.
[He] is rentaillit … in x s. land of the towne of Carstaris, of the quhilk he coft the kindnes fra Jonat Aitken, quha was last rentaillit thair into
1558-66 Knox II. 324.
My granfather, goodsher and father, have served your lordshipis predecessoris, ... and this is a part of the obligatioun of our Scotishe kyndnes
1565–6 Reg. Privy C. I. 428.
That quhair his said umquhile guidsire [who fell at Flodden] had the tyme of his decese and lang of befoir the rycht titill kyndnes and possessioun of the landis of Petlevir and Braidley [of Dunfermline Priory]
Ib. 429.
That Kathrene Halkheid as relict, and the saidis Elizabeth [etc.] … hes best kyndnes to the saidis landis, … becaus the said Elizabeth [sic] … allegeit that hir said umquhile husband and scho had broukit the saidis landis and bene continewalie rentalit thairin fra tyme to tyme be the space of fiftie yeris bigane
The said David … pretendand kyndnes to the saidis landis be ane pretendit tak … quhilk nevir yit tuke effect
1566 Ib. 467.
That kyndlie possessouris of stedingis sould nocht be removit … without thai wer satisfiit for thair kyndnes
1573–4 Ib. II. 336.
All vtheris his stedingis within Wamfra quhilkis his fader had in kyndnes and possest
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III. 87.
Walter Scot … come to the said Patrikis … landis of Skaddoneis and thair set doun … his subtennentis thairin … the said Walter being a clannit man on the Bordour, quhais possessioun ane yeir will be comptit a kyndnes gif it be sufferit
1584 Edinb. Test. XIV. 37.
Johne Gibsoun, coblare, … leues … to Thomas Cairnes … the haill peces of ledder quhilk he hes and the kyndnes of his chope
1589 Conv. B. I. 303.
That na possessour … of ony pairtt … of the commoun landis, commoun gudes, customes … , mylnis, fischingis … presume … to hinder … the rowping thairof vnder pretence of kyndnes, possessioun or utherwyis
1591 Aboyne Rec. 169.
[He] renuncit … the haill strenth … of the said assedatioun with all richt, titill of richt, entres, kyndnes, possessioun … of the said toun and landis of Tulliche
1593 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 87.
That the tennents and occupeares of the towns houssis … at the commoun milnis throw lang owersicht to sitt thairinto … ar begun to pretend ane rycht and kyndnes thairto
16.. Hist. Kennedy 18.
This Gilbert had richt to ane mealling of my Lord Caissillis, … and ane vther callit Fergussoun had kyndnes to the samin
1612 Balmerino and L. Chart. 75.
Dauid Carnegy … now surrogat be his said fader in his richt place and kyndnes of the saidis teindis
1622 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 133. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 97.
Pro nativo jure possessionis (kyndnes)
1642 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 133.
[The payment to be given] for the richts tittles entres and kyndnes quhilks they have to the landis of Westhouses, mylne therof, fischings [etc.] … possest be them
1649 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 5 16.
To the relict of vmquhill John Scott for hir kyndnes of the old smiddihous hir husband buildit on the townes ground in Briggait
(2) Some additional references.1526 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 43.1527-8 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 92.1540 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 490, 491. 1541–2 Ib. 512; etc. 1543 Lanark B. Rec. 19.1547 Wigtownsh. Chart. 33.1552–3 Lanark B. Rec. 23. 1545 Glasgow Chart. II. 509. 1550 Lochwinnoch Par. 24. 1556 Coll. Rebus Alban. 88.1573–4 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 4. 1587 Grant Chart. 166. 1590 Reg. Privy C. IV. 502.1607 Ib. VII. 515. 1607 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 37. 1622 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 133. a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 232.1667 Glasg. Chart. II. 128.

b. Court (of arbitration) of kyndnes. 1565–6 Reg. Privy C. I. 433.
To set ane court of kyndnes upoun the ground of the saidis landis [of Meikle Dalton]
Quhill the said court of kyndnes be haldin and thair kyndnes to the saidis landis and kirk tryit as said is
[Provyding that it be lesum to all personis to clame kyndnes that hes interest, and that kyndnes be kepit to thame quhilk salbe fund maist kyndlie

c. Sometimes appar. taken as: Permission to occupy the holding or tack with the friendly consent or good will of the landlord (i.e. as if spec. from sense 4). 1545 Glasgow Chart. II. 509.
Gevand … to the saidis Andro … all my rycht. titil [etc.] … in and to my said favouris and kyndnes and rycht of the said … land … with full power … to … jois the said kyndnes, favoures and benevolence of the said land
1564 Reg. Privy C. I. 304.
For the quhilk disposition … of the saidis lyferentis, he deliveris to him greit soumis of money, quha sensyne gaif his kyndnes, licence and guid will to the said David to tak the samyn in few heretabillie to him and his airis … quhairby the said David is in the rowme of him the auld kyndlie native possesour thairof
1566 Inverness Rec. I. 144.
Desyrand four merkis monie for his kyndnes of the tact quhilkis he set him of the landis of Culcabok
Ib. 145.
The said Johne hes falit thairin and hes brokin his kyndnes of the said land to the said Thomas because the said Johne hes intromettit agane wyth tuay oxin gang of the samyn land quharof he gaif owyr his kyndnes
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII. 126 b.
I leue my gude will with fauour & kyndnes of my haill roumes … to my … husband
1611 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 50.
[Renouncing her liferent and conjunct fee of a croft] vith all right, … , cleme, propertie and possessione, kyndnas [pr. kyndaus] and gud vill quhilk scho … may pretend therto
1681 Stair Inst. ii. ix. 16.]
[Such tacks are understood to comprehend more kindness and friendship in the tenant to his master than other tenants … . Rentals … are more favourably extended than other tacks … because of the kindness and friendship designed to the rentaller thereby

d. Prescriptive or hereditary right or title, more generally. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 221.
All the landis of Westmoreland and Cumber, with clame and kindness thairof perpetually
1557–8 Rec. Earld. Orkney 262.
For the renunttiatione and kyndnes of the tent penny and ferd of all my said faderis guddis … quhilk … my said fader g[aif to] the [said James] for the kyndnes done to my fader be the said James
1561 Inverness Rec. I. 49.
And for allegit hereditabyll kindnes to the said Fynla heretage
1580 Fam. Innes 138.
Robert Ines younger of Innermarkie … ourgaiff … all rycht tytill of rycht kyndnes that he haid [to the lands of Innes] … in the persone of the said Robert Ines of that ilk
1623 Stirling Kirk S. in Misc. Maitl. C. I. 465.
That the licience … sall not infer to the procureris nor ther successouris any propirtie or kyndnes of bureall roume in the saidis plaicis at na tyme heirafter

3. The disposition or conduct of one of gentle birth; courtesy, magnanimity, generosity. c1420 Ratis R. 1318.
Gud kyndnes, fair honeste, Suet hamlynes
1456 Hay I. 19/24.
The quhilk well of manlyk lufe and kyndenes he schew us wele the day of his passioun
Ib. 139/21.
Bot ȝit … be naturale kyndenes he is behaldin till him in als gude rewarde cummand of curtasy and kyndenes
Ib. 140/5.
Gif the King … of his courtasy, his gentris and his kyndenes has sent [etc.]
a1500 Henr. III. 173/26.
Quhiddir ar exylit … Lawty, luve with kyndnes and liberalitie?
c1475 Wall. x. 225.
Kyndues said: Ȝha, thai ar gud Scottis men

4. Friendly or neighbourly feeling towards another, favour, good will; mutual friendship, amity.For some further examples, see Afald a. 2 and Frendschip n. 1.(1) c1420 Wynt. iv. 881.
Off kyndnes tharefor set yhowre thoucht
c 1450 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 343.
Oblist … of love and kyndnes that I haf to do honour … to the stock that I am a branch of
a1500 Henr. Fab. 192.
Quhen that thir sisteris met … greit kyndenes wes schawin thame betuene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 459.
Thir damysellis … That dogonis haldis in dainte & delis with thaim so lang, Quhill al the cuntre knaw ther kyndnes & faith
1515 Douglas Corr. 72.
Sene our houssys ar of the auld allyat and mekyll tendyr aquentans and kyndnes hes beyne betwyx thaim
1533 Bell. Livy I. 14/25.
To conques the mare hartlie kyndenes of the auld inhabitantis
1535 Stewart 7309.
Quhair is the kyndnes thow aucht to Claudius That maid thé king?
a1568 Scott ii. 106.
Thay band vp kyndnes in that toun, Nane fra his feir to foche
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9000.
How that Lodwik sa stude in greit kindnes With that ladie
1562-3 Winȝet I. 49/7.
My tender freindis thair quhais perpetuall kyndnes I hoipit that I had conquest
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. cxiii. 48.
Kyndnes of courte is coft and sald
Ib. clxxv. 50.
The hewin sa he Quhair in thair is perfyt kyndnes
a1578 Pitsc. I. 141/24.
The king … reffussit thair bandis and kyndnes allutterlie
1593 Reg. Privy C. V. 88.
[The said lord and the complainer are at feud] and kyndnes and freindship is gevin up betuix thame
Ib. 443. 1596 Dalr. II. 440/21.
To thame, be quhom ony way scho was offendit scho wisses al kyndnes
1610 Rep. Grant Mun. 6.
It was the leist thing we could give yow our kyndnes and gud uill
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1016.
Kindnes can not lest on a syde
1688 Tryal Philip Standsfield 15.
The pannal had not kindness to the minister
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 155.
How necessar it is … that they have the kyndnes and freindship of the secretars of state
1692 Presb. Eloq. (1694) 68.
Now billy Jonah, wilt thou go to Nineveh for ald lang sine [gl. old kindness]
(b) 1666 Old Ross-shire II. 19.
I am not unsensible of your love respects & kaindnes touard me
1703 Cromarty Corr. I. 196.
I neuer douted your cayndnes
(2) 1465 Bk. Carlaverock I. 145.
To stand in afald kendnes, supple, and defencs, ilk an til odir
1485 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 137.
Baith the said lordis ar bundyn ilk ane till vthir in lawtie and kyndnes
1491 Lennox Mun. 143.
To stand in hartly band and kyndnes as efferis
1496–7 Acta Conc. II. 65.
The sade Robert sal tak the sade Thomas in kyndnes and frenschip
a1585 Maitland Maitl. Q. xix. 105.
And then to mak ane band Ay in kyndnes to stand
(3) 1466 Misc. Spald. C. II. 251.
In the strattast fovrme of bande of kyndnas
1520 Grant Chart. 64.
Thir indentouris confirmand the fathfull band of kyndnes maid of befoir [etc.]
1525 St. A. Formulare I. 271.
I discharge all bandis … and obligationis maid to thame … othire of lautie kyndnes or manrent
1559–60 Coll. Rebus Alban. 92.
Dissolving the band of kyndnes that is betwix thair houssis
1602 Reg. Privy C. VI. 826.
We sall gif up all bandis of freindschip, kyndnes, owersicht [etc.] … with commoun thevis
(4) 1498–9 Acta Conc. II. 333.
[At which term she and her servants are to leave the ground] thankfulle and with hir kyndnes [to be disponed upon by the abbot and convent]
1566 Inverness Rec. I. 145.
The said Johne allegis that he put the said Thomas in peceable possessioun of the foirsaidis landis … and brukit … the samyn wyth his kyndnes and is nocht remoiffit be him of the samyn as yit
1576 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 50.
Patrik Sandelandis … dissassented, saying, ‘Nane sall beir that hansenyie with my kyndnes’
1570 Leslie 240.
Quhosoever mareit hir suld not haif hir with his kindnes
1599 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 18 June.
James Moresone ... grantit hym self lauchfully ramovit fra the said tak & rowme. .& deluerit ... corporall possessione thairof to ane honorable man Gilbert Barclay ... with his kindines & blessing

b. Freq. in the phrase to kepe kyndnes or one's kyndnes. 1409 Exch. R. IV. ccix.
That full friendschip and kindnes be kepit … betvix thaim
c1460 Consail Wys Man 130.
To thi frendis kep thi kyndnes
c1475 Wall. xi. 316.
That king till him kepit kyndnes and luff
1531 Reg. Soltre 108.
I assigne to him … the sext part of the landis … , he keipand his kyndnes and lawte to me anent the ingetting … off the teindis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8993.
That fair ladie bricht With quhome he was in ioy … And fra thine furth euer keipit kindnes
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. c. 19.
Nowder honour, fayth [etc.] … Can in this warld gar kyndnes kepit be
Ib. clxxv. 5.
To find trew freindis fewe ar habill, For kipit is na auld kyndnes
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 6 b.
Lwik yow leife wilfulnes, Keip weill thy kyndnes
1608 Grant Chart. 208.
To keip … sicker peace and kyndnes in all tymeis cuming inuiolabillie

c. Affection, love. a1500 Peblis to Play 239.
Swownit that sweit of swair, For kyndnes
a1500 Bk. Chess 1500.
For his kyndnes thocht he erar to de Than tyne his fallow and he liffand be
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 483.
Sum kissis me, sum clappis me, sum kyndnes me proferis
1572 Sat. P. xxx. 98.
Gif naturall kyndnes kindillis vp thy breist
1611-57 Mure Misc. P. iii. 1.
To pleid bot quhair mutuel kyndnes is gain'd … Such frozen affectioune I ewer disdain'd

5. Generous or friendly conduct towards another; an act of generosity or kindness, a benefit or favour. 1405 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 200.
The said Erl … of his kindeli gudelynes … and for othir causis of certane kindenes before made sal … suppouale the saide Schir Dauid
For the qwilk suppouale, gude wil and kindenes sa schawin
c1420 Wynt. iv. 899.
Yhe qwyt ws this kyndnes
1424 Cambuskenneth Let.
Qwat emplesance, seruice, or kyndnes that we may … do to ȝour said kyngis maieste
1456 Hay I. 140/15.
Ay quhill he have payit him and quytt hym kyndenesse
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1100.
I sall thi kyndnes quyte
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxviii. 33.
Off God grit kyndness may ȝe clame
1530 Aberd. B. Rec. I. xxxvii.
We thank your lordschipe of kyndenesse bigane
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1391.
Quha did ȝow maist kyndnes?
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8977.
Ȝe knaw lechis will haue … Gude intreitting, rewardis and als kindnes
Ib. 10167.
Suld not to vs his cumming be glaidnes, And in speciall to ȝow ane greit kyndnes
1567 G. Ball. 52.
Na tung sic kyndnes can expres
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxv. 30.
Thai … curis nocht off auld kyndnes
Ib. 40.
[He] wald nocht ken him quhen thai mett Off quhome he gat sa gryt kindnes
1572 Bann. Memor. 341.
Thair sould a memoriall of my kyndnes remaine in thair chartour kistis

6. The name given to an epidemic disease prevalent in Edinburgh in midsummer, 1580. 1603 Moysie 146.
Upon the xxv of Junij … there blew sic a vehement tempest of wind that it was thought to be a cause that a greatt multitude of the inhabitants of Edinburgh contracted ane vnkoe sicknes, whilke was baptised kyndnes, and fell outt … so that some people that were growene and aged deceassed verie suddeinlie. It continued with ewerie one that tooke itt thrie dayis at leastt

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"Kyndnes n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2022 <>



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