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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Legacy, -acie, n. Also: legacé, lecacie, legasy(e, -asie, -assé, -esie, liggycé. [ME. (Wyclif, Trevisa) and e.m.E. legacie, -acy, OF. legacie legateship, med. L. legatia office or jurisdiction of a papal legate.]

1. a. The mission or commission of a delegate or ambassador. b. The office of a delegate, ambassador or papal legate, legateship. 1456 Hay I. 236/3.
Aganis that realme quhare thai legatis duellis, durand the tyme of thair legacy
1461 Liber Plusc. I. 388.
Quhare synfulman mycht na thyng stand in steid He [Christ] was ful worthy for that legasy
1533 Boece xiii. iv. 503.
Hew dene of Sanct Angell be the pape was directit in legacie to Ingland with diligence to vesy the kirk
1573 Sat. P. xlii. 602.
Syne God gave to thame [the apostles] giftis mair large Thair legacie for till discharge
a1578 Pitsc. I. 248/33.
[Forman] maid the Paip ane great bankit … in the tyme of his legacie
1583 Melvill 156.
He obteines a frie legacie from his majestie to pas to uther nationnes whar, under … clok of curing his diseases, … he might [etc.]
1596 Dalr. II. 117/4.
The Bischop vndirstandeng the fect and ground of his legacies, with the Kings licence to Scotland he spuris at speid

c. A delegation or embassy, a body of emissaries. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 555.
In this sammyne tyme come legasy To Vaspaciane reuerently Fra Rome
1535 Stewart 55860.
Ane legacy [pr. legaty] wes send in France rycht sone To king Charlis
1596 Dalr. II. 111/22.
Quhairfor King Ludouik XII of France requyres of the Scotis King be legacie that gif the King of Ingland [etc.]

2. What one appoints to be done concerning the disposal of one's effects after death; a will, testament or bequeathment. Freq. to leve (bequests) in (also be) legacy.For several further examples, see Latter-will n.(1) a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 597.
Quhen he had hard … Hir legacie and lamentatioun … He swelt for wo
1485 Acta Conc. I.*112/1.
His assignacioun maid to the said Dauide in his legacy and testment
a1500 Bernardus 374.
Befor infirmyte Thow sulde dispone and lefe legasye
1502 Acta Conc. MS. XI. 146 b.
Til preif sufficentlye the legacy of the sade Robert
1513 Doug. ix. vi. 135.
This ilk prynce into his legacy, … This gyrdill left to ȝongar Remulus
a1538 Abell 63 b.
And he fulfill nocht the liggyce of his fadir or modir
1562 Inverness Rec. I. 78.
To heir and se compt giffin and maid of the saidis James Cuthbertis legasie and testament
1576 Prot. Bk. W. Cumming MS. 169 b.
Wm. Anderson … maid his legasse … and left the hale gudis … pertenyng to hym … to his vyf
1581 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XXVI. 226.
1592 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II. 15.
1596 Dickson & Edmond 478.
Followis the deidis legacie and lettrewill
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xi. 16.
Throughout the Antichristian worlde … the wel deseruing by … liberality in legacy, was in vse to be kirked vp in burial
(2) 1504 Treas. Acc. II. 260.
vj bollis of bere left in legasy be Schir Robert Bell in Mauchlin
1526–7 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 230.
All the said vmquhile Katerines clais left till hir in legacy efter the forme of hir testament
a1538 Abell 126 a.
Quhat sche hed in thezaur wes left to hym be legace
1558 Inverness Rec. I. 28.
vj lib. was left tham in legasse
c1575 Balfour Pract. 236.
It is leasum … to ony persoun to leive in legacie his wapinis, armour and inspreth of his house to quhom he pleisis
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i. 35 b.
That the thing clamed was not left in legacie
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 288.
If any of the arschip goods be left in legacy [the bequest is null]
1657 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 94.
The hundreth merkis … left in legacie be … George Clerk … for the vse and vtillatie of the said cittie

b. What is bequeathed to another, a bequest. c1500 Rowll Cursing 39.
All tymes in thair legacie, Fyre, swerd, watter or widdie
1570–71 Canongate Ct. Bk. 310.
The said Katherine airschip geir uthir guddis and legacie quhatsumevir quhilk sche hes richt to … be deceis of … hir fader
1574 Edinb. Test. III. 77.
The deidis thrid … & vtheris legacies … beand payit to Johne Glendenning
1574–5 Reg. Privy C. II. 441.
Being desyrit to mak hir testament by hir awin devyise, he then refusit onles scho wald … leif sic legaceis as he desyrit to be left
1606 Dickson & Edmond 355.
Item, as to my legaceis … I wes obleist to gif vnto my dochter Katherene ane hundreth pundis
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. Table. ii. 102 b.
Action anent the validitie of ane testament or legacies left in it perteines to the ecclesiasticall jurisdiction
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 288.
Cum expensis funeris [etc.] … quhilk aucht to be … peyit befor the legacies; and, if ther restis nothing, the legator will get nothing
Ane legacy left to ane woman upon condition [etc.] … is dew, albeit the condition be violat
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 364.
That pairt of the Laird of Drummis testament berand his legacie and mortification of ten thousand punds for maintenance of ten bursares [etc.]
Ib. 372.
To the effect the lords sould know the equitie of your ressounes in refuising to accept the legacie with some preiudice

c. Attrib. with -kow, -geir (= bequest-, specifically bequeathed). 1583 Edinb. Test. XII. 241 b.
[He leaves] to his wyf ane kow & ane calf and that for my wyfis legacie kow
1588 Ib. XIX. 169.
I ordane my sone James … to pay … to my … sone Hew … for his haill bairnis part of gudis & geir and legacie geir the sowme of xxx bollis … beir

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



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