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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lege man, Liege man, n. Also: liegis-, leige-, leage-. [ME. lege- (c 1350), leege-, lige-, e.m.E. liegeman, f. Lege n.1: cf. F. lige homme, med.L. homoligius, legius. Generally written as two words.]

1. Rendering med.L. legius : A vassal of a feudal overlord. 14.. Acts I. 69/2.
That na bischop, abbot [etc.] … borow ony man … bot gif he be his lege man or kind born bondman
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 15.
That the malefactour is nocht his liege man nor natiue

2. A sovereign's subject, bound to him (or her) by ties of fealty and allegiance. = Lege n.1 1.(a) 1416 Red Bk. Menteith I. 286.
To stere in this consale witht al the helpe of frendschipe and of our trew legemene yhe may get
c1450-2 Howlat 496.
I sall followe thé in faith … As thi lege man leile
1531 Bell. Boece II. 367.
Johne Cumming, … come to King Edward, and was sworn his lege man
1544 Acts II. 449/2.
To hald thame in tyme tocum as trew legemen & baronis to the Quenis grace
(b) 1425 Acts II. 10/1.
The King … forbiddis that ony liege man of his realme … herbery … in ony vthir place [etc.]
a1568 H. Stewart Bann. MS. 87 b/36.
Be to thy liege men bayth soft and meik
1576 Crim. Trials I. ii. 49.
The said Johne being his hienes frie liege-man and thai haifand na … commissioun to that effect
a1586 Lindsay MS. 6.
I ȝour liegis man … presentis me heir … befoire ȝow as my rychttouus … juge … to preif vpoun ȝon fals … man his tressonable deidis
(c) 1556 Digest Justiciary Proc. B. 135.
The said vmquhill James … the tyme of the said allegit committit slauchter wes not our souerane ladeis leige man bot wes hir grace rebell
1563 Ib. E. 6.
[He] wes not … his souerane ladies fre leige man
(d) 1651 Nicoll Diary 46.
The Lyoun proclameth the obligatioun oath to the pepill and the pepill … did sweir ‘By the eternall … God … , we becum your leage men and treuth and faith sall beir unto yow [etc.]’

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"Lege Man n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Nov 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/lege_man>

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