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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mortancestry, n. Also: mortancestry, -ie, , morthancestré. [Sc. altered form of Mortancestor: cf. Mortantecessory]. Chiefly breve of mortancestry, a brieve out of chancery directing an inquest into a claim that the raiser is heir to certain property formerly possessed by an ancestor and now wrongfully held by another. Also recognition (= investigation by inquest) of mortancestry. 14.. Acts I. 13/2.
That breiffis of mortancestre and new dyssesing [L. brevia de morte antecessoris et nove dissaisine] nevir mare salbe impleydyt [etc.]
1471 Acta Aud. 12/2.
Anent a breif of mortancestry dependand in the justice are of Couper betuix the said Andro & the lard of Ardros
1471 Acts II. 101/2.
1478 Acta Aud. 66/2.
The bourghe fundin [etc.] … vpoun the breve of morthancestre
c1575 Balfour Pract. 226.
And gif the superiour will not … restoir and deliver the heritage to the air, beand of … perfeit age, the air, be ane breif and assise of mortancestrie, will recover his … heritage fra his over-lord [etc.]
Ib. 418. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
The brieve of mortancestrie … or the brieue of succession … is … persewed be ane appeirand aire of perfite age, for recovering of his landes
Id. Reg. Maj. i. 58.
Of the recognition of mortancestrie
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 46.
The breif of mortancestrie is serued be ane assise of 12 neighbours
a1670 Scot Staggering State xvii.
Now the business there [the chancery] is confined to the issuing precepts, brieves, such as of mortancestry, furiosity [etc.]
1686 Mackenzie Observ. on Sc. Statutes 75.
Brieves of mort-ancestrie (which are now call'd brieves for serving of heirs)
1698 Fountainhall Decis. I. 819.
The brief of mortancestry is one of the retourable briefs

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"Mortancestry n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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