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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.

Multur(e, Moultour, Moutor, Mut(t)ar, n. Also: mullt-, mwlt-; mowlt-, mowlet-, molt-; mowt(t)-, mwtt-, moot-, mot-; mulct- and -er(e, -ir, -yr, -yeir, -r(e. [North. ME. multir (c 1300), -yr, -er, e.m.E. (? orig. north.) multer, multur(e (1592), moulter, mulcture (1628), (north.) mooter (1636), mowter (1641), OF. molture, moulture (F. moulture), med. L. multura, mutura, earlier mol(i)tura, f. molĕre to grind.Perh. the spellings mulctur, -er should rather be read multt-.In the mod. dial. Sc. and north and north midl. Eng.]

1. Multure. a. A duty of a proportion of the grain or meal payable to the proprietor or tenant of a mill on corn ground there. b. The right to this duty.See also Dry Multure n.Also double (dubill) (= twofold) multure, freq. as a penalty for ‘abstraction’ of multure from the ‘thirl’.For further instances see also Abstractit ppl. a., Astrict ppl. a., Bannok n. 2, Girst n., Grist n., Insuckin n., Knaveschip n. b, Lok n.2 3 b, Miln n. 1 c (5), and outsuckin, suckin, thirl, thirlit, thrallit. ? 1209 Acts I. 59/1.
[Liber homo dabit ad molendini multuram [tr. to multer of the myl] sextum decimum vas vel vicesimum vel tricesimum secundum quod feodatum est … et rusticus et firmarius de terra servagii dabunt tercium decimum vas
? 12.. Statuta Gilde in Ib. 93/1. 1327 Exch. R. I. 60.
Racione multure terre de Dreket
c 1330 Yester Writs 18.]
Et dabunt tricesimum vas multure ad molendinum meum de Middeltone
(a) 1402 Scone Indenture (Reg. H.).
With myll & multuris & other profitis
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 173.
Tha sal do thar det lelaly and truly to our myl efter wirtyn law bath in fre multur and thyrl
1478 Acta Aud. 59/1.
Summond … for the multur of the teind schaf of Dalmustarnach
Ib. 69/2. 1482 Ib. 98/2.
That the multure of the cornes of the landis of Corstimyngfeild to the fourty curne is a pertinence of the saide landis
1493 Acts II. 234/2.
That thair be na multur takin for sic [sc. imported] floure … bot at it may cum to the mercat and be sauld without multur
1534 Bamff Chart. 65.
He saw the multure of the said mylne gathered and borne to Bamff
1557 Reg. Cupar A. II. 137.
Payand thair multure to our corne myln of Kethik, the ane and tuenty corne
1581 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 87.
[The inhabitants] ar constranit to pay double multuris in symmer seasoun for laik of watter to thair awne mylnis
1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 306. 1591 Sutherland Chart. 171.
The myllne of Windles and mowlturis and suckin thairof
1611 Scrymgeour Invent. 38.
1622 Stirling B. Rec. I. 157. 1650 Brechin Presb. 45.
The goodwyff is holding a jubilie thie day and will not tak multur from me at this tym
1658 Holmains Baron Ct. 9 Nov.
A complaint given in by the multures greive against the tenants for keiping the queirnes and grinding their own and their neighbores grain ther on in prejudice of the multures
1667 Stitchill Baron Ct. 44.
Continew that claime James Campbell possessor of Stitchell mylle contra George Frenche for abstracted multures
1674 Ib. 73(b) 1565 Lennox Mun. 268.
Mylnis, moultouris, woddis
1593 Grant Chart. 294.
With the milne, multoures, scheallingis, pendicles and pertinentis
1629 Justiciary Cases I. 123.
Taking his multour with ane large and fals fourt pairt disconforme to the said half firlote
1632 Linlithgow B. Rec. 13 Apr.
The haill personnes quha hes gone away [etc.] … to pay … doubile moultour and knaifschip
c 1639 Sc. Lore I. 163.
Payed for ane kist to keipe the drawin multour into
1654 Stirling B. Rec. I. 211.
To pay multour thairfoir as followes, to witt, for ilk boll, tuo heappit capfull and ane half
1661 Aberd. Council Lett. IV. 182.
That the defender had producit no kynd of richt to the multors
1696 Cunningham Diary 25.
And moultours to the mill of Dennestown
(c) 1437–8 Aberd. B. Rec. MS. IV. 128.
Evynly parsonaris bathe ressauing of the multeres of batthe the said milnys
14.. Acts I. 60/2.
He sal haf his seid fre of multer [etc.]
1461 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 362.
1484 Acta Aud. *145/2. 1498 Acta Conc. II. 195. 1506 Peebles B. Rec. I. 200.
Our twa corne millis and millyeris with thair sequelis and moulteris
Dowble molter
1523 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 217. 1523–42 Carnwath Baron Ct. MS. ii.
Quhil the multer of ȝour awin myll be pait to the lordis myllar
1526 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II. 220.
For singill multer
c 1536–7 Rec. Earld. Orkney 222.
1561 Stirling Chart. 417.
Mowlteris, sequelis
1573 Inverness Rec. I. 230.
Thais quha ar electit stallingearis … be astrictit … for to com to the Kyngis myln with thair mowlter and stuff
1604 Elgin Rec. II. 127.
[Millers to be] arreisted quhil thai mak restitutioun of the multeris of uther milles ressauit be thame
1606 Inverurie B. Ct. 25 Nov.
The miller to pund the person that hes gain away at thair nixt cuming to the miln for the dubill of sic multer as thai suld haif peyit
1627 Rep. Parishes 29. 1635 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 27.
1641 Acts V. 552/1.
1649 Fraser P. MS. (Reg. H.).
To pay vttingtownes mowleter tharefoir
1659 Irvine Mun . II. 80.
1666 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 108.
Ane meiting … ainnent the multeris of the rigis of Old Aberdeine
1667 Ayr & W. Coll. VI. 124.
For a multer boght be him fra Stair, seventeine punds
1677 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 234.
And so prejudging the toune of the moulter and excyse therof
1687 Mackenzie Observ. 259.
Yet the lords sustein'd in milns a moulter though much greater then the ordinary fourth part of a peck
(d) 1424 Acts I. 33/2.
Thai sal suer … of corne to be kepyt of rychtuis multyr to be tane
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 166.
Ilke man sal gife a bol of quhet [etc.] … the mylnaris tende and abbe tendis falland in thar awn handis and the tende fre multyr and the stok thyrl as wunt wes
1512 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 109.
Thai sall pay … in multir the xiij pek as the auld use has bene
1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 40.
1529 Stirling Ant. IV. 203.
He becam borgh and dettor to the said Cristane for multyeir
1667 Rothesay B. Rec. 131.
And grind thair grindabill cornis thair and pay moultir and knaifschip usit and wont to wit [etc.]
(e) a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 634.
Millers takes ay the best multar with their own hand
1677 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS. 3 Dec.
For the abstracted multares
(f) 1386 (1414) Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 10. 1423 Edinb. Chart. 55.
The forsaide landis with al appertenances … in mylnis in multris in courtis and eschetis
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 190. 1569 Crail B. Ct. MS. 15 Nov.
Withowt payment of ony mowltre
c 1639 Sc. Lore I. 161.(g) 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 106 (see Multur(e-schefe n.). 1455 Aberd. B. Rec. MS. V i. 236.
To distribut euynly the moutor of the said mylnis betuex the said fermowris
1480 Peebles B. Rec. I. 186.
1484 Acta Aud. *139/2.
The wrangwis vptakin of the movteris and proffitis of the said myine
1522 Fife Sheriff Ct. 252.
Wytht the myll mowtouris & profittis of the sammyn
1559 Crail B. Ct. MS. 4 Dec.
The taykis men of the Kyngis millis to hayff thayr avyne moter
1567 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 146.
1584 Acts III. 371/1.
Milnes mouteris wodis
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 1026.
Millers gat never ane better mowtar nor they took themselfs
1639 Annandale Corr. 298.
He hes no will to meddle with the Lifting up of these mouters quhill [etc.]
Urquhart Rabelais i. xi. 55.
Out of one sack he would take two moutures or fees for grinding
1681 Kirkcudbr. Test. 27 June.
13s. 4d. resting of the mowter of the said crope
(h) c 1480 Lindores A. 426.
The dry muttar of Kinnard viij bollis beir viij bollis meill
1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. (ed.) 118.
Tuecheyng the wrangus metteyne of thair stuffis batht of stok and mwtter
1629 Monteith Stewartrie Ct. 1 Oct.
That thai sall pay baithe mutter and knaffischipe
1641 Acts v. (1817) 573/1.
Infeftment of the said mill in tunend muteris and sequallis
(i) c 1536–7 Rec. Earld. Orkney 220.
Mill lands, mill quoys, mulcters, and sequells of the said mill
1550 Buccleuch Mun. II. 200.
With all richt marchis, … mulcturis, and sucking thairof
1573–8 Exch. R. XX. 374.

2. Attrib. and comb. a. Paid or payable as multure.With dewty and bere, malt, mele, quhete.(1) 1608 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 556.
To gif the multour dewtie to the taksmen of the mylvis
(2) 1600 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 509.
Bollam ordei wuigo multir beir, bollam farine auenatice wulgo multir meill
1519 Wigtown B. Ct. 80 a.
The vrangus haldin fra him a buschell of mvltour malt
1532 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 59.
For ilk thre bollis of malt groundin ane pek of multer malt
1544 (1587) Reg. Great S. 402/1. 1605 Montrose Treas. Acc. 2 b.
Giffyn for wyn to the beillies … at the selling of the muttor malt
1655 Peebles B. Rec. II. 26.
John Frank … to be comptable for thrie pecks of multure malt stolin out of the milne
1657 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 363. 1676 Reg. Privy C. IV. 3 Ser. 561.
He did buy great … quantities of bear and malt, grind the same, and did putt it up in his multur house, thereby getting it free of all impositions, as if it were multur malt
Ib. 566.
Mulctur malt
1547 Misc. Spald. C. V. 309.
Multure meall, ferm meall and teynd meall of the Lenȝe of xlvj ȝeris crop, [39] chalder [etc.]
1569 4th Rep. Hist. MSS. 478/2.
To be held in feu of the Earl for yearly payment of two bolls of beare, one boll of multer meal, four marts
1646 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 36.
Four peckis multir meill
1650 Boyd Fam. P. No. 196 (1 Apr.).
And they to pay an boll moulter mealle yeirly
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII. 50.
Of moulter meill tuelf bollis
1673 Soc. Ant. XXIII. 75. 1514 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 147.
And multur quheit till haue thair priuelege as thai war wount till haue
1522–3 (c 1580) Ib. 216.
Quhair ony maister takis multer quheit he sall grynd the said multer quheit becaus it is rowme fre and als mekill mair till it
1681 Glasgow Bakers 65.
We … wholl caling of the baxteres is thoght it fit to give him ane lod of mouter whit

b. Of a container: For holding multure.With ark, kist, poke, stand. 1574–5 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 35.
The wrangus breking of the staple of ane hyngand lok … being vpoun the multour kist in the towne mylne
1601 Reg. Privy C. VI. 209.
Brak up hir multour ark and tuik furth thairof four bollis of schillingis
1633 Peebles Gleanings 132.
Challengit for steilling … of ane mutour stand
1645 Ib. 252.
For nyne quarteris hardin to be a multure poke

c. Of a building or part of one: For storing multure.With booth, hous, loft.(1) 1651–2 Peebles B. Rec. II. 194.
The tuo stands of befor in the multure booth
(2) 1538 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 13 June.
Ordainis Tham Henrysone to taik wp the mouter and put it in the mouter hows and deliver the keye to the kyrk maister
1554 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII. 49.
For byggin of the mowter hous
1634 Reg. Great S. 9/2.1676 Reg. Privy C. IV. 3 Ser. 561 (see a (2) above).(3) 1657 Edinb. B. Rec. IX. 66.
And the moulter loft in Lindseyis milne

d. Multer-maister, = Multurar n.Cf. north. ME. multirgreve (c 1300), multir-grafe (1479). 1638 Edinb. B. Rec. VII. 211.
Electis Johnne Hog … to be ane multer maister in the commoune mylnes

e. ? (Pasture) appropriated to a mill, as one of the miller's privileges. 1477 Reg. Cupar A. I. 209.
Our Bogmyl … to Paton Mylnar … with al pertynens … togydder with the land mwltyr pasturis with iiij bollis of ryng bere

f. Also Multure-Atht, Multure-schefe.

3. (Erron.) rendering L. multarum gen. plur. of mul(c)ta (= a mulct or fine). 1533 Bell. Livy II. 93/8.
Intendit to promulgate ane law richt plesand to the pepil concernyng the estimatioun of multuris

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"Multur n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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