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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Outhall,) Owthall, Uthal(l, Udal(l, n. Also: outhale, -ell, -eill, (outhey), owthale, -ell, -ill, owththell, owdaill, -ell; outhwall, outh-, outwel(l, owell; wthall, u-, wthal(e, -el(l, -ald, -ail, vuthal; utal; udail, -ell, -il, uddall; (also (with land) outheyland, udailland, udilland, uddalland, utaland). [ON. óðal, property held by inheritance, patrimony, ON. ōproducing (? by regular sound-change) ūand ŭin Orkn. and Shetl.] In Orkney and Shetland: Udal (land, tenure, etc.).The old native form of freehold tenure of Orkney and Shetland. By this, inherited land was held in absolute ownership, without feudal superior. On the death of an udal proprietor his property (with certain exceptions, notably the ‘tend penny and ferd’: see Tend num. adj.) was divided among his legitimate children or their successors, the daughters' shares being half those of the sons', with the eldest son entitled to the Hede-bule or mansion-house and to the first choice of the lots available. When sold, udal property could be redeemed within a prescribed period by the vendor's kinsfolk as heirs of the antecedent proprietor. Udal property was subject to the payment of land-tax (see Skat n.) to the Crown or its representative, and ecclesiastical teind. See further esp. ‘Udal Law’ in Sources and Lit. Sc. Law (Stair S. I), 445 f.

1. attrib. a. Outhall land or landis, land held by udal tenure, in contradistinction to King's (including former Earldom), Bishop's and church land.(a) 1492 Rec. Earld. Orkney 404.
[The 3f. land of Grimsetter] outhwel land tane in manibus Domini Joanni Magy
1548 Ib. 235.
Outhwall land
1576 Ch. in Orkney 149.
For the teind schaves of the kirkland, Kingis land and outhey lands
1576 (1602) Reg. Great S. 479/2.
Outhale landis
1609 (1610) Ib. 129/1.
Owthall landis
1611 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 276.
[For a piece of] outheill [land purchased by him]
1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 44.
Outhell land
(b) 1579 Rec. Earld. Orkney 149.
The haill owdell heritabill land and the Kingis grace land quhilk thair fathir haid in tak and assedatioun
(c) 1546 Rec. Earld. Orkney 231.
[The land to be held … ] alse frelie, veil and in paxe as onye outwell lande
(d) 1502 Orkney Rentals i. 4.
Southweidfuird, iij d. terre uthale land, aucht in butter scat j span
Ib. 19. 1588 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek 20.
[They] renuncis and ourgiffis thair haill richt and tytill of ane half pennie vthell land
Ane halfe merk land lyand in Sirogar in Gramesay vthald land
1589 Reg. Great S. 565/2. 1592 (1610) Ib. 118/1.
Uthail land
1601 S. Ronaldshay 13.
The haill uthell landis within the country of Orkney … fewit be ane noble … lord … to the uthellars thereof
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 18.
Twa merk land to be designit to hir to be bruikit … be hir as hir said uther uthall landis
1612 Acts IV. 481/2.
Vthale landis
1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 77.
The teynds are nott led bott ar payit be the possessores to his majesties girnell, payes na gersom seinge it is uthell land
(e) 1576 Reg. Privy C. II. 488.
His said umquhile fader being heretour of the udall land of the yle of Gairsay in Orknay
1595 Orkney Rentals ii. 2.
There is no kowisworth ofland in the Kingis land or Bishoppis land bot only in the vdall land
1623 Orkney Bp. Ct. 54 b.
Twa farding vddall land
1633 Reg. Great S. 757/2.
24 den. kingisland et udailland in dicta villa
1641 Ib. 363/1. 1642 Orkney Rentals iii. 18.
Manye … has sold bits of vdillands to be holdin of the Bischope of Orkney
Ib. 29.
The lands of Burwick … qlk wer of ald udal lands
Ib. 30. 1649 Reg. Great S. 769/2.
Towmale of uddalland vocat. Skegebuster
(f) 1633 Reg. Great S. 757/1.
1¾ den. lie Hamar in Aithstoun, viz. 1¼ den. ex antiquo lie Kingisland et ½ den. lie utalandis nuncupat.

b. Following the noun. 1584 Reg. Great S. 264/1.
Cum … scattis terrarum regalium et outhell de Southerbie … et owthell de Noltland
1587 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 210.
The … four merk land vdall being ane pennyland called Wasdeall
1600 Reg. Great S. 348/2.
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 26.
Ib. 38. 1614 Orkney Rentals ii. 116.
Sowth Witfirth 3d. terre, sowme tyme udell, now come in excambing for Linkesnes
1627 Ib. iii. 42.
Except onlie 6d. land outhell payis in land meal to the heretouris thairof 32 m. malt
1660–75 Ch. in Orkney 263. 1692 Ib. 164.
And now [the mill] hes the haill suckin baith King, Bishop and uthell

c. Gentlemen uthallis plur. = Outhall-man, Outhallar. 1587 Rec. Earld. Orkney 311.
Be the disponing, renunceing and overgiving againe to the gentlemen uthallis and inhabitantis of the countrie of Orkney

d. Qualifying other nouns, as -hous, -miln, -richt, -scat, -teind and in Outhall-man and -woman.(1) 1567 Peterkin Orkney & Zetl. App. 8.
For the uthel skat and duty thereof usit and wont
1588 Reg. Great S. 547/1.
Payande thairfore yeirlie … the wthell skatt and dewtes thairof usit and wont … in name of frie blensche
1595 Orkney Rentals ii. 6.
And comptit in the Bishops uthel and kirkland teinds
(2) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 10.
In taking away suckin fra the auld vuthal mills of Orkney
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 38.
Normond Matchis … heretour of the uthell houssis underwrittin
(3) 1583–4 Rec. Earld. Orkney 163.
I … sellis and assignis the heretable uthale rycht and propirtie of the said fyve penny land … to the said … Robert Erle of Orknay
1681 Stair Inst. ii. iii. 6.]
[The udal right of lands in Orkney and Zetland, whereby without any infeftment [etc.] … they enjoy lands and hereditaments; it sufficeth them to instruct by witnesses that they have possessed [etc.]

2. The rights pertaining to the udal ownership of land.(a) 1525 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 141.
In How vij mark with rotht and owthell
1536 Ib. 142.
The said v merk landis … with all royt eyne owthill and semyng and rytows pertinentis
1538 Ib. 143.
1557 Rec. Earld. Orkney 259.
With rycht and roytht, howsis, towmellis, toftis and owththell pertenand therto
1567–8 Ib. 286.
1575 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 88.
1581 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 149.
(b) 1567 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 146.
(c) 1551 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 259.
And with richt roitht owell [ed. ow[th]ell] thairof
(d) 1558 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 78.
Baytht off the eng and wthall off the forsaid tua merk land
1588 Reg. Great S. 547/1.
[Gairsay] to be haldin … off our soverane lord … in fie, heretage, frie uthall and blensche for evir [etc.]
1602 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 272.
In … fre heretage, wthall and blainsche ferme for ewer

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



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