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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.

Pesabilly, Peceabilly, Peciabilly, adv. (a.). Also: pess-, pecc-, peis-, peic(e)-, pies-, pice-, pease-, peace-, pesi- and -abily, -abil(l)i(e, -abylly, -ably(e, -abli(e. [e.m.E. peaceably (1535): cf. Pesibilly and Paisabilly.]

1. adv. Peaceably, peacefully, in peace, without disturbance or challenge.(a) 1375 Barb. v. 231.
The [Clyffurd] sa pesabilly [E. pesabylly] Brukis and haldis the senȝory
1391 Floors Indenture 23 June.
Tyl … he haff joyssit the landis beforsaid four ȝer pessabili
1410–11 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 30.
Pessablie in possessioun of the said moir and land
1423 (1429–30) Reg. Great S. 31/2.
He sal joyse and use pesabylly the office of chancellary … of Annanderdale
1426 Coldstream Chart. 43.
1449–50 Glasgow Chart. I. ii. 28.
To cum gang by and sell frely and pesabli
1456 Hay II. 15/23.
Sa that clerkis mycht pesably study in sciencis
1470 Reg. Panmure II. 246.
1475 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 453.
In cas that I … may nocht … brouk pesably the said tenement … be vexacon of pley to be movit in tyme to cum
1476–7 Ib. No. 460.
It pessably till iois & bruk ay & quhill [etc.]
1480 Newbattle Coll. (Somerville) (Reg. H.).
(b) c1515 Asl. MS. I. 249/22.
Conran … regnit xxxiiij ȝere peceably
1518 Peebles B. Rec. I. 46.
1542 15th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. ix. 44.
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. ci. 95.
Craftismen and commounis may peceablie Thair leving win without oppressioun
1593 Rec. Earld. Orkney 169.
To be peccabilli bruikit, joisit [etc.]
(c) 1489 Wemyss Chart. 113.
a1500 Bk. Chess 1021.
The men of weir … peciably maid him [Alexander] in Ynd to ryng
1518 Chart. Coupar A. II. 117.
1521–2 Wemyss Chart. 149.
1527 Selkirk B. Ct. MS. fol. 125 b.
1533–4 Melville Chart. 73.
Thair daly hovssald seruandis … as thai vsit daly peciably to ryd
1538 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 201.
He and his ayris … sal peciabylly pan and fryst in and vpone the saidis twa gavillis frely
1560 Soc. Ant. XXIII. 55.
Quhair sche culd nevir have bruicked her awin lievin peciablie be raisin the saime lyes in sa brokin ane cuntrie
1567 G. Ball. 96.
1568 Campbell Love-Lett. Mary 22.
1593–4 Douglas Bequest 23 Jan.
The teind schawis … to be peciablye … collectit … be the said Robert
c1650 Spalding I. 86.
Haueing vsit thir seruice bookis peciablie … ilk Sabboth day
Ib. II. 330.
Abirdein quhair he had entress peciablie
Ib. I. 298.(d) 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 109.
1499 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 625.
Indurand all & sindry the days & terme of nyneteyn ȝeris … peiceably as lawe wyll
1596 Dalr. I. 146 marg.
He diet peiceabillie
1608 Melvill 747.
That it [the Assembly] may be … peiceabilly keipit
1685 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XI. 48.
(e) 1585 Edinb. Univ. Chart. 97.
To be … peaceablie brukit … be the said Mr. Robert
1596 Soc. Ant. IV. 157.
To renunce thair sirname and to leif peaseablie
(f) 1663 Galloway P. 2 July.
To be piesably injoyed occupyed [etc.]
(g) 1610 Laing MSS. I. 123.
That I may the moir piceablie injoy my awin

2. adj. Peaceful; law-abiding. = Pesabill a. 3 (2). 1641 Acts V. (1817) 358/1.
My servandis war in ane most peceablie maner … for the tyme

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"Pesabilly adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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