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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.

Petty-, Petti(e)-custom(e, -um(e, n. Also: petie-, peté-, petté-; pitie-, pitte(e, pittie-, pitty(e-, pytté-. [Late ME. pety custume (1450). Cf. med. L. custuma parva (Eng. c 1304, Sc. c 1344), also Petit-custom(e.] The dues levied on goods entering a burgh for sale in its market (?so-called in contradistinction to the ‘great customs’, see Skene Reg. Maj. i. 151 b).Orig. collected on behalf of the crown by a bailiff, but later farmed for a fixed sum to a private entrepreneur, or to the burgh itself, the latter in turn (?usu.) farming them by roup within the burgh. (See Murray Early B. Organ. I. 142 ff. for further information).Chiefly pl. Also, once, attrib. in pl. 14.. Acts I. 303 heading.
[Parva custuma que dicitur le tol
Ib. 308.]
De parva custuma regia
(1) 1482 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 43.
Exceptand the petie custume of the toun of Leith
1511 (c 1580) Ib. 133.
The fermorairis of the petie customes of the toun
1516–7 (c 1580) Ib. 166.
Quhat cost or expenssis that the saidis fermoraris of the petie customes makis vpoun fyrlottis pekkis and on the vnce trone
1540 Edinb. Chart. 211.
Petty custumes
1555 Conv. Burghs I. 10–11.
Haveing consideratioun of the grite diuersiteis of petecustumis of burrowis … it is … ordanit that ane ordour vniforme and quantitie of pete customes and hewin siluer be … vsit within all the burrowis of this realme
1579–80 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 147.
a1603 Tract. Leg. Naval. 63.
The pettie customes is the shoremeall quhilk the town off Edinburgh hes for upholding of the key
1638 Dumbarton B. Rec. 56. 1683 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 125.
The cheiffest offer … is … [52] merkes … for the petti customs and foure small fairs
(b) 1538 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II. 92.
That na maner of … persouns haif furlotts to mett in the meill merket except allanerly the gatherer of the pitie customes
1540–1 (c 1580) Ib. 103.
Pittye customes
1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 200.
Pytte customes
1575 Reg. Privy S. VII. 24/2.
The office … of crownarschip and small custumes of the burgh of Dunbartane and office of the pittie custumes thairof
1575 Conv. Burghs I. 44.
Tuyching the pittecustum of … Abirbrothok
1578 Ib. 69.
That the commissioneris … bring with thame thair taibillis of pittiecustomes
1598–9 Ayr B. Acc. 197.
For the bred of the pittie custom [in the] tolbuyth
1643 Cuningham Journal 145.
The saids factors … had not charged the estates of this kingdome with the … pittee and great customes dew
1649 Elgin Rec. I. 185.
The pitie customes rowped for 173 pounds 6 s. 8 d. for ane year
1683 Edinb. B. Rec. XI. 71.
The present taxman of the pittie customes at the Netherbow port
1688 Rothesay B. Rec. 452.
Pitty customes
(2) 1555 Conv. Burghs I. ii.
Ane … copy to be maid of the petecustomes buikis of Edinburgh … swa that euerie burgh haif ane autentik copy … quhilk salbe delyuerit to thair petecustomer

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



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