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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Vavas(s)our, n. Also: vauvassour, wawasour, valvassor, valvasseill, (vavassor-, wavasor-). [ME and e.m.E. vavasour (14th c.), vauaser (Chaucer), valvasor (1577), vavasor (1605), OF vavas(s)o(u)r, med. L. va(l)vassour, appar. ultim. f. vassus vassorum, the vassal of a vassal.] A feudal tenant, immediately under a baron in rank. 1274 Reg. Dunferm. 120.
12… Reg. St. A. 364.]
Aliquam terram … ex dono alicuis militis vel wauasoris tenent
(a) 14.. Acts I 6/2.
That na man aw to thol iugment fra a les persoun than fra his peir … an erl be erlis baroun be barounis vavassour be vavassour burges be burges
14.. Acts I 361/2.
Erlis barounis knychtis vavasouris and fre tenandis … salbe quyt of gevin of toll or custom
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 97.
The vavasour may nocht saufand the fath of his humagis greff his lorde bot gif [etc.]
1456 Hay II 21/2.
All kingis suld have under thame dukkis and princis, erllis and vicountes, and vauvassouris and barouns
1456 Hay II 51/15.
Item, baneris ar gevyn, bot that is bot to kingis, and princis, erllis, dukkis, marquis, vavassouris, barounis and knychtis banneroll
1460 Hay Alex. 862.
Alexander depairtit … silkin clething till his vauassouris
a1500 Lanc. 1727.
To thi tennandis & to thi wawasouris If [= Give] essy haknays, palfrais and cursouris
(b) 1687 Fountainhall Decis. I 459.
Some of them did not hold immediately of the earl, but of Kennedy of Danger, his val-vassor
(c) 1667 Justiciary Ct. Rec. I 201.
That no man should thole judgement … by a man of inferior state … that is an earle by earles, an barron by barrons, an valvasseill be valvasseills [Skene Reg. Maj. i 93b, vavassour be vavassours], an burges be burgeses

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"Vavasour n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2022 <>



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