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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Purprisio(u)n(e, Purprusio(u)n(e, n. Also: purpresioun, purprisoun; Proprision. [OF porprison (med. L. porprension- occupation, usurpation), f. OF por-, purprendre: cf. Purprestur(e n. Cf. also Purprisar, Purprisitioune.] Purpresture. = Purprestur(e n.(1) 14.. Acts I 330/2.
At ye ger deliuer … the names of al thaim doand purprisioun in propirte or in commoun of our lorde the king within or vtouth
1480 Acta Conc. I 74/2.
The vsurpacion and purprisioun done in the takin vp of the malis of the samyn landis
1510 Dysart Rec. 2.
[Forfeited] their landis … quhilk tha pretend to hald of me in chief as over-lord foresaid within my said barony … because of their purprisioun comittat against me their overlord
1622-6 Bisset I 314/30.
The foirsaid Donald had maid manure and purprision upon his foirsaid lord erles eard and land
Ib. II 274/10. 1693 Fountainhall Decis. I 579.
That he had committed purprision and amitted his feu in tilling up a high-way
(b) 1478 Reg. Morton II 243.
For a compositioun made … for his purprusione made upone oure mure and commoun of Peblis
1497 Acta Conc. II 85.
This party … to underly the law apone the purprusione done to the king be the bigging of this tenement apone the kingis strete
1498 Ib. 201. 1600 Acts IV 228/1.
Quha soeuir … sall teill laubour manure saw park inclos or appropriat ony pairt … of … his hienes commounteis … sall be alsua decernit to haue committit purprusioun
(2) 1448–9 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i 34 (16 Feb.) (see Purpris n.).
Vnder payne of purprisioune of the king
1485–6 Newbattle Coll. (Somerville).
That he … desyst … of al occupacione … the saide lande … vnder payn & danger of purprisione & vsurpacion to be maid aganis me … superior forsaide
1497 Reg. Privy S. I 17/1.
Land … pertenyng to the kingis hienes be ressoun of eschet be purprision apon his hienes
1497 Acta Conc. II 85 (see Purpris(e v. a). 1511 Dundee Chart. No. 47.
All cryme that may be imput to thame … be way of oppressioun, purprisioun, or ony vther wais
(b) 1502 Acta Conc. III 186.
Except the punct of purprusione contenit in the sammyn [summons]
1536 Reg. Privy S. II 295/1.
Gif thai pertene to him be ony uthir maner of richt, nonentres, purprusioun or disclamatioun or uthirwais quhatsumever
1673 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I 674.
That if the defence should not be sustained, all ward lands … should be rendered obnoxious to infinite … trouble, not only upon pretence of recognition but all other feudal delicts which may make the property return and be recognised; such as purprusion, disclamation, and not showing of holdings
1688 Fountainhall Decis. I 513.
The magistrates of … Arbroath pursue James Carnegy … for purprusion by encroaching on their marches, whereby he had lost his feu
(c) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 6.
And be way of purpresioun to escheat the haile vuthall lands
(3) 1479 Acta Aud. 91/1.
The actioune … anent the halding of a court of purprisioun vppoun the landis of Raufburne wrangwisly haldin
1480 Acta Conc. I 59/1.
c1500 Harl. MS 4700 288b.
To vndirgang … ane assis of purprisioun & vsurpacion
Ib. 289a.
The said day & place my said lord will proceid agane ȝow with ane assis of purprision
c1575 Balfour Pract. 443.
The over-lord … may … summound his … vassal alledgit committar of the said purpresture, to compeir befoir him … to … underly ane assise of purprisioun and usurpatioun … as he quha purpressis and usurpis aganis him, his over-lord
1622-6 Bisset I 310/29.
To … underly ane assyise of purprision and usurpatioun
(b) 1481 Acts II 133/2.
Anent the halding of a court of purprusioune … wrangwisly haldin without powere
1482 Ib. 141/2.
To declar quhat lordis or persons … has power to hald courtis of purprusioun
1622-6 Bisset I 310/29. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 43.
The barrone hes pouer to hauld courts of purprusione upon his owen wassalls
(4) 1479 Acta Conc. I 45/2.
A processe of purprisioun led apoun the said landis
1480 Ib. 74/2.
Na processe of forfatur of purprisioune suld be led for sic causis
c1500 Harl. MS 4700 269a.
Precept of purprisioun of the lordis to the seruand
1545 Treas. Acc. VIII 384.
Lettres of purprusioun upoun the laird of Glenkirk
1590 Conv. Burghs I 314.
Aganis quhom … the communitye hes actioun of purprisioun, for vsurping of ane gryt … quantetye of the commoun landis of the … burch
c1630 Hope Minor Pract. (1726) 100.
Actions of purprisions against the vassal, for usurping upon the superior's property
1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 125.
His lordship shall … discharge the inhabitants of all actions of purprusion

b. sing. and pl. = Purprestur(e n. b.sing. 1543 Reg. Privy S. III 29/1.
And als of the malis … of the saidis landis … that … micht pertene, to hir hienes … be resoun of … escheit foirfaltour, purprusioun, disclamatioun … or be ony uthir maner of way
1549 Ib. IV 54/2. 1562 Douglas Chart. 253. 1586 Buccleuch Mun. II 244.
With speciall warrandice … fra all wairdis … appryseingis, evictioun, purprusioun
1632 Lanark B. Rec. 326.
Togidder with all richt [etc.] … whilkis his majestie … hes … to the maillis [etc.] … thairof … be ressoun of warde releif [etc.] … reductioun purprusioun [etc.]
pl. 1592 Acts III 604/1.
Or to the … proffittis and dewties of the samyn … be ressone of ward nonentres … recognitionis purprusionis disclamationis [etc.] … renunceand … the samyn
1613 Glasgow Chart. I ii 287.]
[Ac cum omni jure titulo [etc.] … quas nos … habemus … ratione nonintroitus, … recognitionis, purprusionis, disclamationis [etc.]
1619 Breadalbane Doc. No. 430.
To warrand … the forsaid aucht merkland … to the said Coline … frei and saiff fra all wardis releves … purprusiones disclamatiounes bastardries … and fra all vtheris clames
1620 Glasgow Chart. I ii 312.

c. In the following passage a distinction appears to be drawn between purprusion (? = encroachment on (? rural) public land) and purpresture (? = encroachment on a street within a burgh by building on it): 1686 Mackenzie Observ. (1687) 85.
Purprusion is the usurping and appropriating our superiours lands or high wayes and purpresture is much now in desuetude, the ordinary remedy now being actions of molestation … but … such as till the kings parks, or commonties, shall be lyable in purprusion, and punished according to the old laws. … It is doubted, whether vassals of regalities building upon the streets of burghs of regalitie, may be punished for purpresture or whether the building a foot or two furder than formerly … would infer that punishment

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"Purprision n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Dec 2023 <>



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