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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Retour, n. Also: ra-, rhe- and -toure, -towr(e, -tower. Pl. also retouries. [ME and e.m.E. retour (Manning), f. retourner Return v.]

1. The act of returning (to (vnto) or in a place); return. b. The right so to return. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 627 (C).
At thare retoure Inne thar cuntre
Ib. 1082.
The retoure Gregeois to thar land
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 51.
Traisting to Troy that scho suld mak retour
1633 Johnston Diary I 8.
Schoe … at my retour accepted me kyndly
b. 1443 Highland P. II 179.
Bathe the partyis sal hafe fre retour and recourse to thair awn landis … but ony obstakil, questioun, or demaund
1513 Doug. xi i 101 (Ruddim.).
Nor ȝit ane victour … Vnto thy faderis ciete haue [v.r. hame] retoure?

2. A return drawn up by a judge and assise, and sent to the Chancellory in response to a brieve requiring a verdict on certain matters pertaining to the ownership and value of land; the record of such a return kept by the Chancellory.In most of the following instances, the retour is sent in response to a brieve of mortancestry, s.v. Mortancestry n., relating to the service of an heir.‘If the jury was satisfied that the claim was proved, they served the claimant as heir, and the clerk prepared the ‘retour’ to the Chancery from which the brieve had emanated.’ Introduction to Scottish Legal History (St. S. 20) 173.(1) 1429 Acts II 19/2.
It is … ordanit apon the seruice of inquestis and of retouris agayn to the kingis chapell that all frehaldaris … comper at the hede courtis … with thar selis [etc.]
1488 Lag Chart. 15.
And geif retours thereupoun
1494 Acta Aud. 196/2.
To deliuer ane retour and deliuerance in the said mater
1501–2 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 642.
And we jugis … vnderstandand be diuers charteris evidentis ratouris preceptis & instructis of sasingis fyndis that the said Margaret … is nerest & lauchfull are of lyne to … hir fader
1536–7 Breadalbane Coll. No. 47.
Ane instrument quhair the said Johnne wes seruit be ane retoure of the said office of balliery and optenit sesing thairupoun
1545 Reg. Privy S. III 182/1.
Be ressoun of nonentres, reductioun of retowris [etc.]
1575 Prot. Bk. J. Harlaw 212.
The said nobill lord produceit tua copies of retouris … beiring … that [etc.]
c1575 Balfour Pract. 175.
Be vertue of ane retour … declarand him to be the narrest and lauchfull air
Ib. 419.
Na retour is autentique, nor makis faith, quhilk cumis not out of the chancellarie ordourlie
1577 Stewart Mem. 100.
The said Mr. Alexander Skein … producit ane extract of the retoure quhair vmquhill Sir Jhone Steuart ves servit
1585 Prot. Bk. J. Borthuik 28.
Ane of the sch[i]reffis … be vertew of ane retour past to the ground … and thair kend & enterit Jeane Prestoun … to the … toun and landis
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
Gif the assise deliveris … against the defender … their answere … sealed with all their seales or of the maist part of them … is sent back and retoured to the Chancellarie, conforme to the kingis command … Quhilk therefore is called ane retoure
There is twa kindes of retoures or answeres maid be the … inquest to this brieue … The ane is generall and the vther speciall [etc.]
1606 Reg. Privy C. VII 170.
Pryces … to be tane heirafter of all sic letters and writes as pass that office [sc. of Chancellory]. … The registring of a retour to a comon man [13 s. 4 d.], To ane barroun [26 s. 8 d.], To ane lord of parliament [40 s.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. (Latin ed. 1609) ii 110.
Retornatus, ane retowre, or ane answer returned from the schireff to the briefe directed forth of the Chancellarie
1630 Acts Sederunt ii 43. 1678 Ib. 138.
Precepts … for granting infeftment upon retours
1681 Stair Inst. iii v § 42.
Retours are easily annulled, or reduced, because no defender is called thereto
(b) 1630 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 10 June.
Ordanit the saidis tua serrvices to be retourit to our soverane lordis chancellarie in dew forme of retouries as vse is
(2) 1471 Acta Aud. 15/1.
The said breif [of inquest], the retoure and sesing … to be of na vale
1474 Acts II 107/1.
Anent … breifis of inquest … it is … ordanit that it be answerde in the retour quhat the lande was of awaill of the auld ande the werray awaill that it is worthe
1476 Acta Aud. 42/1.
Thai fund in the retour vmquhile Alexander Napare … sesit … in a land & tenement lyande in … Edinburgh
1480–1 Peebles Chart. 28.
Decernis the said … determinatioun and retour gevin thairuppoun of na … effect
1484 Acta Aud. 144*/1.
The accioun … tuiching a retour present of befor to the auditouris of complaintis anent a fery bait on the water of Clide becaus the … abbot allegit … that the said retour was fals & alterit contrare to the deliuerans of the personis that past apoun the inquest
1496 Acta Conc. II 26.
Letters … to the directour and clerkis of the Chancellary chargeing thame to deliver the copy of the sade retoure … to the saidis … Lord Ruthven and … his son
1497 Ib. 74.
Als that thai deliverit nocht that the sade Alexander … was ane naturale ydeot; that tharefore the Lordis ordanis that letters be writin to call the clerc that wrate the sade retoure … to ansuere … apone falsite
Ib. 75.
Alexander Setoun son and apperand aire til Alexander Setoun … grantit … that he renuncit the retoure of ydeotry impetrat be him apone Alexander Setone his fader
1501–2 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 642.
The ratour fyndis the sad Alexander ar to Schir Adam Mvr & thus the ratour & precept of sasyn discordis in thaimself … The sad ratour is nocht odorly seruit becaus that the sad Alexander vas nocht of lauchful aghe
1501–2 Acta Conc. III 147.
[The Lords find] the process and retoure led in the making of the sade … knycht servit of the landis … of nane avale
1518–19 Ib. in Fife Sheriff Ct. 297.
To mend the said retour and quhar it was be resone of ward to reforme it be resone of nonentres
1522 Ib. MS XXXIII 10b.
The retour proces and all that followit thairapon to be retretit cassit and adnullit
1546–7 Treas. Acc. IX 64.
To Alexander Ȝoung for drawing out of the persoun of Govanis retoure
1559–60 Inverness Rec. I 40.
As the ratowr past thairapon proportis
1562 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 18 Aug.
The quhilk day William … tuik instrument vpon the produce of the said retour in iugement
c1575 Balfour Pract. 428.
Nather war [they] present at the day of deliverance and making of the retour
Ib. 430.
Gif the persounis passand upon ane inquest for serving of ony man to his landis makis na divisioun in the retour betwix the new and the auld extent and schawis … not the avail of the landis … the … retour … is of nane avail
1592 Digest Justiciary Proc. P 34.
The defender … anent the reductioun of the retouris sayis that albeit hir retour of the landis be reduceit scho ceisis nocht to be air
1698 Foulis Acc. Bk. 223.
To Mr. Scot in the chancerie chamber for the dewes of my retour
1698 Fountainhall Decis. I 819.
The brief of mortancestry is one of the retourable briefs, and it is an incompleat act till the retour, by which only it becomes a sentence
(b) 1593 in Montg. Suppl. 323.
In the caus of the reductioun of the rhetour persewit be the kingis aduocate
(3) 1473 Acta Aud. 26/1.
The persouns … has nocht … gevin na wrangwis deliuerance nor retour theruppoun
1495 Acta Conc. I 393/2.
William Keth … grantit that he wes seruit of his landis & haid retour of the sammyn
1631 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 11 Nov.
Ordanes the said seruice to be retourit to our soverane lordis chancellarie in dew forme of retour conform to the ordour and pracktique vsit in the lyk

b. An authenticated copy of a retour. 1562 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 26 July.
Ane retour extract furth of the chancellarie

c. specif. The document containing the return; also, a copy of, or an extract from, the return freq. in the possession of the person whom it concerns.Some of the quots. given above may properly belong here and vice versa.See also Respondé n. 2 (quots. Skene and Hope).(1) 1467 Reg. Dunferm. 359.
The sel of ws balȝeis … with the selis of some of thaim that was on the said inquest to this writ and ratoure ar affixit
1483 Acta Aud. 118*/2.
And … Stevin schew his predecessouris retour quhilk he was ordanit to bring … The lordis … deliueris that [he] … sal … jois the fery boit … efter the forme of the said retour & like as was contenit in the inquisicion of the said retour
1501–2 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 642.
The ratour schewin befor ws … is na evident of heretegh bot an informacion to the kingis chapell
1529 Red Bk. Grandtully I 70.
In vitnes heirof to this my rolment and retour … I haif affixit my propir seyll
1540–1 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 498.
The retour … makis faith … becaus the samin is fundin selit of auld with divers baronis selis … and als the buk of risponde and the rollis corispondis to the samin in all punctis
1558 Inverness Sheriff Ct. 40.
The maist part of the personis of inqueist hes appendit thair selis to this present ratower
1586 Perth B. Ct. 14 Oct. 1611 Scrymgeour Invent. 31.
James Scrymgeour his retour as air to his father
1661 Decis. Lords G. 9.
The donator may have inspection of the countess her retour
(2) 1492 Aberd. B. Rec. I 420.
Adame Gordone … deliuerit … ane retour of ane breyf of ydiotre … that Alexander Glaster … was fundin ydeot
1532–3 Bk. Dunvegan 71.
I the said shireff deput of Inverness caussit the maist part of the said inquist to append thir seillis to this retour of conprysing

d. A return made to a Court of Regality. 1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 65.
The retour or extract of a service before his [sc. the archbishop's] baillies of the regalitie, … [shall] make as great faith as the extract of a retour or service furth of the king's chancellarie

2. A return giving the annual value of a piece of land or of lands in a specified area. 1479 Misc. Bann. C. III 431.
Schirefe we charge ȝou … that eftir the tennour of this retour ȝe rais as for the first payment of taxt twa schillingis of ilk pundis worth of land contenit in the sammyn retoure
1531 Cramond Ch. Lhanbryd 66.
The ratoure of Patrik Hay of Ury of the anwall of Kilmalamak
1548–9 Treas. Acc. IX 278.
Chargeing the shereffis to gif up thair retoures of the landis withtin thair sherefdomes and ballieries for stenting of the punde landis
1552 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. in Fife Sheriff Ct. 395 n.
[The inquest] being … riplie auisit with retouris of ane part of the said landis togidder with ane auld roll of taxatione thai mak thar just roll of taxatione
1580–1 Reg. Privy C. III 346.
That, be advise of the schireffis … of the schires within the wardenrie, thair be a stent and retour of all landis within the same
1614 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 159.
I haif begune with a shyire or tuo, comptrolleing there bypast retouris with the present [etc.]
Ib. 160. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 57.
All few landis within the realme should be retoured and availled to mark or pennie lands … that quhen taxations ar raised the fewars may be charged accordeing to their retoure
1643 Baillie II 79.
The common burthens were laid on, not according to the retoure or merk land, bot the valuatione of the rent
1681 Stair Inst. ii iv § 28.
Which sums would be liquid, and known according to the new retour, and the feu or blench-duty

3. attrib., with male or duty: Fixed in accordance with the value recorded in a retour. 1600 Boyd Fam. P. No. 89 (9 Feb.).
The retour and nonentrie maills of the lands of … Lagganmarny
1681 Stair Inst. ii iv § 28.
The relief which is debitum fundi, must only be the retour duty
Ib. iv viii § 4.
The retour-mails, or feu-duties of the same … did … pertain to the said pursuer

4. In extended sense: (A record of) the passing of a right or office to a successor on the death of the holder. 1600 Colville Palinode 19.
The said crown to bee established in the person of the said successor by way of reversion or retour, as they call it
Id. Paraenese 44.
This most necessary and requisit retour of euident succession from th'Apostles dayis

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"Retour n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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