Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CHALKING OF DOOR, CHALKING THE DOOR, n.phr. Sc. law: “A mode of warning tenants in burghal tenements to remove. In Edinburgh this is performed by a town-officer, acting ex officio, and at the request of the landlord, but without any express judicial warrant. . . . The chalking consists of marking the principal door of the tenement with chalk forty days before Whitsunday; and a certificate, or execution of chalking, being returned, subscribed by the officer and two witnesses, becomes the warrant for a summary removing before the burgh court, under which decree of removal will be pronounced, immediately on the arrival of the removing term” (Sc. 1890 Bell Dict. Law Scot. 161, chalking of door). “Quite common here sixty years ago, now quite obs.” (Arg.1 1939). Sc. 1754 J. Erskine Princ. Law Scot. (1903) II. vi. 20:
In warnings from tenements within burgh, it is sufficient that the tenant be warned forty days before the ish of the tack . . .; the ceremony of chalking the door is sustained as a warning, when proceeding upon a verbal order from the proprietor, though without the warrant of a magistrate.

Chalking of door n. phr.

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"Chalking of door n. phr.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <>



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