Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FOUD, n. Also foude, fowd; †feud (Jam.). In Sh. and Ork., an official, orig. of the Norwegian Crown, whose duty was to preside at the Things or local councils and to collect taxes, and, under the Sc. feudal regime, to carry out the functions of sheriff. The chief of these was called the Great, Grand or High Foud, his subordinates under fouds, and their office or district of jurisdiction, foudrie, fowdrie. Now only hist. See also Lawman. [fʌud] Sh. 1752 Session Papers, Galloway v. Morton (10 Jan.) 5:
The Islands retained also their old Magistrates; for, besides the Lawman, otherwise called the high or general Foud, (whose Office has been already described, and is expressed under the Name of Foudrie . . .) they had also inferior Fouds.
Sh. 1774 G. Low Tour (1879) 77:
Tradition informs us here sat the Fowd or Judge and other officers of the Court.
Ork. 1800 G. Barry Hist. Ork. (1867) 218:
The President, or principal person in the Lawting, was named the Great Foud or Lagman, and subordinate to him were several little fouds or under-sheriffs or bailiffs.
Sc. 1822 Scott Pirate viii.:
Magnus Troil, the principal proprietor, as well as the Fowd, or provincial judge, of the district.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Shet. 184:
The fowdrie of Shetland was divided into five, and subsequently into a still greater number of districts, to each of which was allotted an inferior foude or magistrate.
Sh. 1904 G. Goudie Antiq. Shet. 229:
The Fouds, Lawrightmen, and Ranselmen constituted the machinery of local government and justice in every parish in Shetland. . . . Those Parish Fouds lingered on, latterly distinguished by the Scottish appellation of “Bailie”, until well into the eighteenth century.

[O.Sc., fowde, foud, etc. from 1480, fowdry, 1572. Ad. Dan. foged, Icel. fogeti, M.L.Ger. voget (Ger. vogt), an overseer, bailiff. Ultimately from Lat. (ad)vocatus.]

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"Foud n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2020 <>



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