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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HERITOR, n. Also †heretor, †heritour. Sc. Law: A landowner, a landed proprietor (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 177), now specif. in regard to his liability to contribute to the upkeep of the parish church. Gen.Sc. Also attrib.Wgt. 1702 Session Bk. Glasserton (4 Oct.):
The minister gave intimation to the heretors anent ther meeting for settling a schoolmaster and sellary according to law in this paroch.
Sc. 1704 Acts Parl. Scot. XI. 137:
The whole Protestant Heretors and all the Burghs shall furthwith provide themselves with fire arms for all the fencible men who are Protestants within their respective bounds.
Kcd. 1712–30 C. Wright G. Guthrie (1900) 42:
After my brothers death the Heretors and parishioners of Glenmuck invited me by a letter to succeed my brother and take the Charge on me.
Rxb. 1725 Melrose Session Rec. (S.R.S.) (6 July):
Heretors to meet in order to stent themselves for maintenance of the poor.
Sc. 1746 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 202:
These are requiring all officers of his Royal Highnesses army . . . to allow all and sundry the heritors, tenants, and possessors of the shire of Ross . . . to pass to and return from Inverness.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxvi.:
If ony heritor or farmer wad pay him four punds Scots out of each hundred punds of valued rent. . . . Rob engaged to keep them scaithless.
Sc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 22:
It is melancholy to see so little taste displayed by our Scottish heritors, generally, in regard to the exterior and even interior of our places of worship.
Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket xxiii.:
The only instance of such a thing . . . had been . . . at a heritors' meeting in the parish school.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
The heritors' seat i' the forebriest.
Dmf. 1921 J. L. Waugh Heroes 19:
He's a heritor, of course, an', as ye ken, bound by the law to dae his bit to keep kirk an' manse ticht and dry.
Sc. 1955 Scotsman (25 March) 1:
In the Petition at the instance of The Church of Scotland General Trustees for the preparation of a Teind Roll of the said Parish, Lord Wheatley, by Interlocutor dated 25th March 1955, appointed the whole Heritors or their Agents to meet.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge iii:
It is set in that same parish, dominated less by the medieval castle brooding on the hill or the heritor land-owning families than by the ministers and elders in the small thatched kirk of Dundonald's early years and the little stone one which rose later in its place.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 32:
The heritor looked long at the youth who had so calmly put this proposal.

Phr. heritors' Gothic, a jocular term employed amongst architects and others when referring to some of the Gothic features common in 19th century churches (Sc. 1953 N. Maclean Year of Fulfilment 15).Sc. 1913 J. Stirton Glamis 115:
The architectural style of the building is neither Heritors' Gothic, nor Feuar's Romanesque, but a kind of mixture of the two.

[O.Sc. heritar, etc., from 1483, the proprietor of a heritable property, used from 1575 with particular reference to their ecclesiastical or other parochial liabilities, Mid.Eng. heriter, O.Fr. heritier, with later conformation to agent nouns in -o(u)r. ]

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"Heritor n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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