Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

from 1976 supplement

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CHARGE, n., v. Sc. Law usage:

I. n. A command issued by the Crown under warrant of the signet to a person or persons to perform some act or to obey a decree of a court, specif. †in cases where an heir refuses to take possession of an estate encumbered by debt or, now where a debtor in gen. is being pursued for payment. Sc. 1722  W. Forbes Institutes I. iii. 98:
A general Charge to enter Heir supplies the Place of a general Service.
Sc. 1927  Gloag & Henderson Intro. Law Scot. 546:
A poinding must be preceded by a charge of payment. The charge may be given to the debtor personally, or at his dwelling-place.
Sc. 1946  A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 17:
In conveyancing law the word was used in the expressions, general charge, special charge, and general-special charge, these being writs under the signet for compelling heirs in heritage to take up or renounce the succession so as to enable creditors of the estate to receive satisfaction.

II. v. To issue an order by means of a charge. Hence charger, one who employs a charge, esp. a creditor in trying to recover his money. Sc. 1722  W. Forbes Institutes I. iv. 246:
When Protestation for not producing the Suspension is extracted, the Charger may proceed in Diligence, as if no Suspension had been put.
Sc. 1774  Erskine Institute iv. iii. § 12:
If a debtor who is charged on letters of horning fail to make payment within the days of the charge, the charger may apply for letters of caption.
Dmb. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 VIII. 206:
The chargers, on the cause coming into the Inner-House, proposed to put additional queries to him to bring out the facts as to this matter.
Sc. 1896  W. K. Morton Manual 300:
The pursuer, or, technically, Suspender, seeks to have suspended, or stopped, diligence threatened against his estate, proceeding upon a decree of Court. . . . The creditor, technically Charger, is prima facie entitled to recover his claim.

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"Charge n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Sep 2019 <>



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