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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

EXTENT, n. Hist. in phrs.: Old Extent, New Extent, the names given to the general valuations of land in Scotland for the purposes of taxation, casualty assessment and franchise. The Old Extent was made in the reign of Alexander III (c.1280), the New, as a result of the improvement of land and altered money values, in 1474. Both valuations appear in the Retours after 1474 and later valuations were generally calculated in multiples of Old Extent. The practice fell into disuse, being replaced by the valued rent, an assessment of 1643, and later by the modern Valuation Roll of 1854. See also Stent. For the whole subject see T. Thomson's Memorial on Old Extent in the Stair Soc. Publications, vol. x.Sc. 1751 W. MacFarlane Geneal. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 361:
The five Oxengang of the Toun and Lands of Brey. . . . The new extent whereof is £100 Scotts and the old extent £49. 9. 4.
Sc. 1761 Faculty Decis. (1772) III. 49:
The old extent has always been, and still is one of the qualifications that intitle freeholders to vote.
Sc. 1802 Morison Decisions 8597:
The qualification of a freeholder is ascertained . . . to be a forty shilling land of old extent. The statutes do not fix any particular sort of evidence by which the extent is to be proved.
Sc. 1931 H. Furber Henry Dundas 178:
The law of 1681 gave the franchise to all who held the “forty-shilling land of old extent”, or land rated at £400 Scots (£33 sterling) of valued rent.

[O.Sc. has extent, 1424, auld exstent, from 1496; new extent, 1584. Anglo-Fr. extente, Med.Lat. extenta. valuation.]

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"Extent n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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