This glossary defines archaic words and phrases, mostly Scots law terminology, commonly found in our documents and records. For a larger resource go to the online Dictionary of the Scots Language, which contains Scots words and phrases, including legal terms.

It also includes definitions of archival terminology, although not all these terms have been used in this catalogue

With thanks to the Scottish Archive Network

1. the same (thing, person, place) 2. each, every.
an agreement in two identical halves written on one sheet which then usually has the word "chirograph" written between the two parts and is cut with a jagged line through that word, each half then being given to a party to the agreement, the principle being that the two halves can authenticate each other when matched up.  But in practice in Scotland, the word is almost entirely applied to a contract in a normal form drawn up between a master and an apprentice.
the act of giving symbolic possession of land or other heritable property; see sasine, symbols.
field or land lying nearest to the farm, usually the most fertile ground which was kept continuously under cultivation.
another form of diligence, this one being against heritable property.  It is the usual order in the monarch's name under the signet, prohibiting a debtor from running up any other debt which might put a burden on his heritable property to the disadvantage of his existing creditor(s).
inquest or inquisition
an enquiry made by a sheriff of a county and a number of locals as jurymen into a point of fact; it is usually held to establish who is next heir to a piece of heritable property (what can be called an "inquisition post mortem"), but they could in theory be about virtually anything, what to do with a stranded whale, for instance.
furniture, or household goods.
a formal document created by a notary-public and authenticated by him; after the Reformation they are generally instruments of sasine, which constituted the only legal evidence of the giving of possession of a piece of heritable property; before then, they could be about anything that took the fancy of the clients who paid for them practically.
the order made by a court for putting a stay on any unlawful proceeding.
this is a type of restraint imposed by a court, which usually takes the form of a bond; it is imposed by a court on (or assumed voluntarily by) a person who cannot handle his own affairs and therefore might be taken unfair advantage of, and its purpose is to prevent him from doing anything which might affect his estate, without the prior consent of those who are named in the bond.
judgements or pronouncements of a court.
taking up the possession and management of property belonging to someone else; it can be legal, when someone is designated as an "intromettor with the goods and gear" of another, or illegal, when it is called "vicious intromission" in which case an heir intromits with the moveable property of his ancestors without right.
same idea as intromission, but has to do with heritable not moveable property; it means taking up possession of heritables without any title to do so.
ish of a tack
the time at which a lease expires; "ish and entry" is a right given to someone to go into and come out of ("ish fra") lands, usually by specified entries and exits.

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