Glossary

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

jointure
a provision for a widow, usually made in her marriage contract and consisting of an annual payment to be made to her in her lifetime; if such a jointure was appointed for a wife, it would unless otherwise provided for deprive her of her widow's terce, but she was better off with the jointure, since if her husband died in debt or bankrupt, she would be reckoned as one of his creditors and be able to make her claim first rather than waiting till the debts were settled and having to make do with a share of what was left.
jus relictae
"the right of the relict" (the widow).  It is the share of the moveable goods of a marriage to which a widow was entitled on the death of her husband; if there were children, one-third would go to them as the bairns' pairt or legitim, and a further one-third would be the dead's part the deceased could bequeath, so that the jus relictae would be the other. (Terce has to do with heritables).
justice ayres
another name for the circuits made throughout the country for the purpose of administering justice in criminal cases, carried out by the Court of Justiciary.


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