The Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) Glossary defines archaic words and phrases, mostly Scots law terminology, commonly found in documents and records in Scotland's archives. If you think a word or phrase should be added to the glossary, or an existing entry could be defined better, please contact us. Since the SCAN project ended, the Dictionary of the Scots Language has gone online at http://www.dsl.ac.uk/, and this should be consulted for Scots words and phrases (including legal terms).
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
"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
pairt or legitim, and a further one-third
would be the dead's
part the deceased could bequeath, so that
relictae would be the other. (Terce
has to do with heritables).