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Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

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Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby jamurdoch » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:02 pm

The Will of one of my ancestors recorded in the Kirkcudbright Sheriff's Court includes the statement "and also all and whole a Jack dated sixteenth day of February eighteen hundred and twenty one entered into between ........ by which the said ..... set and let to the said ....... and his heirs and assignees all and whole a certain portion of ground being a part of the four merk land of Little Dalbeattie. After much frustrating research, I have finally understood the term 'merk land' (or mark land /merkland /markland) but I have drawn a complete blank on understanding the term 'Jack'. It may simply be a lease but it may have a more specific meaning. Any help in understanding this term would be greatly appreciated.

In case any one else has also been puzzled by the term 'merk', it is an old Scottish unit of land measurement which derives its name from the old coin, merk or mark, which was the annual value of rent paid on it. The exact extent of the area involved varied considerably according to the district and productivity / quality of the soil. However, one merk land was generally somewhere just below one acre up to two or three acres.
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Re: Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby JMcK » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:53 am

https://dictionary.thelaw.com/jack/
JACK

THELAW.COM LAW DICTIONARY & BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 2ND ED.

A kind of defensive coat-armor worn by horsemen in war; not made of solid iron, but of many plates fastened together. Some tenants were bound by their tenure to find it upon Invasion. Cowell.

So maybe it describes a lease where providing a "Jack" is part of it.
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Re: Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby runmerry » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:08 pm

William Bell Dictionary & Digest of Scottish Law Terms

HAWBERT :- a term in old law language for the tenure of ward and relief,........................ because it was given upon condition that the vassal, possessor thereof, should come to the host and army with JACK & arms.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=a6x ... ck&f=false

Regards
Jen
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Re: Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby jamurdoch » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:50 am

Thanks JMcK and Jen. I was surprised that I did not find the term with its own entry in Bell's Dictionary and Digest and Trayner's Latin Phrases and Maxims did not provide any useful leads. The only similar phrases in Latin start with jacere or jactus with a sense of throwing. A 'Jack' could certainly be a local shorthand for a phrase beginning with jacere or jactus but, unfortunately that does not fit with the sense of some form of land deal. I will try to attach a picture of the handwriting in case I cannot read it properly, but the first character is certainly the same as a capital 'J' at the start of other words in the same document. Thanks again for your suggestions.
John
Attachments
Will - John Murdoch - 1879 %22Jack%22.jpeg
Will - John Murdoch - 1879 %22Jack%22.jpeg (28.54 KiB) Viewed 1069 times
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Re: Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby JMcK » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:29 am

it's Tack

TACK, Scotch law. A contract of location by which the use of land, or any other immovable subject, is, set to the lessee or tacksman for a certain yearly rent, either in money, the fruits of tho ground, or services. Ersk. Prin. Laws of Scot. B. 2, t. 6, n. 8; 1 Tho. Co. Litt. 209. This word is nearly synonymous with lease.
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Re: Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby jamurdoch » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:40 am

Fantastic. Thanks very much indeed for solving this question which has puzzled me for some time. I was misled by the 'J' of James on the same page looking virtually identical to the 'T' of Tack. Your expert eye and knowledge have solved the mystery for me.
John
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Re: Meaning of "Jack" in Scottish land deals.

Postby jamurdoch » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:38 pm

A good lesson for me in thinking outside the box. Thanks again.
John
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