Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A certain system of popular jurisprudence formerly prevailing in northern England and Scotland. It is described by Sir John Skene, writing in 1597, when the system was in force, as follows: “Laws of Byrlaw ar maid and determined be consent of neichtbors, elected and chosen be common consent, in the courts called the Byrlaw courts, in the quhilk cognition is taken of complaintes betuixt neichtbor and neichtbor. The quhilk men so chosen as judges and arbitrators to the effect foresaid, are commonly called
- n. A district within which the system prevails.
- n. A parish meeting.
- n. the local customs and laws of a settlement or district
- From Old Norse býjar (genitive of býr ‘village, settlement’) + lagu ‘law’. (Wiktionary)
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