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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English *soule-scot, *sawle-schat, from Old English sāwlsceat, sāwelsceatt (an ecclesiastical due, to be paid for every deceased person to the clergy of the church to which he belonged, in consideration of the services performed by them in his behalf), equivalent to soul +‎ scot.


soulscot (plural soulscots)

  1. (ecclesiastical law, historical) A funeral payment, formerly made at the grave, usually to the parish priest in whose church service for the departed had been said; a mortuary.
    • 1839, J.F. Pennie, Britains Historical Drama:
      O, by my soulscot, I do love to tell My stories with the haste I often count, At drowsy night, my Paternoster belt.
    • 1955, Tudor &stuart Lincoln - Page 32:
      He will pay his brotherhood yearly, and soulscot on the death of a brother or sister, except for reason of poverty; [...]
    • 2007, R. N. Swanson, Indulgences in Late Medieval England:
      The vagaries of the records bar any firm calculation of membership figures – especially as receipts include money for 'soulscot', presumably made on behalf of the dead.
    • 2010, Joyce Tally Lionarons, The Homiletic Writings of Archbishop Wulfstan:
      [...] churchscot, a render paid annually in grain; lightscot, candles or oil for lighting church lamps; plough-alms, assessed at a penny per plough; and soulscot, a payment in return for burial in a church graveyard.