Moot Law

Moot Law * ANE KRY S NO566037 2

sub Motlau c.1330 x c.1330 x 1350 Balm. Lib. no. 49 [‘below Moot Law’; see discussion below]
sub Mothlaw 1590 RMS v no. 1749 [to John Beaton (Betoun) of Balfour; see discussion below]

? Sc mut or ? Sc mote + Sc law

‘Hill (law) of the judicial or other such legal assembly (mut)’? However, neither of the surviving references to the place mentions it as functioning as such. This contrasts with explicit references to the judicial function of Moat Hill of Cupar, which more certainly contains the element mut (see Moat Hill CUP, PNF 4).

The other possibility is Sc mote, mott, moit ‘a mound or hillock, natural or artificial’, derived ultimately from Latin mota or motta, via Old French mote and motte, ‘hillock, mount or castle hill’.

Stevenson suggests that this is the same site as Chesterhill ANR (1989, 3). But the only two surviving references to *Mootlaw (cited above) indicate that it is in ANE: for the first (Balm. Lib. no. 49), see ANE Introduction, Balmerino and St Ayles. In the second, a charter of 1590, it is likewise stated that the land was in Anstruther Easter: ‘the said parcel of land of Anstruther Easter, St Ayle’s Chapel beside the sea’ (parcellam terre de Anstruther orientali dictam Sanct-Ailis-chapell juxta mare), and repeats the privilege set out in Balm. Lib. no. 49 of bringing water ‘from the well below *Moot Law on the north part of the said land as far as their buildings, in an underground aqueduct of stone, wood or lead’ (RMS v no. 1749).[5] Given that the place is clearly a hill (Sc law) and the two charters represent it as lying on the north side of St Ayle’s Chapel (for which see ANE Introduction), it should be located at or near St Adrian’s Church at the NGR given above.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3