Old Scottish Weights and Measures

I made reference to this excellent resource when examining the labour and yields relating to feannagan cultivation.

They originate from ‘A Complete System of Practical Arithmetic’ published for the Scottish School-book Association in 1869. I say ‘for’ because I have found another of their titles of the same year that was published by William Collins.

If Lippies, Pecks, Firlots and Bolls leave you high and dry, or Mutchkins and Chopins w(h)et your appetite, then you will find the answers here:


An extract from an account of the ‘Hebudae’ from 1794 is interesting:

The weights and measures used in these isles, are various and uncertain, as on the mainland. I believe the most prevalent weight to be that denominated Dutch weight; but concerning either the weights or the measures,I have not yet obtained satisfactory information. One thing certain is, that by diversity of weights and measures, traffic is rendered more tardy, complex and difficult in its operations; whilst, by simplicity and uniformity of weights and measures, its sales and exchanges are quickened, and its transactions in general, made less operose*.

Heron, 1794 (See next entry in blog for full citation)

*Operose = Laborious

Despite having been kindly given this link to Old Dutch Weights and Measures:
I am unsure exactly what the term ‘Dutch weight’ in this article refers to!


One thought on “Old Scottish Weights and Measures

  1. It is worth noting that commercial herring fishery was introduced to the Outer Hebrides by the Dutch, hence the use of Dutch weights. As the linked list of Dutch units of measurements shows (put it through Google Translator to get it in English), there was a veritable plethora of units, even differing between towns and cities within the Low Countries. Long live SI!

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