Letters of horning (Scots law): a document (i.e., letters) issued by civil authorities that publicly denounce a person as a rebel. The document was issued against persons who had not paid their debts.
Historically, the documents would be announced by three blasts of a horn, and the documents themselves came to be known as "letters of horning". A person who was denounced in these documents was described as having been "put to the horn".
Famous quotes containing the words letters of and/or letters:
“How do we know, then, when a codes been cracked? ... when we are right? ... when do we know if we have even received a message? Why, naturally, when, upon one set of substitutions, sense emerges like the outline under a rubbing; when a single tentative construal leads to several; when all the sullen letters of the code cry TEAM! after YEA! has been, by several hands, uncovered.”
—William Gass (b. 1924)
“Letters are above all useful as a means of expressing the ideal self; and no other method of communication is quite so good for this purpose.... In letters we can reform without practice, beg without humiliation, snip and shape embarrassing experiences to the measure of our own desires....”
—Elizabeth Hardwick (b. 1916)