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:
“After the planet becomes theirs, many millions of years will have to pass before a beetle particularly loved by God, at the end of its calculations will find written on a sheet of paper in letters of fire that energy is equal to the mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light. The new kings of the world will live tranquilly for a long time, confining themselves to devouring each other and being parasites among each other on a cottage industry scale.”
—Primo Levi (19191987)
“A hunger seized my heart; I read
Of that glad year which once had been,
In those fallen leaves which kept their green,
The noble letters of the dead.”
—Alfred Tennyson (18091892)