Hand: Main Hand, BL Additional Ch. 19797
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
Although irregular and somewhat idiosyncratic, this hand does show the rotundity typical of the mid-eleventh century. A relatively broad pen was used with a good deal of shading and was held quite flat. Ascenders are approximately the length of minims, are fairly straight, and have more or less consistent wedges. Descenders are of similar length as ascenders and tend to swing out to the right slightly before curving gently back to the left without turned at the tip. Minims themselves have horizontal feet, and — particularly with m and n — can have prominent approach-strokes which sometimes reach back to the preceding letter Rotund a was most often used, the top and back formed in a single stroke, although the top can be straight and angled at about 30–40°, and the back can reach down slightly beyond the bowl. The lower curve of a meets the back well above cue-height. Semi-caroline a was also found after e, the tongue of the one joining the back of the other. The rotund a was also used for æ, the eye of which sits high on the shoulder and can be squinting or can rise above cue-height in a low ligature; the tongue is straight and very thin, and is sometimes horizontal but more often rising. Round c was used, the hook of which is often short and the back slightly angular. The back of d is thick, relatively long, angled at about 45°, and usually with a heavy wedge at the tip. Round e is found, more or less squinting, with a long thin and slightly angled tongue, although a form very close to horned is also found. The tongue of f is long and very thin. The tail of g is closed in a round loop, and the mid-section is quite rounded and hangs from the middle of the flat top-stroke; the resulting form is entirely typical of mid-century hands but can also be found much earlier. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all quite rounded, although the down-strokes are fairly vertical. Only low s is found, the hook of which branches from the base-line, and the letter is once ligatured to following wynn (swa, line 4). The lower curve of t often extends slightly above the top-stroke. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was largely followed (but ðegena, line 2; geðeahte, line 1). The descender of þ is shorter than on other letters. The construction of ð is very much like that of d, with a thick back angled at about 45° and a wedge at the tip, and the through-stroke has a prominent downward hook on the right and does not pass through the back of the letter. Straight-limbed dotted y was used throughout, without any hooks. The top of 7 is horizontal but slightly below cue-height; the descender begins slightly above this and is essentially vertical. The three Latin words opening the text were not distinguished by script.