Hand: Main Hand, BL Cotton Ch. viii.37
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
The script looks disorderly. Descenders taper and are longer than minims, and ascenders vary in length from approximately one to three times the length of minims and show long forked strokes which trail off to the left. Minims can be very short and show regular wedges on i and the top of descenders but approach-strokes on m and n. Round a was used throughout and is usually teardrop-shaped but is still fairly wide and rounded. Exactly the same form was used in æ, the tongue of which is horizontal, fairly thick, and just below cue-height, and the hook of which rises slightly. The same hook and tongue were used in e, the back of which is usually round but can be horned. No tall e or tall æ ligatures are found, but both letters form low ligatures with following g and t and were often conjoined with following d or o. The back of d is short, somewhat rounded, and angled at about 45°. The hook of f is angled, and the tongue is long. The tail of g is open, the mid-section hangs from the centre of the top-stroke and can be S-shaped or more curled up and almost closed, and the top-stroke itself is slightly concave up. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r turn relatively sharply from slightly rising to vertical; the first three letters are fairly wide, but r is narrower. Tall and low s were both used with no apparent distinction in usage. Tall s stands firmly on the base-line and reaches up to ascender-height with a tall, narrow head not unlike that of S.1385-1. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was largely followed, but ð was sometimes used for the demonstrative (ðissum gewrite, line 1; ða frequently). The back of ð is straight, very long, and has a faint tick left at the tip, and the through-stroke is fine, rising, and shows a small or no downward tick on the right. Straight-limbed, dotted y is normal, the right branch of which is usually hooked left. Round y is found once in ligature with preceding g (gyfanne, line 11): the y is fairly elongated, and the right branch is hooked down at the tip. The top of 7 is at cue-height and usually fairly horizontal, and the descender is close to vertical.