Hand: Charm (fol. 176–8), BL Cotton Caligula A.vii
- Charm (fol. 176–8)
- BL Cotton Caligula A.vii
- Saec. xi1
- SE England
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This fairly heavy script was written with a thick, fairly flat pen and some shading. The appearance is somewhat irregular, slightly backward-leaning, and lacks a level cue-height. Ascenders are long and have small wedges, and descenders are straight but slightly tapered. Minims usually lack wedges but often turn slightly left at the top, and feet are absent or horizontal. Teardrop-shaped a was used, the back of which is thick and straight, and the top fairly straight. Horned flat-topped a appears on 176r20 (fealda) but looks as though it may have been an emendation. Much the same structure was used for æ, but the bowl of the a-component is often slightly higher than the lower curve of the e-component. The tongue of æ is long and horizontal, and the hook rises slightly above cue-height. Round c was used, with a long lower curve. The back of d is thick, straight, angled at about 40°, and occasionally turned right at the tip. The back of e is more or less vertical and is turned left in a thick horn; the hook and tongue are like those of æ, and the lower curve usually extends slightly beyond the eye. The tongue of f is short and tapering, and the hook is relatively long. The mid-section of g hangs from the right of the top-stroke, and the tail is open, relatively long but narrow, and horizontal or turned up at the tip. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r can all be rounded, somewhat swollen, and begin below cue-height, and the down-stroke is close to vertical, although r is often particularly angular. Long, low, and round s were all used without apparent distinction. Round s appears quite often but was clumsily formed and often extending above and sometimes below cue-height. High round s is found as the last letter in the names of the first three evangelists on 176v, but the last name has the low form (MatheuS. 7 mrcS. LucaS. 7 Ioħes). Tall s appears only once, in ligature with a following t (staðol, 176r17). The top of t tapers on the right and can be angled downwards or can be long and turned up at the tip. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was largely followed, although oþþe appears alongside oððe (176r3 and 5), and common pronouns and adverbs are frequently written with initial ð (ða, ðas, ðær, ðonne, particularly on 176v and 178r). The back of ð is thick and fairly straight, very much like d but slightly longer and more often turned up or right at the tip, and the through-stroke is hooked down on the right and sometimes up on the left. Two examples of x can be found in ligature with preceding e: the left-to-right stroke of x is very low, angled at about 20°, and is formed from the tongue of the e, and the second stroke is hooked left at the top, right at the bottom, and extends below the base-line and the preceding letter. Round and straight-limbed y are found: the former is dotted, has a fairly short tail, and can have a low right branch, and the latter has a thick left branch, a fairly vertical right branch and tail, and can be with or without a dot. The top of 7 is concave up, and the descender is vertical. Latin words were not distinguished by script except for a low and slightly extended c+t ligature twice in benedicti (176v1 and 178r22), and the use of a clumsy &.