Hand: Confirmation of Privileges (44v), BL Royal 1.D.ix
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This skilled hand is very regular and shows rotund bodies and long, prominent ascenders and descenders. These ascenders are about twice the length of minims and have prominent split tops; descenders are shorter, about 1.5 minim-lengths on average, and are tapered, turning slightly left. Minims are slightly forward-leaning and have regular wedges and rising feet. A rotund form of single-compartment a was used throughout, the top and back being formed by a single stroke which is normally rounded but can be slightly more angular. The construction of æ is similar but the back is angled at about 60° and can descend slightly below the bowl before turning up sharply; the hook rises very slightly above the bowl, and the tongue is straight and rising. Two examples of tall æ are found (wæron, line 8; þæs, line 13): the first has a very high, bulging, open top, and the second is lower and closed, but in both cases the tongue is horizontal, at cue-height, and meets the following letter which still has a prominent wedge. Round c was used throughout, and d is strictly bilinear and has a back which reaches beyond the bowl and touches the preceding letter. Both horned and round e were used; the tongue of both extends beyond the rounded hook, often turns down at the tip, and sometimes meets the lower stroke which is long and curves up. The tongue of f is long and can be concave up or flat, and the hook can be deeply split. The tail of g hangs from the right of the short top-stroke and bulges to the left of it before swinging back to the right, under the following letter, and then around in a tail which is closed by a long hairline. The letter k shows with a thick straight stroke angled at about 30° and a small rising hook which remains within cue-height; it is very much like that of G.447-1, except that here the upper branch is turned down instead of up. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all quite rounded and bulge slightly, and the foot of r can swing up in a tapering stroke much like that of a. Long, low and round s are all found: round initially and particularly at the starts of lines, low finally, and high most commonly and in any position. Round s rises above cue-height but is reasonably well proportioned; long s has a high prominent hook and a down-stroke which tends to bulge to the right; and low s branches from close to the base-line. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was largely followed, though with some exceptions (toðan, ðam). The back of ð is very long and relatively thick, reaching up to the preceding base-line at about 50° and curving slightly upwards at the tip; the through-stroke barely passes through the back and is turned down in a prominent hook at the right. The south-west tail of x extends under the preceding letter; both lower branches are hooked up, and the upper branches are hooked down. Straight-limbed dotted y appears throughout, the tail of which can be slightly concave up or very straight and is angled relatively steeply (about 70°) and turned up at the tip. The top of 7 is flat but hooked up slightly at both ends, and the descender is angled very slightly left and has a small angled foot.