Hand: Hand 4 (156r12–175v), BL Cotton Julius A.x, fols. 44–175
- Hand 4 (156r12–175v)
- BL Cotton Julius A.x, fols. 44–175
- Saec. x/xi
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
The fourth scribe completed the last six lines remaining in quire 15, along with the final two quires in the manuscript. His script is very heavy and angular, with thick wedges but small bodies and a cramped aspect. Ascenders are relatively long, but not to the degree found in the ‘tall and narrow’ script, and the scribe usually left vertical space between the letters. Wedges on ascenders are thick, slightly curved downward, and often with a hairline stroke trailing down and left. Flat-topped a appears throughout but with a slightly angled top and a point at the upper right of the letter; the left side is usually angled slightly to the right and has a small horn. The a-component of æ is similarly formed but with a more horizontal top, and the e-component can form a tall bulging ligature. Round c appears throughout. The back of d is concave down. Two forms of e were used, one horned and often with a turned-down toe, and the other horned but with a straight back formed from two separate strokes, and a high, slightly open loop with the tongue joined to a following minim, descender, or o. The loop of g is closed in a slightly angled oblong, and the mid-section is angled and looks much like a modern z. Three forms of s appear most often: the first is low with a short, fairly straight hook, the second tall and sitting on the base-line, and the third long, descending below the base-line, and with a low hook curving down into the following letter; the latter two forms only occur before t. Round s is also found, but infrequently. The lower, curved stroke of t joins the right end of the top-stroke when the letter is in final position, and the toe is often turned down in such cases. The scribe mostly followed the conventional distinction between þ and ð, although he used ð for oblique forms of se. The back of ð is thick, fairly long, straight or concave down, and usually angled at about 45° when straight but can be as little as about 30° and as much as about 60°; the through-stroke is hooked down on the right. Three-stroke x was used, the upper branches of which turn down, the lower right branch turns up, and the lower left branch is long and hooked right. Two forms of dotted y also appear: the first is straight-limbed with the tail hooked right, and the second round and bilinear. The top of 7 is slightly concave up, and the downstroke is vertical.