Hand: Endorsement, BL Stowe Ch. 36

BL Stowe Ch. 36
Saec. xi in.
Unknown (Westminster archive)

Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)

The endorsement was written in two lines along the width of the charter. The hand is very much like that of the face and is quite probably by the same scribe, as the choice and construction of letter-forms is almost identical, even down to the detailed structure of c, e, and g. However, the script here is much more regular and controlled. The aspect is angular and slightly spidery, and the hand shows a good deal of shading and many tapering strokes. Ascenders vary in length but are rarely longer than minims and have small wedges which verge on approach-strokes; they are, however, straighter, more upright, and proportionally longer than on the face. Descenders are also short but taper and turn slightly left. Minims are approximately straight but vary in angle and show thin approach-strokes and small feet. Single-compartment a was used throughout, the top of which is thin, normally straight, and angled at about 40°, the back is also straight and angled at about 70° before turning up in a relatively long foot, and the resulting body is relatively wide. This structure is similar to that of the face but is wider and more rhomboid. This structure was also used for æ, although the shoulder of the a-component is more rounded. The hook of both æ and e rises slightly above cue-height before meeting the tongue, and tall æ is also found before t. The tongue of e is often slightly concave down and tapers on the left as it meets the back, and both e and c have long, thin, curved approach-strokes. The back of d is relatively short, unlike on the face, but it normally turns up or right at the tip which is itself tapering, and an alternative form can be found with a shorter straight back angled at about 30°. The tongue of f is short, thin, and straight. The top of g can have thin finishing-strokes at both ends, and the middle component is quite small in comparison to the large, rounded, closed loop. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all relatively angular, r in particular often having a straight down-stroke which is angled slightly out to the right and which is straighter than that of the face. Low and tall s were used with little distinction except that only low s was used finally (tall in sy, myltse, the first in cristes, and both in ecnysse; low in þysum, sy, amansumod, and four times finally). Tall s has a small loop and descends slightly below the base-line. Unlike on the face, only þ is found here, although there is little scope for ð if the conventional distinction was followed (but oþþe, wurþe). Straight-limbed y was used most frequently, the right branch of which is sometimes hooked left and the tail sometimes hooked right, but bilinear undotted round y is also found. The top of 7 is hooked upward on the left and rises slightly to the right before descending in a slightly waving down-stroke.

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