Hand: Hand 3 (fols. 48, part of 51), BL Cotton Otho B.xi
- Hand 3 (fols. 48, part of 51)
- BL Cotton Otho B.xi
- Saec. xi1
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This manuscript was badly damaged in the Cotton fire, although much is still legible. This hand looks fairly stiff and angular, and the aspect seems derived from Square minuscule, particularly in proportions and weight. Ascenders are straight, shorter than or as long as minims, and with small flat wedges. Descenders are usually straight but can turn left or can thicken at the tip. Minims are also straight and show somewhat blobby wedges and small, horizontal feet. Flat-topped, horned a was used, the body formed essentially like that of u but with a top added. A much rounder form was used for æ, the top and back of which are formed in a single stroke, the tongue is thin and rising, and the hook is very small; semi-Caroline æ is also found, and tall æ is not found. Round c was used throughout. The back of d is short, angled at about 45–50°, usually curves up at the tip, and sometimes hooks back to the right. Round e was used with hook and tongue like those of æ. Deeply-split f is found throughout, the hook branching from the base-line. The top of g is flat but fairly short, the mid-section is angular, hangs from the right, is usually angled back to the left, and then turns sharply down and right before curving back to the left in an open tail which is hooked up at the tip; the resultant letter is therefore rather 3-shaped. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all somewhat angular and the minims straight, and that of of r is turned slightly back to the left. Low and long s are both found, the former with an angular hook and the latter with a small hook and descending slightly below the base-line. Tall s is found before c and t. The usual distinction was followed between ð and þ. The back of ð is straight, of medium length, and angled at about 60°, and the through-stroke is long, flat, and shows a slight downward hook at the tip. The upper branches of x are hooked down, the lower branches are hooked up, and the lower left branch extends below the base-line. Straight-limbed y is found, both dotted and not, as is bilinear round undotted y. The right branch of straight y is hooked left. The top of 7 can be short or long and can be flat or slightly concave up, and the top can be at cue-height or high and close to ascender-height.