Hand: Main Hand, BL Additional Ch. 19796
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This hand is relatively neat and orderly and shows fairly bilinear letter-forms but extended proportions and narrow bodies. The script is quite angular and was written with a thin pen but some shading. Ascenders are long, straight, and show wedges which are sometimes prominent and sometimes simply horizontal approach-strokes. Descenders can be very short, are often tapering, and are either straight or curved slightly left. Minims show approach-strokes which can reach back to the preceding letter. Both teardrop-shaped and semi-Caroline a were employed, the former having a very pointed top and vertical back but a fairly rounded bottom. A similar single-compartment form was used for æ, although this letter tends to be more rounded and to have a much less vertical back. The tongue of æ is thin, angled up at about 40°, and hooked down at the tip, the hook is also angular and is approximately parallel to the tongue, and the lower curve is long. A long Caroline head is once found on æ (æcerum, line 5). Round c and bilinear d were used throughout, the former with a short and slightly blobby top-stroke. Horned e was used, the back of which is quite vertical, but the structure is otherwise like æ. Neither tall e nor æ is found. The tongue of f is fairly thick, sits on the base-line, and is of medium length. The top of g can be slightly wavy and tapered at one or both ends. The tail of g can hang from slightly left or right of centre; it extends left in a straight or more rounded stroke, turns approximately horizontal on the base-line, and then angles down at about 60° before turning up at the tip and almost closing with a hairline. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r all turn fairly sharply but are not particularly angular; the foot of r is relatively small, and the descender is often short. Caroline r was consistently used for the name marian despite the Old English inflection. Tall and low s are both found with little apparent distinction in usage except that the tall form is only found initially, finally, and before t. Tall s sits more or less on the base-line but usually tapers slightly below; the hook is small and slightly below ascender-height, and the letter can be forward-leaning. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was followed. The back of ð is fairly long and angled at about 45° but turned up or back to the right at the tip, and the cross-stroke curves downward and does not pass through the back of the letter. The upper left branch of x is curved down, the upper right is hooked down, the lower right turns horizontal, and the lower left extends below the base-line and is hooked up. Straight-limbed and round y are found, both dotted; in the former the right branch is hooked left, the tail up, and the left branch can be concave down, and the right branch of round y is hooked down. The top of 7 is rising, the left end curves up and back to the right, and the descender is vertical.