Hand: Main Hand, BL Stowe Ch. 41
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
Though dated 1035, the charter-bounds here show a rather spidery aspect, although the letter-forms share much with S.985-1 and S.950-1. The bodies of letters here are very small, quite angular, and were written with a thin pen but with a good deal of shading. Ascenders are typically twice the length of minims and have small forks. Descenders are slightly shorter, are straight, and turn very slightly left at the tip. Minims are straight and have small wedges and for feet have rising ticks. Teardrop-shaped a was used throughout with the back curving in slightly and usually angled at about 80°. The same structure was used for æ, the hook of which branches from below cue-height and is angled up, and the tongue is thin and rising. An alternative form of æ is also found with a prominent trailing head on the a-component. Two forms of ligature were also used: the first a large round bulging loop before t, and the second a lower wider loop before r (ærest, line 12). Round c was used throughout, and the back of d is relatively long and usually angled at about 30° but can be horizontal. Round and horned e were both used, the hook and tongue of which are like those of æ but without the tall forms. The tongue of f is straight and on the base-line, and the hook often branches from just above this. The top of g is straight, relatively long, and often has small vertical ticks at one or both ends, most often the left. The mid-section of g hangs from the centre of the top-stroke, curves slightly left and then swings well to the right, though not much below the following letter, before swinging around in a closed rounded loop. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all somewhat angular. Only tall s was used, the letter descending slightly below the base-line and with a rounded hook which reaches well over the following letter. The scribe preferred ð to þ, using the latter initially but the former also in demonstrative pronouns (ðonne, line 10; ðis and ðam, line 12). The back of ð is very long, angled at about 60°, and fairly straight, though often vertical-tipped, and the through-stroke is hooked up on the left and down on the right. Straight-limbed dotted y was used throughout, the right branch of which is hooked left, the left branch turned down at the tip, and the tail bent left. The top of 7 is horizontal, straight, and quite long, with a small vertical hook on the left, and sometimes turned up slightly at the right; the descender is angled slightly to the left and can taper or have a small diagonal finial. Latin is distinguished by script.