Hand: Decisions of Bishops (D.xxvi, 17v–18r), BL Cotton Titus D.xxvi and D.xxvii
- Decisions of Bishops (D.xxvi, 17v–18r)
- BL Cotton Titus D.xxvi and D.xxvii
- Saec. xi2/4
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
The letters of this fairly heavy and somewhat rounded hand show relatively large bodies and short ascenders compared to the line-spacing, giving the page a somewhat crowded aspect. Ascenders are slightly shorter than minims and have small wedges, and descenders are similar or slightly longer and are straight; minims are fairly thick and have prominent wedges and horizontal feet. A fairly rotund but essentially teardrop-shaped a was used, the top of the bowl being thin and straight, and the back thick, usually slightly angled, and often turning over at the top to close off the letter. A similar structure was used for æ, both this letter and e having squinting eyes and thin tongues which rise before turning down at the tip; e itself has a thick back which turns over at the top to form a horn. Round c is found throughout, and d has a very short back which starts at about 45° and turns up at the tip. The tongue of f is short and straight. The top-stroke of g is straight and fairly long, the mid-section hangs from the centre and can be short or quite long but is always narrow, and the tail swings well to the right before closing in a small loop. The lower branch of k is short and does not quite reach the base-line, and the upper stroke curves over and almost forms a closed loop. The shoulders of h, m, and n are usually somewhat rounded, although they can be more angular as r normally is; the down-stroke of the latter is very straight and can be angled in to the left. Tall and low s were both used: the latter is more common, but the former was used without any apparent distinction except that it appears most often before t, initially, and at the beginning and ends of lines. Tall s sits firmly on the line and has a horizontal foot and a high but narrow hook. The scribe used þ exclusively. Straight-limbed, dotted y was used throughout; the right branch is usually lower than the left and is hooked left, and the thin tail is hooked right. The top of 7 is horizontal but slightly hooked up on the left, and the descender is approximately vertical but bulges very slightly out to the left. Only four words of Latin are found, for which the scribe used &, Insular r, and semi-Caroline a.