Hand: Grammar Hand 1 (fols. 7–52, 79v23–90r), BL Harley 3271
- Grammar Hand 1 (fols. 7–52, 79v23–90r)
- BL Harley 3271
- Saec. xi1/3
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This slightly forward-leaning hand has a somewhat messy and disorderly aspect but has quite consistent letter-forms. A medium-width pen was used with some shading, and strokes are generally very rounded and so often have a swollen or bulging appearance. Ascenders are usually shorter than minims, often curve right, and have quite heavy, triangular wedges. Descenders are also shorter than minims and are more or less straight. Minims have approach-strokes and rising feet and are often somewhat rounded and forward-leaning. A rounded but essentially teardrop-shaped a was used which was often crudely formed. A similar shape is found in the a-component of æ, the tongue of which is long and thick, and the hook high and somewhat bulging if followed by a minim or descender but otherwise is low and angular. Round c has a small hook. The form of d varies: the back is usually angled at about 30–40° but can be rounded and almost bilinear. A thick approach-stroke is found on horned e, the hook and tongue of which are like those of æ. The tongue of f is moderately long, thick, and tapering, and the hook is short. The mid-section of g is relatively open and hangs from the centre of the flat top; the tail is wide and essentially S-shaped but nearly closed. The shoulders of h, m, and n all branch from below cue-height, rise diagonally, turn over smoothly but with a slightly swollen stroke, and are normally angled slightly back in to the left as they reach down to the base-line. That of r is similar but with a slightly more vertical down-stroke. Long, low, and round s were used with little distinction except that long s is found before t and wynn, and low usually before tall e for the ‑es ending. The bottom of long s only just descends below the base-line and reaches up to ascender-height with a small wedge at cue-height. The hook of low s branches from the base-line, reaches up with a fairly straight stroke, and then turns into the hook. The sections of round s are fairly well balanced. The scribe showed a strong preference for ð over þ, using the latter rarely and even then only initially (but note cweþað, 69r21). The back of ð is long, thick, angled at about 30–40°, and often vertical-tipped, although it can also be straight and without any tapering or finial; the through-stroke barely passes through the back and is hooked down on the right. Straight-limbed and round y are both found, both dotted. Bilinear x is found, although the south-west branch can descend below the previous letter; both strokes are rounded, and the right-left stroke is hooked at both ends. The top of 7 has a heavy downward approach-stroke on the left, a straight but rising top, and a nearly vertical descender. Latin is not distinguished by script.