Hand: Tribal Hidage (6v), BL Harley 3271
- Tribal Hidage (6v)
- BL Harley 3271
- Saec. xi1
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This irregular and untidy hand was written in a relatively light script, though with some shading. Ascenders are thin but short, no longer than minims, and have roughly-formed wedges which vary a good deal in size. Descenders are also thin and straight but are much longer than minims and tend to lean forward slightly. Minims are small and usually thin but can also be quite thick, depending on their angle and curvature; they have small wedges or approach-strokes and small feet. Fairly round single-compartment a appears throughout, the top and back formed with a single, thick, curving stroke, and the bowl with a thinner stroke; the back can descend below the bottom of the bowl and can curve up in a final flourish. A similar structure was used for æ, although the back is often more angled, usually at about 45°, and descends well below the bowl of the a; the tongue is fairly high and rises, and the eye is small. One example of a very tall bulging æ can be found on the first line of the page (þær), where the loop rises above most ascenders. Round c appears throughout, as does d with a short back which begins at about 60° but quickly turns upward and tapers off. Horned e appears throughout with a vertical back, a rising tongue, and a squinting eye. The tongue of f is straight and moderately long, usually rising slightly to the right. A very open form of g was used, the mid-section of which hangs from the centre or left of the top-stroke and drops almost straight down or curves out slightly to the left before turning a little back to the right and then ending in an open tail, the tip usually turned up slightly. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are usually quite rounded, although r in particular can be more angular; in all cases, the stroke begins well below cue-height and rises up before turning over into an often swollen down-stroke. Low s appears most often, but the tall form is also found (landes, 6v1; ærest, 6v1; syx, 6v3; þusend, 6v11); tall s is essentially Caroline in form, sitting firmly on the base-line and never rising far above cue-height. The scribe used þ exclusively, although the text only allowed two possible opportunities for ð if the conventional spelling were followed (suþ twice, on lines 5 and 20); the bowl of þ is quite angular, with either a flat or rising top and a straight bottom. The shape of x is somewhat awkward: the left-to-right stroke is quite thick and vertical, starting at cue-height, rising slightly, then arching over in a thick curved stroke before coming down and ending with a horizontal foot. The second stroke starts well below cue-height with a downward hook, then reaches back below the preceeding letter. A similarly awkward dotted y was also used, written with a single stroke on the left which usually stops just past the base-line but can descend in a longer curve; the right branch was formed by a second stroke starting at or above the base-line, angling out at about 45°, and then turning down at or below cue-height. The top of 7 is concave up and thick on the left; the vertical is straight. Latin is not distinguished by script.