Hand: Main Hand, Burton 2

Main Hand
Burton 2
Saec. xi

Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)

This document was written in a messy and irregular hand. The script has a rather stiff appearance, can have shaky descenders, and has irregular word-spacing often by syllable rather than word-boundary; all of these suggest that the scribe was imitating a script unfamiliar to him. The script of the boundary-clause is only slightly smaller than that of the main text but was written with a finer pen. Ascenders have small wedges or barbs and in the bounds are as long as or longer than minims but are shorter than minims in the main text. Descenders can be shorter than minims but are usually longer. Minims have small wedges and have horizontally ticked feet. The top of a is straight and rises very slightly; the left side is usually very convex and can be wedged, and the back is upright or slightly concave. The a-component of æ is more teardrop-shaped, and the e-component has a long tapering tongue and forms a tall bulbous and slightly open ligature before minims or descenders. The lower curve of c is longer than the hook, and the two strokes are often not properly joined. The back of d is close to horizontal, is fairly long, and can be straight, concave down, or vertical-tipped. Horned e was used with a hook, tongue, and ligature like those of æ. The tongue of f is long, and double-f can be written with a single stroke for both tongues. The top of g is flat, and the mid-section hangs from the right and is very angular, turns to the horizontal along the base-line, and then curves in a tight, round, open hook right of centre. The shoulders of h, m, and n are all rounded, but that of r is very angular and often turns slightly back to the left. Low, long, and round s are all found. Long s appears always before t and is usually found initially; round s is infrequent in the charter-bounds and is only used there initially (Suðranbeorh, Sceardanbeorh), and once at the end of the line (wiliabys); low s was used elsewhere. A fairly low s+t ligature is found infrequently. The toe of t can be turned up. The conventional distinction between ð and þ was largely followed (but note ðorn twice). The structure of ð is much like that of d except that the back is often slightly longer and steeper; the cross-stroke is very long and very thin, angled up fairly steeply, and hooked down on the right. The upper two branches of x are curved down, the lower two are curved up, and the lower left branch is long. Straight-limbed undotted y was used, the left branch of which is bent slightly left, the right branch hooked left, and the tail hooked right. The top of 7 is fairly flat and quite long, and the descender is essentially vertical. Latin is not distinguished by script.

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