Click on button beside each word to show how it is abbreviated in the text.

This is just a little sample of the abbreviation from the top left hand corner of the text. The whole thing is heavily abbreviated. As well as the usual forms of generic abbreviation, there are some specific conventions, especially with proper nouns such as personal names and the titles of the king. You just have to know them. Notice that the abbreviation Com is used for three different grammatical constructs of the word. Leaving off Latin endings became increasingly common in the later middle ages, and my resident medieval historian believes that eventually the scribes didn't actually know what the correct endings should be. This can be a dilemma for transcribers, but personally I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. I have used the ampersand character as the abbreviation for et, but as it is written in the text it rather more closely resembles the oldfashioned and rather simpler Tironian et. However, HTML cannot provide a Tironian et, so we are eroding our literate cultural history.

To find all the abbreviations, go to the text pages with the transcript window open and hunt them down one by one until you go crosseyed.

Writ of 1234 (British Library, add. charter 28402). Images from The New Palaeographical Society 1980, PLate 150.

| overview | text | alphabet | abbreviations | structure |exercises | transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through the text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Medieval Writing
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 3/8/2008.