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This is a letter from the king to some of his servants containing instructions for actions that they are to take. One might think that such a correspondence would be written in a relatively direct way from sender to recipient. However, this is not the case. The format, or diplomatic, is a simplified version of the formal structure of a charter, lacking only a list of witnesses. The body of the text begins with the word Sciatis (Let it be known), implying that although this letter is specifically directed at the foresters of Essex, nevertheless it is a public proclamation. Malefactors of the kingdom take note.

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

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Medieval Writing
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