This is the Latin text of the charter, although many Old English words are to be found in it. Lines 3 and 4 are full of them, these being terms for various forms of legal privilege. There is also the word thegenes in the second half of line 5, referring to thegns, the Anglo-Saxon term for free born gentry. The letter forms are those of an English Caroline minuscule, with wedged ascenders on such letters as b, h or l, but with some tendency to become angular in anticipation of the Gothic style.  
To investigate what the Old English legal terms mean, you can try the ORB Guide to Medieval Terms.  

Old English text

Charter of Henry I to Christ Church, Canterbury, of 1123 (British Library, Campbell Chart. xxi 6). All images by permission of the British Library.  

| overview | seal | text | Latin alphabet | Old English alphabet |

| Latin abbreviations | Old English abbreviations | structure | exercises |

| Latin transcript | Old English 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 Latin text  
Script sample for English text  
Index of Exercises  
Index of Scripts  

If you are looking at this page without frames, there is more information about medieval writing to be found by going to the home page (framed) or the site map (no frames).
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 17/4/2005.