Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Chancery warrant of 1349 (London, National Archives, C.81/339/20343). All images by permission of the National Archives.

This is a chancery warrant of Edward III, issued under the privy seal ordering the chancellor to issue letters and writs under the great seal, granting a petition from the bishop of Bath and Wells. It was formerly attached to Ancient Petition 12255/246, a request for the king's ratification of the foundation of a chantry. Naturally the king didn't write it himself. Possibly he didn't even see it. The script is a cursive chancery hand, a not too formal but pretty clear version of cursiva anglicana, as is appropriate for an internal document sent between secretariats of the chancery rather than one destined for the outside world. The language is French, but the spelling may be unfamiliar in places. It is dated 1349.

The photograph on this page and that on the text page have been updated from scans taken from old photocopies to colour pictures obtained from National Archives downloads. I have not updated the Flash pages, but you can at least get a better idea of what the real thing looks like.

| 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.
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 12/3/2008.