The cursiva anglicana script of this document is a typical chancery hand of the period. Not only are there loops with marked thick and thin strokes on the ascenders of various letters, but similar superscript flourishes are used as abbreviation marks and sometimes just for calligraphic style. It is usual when transcribing not to add endings for English style proper names, such as Matill or Wilton in the top line of this example, even when such flourishes are present. This document contains several examples of what might be called medieval Latin creole. (I don't know whether anybody actually calls it that, but it sounds good to me.) These are words which have been added to Latin that never existed in the Classical language. The word parochia, for parish, represents a concept of medieval church organisation while the reference to duodecim solidos sterlingorum, twelve shillings sterling, introduces terms specific to English money. Even less subtly Latinised English are the terms ferlingus, a ferling or four acres of land, and warantizare, to warrant. The spelling gives the last away. The letter w is unknown and z is rare in Classical Latin.


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13th century charter of the abbey of Wilton (British Library, Harleian Charter 45 A36). All images by permission of the British Library.  

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