Medieval Writing
The History of t (2)

In the document hands and later cursive book hands, t tends to retain the short, wide form with a curling vertical. Even when the vertical extends above the crossbar, the letter remains short. By the 15th and 16th centuries, the more familar tall and narrow form of t appears. Because the crossbar of the short t tends to be assymetrical, it can sometimes be confused with c. As c and t were sometimes transposed, or used interchangeably, in medieval spelling, this can lead to some unresolvable discussions. Just make a decision and stick to it, unless it leads to an earth shattering misreading of the meaning.

protogothic t In this formal protogothic example of a document hand from the 12th century, t is short and broad with a wide crived base.
protogothic t In a less formally scribed writ of the reign of Henry II, the letter t is essentially similar.
calligraphic t A calligraphic charter of the 13th century has an angular foot on the short, broad t.
anglicana t In this example of cursiva anglicana, which first appeared in the 13th century, t is has a wide curved crossbar, while the curve at the base comes up to meet the crossbar.
charter t In this formal ecclesiastical charter of the 13th century, the letter t is still short and broad, although the vertical extends above the crossbar.
chancery t In this example of the formal English chancery hand of the 13th century, based on cursiva anglicana, t is short and wide.
chancery t This example of t from an early 13th century writ is similar to the above.
French cursive t This 14th century example of t from a French cursive document hand is short, with the cross bar dropped down the vertical. It is written in a cursive manner without a pen lift.
English cursive t In this early 14th century cursive English book hand the t has a very wide crossbar.
charter t This example of t from an English 15th century charter fits a similar pattern to the previous examples.
charter t In another 15th century charter, t is tiny and wide.
batarde t This example of t from a formal and mannered version of French bâtarde script is rather taller with a narrow pointed top and a small foot.
late chancery t In the later English chancery hand, as shown here from an Elizabethan document of conservative penmanship and formal quality, t is fairly tall and narrow.
cursive t In this genealogical document of late 15th or early 16th century, t is formed in a cursive manner, with the crossbar added without a pen lift.
chancery t In this endorsement on a mid 15th century petition to the English chancery, t still has the short and wide form.

Humanistic book hands reverted a form closer to the Gothic textura rather than Caroline minuscule in this case.

humanistic minuscule t In this example from a 15th century Italian book hand, t is short with a broad crossbar, as in Caroline minuscule, but the vertical extends above the crossbar and it has an angled, rather than curved, base.
humanistic minuscule t This 16th century example dates from after the advent of printing and is influenced by contemporary typefaces. The vertical extends above a narrow crossbar and it has a fine angled foot.
The letter t has evolved slowly, rather than appearing in a bewildering array of forms like some of the more unruly letters, so provided you know which millennium you are in, you should be able to recognise it.
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Histories of Individual Letters

History of Scripts
What is Paleography?

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