Hand: alpha, Exeter 3500

Exeter 3500

EXON Project

This hand may be recognised by its (slightly) pointed nature, mainly given by the long ascender of round-backed d ending in a hair line, a feature sometimes replicated in the descenders.

1. Letterforms

a.- Mostly straight back which reaches slightly over bowl. Very small head and tail to the right which often ligatures with the following letter. Bowl is triangular and mostly large.

d.- Two forms in use: straight-backed and round. The former, which seems to be less common, has a very long ascender with a triangular notch on the left. At the bottom, there is a finishing flick which ligatures with the following letter. The Uncial form is more often used and it shows a long ascender that twists first to left and then to right finishing on a hairline. The same type of ascender is found in V and W. The bowl is round and relatively small.

e.- Round form with a tongue that slopes and often ligatures with the following letter, unless found at word end.

g.- Round, wide head with a finishing stroke of the top that normally ligatures with the following letter. The descender, which is rather short, starts on the right of the head and is wide open and (sometimes) flat at the bottom. Neat forms on 7r12 and elsewhere show that the tail is actually formed as a reverse c. It is not uncommon to find a gap between the two strokes made to form the tail.

h.- Long ascender with wedge at the top. Right leg is often (but not always) round and tucks in. At times it’s more angular and stays vertical on the baseline. Left leg stands on the line.

p.- Angular (square at times) head; approach stroke on the left. Long descender finished on a hair line that turns left. Occasionally it is fully straight and with same width.

s.- It normally reaches below the baseline. Hood on the left (sometimes not visible) and head is mostly round.

t.- Curved stroke often comes through horizontal bar, even if slightly.

x.- The left leg is often thinner and longer than the other three. It consistently goes below the baseline as a straight hairline.


2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders

Minims .- They often show rather small feet in the form of a finishing stroke. At headline they also have an approach stroke.

Ascenders.- Most ascenders follow the example of the straight-backed d as described above: long, straight and finished on a notch to the left. They include: b, h and l (also in numerals). The main exception to this is round d, which ends on a thin hairline to the right.

Descenders.- The tail in g is nearly horizontal. Those of p and q both end in a thin, hairline that turns back at the end.

3. Form of capitals

A. Enlarged form of uncial a with a much more prominent head.

G. Round, 6-shaped form.

H. Enlarged minuscule form.

W. Shows this scribe’s idiosyncratic ascender as seen in round d and V. Two curled Vs. Right arms have an approach stroke at the top and are straight.

4. Forms of punctuation

Punctus simplex seems to be only form of punctuation in use.

5. Form of paraph (gallows mark)

Tends to be done in three rather thin strokes. Rather simple shape. However, in other cases, a rather elaborate/decorated form may also be found (105v, 106r) with beads and floral motifs. (113r).

6. Forms of abbreviation

Ampersand.- Left component about the same size as bowl of a. Final two strokes seem two parallel sloping lines of about the same length. Top one may show a finishing, downward flick at the end.

et nota.- Rather small shape with both limbs being about the same size. The horizontal bar often slopes slightly whereas the descnder one tends to be straight and reaches below the baseline.

Overline.- Cupped shape finished on a hairline.

-ur.- Round a-shape with long tail sloping at about 45º.

-us.- Rather long 9-shaped compendium with is on top of the letter rather than alongside it.


q- forms.-

e cauda.- Attenuated s shape.

pr- forms.- .

other forms.-


7. Forms of suspension

8. Ligatures


-ct- ligature: rather uncommon (17r5).

-rt- ligature:

-st- ligature: rather uncommon (19v7).

-or-: .

9. Method and form of annotation (signes de renvoi?)

Interlinear additions.

10. Method of correction and correction mark

Erasure; erasure and interlinear addition.

11. Treatment of numerals

Normally between dots, sometimes including et nota. v instead of u.

12. Proportions and measurements


- Pricking.-

- Ruling.-

13. Other idiosyncrasies (preferred spellings, usages, …)


What does he write?

King (Do) – 25r10 [opens quire]

King (Queen’s Knights) (Do) – 31r1-6

Countess of Boulogne (Do) – 33r1-16

St Peter of Cerne (Do) – 36v1-11; 37r1-9; 38v1-6

St Peter of Milton (Do) – 43v9-10

Hugo fitzGrip’s wife (Do) – 54r1-18 [opens quire]; 54v8-5v20; 56r7-17; 57r7-15; 57v1-20 [ends quire]

King (Dn) – 83r1-7 [opens quire]; 83v1-17; 35r9-15; 85v2-14; 88r1-3

King (So) – 88v1-9r1 [opens quire]; 89r11-90r20; 90v10-1v10 [ends quire]

King (Dn) – 94r6-22; 95v1-6r3; 97v10-8r4

King (Co) – 99r1-102v14 [opens quire]

King (So) – 103r1-v15; 105v7-6r4

King (Queen Matilda) (Dn) – 108v6-9r12; 110r14-19; 110v18

King (Queen Matilda) (Co) – 111v1-12r18 [ends quire]

King (Queen Eadgyth) (So) – 113r10-v6; 113v7-14r15

King (Wulfweard the White) (So) – 116r1-17 [opens quire]

Bishop of Exeter (Dn) – 117r5-v15; 118r5-12; 118r19-v4; 120r17-v2

*Bishop of Exeter (Co) – 199r1-2 [opens quire]; 199r14-201r20 [ends quire]

Bishop of Coutances (Dn) – 121v11-2v9; 124r15-v12; 125r1-18 [opens quire]; 131r12-2r10; 132v18-3v20 [ends quire]; 134v7-19;


Bishop of Coutances (So) – 136v14-7r3; 141v7-11

Bishop Giso (So) – 156v6-7r5

Abbot of Glastonbury (So) – 161r8-9; 161v6-12; 169r1-70r17 [opens quire]

Abbot of Tavistock (Dn) – 177r2-v12; 177v20-8v12

Abbot of Tavistock (Co) – 181r13-v10 [ends quire]

Abbot of Buckfast (Dn) – 182r1 [opens quire]; 182r15-19; 182v13-3r5

Abbot of Horton (Dn) – 184r1-v4 [opens and ends quire]

St Peter of Muchelney (So) – 188r1-2 [opens quire]

Abbess of St Edward’s (So) – 193v1-9 [opens and ends quire]

Saints (Dn) – 194r1-10 [opens quire]; 194v12-18

Saints (So) – 196r15-17; 196v9-13; 197v7-20; 198r12-19

Saints (Co) – 202r1-8v9

Count of Mortain (Dn) – 210r1 [opens quire]; 214r2-6; 217v4-19r7 [ends and opens quire]; 224r1[opens quire]; 255r1-8v22; 261v1-7; 265r8-20; 266r1-v7; 268r7-10; 268v1-9v7; 269v9-71r20; 272v20-3r6; 276v10-19; 277r9-18; 277v16-8r20

Count Eustace (So) – 282v12-3r7; 283r13-19 [ends quire]

Earl Hugh (Dn) – 286r1-13 [opens quire]; 286v13-17

Baldwin the Sheriff (Dn) – 298r1-9v15; 308r11-9v4; 312r6; 312r10-15

Judhael (Dn) – 316r12-18r4; 319v14-15

Ralph de la Pommeraye (Dn) – 335r6-6r12; 337v6-12; 342r6-17; 343v16-4r1

Walscin de Douai (Dn) – 345r14-v6; 346v9-7r8; 347r19-v7

Walscin de Douai (So) – 351r14-2r2

Willelm de Moyon (So) – 356v13-7r7

Willelm de Falaise (Dn) – 367r1-20

Alfred d'Epaignes (So) – 371v1-2r3; 375r5-11 [ends quire]

Odo fitzGamelin (Dn) – 376v1-7; 376v12-7r5; 377r17-v20

Turstin fitzRolf (So) – 383r6-4v3; 384v4-12

Goscelm and Walter (Dn) – 388r10-16; 392r11-17; 392v16-3r15; 397r1-5; 397r17-20

Theobald fitzBerner (Dn) – 407r1-8r2 [opens quire]; 409v7-10v4

Roald the dubbed (Dn) – 414v1-17

Willelm de Poilley (Dn) – 415r2 [opens quire]; 417r10-18r4 [ends quire]

Robert d'Aumale (Dn) – 419v3-20r10; 420v15-1r8; 421v9-20 [ends quire]

Roger de Courseulles (So) – 422r1-4v6 [opens quire]; 426v5-19; 427r5-8v14; 429r1-13; 432v15-20; 433r10-v11; 434r4-5r19

Edward the Sheriff (So) – 437r1-18 [opens quire]

William d'Eu (So) – 438r1-5; 438r13-v1

Roger Arundel (So) – 441v14-19; 442v9-3r8; 443v9-14; 443v20-4; 444r18-v4

Gilbert fitzTurold (So) – 446r6-15

Alfred of Marlborough (So) – 447v1-8

Ralph de Mortemer (So) – 447v10-18

Ernulf de Hesdin (So) – 448v1-9

Serle de Burcy (So) – 453r1-6

French Knights (Dn) – 456v4-8; 457r16-v11; 458r1-20; 458v15-9r16; 460r1-5; 460v15-1r9; 461v13-17

French Knights (So) – 463v15-22 [ends quire]; 465v12-6r20; 466v6-10; 466v15-7r3; 467r15-19 [ends quire]

Nicholas the Crossbowman and Others (Dn) – 468r8-11; 469v17-70r5; 470v1-1r20

King’s Sergeants (Dn) – 476v5-17

King’s Sergeants (So) – 479r1-6

English Thegns (Dn) – 483r13-v16; 484r3-v20; 486v1-7; 487r9-13; 490r1-9

English Thegns (So) – 490r13-20; 490v17-1r4; 492r15-16; 492v1-6; 493v4-6

Terrae Occupatae (Dn) – 495r1-19 [opens quire]; 496v18-19; 497v12-15; 502v11-3v18 [ends and opens quire]; 504v12-19; 505r6-v11; 506r12-13

Terrae Occupatae (Co) – 508r16-v3

Terrae Occupatae (So) – 508v9-11

Geld Accounts (Do) – 17r1-24r6 [opens quire]; 24r9-21 [ends quire]

Geld Accounts (Dn) – 65r1-9r20 [opens quire]; 69v2-71r5 [ends quire]

Geld Accounts (Co) – 72r1-3r15 [opens and ends quire]

Geld Accounts (So) – 75r1-82r16 [opens quire]; 82v20-21 [ends quire]

Other booklets/Hundred List (Dn) – 63r1-10 [opens quire]; 63r13-21

Other booklets/Hundred List (Co) – 63v1-4; 63v7-10

Other booklets/Hundred List (So) – 64r15-v14; 526v1-7r19 [opens quire]

Previously unidentified stints (Flight)

St Peter of Cerne (Do) – 37v18-19

Terrae Occupatae (Dn) - 500r15-16