This text is rather hard going to read, not because the letters are difficult, but because it is so heavily abbreviated. Because much of the formula is fairly standard, it does rather rely on the reader knowing what words to expect. Even the names of the witnesses are heavily abbreviated. As is usual with these charters, the actual nature of the grant is expressed briefly, but is surrounded by mentions of the souls of the grantor, his ancestors, his heirs and his brother and some formulaic terminology of the conditions of the grant.  
The last line of names of witnesses is obscured under the fold of parchment where the seal is attached. Unfortunately, with our virtual version here, we cannot carefully fold back the edge for a peek.
Charter of Ralph de Cuningburgh to the Abbey of Byland (British Library, add. charter 70691). All images by permission of the British Library.

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Medieval Writing
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