|The script is a form of bastarda, in the broad sense of that term, and the letter forms are identical to those of legal scripts of the 15th century. It does look very upright and awkward. By this date there has been some differentiation of document hands for specialised functions and by particular departments. In the 15th century there were already differences between the chancery hand and scripts used in the courts of law. These differences are accentuated as this script remains in a conservative tradition while other formal document hands were developing into the style known as Secretary. Paleographical dating is, at best, tricky and at worst, hopeless.
|The introductory wording: Hec est finalis concordia, gives you the immediate clue as to the nature of the document. You then just have to tease out the substantive content from all the repetitious language and aforesaids.
|There are some idiosyncrasies in the Latin text because of the inclusion of certain English words in a partially Latinised form. Words such as parochia for parish have a long tradition in medieval Latin and were incorporated into traditional grammatical structure. However, when you get words beginning with warant- or quietclam-, and they are heavily abbreviated without using the traditional Latin abbreviation marks that indicate the endings, this can become a bit inconclusive. Medieval Latin word lists based on usage in documents indicate that there were many variants of spelling and grammatical use for these words, so expanding the abbreviations is a bit tricky. Late medieval documents abound in little twiddles at the ends of words to indicate abbreviation, but not what form it takes. I have sometimes expanded them into what appears to be conventional Latin, but where it isn't clear what the form is, I have indicated it with a double question mark. Academic transcripts tend to indicate these dubious endings with an apostrophe. As for mesaugiis or wharfum, well that is just piggy Latin, but at least the endings are indicated.
|Final Concord of 1584 (British Library, add. charter 70729). All images by permission of the British Library.
|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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