Author Topic: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation  (Read 509 times)

Offline andygmandrew

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Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« on: Thursday 08 March 18 08:58 GMT (UK) »
I attach part of a record of a legal dispute over a parcel of land in Berwick upon Tweed in 1636. It is written in Secretary Hand and I have circled three instances of an abbreviation which I do not recognise. It looks like the top part of a coat hanger and comes at the end of words. Can anyone help?

Thanks.

Andrew Morton

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Offline horselydown86

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #1 on: Friday 09 March 18 04:31 GMT (UK) »
I have looked at this one several times over the last 24 hours without coming to a definite conclusion.

But after 125 views no-one has ventured an opinion, so (for whatever it's worth) here's mine.

In the first and third instances I believe it's a contraction mark indicating a continuation from the letter c.

First instance:

...gent dec(eased) by the name of...

Does that fit with context?

Third instance:

...that now is ov(er) England &c for & upon...

Here the continuation is:  &c(etera)

I am very conscious that this ampersand doesn't match others visible in the extract.

However the character is an ampersand form used in Secretary.  The position (after the description of a regnal year) is one where an &c is commonly used, to indicate contraction of the list of other kingdoms, defender of the faith and so on.

I don't wish to comment on the middle instance for the simple reason that I don't understand the word after seale.

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Offline haliared

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #2 on: Friday 09 March 18 04:36 GMT (UK) »
The middle part looks like 'is in law dated' but my screen isn't showing it clearly.
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Offline horselydown86

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #3 on: Friday 09 March 18 04:46 GMT (UK) »
The middle part looks like 'is in law dated' but my screen isn't showing it clearly.

I agree it looks like that, but the problem is that in this hand the letter s has a specific form at the end of words.  See the word is in the third last line - the s looks a bit like a 6.

(The only other examples of s at the end of words are the -es brevigraph on app(er)t(e)n(a)nc(es) and p(re)miss(es).)

Offline andygmandrew

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #4 on: Friday 09 March 18 11:24 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for replying, I was beginning to despair! I agree about 'deceased and I had already come to that conclusion. I think that you're also right about '&c', it seems logical.

My big problem is the words after 'under his hand' and before 'in law dated'. logically you would expect 'under his hand & seale' but the clerk has written 'a' rather than '&'. The next word seems to be 'ssuss' or 'ssuff'. If the latter it might be a contraction of 'sufficient' which would possibly make the passage 'under his hand & seale sufficient [?] in law dated the second day of June...' where [?] is the mystery contraction.

I have attached another screenshot which shows the whole passage.

Offline andygmandrew

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #5 on: Friday 09 March 18 11:28 GMT (UK) »
Actually, looking at it afresh, it might say 'a seale is affixed in law dated...'

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #6 on: Friday 09 March 18 13:39 GMT (UK) »
I think you had it right with your first suggestion.  It's all one word:   ssuffic(ient)

It's a common phrase - sufficient in law.

ADDED:

If a Seale is not a mistake, then the meaning seems to be that the key aspect for sufficiency in law is the Seale on the deed.


Offline andygmandrew

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Re: Secretary Hand unknown abbreviation
« Reply #7 on: Friday 09 March 18 18:22 GMT (UK) »
Bingo! I think you’ve got it.

‘Under his hand a seale sufficient in law’

Thanks for your help, it’s really good to have someone to kick ideas about with.

Andrew Morton