Online Tuition in the Palaeography of Scottish Documents

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Letter b

The secretary hand letter b is similar to the modern b, but nearer to a modern capital B, as you can see below.

b box breithren

The b is one of several letters which are frequently confused in Secretary Hand. The Secretary Hand e, b and d can all come out looking like a oval with a line through it, like the Greek letter theta:


In the examples below, can you tell the letters apart?

They are b, e, and d. The b is also easily confused with the letter u/v and even with one form of the Secretary Hand s, as you can see below (b, v, s).

b, u./v, s

The last form that a secretary hand b can look similar to is the numeral 6, as the date 1668 below shows.