Online Tuition in the Palaeography of Scottish Documents

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Letter c

The Secretary Hand c in its most basic form looks like two sides of a square or the modern letter r, but more often the vertical stroke is curved or diagonal. The words below read callit (meaning called) and children.

called, children

Sometimes the c can have a lead-in stroke, whether another letter precedes it or not:


At its most definitive, the Secretary Hand c has a diagonal attacking stroke, which you can see in the words accompt and tobbacco below

accompt tobacco

Where this fades it can leave what appears to be an acute or a dot above the next letter. This process can be seen in the words receaved, Second and co[m]on soccage below

receaved second/ co[m]on soccage

This diagonal stroke occurs very infrequently, and much less often than in the case of the Secretary Hand letter a

Care has to be taken to differentiate the Secretary Hand c from the t and r. The Secretary Hand t is very similar to the c , but usually has a slightly taller vertical stroke.

letters c, t and r

Note the difference in the letters r, t and c in the words corruptions, indiscreit and certanitie below.

corruptions, indiscreit, certanitie