Online Tuition in the Palaeography of Scottish Documents

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Background Information
It is now September 1682 and William Dunlop is on a trading voyage from Greenock, on the west coast of Scotland, to Spain via Plymouth, on the south coast of England. The quality of his handwriting is showing signs of deterioration. Among the Italic and cursive letters are Secretary Hand versions of letters, such as e, s, and b. Note also the contemporary way of writing the arabic numeral 8.

Images reproduced with permission of Glasgow City Council, Mitchell Library (Mitchell Library reference DC14/2).

Take The Test

The document has been divided into 4 sections. Read the section shown in the image and transcribe the word you think is missing from the text below by typing in the appropriate blank space. The text be red as you type and will turn black when you have transcribed the word correctly.

If you would prefer to complete the tutorial on paper go to Print The Test.

Lines 1-8 of a letter written by William Dunlop in 1681, Mitchell Library reference DC14

01. Plummoth 15 sept[ember] 1682
02. Loving father
03. S[i]r (God be praised) the thought
04. it my to acquant you we are not
05. from thus bot still expecting
06. of force laying hire which I thinck shall
07. not be clear this fourtnight Dear father I am for present
08. in good helth who
09. to hire the like from you all bot cannot expect any letters

Transcription of lines 1-9

Lines 9-17 of a letter written by William Dunlop in 1681, Mitchell Library reference DC14

10. being certain of our departure bot I
11. pray you dear father neglect not to write to you Kaills which
12. shall give my pour hert great Contentment to knou th[a]t you
13. are all in good helth I intend to write to you (God willing)
14. w[i]t[h] I have also
15. written to my Brother John who
16. from this I have not any
17. way dispost upon the as yet bot shall give you a lairg

Transcription of lines 10-17

18. which is all at
19. present wisching you all & having my Love
20. & & presented to you my Loving
21. father to my dear & tender Mother to my
22. James to my Brother in Lau & my sister who longs to hire

Transcription of lines 18-22

23. from her to my
24. to my sisters to my Aunt & also to my
25. kind Aunt Mrs to all the rest of friends &
26. I rest
27. S[i]r
28. your Loving & obedient
29. son to death
30. W[illia]m Dunlop

Transcription of lines 23-30

Read the full transcription