Monday, 26 April 2010

The weakness of integral parchment seal tags

Just having talked about integral parchment seal tags, it's worth I think talking about how they were easily damaged, and a few ways medeival scribes attempted to prevent this. As before, click on an image to see it full size, and the links in the text to find out more about the doccument. A number of these examples are from the excellent durham archives site, please note that you need to enable popups for the site if you wish to see transciptions of the text.

This post is for lots of examples of integral seal tags that have torn off, because the shape of the doccument and often where the seal had been can be seen (Again, order is roughly chronological). Next post I'll show a few exmples of attempts to repair or prevent this.

Writ of Henry II threatening consequences if Cecilia de Muschamps and Thomas because they didn't give Heatherslaw back to the Durham monks.
(Durham Cathedral Manuscript, 3.1.Reg.2)

This follows on from an earlier writ telling her to do so which will be shown in the next post. I find it interesting this is adressed to a women of power, presumably as regent for her son.

Writ of William II regarding Lincoln
After whitsunday, 1072
Tag: Seal tag has torn off
Wrapping: A thin tie survives. 3 vertical and 4 horizontal folds are visible.
(Lincoln D & library AI/I/I)

Writ of William II
Brigstock, 1095
Manuscript: In Latin
Partly torn off.
Wrapping: partly torn off. 3 vertical and one horizontal folds.
(P.R.O. Duchy of Lancaster, Royal charters DL.10)

Writ of William II, regarding the bishop of Thetford & Norwich
Ceagewella 1095
Manuscript: In old English.
Tag: lost, looks like cut off to remove seal (by an early modern seal collecter perhaps?)
Wrapping: Part of wrapping tie remains.
(Norwich, D & C. Library)

Writ of William II, regarding Norwich Holy Trinity Church
Westminster 1096
Manuscript: In old English.
Tag: remains of seal tie visible, seal lost.
Wrapping: No renmains of a wrapping tie visible, but could have been removed. 3 vertical and 1 horizontal fold reported.
probably not drafted by te royal scriptorium - less use of formulaic phrases
(Norwich, D & C. Library)

Writ regarding Christ Church, Canterbury
Brampton, 1 May 1099
Tags: part of seal tag and wrapping tie remain
Folding: 3 vertical and 1 horiz fold
(Canterbury D & C Library Ch. Ant. C. 6)

Writ as title deed for Holy Trinity Church, Fecamp
Lillebonne, 1099 July-September
Tag: torn off.
Wrapping: Tie torn off. 3 vertical and 2 horizontal folds.
(Rouen, Archives Departmentales de la Seine-Maritime 7 H.12)

"letter patent of King John in favour of Robert earl of Leicester."

Sweden, 1374-5
(Swedish National Archives DS8783)

Surrender at the Courts Baron of the Manor of Ersham Dubbells
Norfolk, Friday in the Vigil of Saint Luke the Evangelist, 1550
Manuscript: vellum, 100x250 mm.
(Griffin Manuscripts sale catalogue Number 23399)

Surrender at the Courts Baron of the Manor of Ersham Dubbells
Norfolk, Tuesday 14th May 1560
Manuscript: vellum, 85x295 mm.
(Griffin Manuscripts sale catalogue Number 23398)

Surrender at the Courts, Baron of the Manor of Ersham Dubbells of half an acre of land called Redfild Pightell
Norfolk, 1568
Manuscript: vellum, 280x80 mm, written in a typical Tudor scribal hand.
(Griffin Manuscripts sale catalogue Number 23387)

Indenture deeding a parcel of land in Morytton, England from Thomas Ladde to Robert Beane.
September 10, 1575
Manuscript: vellum, 105 x 265 mm, contains 10-lines of Latin script penned in a gothic cursive.
(Griffin Manuscripts sale catalogue Number 24104)

Surrender at the Courts Baron of the Manor of Ersham Dubbells of four pieces of meadow in Northmedowe in Ersham and two pieces in Prestes medowe
Norfolk, Sunday 4th November 1576
Manuscript: vellum, 150x310 mm
(Griffin Manuscripts sale catalogue Number 23393)

The surrenders are really transfers of property, but under the feudal system the baron has to approve of the transaction, even if it's a son inheriting.

There are many many more examples of broken off integral seal tags. Almost as many doccuments exist in archives today without their tags as with them, especially in this fragile style.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Suthmoot links list


Those of you who spent easter with me at Suthmoot may have had the 'pleasure' of me ranting about a favourite topic either in a class, or informally. And I probably said you could find out more about the topic on my blog. And now perhaps you're looking at my blog wondering where to go next? Look perplexed no longer, here's a list of links and status updates:

happy crafting...