Preston Charters, Continued

April 7, 2020 in Anniversary, Manuscript Studies, Uncategorized

Preston Charters, Continued

Charters 6 & 9

Preston Charter 7 Seal Face with the name Gilbertus. Photograph Mildred Budny.

Preston Charter 7 Seal.

Following our 2 previous blogposts on a group of single-sheet charters in Latin on vellum from Preston in Suffolk, England, now in a private collection, we advance with further reports about them.

Those first 2 blogposts, Full Court Preston and Preston Take 2, focused upon 2 of the group.  They considered Charters ‘1’ and ‘2’ (as we first called them), or Charters 7 and 5 in the present owner’s numbering system entered upon the dorse of each document.  Those blogposts provided detailed photographs and descriptions of the documents, transcriptions and translations of their texts, and observations about their characteristics and contexts.

Here we focus upon Charters 6 and 9.  (Remember, Charter 8 is lost or mislaid.)

First we survey the Preston group, which comprises a series with modern numbering from 5 to 13.  Then we consider these two documents, one by one.

The Group

Sign for the Portobello Road, W11, London

Church at Preston St Mary. Photograph by Andrew Hill via Wikimedia Creative Commons

The owner purchased the group in a bag, in the 1980s in London, probably — according to his recollection — in the Portobello Road, a renowned location of markets and shops of many kinds, including used goods, curiousities, and antiquities.  The group has his consecutive series of modern Arabic numbers, running from 5 to 13.  The individual number stands in black ink at the top left corner of the dorse (or back) of each document.

Of that original group of 9, only 8 documents survive in the group, preserved within a notebook for the English charter materials in the collection.  Charter 8 went missing or mislaid after a class some years ago — considerably before the group came into our view.  Consequently, we know only of Charters 5–7 and 9–13, until Charter 8 might return to view.

Our survey of the group progresses in pairs, more-or-less chronologically.  The first 3 documents (Charters 5, 6, and 7) are undated, so that an assessment of their probable dating depends upon stylistic features of the script, orthographic features, and other evidence both internal and contextual.  The others (Charters 9–13) carry their dates, to the regnal year and sometimes to the very day.

The pair under consideration here has one of each, respectively undated and dated.

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