Preston Charters: The Chierographs

April 12, 2020 in Manuscript Studies, Uncategorized

Meet the Preston Chierographic Charters:
Charters 12 and 13
from the Reigns of Edward IV and Elizabeth I

Preston Charter 7 Face with Tag and Seal. Photograph Mildred Budny.

Preston Charter 7 Face. Photograph Mildred Budny.

Following our 4 previous blogposts on the group of charters from Preston in Suffolk, England, now in a private collection, we advance with further reports about them.  Those blogposts focused upon 6 of the group of 8 charters.  Employing the owner’s numbering system, they considered

(Remember, Charter 8 is missing.)

Now we turn to the last pair:  Charters 12 and 13.

These are the chirographs, with wavy upper contours made to match.  Both documents are dated, like Charters 9–11, but those earlier charters belong to the reign of King Edward II (reigned 1307–1327), during which reign they were spaced at 4-year intervals.  Charters 12 and 13 stand more than a century apart from those and from each other.  Both retain their wax seals, in full or in part.

A wavy contour:

Preston Charter 12 Face with Seal. Photograph Mildred Budny.

Preston Charter 12 Face with Seal. Photograph Mildred Budny.

The Group of Preston Charters

Sign for the Portobello Road, W11, London

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

The present owner purchased the Preston group as a group, amounting to 9 documents, in the 1980s in London, probably in the Portobello Road, a renowned location of markets and shops of many kinds, including used goods, curiousities, and antiquities.

[Update:  Now we know that his first 2 purchases of English documents were of single documents:  “one Ric. II” and “the other Edw. IV”.  Then came the rest.  On those first 2, now see More Light on English Charters.]

The group has a consecutive series of modern Arabic numbers, running from 5 to 13.  The individual number is entered in black ink at the top left corner of the dorse (or back) of each document.

Of that original group, only 8 survive in the collection, because Charter 8 went missing after a class some years ago, considerably before the group came into our view.  Consequently, we know now only of Charters 5–7 and 9–13.

In our series of blogposts on the Preston Charters, Charters 5 and 7 figured in our first 2 blogposts, with an introduction, photographs and descriptions, transcriptions and translations of their texts, and some observations about their characteristics and contexts (Full Court Preston and Preston Take 2).  Next, Charters 6 and 9 took the stage (Preston Charters Continued). Then Charters 10 and 11 came forward to Charter the Course.

Now we complete the course with Charters 12 and 13.  Each carries the regnal year of the sovereign, but a different sovereign in each case:  Edward IV and Elizabeth I.

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