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Further practice

Historiated initial, Henry VIII. 1535-36. Cat ref: E 344/22

Detail from historiated initial, Henry VIII

As with any new skill, the only real way to gain proficiency in reading old handwriting is to PRACTISE! The Tutorial offers an introduction to the basics of palaeography whilst this section offers a variety of documents, each with a transcript, on which you can practice your palaeographical skills.

The documents are arranged in chronological order not in order of difficulty, so you can home in on the period that interests you, or have a go at documents from different dates. As before, read the brief background information provided for each document, as knowledge of the context always helps with reading the text. Refer back to the Quick reference section if you need to.

You can view an image and transcription of each practice document online, or download an Acrobat PDF version of file to view offline, or print off.

16th century

Payment to John Blanke, trumpeter. 7 December 1507  |  Print version

Complaint in legal proceedings describing events leading to a ducking, extract. 1509-47  |  Print version

Plea for royal clemency. 1584  |  Print version

Authorisation for expenditure on ordnance, St Michael's Mount, Cornwall. June 1584.   |  Print version

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17th century

Recipe for mince pies. Early 17th century  |  Print version

Registered copy of will (1642) with letters of administration attached (1658).   |  Print version

Particulars of Royalist's property confiscated during the English civil war. 1646  |  Print version

Recovery, on payment of a fine, of property confiscated by Parliament from Sir Edward Berkley during the English civil war. 1 December 1646  |  Print version

Rental for the manor of Trayne March and Trayne Morgan, Carmarthenshire. July 1650  |  Print version

Report on Cromwell's Christmas ban 1650   |  Print version

Houses in Evesham, Worcestershire: Parliamentary survey of former Crown lands. September 1650  |  Print version

Petition for freedom to practise religion. 24 March 1656  |  Print version

Presentment, listing various complaints, for the manor of Hampton Court, Middlesex. 1662  |  Print version

Complaint in court proceedings about non-payment of fees for land. 28 November 1663  |  Print version

Temporary transfer of state documents to the Earl of Oxford for use by him in court. 14 September 1670  |  Print version

Inventory, estate of Daniel Hayne. 6 September 1686  |  Print version

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18th century

Memorandum about the disrepair of the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey, used as a repository for state records. June 1701  |  Print version

Declaration in support of application for letters of marque for ‘Jamaica Gally'. 22 April 1708  |  Print version

Petition for denization on behalf of six Jewish merchants. April-May 1712  |  Print version

Report on petition for denization on behalf of six Jewish merchants. 16 May 1712  |  Print version

Deposition of Alexander Selkirk, mariner. 18 July 1712  |  Print version

Court order discharging Alexander Cazettes from the office of parish constable. 25 April 1718  |  Print version

Court order sentencing Robert Leake for trespass. 26 April 1718  |  Print version

Inventory, estate of Moses de Solomon Mendez. 28 March 1719  |  Print version

Registered copy of nuncupative [oral] will. 1723  |  Print version

Information identifying Dick Turpin. 23 February 1739  |  Print version

Report by Justice of the Peace on the identification of Dick Turpin. 24 February 1739  |  Print version

Act of Parliament establishing a turnpike road, extract from list of turnpike trustees. 1760  |  Print version

Registered copy of nuncupative [oral] will. 1783  |  Print version

Mutineer's song, found after the naval mutiny at the Nore. 1797  |  Print version

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