Dating early english documents


27-Jun-2019 08:36

Detail from Robert of Gretham, Mirur, in Anglo-Norman (WLC/LM/4, f.57v) The earliest literary document in English in the University of Nottingham’s collections is a fragment from the life of St Bridget, from the South English Legendary, composed in the late thirteenth century.

The scribe uses the Anglo-Saxon letters ‘yogh’ for ‘y’ or ‘g’ (ȝ) and thorn for ‘th’ (þ).

Detail from John Gower, Traitié ..., in French with Latin headings (WLC/LM/8, f.203v) Although French remained familiar to Gower’s contemporaries at court and in educated or wealthy circles, the great days of Anglo-Norman as a literary medium were over.

With its fixed grammar and spelling, it was easy to abbreviate without misunderstanding.It was still dominant in the mid-thirteenth century when Robert of Gretham wrote his advice on moral conduct, the Mirur.For Robert the appropriate language for lay education was French, but by the late fourteenth century his book had been translated into English.His explanation concludes that everybody, both the educated (‘lered’) and unschooled (‘lewed’), old and young, can understand the English tongue.

In contrast, Latin was only understood by those who learnt it at school, and French by those who attended court.Eventually English emerged as the standard literary medium, but it was not until the eighteenth century that Latin disappeared from legal documents.



I suppose if you enjoyed the flat lame humor of ATHF, you'd probably like this. I suppose if you enjoyed the flat lame humor of ATHF, you'd probably like this.… continue reading »


Read more

This cougar is 100 percent admitting why she is dating the young cubs she is—she is using the positive responses from cubs to cover up the pain of a divorce she did not want.… continue reading »


Read more

included a IT being observ'd that the Poor are very numerous, and cost about 800 l.… continue reading »


Read more

So you never need to do any thing with your profile again.… continue reading »


Read more

Whenever you spend time with a beautiful woman, you are enhancing the quality of your life. Why not fill every minute of your time on earth with the presence of as many gorgeous women as you possibly can?… continue reading »


Read more