A Document From 1656 Linked To Scotland’s Most Haunted Pub

It’s always interesting to browse the old handwritten documents that turn up for sale on eBay.  Often mysterious and illegible to the people selling them, they can repay careful attention by revealing the occasional text of unusual age or interest.  Here’s one recent acquisition that the dealer identified as “LARGE ENGLISH PAPER 1600s,” although it’s…

Reading Secretary Hand (and Sound Recordings, Too)

“Griffonage” literally means hard-to-read handwriting, and it usually refers to a careless, hasty scrawl.  But even the tidiest handwriting from the past can be hard to read today if it’s in an unfamiliar script, a point I’d like to underscore here by working through three documents in the secretary hand that was routinely used for…