Bear in mind that Beauchesne and Baildon were writing masters, with two consequences: (i) some of the forms which they give will be more usual than other forms which they illustrate; and (ii) some very cursive forms will not appear in their alphabet. This page attempts to rectify that problem by illustrating the more usual forms where they provide several forms and by providing examples of very cursive forms which do not even appear in their alphabet.

An alphabet derived from a deed of 1629 - not all characters were represented in the deed.

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H]
[I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P]
[Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

a note the angular stroke which closes the a at the top of the bole

A there are more cursive forms still which lean to the right and have a pointed apex: or

b note the looping of the ascender of lower case b


c lower case c is difficult - it is simply a minim with a short horizontal stroke at the top

C or upper case C is like a nought with a cross in the middle

d note the looped ascender of lower case d

d looping back over previous characters


e this is the reverse e which developed in the mid 14th century and persists into mixed/round hands

e the two-part e is constructed of two strokes

E upper case E is difficult![Eliz]


f upper case F is two lower case fs: ff at different angles with a ligature

g note the direction and size of the tail of lower case g

h note that lower case h has a 'tail' which descends below the line of writing; it can be very much more cursive


I/J upper case I and J are the same character

l here -ll- and note the looped ascender

L upper case L has a large footprint with a long horizontal stroke

m three vertical strokes [minims]

M there are other forms of upper case M, but note the thin angled initial stroke

n two vertical strokes [minims] similar to u

p here -pp- and note the form of the tail - lower case x and p are similar, but the tail of x loops under - here is another p:



r this r is similar to lower case c, but note that it has two vertical strokes

r there are several forms of r, including long r and 'arabic' 2-r

R upper case R is difficult!

s this is the form of s when it is final in a word

s long s - here sou-

s long s - a looped form

T upper case T is basically two curved strokes

v note the thin initial, angled stroke of v:

w note again the thin initial angled stroke of w

W again note the thin initial angled stroke

x similar to p, but differentiated here by the shorter tail to the left

y note the direction of the tail

z like a 3 with an embellished tail