Departmental Hands are an
idiosyncratic branch of hand. They developed in specific courts or departments
of royal government, such as Common Pleas, Chancery and Exchequer. You will
usually only encounter them, if at all, in certain instruments produced by
Common Pleas, such as final concords (fines), (exemplifications of) common
recoveries, and actions of ejectment. For these devices, see
legal cultures. From the later middle ages, the hands used in these
instruments became fossilized and continued to be reproduced in this manner
down to the reform of the law of property in 1833. A brief transcription of the
visible part of this final concord is given below.
- Top image: extract from exemplification of a common recovery.
If you click on this image, you can read the common recovery.
- Middle image: extract from final concord [fine].