Don't despair!
  • 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].
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.