Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Hoccleve's Regement of Princes (British Library, Harley 4866, f.88r). All images by permission of the British Library. Images are made available under a Creative Commons licence.

Thomas Hoccleve's poem Regement of Princes was composed in 1411-1412. This page discusses Chaucer, or rather his portrait which is on the page. The script is an English bastarda book hand, classified as bastarda anglicana or anglicana formata hybrida by some paleographers. The text is in English, with only a few abbreviations.

Hoccleve, described as "that indolent clerk of the privy seal and barely competent versifier" (Elton, 1969) was a public servant and poet. Buried elsewhere in this poem is a reference to the fact that he would rather be in the tavern than in the office of the privy seal.

This work has been presented as a full digital facsimile by the British Library here.

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Click on each of the above to walk your way through a segment of the text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 26/7/2014.