Secretary: An Account Book

This is folio 28v from British Library Additional MS 33852, the York Bakers' Guild Account Book . It shows the end of the receipts and the full account of the outgoings for the year 1567. It was written by one of the York City secretarial officials, either John Clerke, Deputy Common (City) Clerk, or Thomas Faile, one of his assistants. The script is a characteristic Secretary hand of the mid sixteenth century.

This exercise is largely to introduce you to the way in which accounts are laid out. By this time, the writers are thinking largely in English, but many of the technical accounting terms are in Latin, as they remain to this day. The only difference is that we no longer think of words like item or abbreviations like as being Latin. See the page on abbreviations for information on these.

1.....Transcribe it.
.......I have transcribed the upper part of the page for you as a starter.
.......Go to the following pages for a close-up version in slices.
2.....Copy out a line, using pen and ink. What do you notice about the mechanics of writing?
3.....Describe it in terms of
..A..... Overall aspect;
..B..... Individual letter forms.
4.....Describe the layout.

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