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The tremulous hand of Worcester and the Nero scribe of the Ancrene Wisse.

The shaky handwriting of the thirteenth-century scribe known as the tremulous hand of Worcester is known from entries in over twenty manuscripts dating from the ninth to the twelfth centuries. Several of the manuscripts are large homiliaries and in these in particular his hand may be seen in various degrees of tremulousness as he returned to the manuscripts adding glosses in layers over a period of time. (1) He is probably best known as a glossator of Old English, but the manuscripts also contain many marginal annotations and nota signs by passages which seem to have interested him. He also wrote in his own hand Worcester Cathedral, MS F. 174, containing a copy of AElfric's Grammar and Glossary and two shorter texts, The St Bede Lament and The Soul's Address to the Body, which are also known as The Worcester Fragments. (2) On fol. vi of Bodleian Library, MS Junius 121, there is a copy of the Nicene Creed in his hand, (3) and in some of the manuscripts, fragments of worksheets survive which contain English-Latin word pairs drawn from his glosses. In one case the fragment is in first letter alphabetical sequence by English word, apparently part of an Old English-Latin glossary which he was building. (4)

It has generally been assumed that he was working in Worcester because many of the manuscripts he worked on have Worcester connections, but we do not know exactly when he worked. The extent to which his handwriting degenerated and the very large number of glosses he added in layers to at least twenty manuscripts have suggested to some that he must have had a very long career which could have spanned thirty or even fifty years, but I do not think this is necessarily the case. The type of tremble that is found in his handwriting and the leftward lean, splayed appearance, and exaggerated size of his later work were most likely caused by a congenital tremor, and the dramatic degeneration in his handwriting could have occurred within a few years. (5) I think that it is at least possible that he could have produced all his surviving work in no more than five to ten years. Attempts to date him have ranged from late in the twelfth century to the second quarter of the thirteenth century, possibly close to 1250; but the evidence has been based only on the dating of the script of a Latin table of contents to which he made an addition. (6) As such it can provide only a terminus post quem for the tremulous scribe. Obviously it would be very useful to be able to date the tremulous scribe's work more precisely; his work is a very important source of information about early Middle English in the south-west Midlands. No connection with any other scribe who might be directly comparable to him has yet been made. In this article I will argue that the earliest work of the tremulous scribe has a great many similarities to that of the unknown scribe of the Nero manuscript of the Ancrene Wisse, London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero A.xiv.

His characteristic tremble makes it relatively easy to identify the work of the tremulous scribe. The degeneration in his handwriting also makes it possible to assign a rough chronology to his work. In the earliest stage his handwriting is small, neat, and upright, lacking the splayed and disjointed appearance that is characteristic of the later stages. The tremble is only occasionally evident in this early stage. Examples of this stage are given in Figure 2. This early stage is found in a layer of glosses and marks in three manuscripts only: throughout Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 115 and in parts of Bodleian Library, MSS Hatton 113 and Junius 121. (7) I have called this earliest layer the D layer because the glosses are uncharacteristically 'dark' and neat. Almost all the glosses in the D layer are English, and at this stage it seems he was marking up exemplars to be copied, updating some of the spellings, inflections, punctuation, and vocabulary, and behaving like a twelfth-century copyist of Old English. But unlike them, he seems to have abandoned this method of attempting to make Old English texts more intelligible and switched to glossing them, usually in Latin, though he continued to add some marks updating spellings and punctuation. There are well over 50,000 Latin tremulous glosses, and several of the manuscripts he glossed have at least two distinct layers of Latin glosses. One of these layers I have called the B layer, because the glosses in this layer still retain a somewhat 'bold' appearance but are beginning to fragment and show signs of the characteristic tremble. They are clearly later than the D layer glosses because his infirmity is much more evident and also because they have sometimes been written on top of erased D layer glosses. The most characteristic large and trembly glosses from the last stage of his career are found in a layer I have called M for 'mature'. They are clearly later than the B layer because his infirmity is very much more evident and because the position of certain M glosses indicates that B layer glosses were already in place. In this article I will be concerned mainly with his earliest English glosses, those from the D layer, which I will argue are, oddly, linguistically much more progressive than his occasional English glosses in the later B and M layers and his copied English texts in Worcester Cathedral, MS F.174.

For some time I have been working on his vernacular glosses and a full study of these is now forthcoming. There are about 3,200 of these glosses, mainly English but a few French. Close to half his vernacular glosses are from the earliest stage, the D layer, when be was glossing almost exclusively in English. Some of the rest are occasional English glosses from amongst the predominantly Latin ones of the later B and M stages of his work, but others from these later stages are more like 'flags' than real Middle English words. It seems that when an Old English word puzzled him, he sometimes copied it into the margin of the manuscript as a way of drawing attention to a word which he did not understand, for example, 'aetfestun' : 'aetfestun' (Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 116, p. 9/14; (8) a B layer gloss). Sometimes when he did this he updated the spelling at least partially, for example, 'tylig' : 'tilig' (Hatton 116, p. 11/9; an M layer gloss). Sometimes he drew a word pair out into the margin, the Old English word (again sometimes with the spelling updated) usually followed by the Latin gloss, for example, 'aethaefdon' : 'aethaefdon retinerent' (Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 114, fol. [134.sup.v]/7). In these cases he seems to be collecting potentially useful Old English-Latin equivalents. One of the difficulties with his vernacular glosses, then, is that they represent at least two completely different facets of his work: some are early Middle English or French lexical substitutions for obsolescent Old English words and represent up-to-date, thirteenth-century vocabulary and spelling while others may be indications of puzzlement, perhaps partially respelled obsolete or obsolescent Old English words. Distinguishing between these two can be difficult but is crucial to understanding his work.

His vernacular glosses have received little attention in the past because of their inaccessibility. Over 1,200 of the glosses from the earliest D layer are erased, that is, scraped off the vellum. I have been able to recover the readings of very many of these through the use of an ultraviolet lamp. Another 150 or so are written in pencil and are also very difficult to decipher, or even notice. Even with the ink glosses, the shakiness of his hand in some of the later M layer glosses often makes the letter-forms difficult to distinguish, and this has caused the incorrect reporting of a number of his glosses. (9) Apart from my brief report on some of these glosses, (10)there has been little published on them. Crawford printed some of the English glosses in the Bodleian manuscripts. (11) His list from Hatton 115, for instance, contains about 90 English glosses, but the manuscript itself has over a thousand English glosses. Not only is Crawford's list very incomplete, but he sometimes included glosses which are by much earlier hands and wrongly transcribed a number of others. (12) William Schipper printed just over half of the English glosses in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 198. (13) A few editors, most notably Pope, (14) have printed the glosses in their apparatus but the vast majority of them have yet to be made available. Yet they are a very rich source of information about English in the transitional period between Old English and Middle English. (15)

Interest in transitional English, that is, English of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, has increased significantly in recent years. A number of manuscripts containing late copies of Old English date from around 1200, and several recent studies have looked particularly at lexical substitution in these late copies. (16) New composition in English begins to appear in manuscripts dated to the late twelfth century, for instance, the Ormulum; to the first half of the thirteenth century, for example, the Worcester Fragments and the earliest manuscripts of the Ancrene Wisse, the Katherine Group, and the Wooing Group; and towards the end of the thirteenth century, for example, La3amon's Brut (though in this case the composition date was likely to have been considerably earlier in the thirteenth century). (17) But the gap between the language of late copies of Old English or the Worcester Fragments and the linguistic confidence and progressiveness of, for example, at least some texts of the Ancrene Wisse is very startling.

The tremulous scribe's own dialect and his handling of the written representation of it have been judged in the past by his copies of AElfric's Grammar and Glossary, the Worcester Fragments, and the Nicene Creed, and by Crawford's description of his marks. This evidence showed that he was not a literatim copyist, but one whose copies were strongly marked by his local dialect. (18) It is also very clear from these texts that he was not a true 'translation' copyist, because he did not fully convert the language of his exemplar into his own language; his copies are a very peculiar mixture of old and new forms, for example, from his Nicene Creed: 'of paen faeder akenned aer alre worlde ... astaeih of heouene, and wearp iflaeschomod ... ic andette pa onan halwen and pa ileafulle and pa apostolican ilapunge.' (19) Douglas Moffat commented on this mixture in The Soul's Address, 'But set against this potential to preserve old spellings, probably those of the exemplar, we find a clear tendency toward regularization of certain phonological and lexical features.' (20) Jeremy J. Smith, in his article 'Tradition and innovation in south-west-Midland Middle English', used the tremulous hand as an example of a scribe who was deeply concerned with Anglo-Saxon traditions. Smith reproduced the text of The St Bede Lament, calling it The Disuse of English, and noted the frequency of ae spellings in it (it is the most common spelling for West Saxon ae, although a and e also occur). (21) He also drew attention to so-called back spellings in the text, such as 'leore' and 'losiaep', which show eo and ae in positions where they never occurred in Old English, and suggested that, given the subject matter of the text and antiquarianism of the tremulous scribe, it is tempting to call them 'archaistic', as eo and ae are distinctively Anglo-Saxon graphs. He concluded that it is at least arguable that the tremulous scribe was attempting to reproduce an Anglo-Saxon tradition of orthography. Smith then looked at early manuscripts of the Ancrene Wisse. He contrasted the scribal habits of the tremulous scribe with those of the unknown scribe of the Nero manuscript of the Ancrene Wisse (London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero A.xiv), to which he assigned a date of about 1240, (22) demonstrating that the language in the Nero manuscript was the result of a thorough translation into a neighbouring dialect from that of the original text. He concluded: 'Whereas texts such as the Worcester Fragments, the Caligula manuscript of La3amon, or even the Corpus manuscript of Ancrene Wisse look back to the traditions of the Anglo-Saxon past, the Nero scribe [of the Ancrene Wisse] converts the language of his exemplar into a language which he, and presumably his local readership, found easier to understand. Nero reflects a new, dialectally-confident handling of the vernacular, and it is not surprising that so much of the corpus of E[arly] M[iddle] E[nglish] literature dates from after it ... '(23)

It is clear that none of the texts that the tremulous hand copied represents his own early Middle English dialect at all accurately. But because we have been unable to say exactly what his own early Middle English dialect was like, it has been difficult to separate out the old from the new. To what extent are his spellings archaistic? To what extent have his inflectional endings collapsed? To what extent is grammatical gender still alive in his dialect?

As I have collected his mostly erased English glosses from the early D layer, it has become clear to me that they give a very different picture of his language and his scribal habits from that given by his copied texts. In the English glosses of the D layer he is not copying older forms of English but updating vocabulary, spellings, and inflections. His spellings are up to date and consistent and bear little resemblance to the spellings in the Worcester Fragments. They also differ from the spellings of his later English glosses in the B and M layers which are more like those in his copied texts (see Figure 1). For instance, in the D layer, Old English sc is consistently spelt sch, while the later B and M layers are split between sch (12x), sc (11x), and ch (1x) spellings. In AElfric's Grammar and Glossary sc is the most common spelling, (24) and in The Soul's Address there is only one sch spelling. Old English palatal c is consistently spelt ch or ch in D while B and M retain the c spelling in many instances. Old English medial f in words such as ofer and yfel is consistently spelt u in D but B and M retain the f spelling in many cases, as does The Soul's Address, for example, 'ufel' ([A.sub.44]). (25) The Old English be- prefix is consistently bi- in D but split between be- and bi- in B, M, and The Soul's Address. Where D updates the spelling of a word containing ae, in 18 out of 20 instances the ae is replaced, usually with e. Where B and M update the spelling of a word containing ae, however, it is eliminated in 42 instances and retained in 58. Moreover, B and M introduce ae into glosses 16 times; compare, for instance, D's gloss (Hatton 115, [100.sup.r]/23) 'pwyrlic crist' : 'pwertouercrist' to M's (Hatton 114, [155.sup.r]/6) 'pwyres' : pwaertouer'. Retention of ae is also very common in the copied texts in Worcester Cathedral, MS F. 174. In other words, oddly, his earliest English work is not only far more orthographically consistent than his later English work, but it is also far more progressive.
Figure 1 Comparison of selected reflexes of OE spellings in D with the
later B and M layers

reflexes of spelt in D layer spelt in B and M layers

OE sc sch (22x, consistently) sc (11 X), sch (12x), ch
OE c (palatal) ch or cch (54x, ch/cch (42x), c (23x)
OE be- prefix bi- (11x, consistently) bi- (7x), be- (7x)
OE cw cw (6x), qu (8x) cw (1x), qu (1x), cqu
Initial f- f- (44x), v- (20x), f- (102x), v- (10x)
 u- (3x)
medial f- -u- (32x, consistently) -u- (25x), -f- (14x)
OE ae eliminated (18x), eliminated (42x),
 retained retained (58x),
 (2x), never introduced introduced (16x)
 d (11x)
p (initial) usually p but usually p but d (6x)
d (medial) d (12x), p (7x) d (28x), p (49x)
d (final) d (96x), p (2x) d (94x), p (16x)
infinitives -en (44x), -ien (2x), -en (65x), -ien (11x),
 -ene (3x),-n (3x) -ene (2x), -n (4x),
 -an (12 x),-ian (13x),
 -on (3x), -onne (1x)
3 sg. pres. d (22x), -d -ed (22x), -d
 (7x), -ep (1x) (16x), -ep (1x),
 -p (1x), -t (6x) -p (1x), -t
 (11x), -ad (6x),
 -ap (4x), -aed (1x)
1-3 pl. pres. -ed (9x), -ied -ed (19x), -ied (10x),
 (4x), -d (52x) (1) -ep (4x), -iep (1x),
 -iap (1x), -eed (1x), -ad
 (4x), -iap (1x) -ap (1x),
 -p (1x),-ad (1x)
past plural -en (28x), -on (1x) -en (62x), (2) -on
 (11x), -an (5x), -un (2x)

(1) Most of these (49) are beod.

(2) 29 of these are weren.

The way in which he is working in this early D stage is very different from any of his other work. As I said earlier, it seems that he was marking up Hatton 115 and parts of two other manuscripts as exemplars to be copied, updating selected spellings and inflectional endings, adding punctuation and word division, and providing substitutes for some obsolescent words. The glosses here are from his active vocabulary. He was looking at an Old English word and substituting a different one, usually, but not always, because the Old English word was obsolescent, for example: 'a' : 'euer'; 'ae' : 'lawe'; 'aeteowde' : 'ischeawede'; 'cwyd' : 'seid'; 'wite' : 'pine'; 'bebod' : 'heste'; 'smeagan' : 'penchen'; and 'wuldor' : 'glorie'. There can be no doubt that these substitutions were in his own spellings because the words were usually not in the text he was glossing, or if they were they were spelt very differently, as, for example, when his gloss just gave the Middle English reflex, 'scearu' : 'scherren'; 'agenum' : 'owene'; 'cuce' : 'quike'; 'mycele' : 'muchele'; and 'andan' : 'onde'. It is clear that he was also substituting his own early Middle English inflections for obsolete Old English ones. Not only are his spellings which represent the phonetic character of his language internally consistent and seemingly stabilized, but those which represent the inflectional system are as well. The only inflections remaining on nouns in the D layer are -e, -en, -ene, and -es. If he updated forms of the definite article in the D layer, he changed 'se' to 'pe' or 'de'; 'seo' to 'peo', 'pone' to 'pene', 'pa' to 'peo'; and 'pam' to 'pen'. His adjectival glosses were very rarely inflected with anything other than -e, for instance, 'agenne' (m. acc. sg.) : 'owune'; 'hagenes' (gen. sg.) : 'owene'; 'agenre' (f. dat. sg.) : 'owene'; 'agenum' (dat. sg.) : 'owene'; 'agenum' (dat. pl.) : 'owene'. Figure 1 shows that he used only -(i)en(e) and -(i)ed where the corresponding forms of Old English verbs had -an, -on, and -(i)ad as well. The one exception, a past tense ending in -on, 'tyrigdon', was a rare instance in the D layer of the scribe copying into the margin, unchanged, a word he did not understand. In the later B and M layers he did this quite frequently, but in the D layer he seemed to ignore and pass over difficulties. He made mistakes, but he does not seem to be puzzling over words to the same extent that he was later on. He was certainly not providing anything like an interlinear gloss; some pages have only three or four glosses while others have twenty or more. Although he sometimes had problems with the Old English in the D layer, he had a clear and consistent sense of how to represent his own early Middle English dialect in writing, and his scribal habits at this earliest stage, the D layer, would have to be described as translation. I can only assume he had been taught to write the vernacular or else had a very clear idea in his own mind of how to represent it.

For anyone who knows the English work of the tremulous hand through his copies of AElfric's Grammar and Glossary, the Worcester Fragments, or the Nicene Creed, this would probably come as a surprise. It seems very odd that a scribe who could write a consistent form of his early Middle English dialect later chose not to. His copied texts do seem to look back to the Anglo-Saxon traditions in content, language, spelling, and even some letter-forms. Whether this adoption of some Old English scribal habits was conscious or not is difficult to say. What is clear is that his copied texts are linguistically conservative in spelling, inflections, and vocabulary, while his earliest English glosses, those from the D layer, show him to be linguistically progressive. (26)

Without the evidence of these early D layer glosses, some features in the spelling of his copied texts might not have seemed unusual. For instance, The Soul's Address has only one instance of a scb- spelling, 'schal' (A9), near the beginning of the text, only one qu- spelling, d is not used at all but ae frequently is even in some inflections, initial f- is always retained as f and medial f also occurs. As in the later English B and M glosses some older forms of inflections are found, for example, 'cumap" (A44). Some changes, however, he made quite consistently across all his English work, for example, updating the ge- prefix to i- almost without fail, changing -nysse to -nesse, and updating the reflexes of Old English y, for example, 'getydnes' : 'itudnesse'. It is difficult to explain why he stopped making some distinctions, such as f/v and p/d, why he abandoned the use of sch, why he went back to using ae, and why, having shown that his inflections were levelled, he later wrote words that, for example, he clearly recognized were infinitives, with -on, -an, or -ten inflections.

But rather than speculate about his motives it would be more profitable to see what this new evidence can tell us about his early Middle English dialect and perhaps even about the date at which he was working. The spellings in his earliest English glosses, those from the D layer, are remarkably close to those in the Ancrene Wisse Nero manuscript, Cotton Nero A.xiv, (27) mentioned above. Smith contrasted the innovative work of the Nero scribe with the traditional approach of the tremulous hand as evidenced in the Worcester Fragments. This contrast is clear and justified for the tremulous hand's copied texts, but if the very different evidence from the D layer glosses is compared with the work of the Nero scribe, it will be seen that the spellings are nearly identical. Zettersten noted that the similarity between the dialect of the Nero manuscript and the tremulous hand was very striking and, after listing points of similarity based on the evidence from the English glosses in Crawford's article, concluded that '[t]here are certainly several minor details [unspecified] which are different in the two texts, but the main dialect characteristics are in agreement'. (28) His list of correspondences between the tremulous hand and Nero include, among a few other features, the following: (29)

OE a before nasals: 'mon'

OE a before 3: 'lawe'

OE a before l + consonant: 'alle'

OE a before ld: 'tolde'

OE ae (Mercian e): 'eppel', 'efter', 'feste'

OE w + ae (Mercian e): 'was', 'iwar'

Anglian e by smoothing (West Saxon eo): 'werke'

OE y: 'muchel', 'dude', 'sunfule'

OE a: 'holi'

OE a + 3: 'owene'

OE a + ht 'nout'

OE short and long o: 'iwrouht'

OE long y: 'swude'

Now to his list can be added, for instance, their use of scb, ch/cch, and bi-, a similar distribution of p and d, and levelled verb inflections. The extent of the similarity between the tremulous scribe and the Nero scribe is only clear with the early D layer English glosses. Below I give selected examples, using Zettersten's headings simply for ease of reference to his examples. I am not giving only the points of correspondence here; in fact Nero and D agree on virtually everything for which I have evidence in D. I am looking for unusual words or spellings and, particularly, points on which Nero and D disagree. I should emphasize again that there are no archaizing spellings in D. In some cases I have added examples from The Soul's Address or the later English B and M glosses.

Anglian ae/e (i-mutated form of a before ld). (Zettersten, Studies, p. 53) Nero 'elde'; D 'elde'.

WS ea before h. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 55f.) Nero 'eihte' ('eight'); D 'eihte'.

OE ae before palatal 3. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 62f.) Nero 'feir(e)', 'ueir(e)', 'veire'; D 'feir(e)'. Nero 'meiden(e)'; D 'meiden' (Junius 121, [2.sup.v]/18). Nero 'seist'; D 'seist' (Hatton 115, [19.sup.r]/25). D has no spellings with ae or 3.

OE e. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 71f.) OE 'secgan': Nero 'siggen' (with i also in 1 sg. pr., pl. pr., sg. and pl. past sj. and imper.); D 'cydan' : 'siggen' (Hatton 115, [38.sup.v]/24), 'secgad' : 'segged' (Hatton 115, 63710); a mixture of i and e in these forms is also found in The Soul's Address. Zettersten, Studies, p. 80: Nero's vowel is due to the development of e > i before a palatal, which is not unusual in the West Midlands.

OE e before palatal 3. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 86f.) Nero 'wei(e)'; D 'wei'. Nero 'nonesweis'; O 'nonesweis'.

WS ea before r + velar consonant. (Zettersten, Studies, p. 89) Nero 'eruh' (4x); M 'eruhpe' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 222/1). Nero 'merke' (5x); B 'merke' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 198, [93.sup.r]/9)

OE o. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 116f.) Nero 'seoruwe' (20x), 'seorewe' (1x), 'seoruhful' (3x), etc.; D 'biseorwen'. The Soul's Address 'seoruwe' (B8), 'seoruwen' (A27), 'seorwe' (A16), 'seoruhful(e)' (A8, B18, E16); 'seorhful' (A15), 'sorhfulle' (D25). Nero 'weolcne'; D 'weolcne' (Hatton 115, [3.sup.v]/11). Elsewhere D agrees with Nero on -o-.

OE u. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 131f.) Nero 'buruh' 10x), 'buruhwes' (2x); D 'buruh' (Hatton 115, [20.sup.v]/6).

OE long [ae.sup.1]. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 174f.) Generally e in both Nero and D, e.g. 'euer(e)'.

OE long [ae.sup.1], before w. (Zettersten, Studies, p. 183) Nero 'eaubruche'; D 'eaubruche' (Hatton 115, [44.sup.r]/20).

OE long [ae.sup.2] (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 183f.) Generally e in both. Nero 'seluhde' (3x), 'iseluhde' (1x), 'unselhde' (1x), 'unseluhde' (1x); D 'unpearfe' : 'unseluhde'.

OE long a before velar 3, h, (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 17of.) Nero 'owene' (14x), 'owen' (1x), 'owune' (56x); D 'owene' (7x), 'owune' (1x). Nero 'woawes' ('wall') (2x), 'wowes' (2x); D 'wowe' (Hatton 115, [138.sup.r]/23).

OE long a before w. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 171f.) Nero 'slouh' (2x), 'slowe' (1x), 'slouhde' (10x), 'sloude' (1x); D 'slawe'? (erased, possibly 0; Hatton 115, [99.sup.r]/16), M 'slaewde' : 'slouhde' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 75/7).

OE long e except before palatal 3. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 192f.) Regularly e in Nero and D, but Nero's forms of 'weopen' ('weep') use eo in all cases except one; B 'heofian' : 'weopen' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 122/28), 'heofigende' : 'wepinde' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 122/20), The Soul's Address 'weopinde'.

OE long ea before velar c, 3, and h. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 197f.) Nero 'beih' ('bowed') (2x); B 'beih' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 198, [176.sup.r]/13). Nero 'eie', 'eien'; D 'eie', 'eien' (e.g. Hatton 115, [15.sup.v]/9).

WS long eo before velar c, 3, and h. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 199f.) Nero 'drien' ('suffer') has i, showing development of ei > long i; D has 'dreien' (Hatton 113, [1.sup.r]/10), but The Soul's Address 'driaen' (B36) and 'drei3en' (G6).

OE long o before velar 3, h. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 222f.) Nero 'drouh'; D 'drouh' (Hatton 115, [22.sup.r]/10). Nero 'souhte'; M 'souhte' (Hatton 116, 8/ 10). Nero 'wouh' ('wrong, injury') (5x), 'wowes' (2x), 'wouhwes' (1x); B 'wo' : 'wouh' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 12, [149.sup.v]/26), and a pencilled gloss 'woge' : 'wowe' (Hatton 114, [121.sup.r]/19).

OE long u before velar 3, h. (Zettersten, Studies, p. 228) Nero 'buinde'; D 'buinde' (Hatton 115, [16.sup.r]/25). Nero 'buhsum'; M 'gepyldig' : 'buhsum' (Hatton 116, 375/10). Nero 'adruwien'; D 'druwed' (Hatton 115, [19.sup.r]/22).

OE long ea except after palatal consonants, and before w. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 239f.) Nero 'edmod(e)'; B 'gepyldig' : 'edmod' (Hatton 116, 375/ 10). Nero 'bileaue' ('belief'); D 'gedwyldum' : 'vnbileaue' (Hatton 115, [86.sup.v]/ 14).

OE long ea after palatal consonants. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 242f.) Nero 'scheawe(n)' (5/30, etc.), 'schawe' (1x); D also regularly scheaw-, except one 'ischawed' (Hatton 115, [23.sup.r]/27). Ea in Nero also in sg. and pl. pr., sg. and pl. pr. sj., sg. past, imper., and past participle.

OE eo as result of fracture. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 244f.) Nero and D eo, for example, 'feor', 'eorde'. Nero 'eornen' (2x); D 'eorne' (Hatton 115, [60.sup.v]/19). Nero 'seolke'; D 'side' : 'seolc' (Hatton 114, [96.sup.v]/12). But Nero 'sulf', 'suluen', 'sulue' (regularly u) is from West Saxon sylf ('self'). The word does not occur in the glosses but The Sours Address has 'sulfen' (C27, F23), 'suluen' (F28).

OE eo as result of back mutation of e, i. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 246f.) D generally agrees with Zettersten's examples from Nero where there is evidence in D. For example: Nero 'beore' ('bear') (4x), 'bore' (2x); D 'beran' : 'beore' (Hatton 115, [132.sup.r]/I). Nero 'cleopien' has almost all eo spellings; D 'cleopien', 'cleopede', M 'cleopede' (no e spellings in the glosses). Nero 'eten' ('eat') has only e spellings; D has only e throughout the verb, e.g. 'eten' (Hatton 115, [134.sup.r]/18). Nero 'feole', 'ueole', 'veole' (regularly eo, 20x); D 'veole' (Hatton 113, [6.sup.r]/14), M 'feole' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 198, [196.sup.r]/9). Nero '3eoue' ('gift') has eo while the verb 'ziuen' has only i spellings; D 'sylene' : '3eoue' (Hatton 115, [50.sup.r]/23) but only i in verb. Nero 'bileoue' ('food'); D 'bileoue' (Hatton 115, 15V/10). Nero and D 'niman'. Nero 'bineoden'; D 'bineoden' (Hatton 115, [5.sup.r]/4).

OE long eo except before w. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 253f.) Regularly, with few exceptions, eo in Nero and D (and the later glosses), for example, 'beoden', 'beon', 'cheosen', 'creopen', 'deouel', 'deore', 'eode', 'feol', 'feond', 'fleon', 'freo', 'gleo', 'hweol', 'leosen', 'teoned', 'peode', 'peof', 'preo'. Zettersten, Studies, pp. 60 and 256: Nero 'ledene' (4x), 'leodene' (3x); D and B 'ledene' (Hatton 115, [12.sup.r]/4; Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 174/29), D 'leodene' (Hatton 115, [12.sup.v/11. But Nero uses both 'ned(e)' and 'neode' (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 202 and 256), while the tremulous scribe seems to favour eo (29x), D 'nede' (2x), M 'node' (1x).

OE long eo before w. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 258f.) Nero 'neowe'; D 'ineowed' (Hatton 113, [5.sup.v]/19). Nero 'speouwen' (2x), 'speowen' (2x); D 'speowen' (Junius 121, [24.sup.r]/3)

OE (West Saxon) ie after palatals. (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 90f.) Old English giefan: Nero has i forms, e.g. '3iuest'; D '3iue', '3ifd'. Nero 'gist', 'gistnede'; M 'feormode': 'gistnede' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 119/16); B 'cumena' : 'Gistene' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 123/12). Zettersten, Studies, p. 90: initial g is Scandinavian, i from Old English.

Other agreements in the spellings of individual words include: Nero 'fiht', 'uiht', 'viht' (Zettersten, Studies, p. 89); regularly 'fiht', 'viht' in the glosses; and Nero 'briht' (Zettersten, Studies, p. 85); D 'brihtnesse'. Nero has forms of 'strencden' instead of 'strengen'; D 'trymmynge' : 'strencden' (Hatton 115, [96.sup.v]/8), 'getrymman : 'strencpen' (Hatton 115, [13.sup.r]/20). Other Ancrene Wisse manuscripts have 'grune' ('snare, trap') while Nero has 'grone', 'gronen' (Zettersten, Studies, p. 149), and D glosses 'grin' with 'grone' (Junius 121, [33.sup.v]/ 13). This spelling is not attested elsewhere in the MED entry 'grin(e' n. Nero has 'neose' regularly (Zettersten, Studies, p. 237); the word does not occur in the D glosses, and M once copies 'nosu' in the margin, but The Soul's Address has 'neose' (A18).

Loss of d between consonants occurs in Nero in 'onsware' and 'onswerien' (Zettersten, Studies, p. 40), and regularly in D in all forms of those words. D shows a similar loss in 'andsaete' : 'ansete' (Hatton 115, [76.sup.r]/15). M glosses 'stidnysse' with 'hernesse' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 90/2). Nero also shows loss of d in 'herschipe' (Day, English Text, p. 175/12) and 'golhord' (Day, p. 66/36 and 37, and Zettersten, Studies, p. 126; Day (English Text, p. xvii) suggests this may represent a pronunciation). The same may be true of what is otherwise a very odd coincidence between Nero and M. Zettersten (Studies, p. 45) lists Nero's 3 sg. pr. forms of drawen as 'drawed' (4x), 'drauhd' (4x), and calls 'drauh' (Day, English Text, p. 122/15) an error for 'drauhd'. At Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178, 148/14, M gives two marginal glosses for 'gebigd' :'turnd' and 'drauh'. The Old English word is clearly in the present tense and his gloss, 'turnd', shows that he realizes this. In one other instance M confuses a stem ending in -h with a present tense, at Hatton 113, [86.sup.r]/22 'bearh': 'buruhd', also glossed with Latin 'parcit'. Zettersten (Studies, p. 214) cites another 3 sg. pr. ending in -h in Nero, 'wrih' (Day, English Text, p. 66/20), as 'error for wrihd.

The spellings of the Nero scribe are not always identical to those in the D layer of the tremulous scribe, but they are certainly very close. Nero prefers the 'owune' spelling to 'owene', but D prefers 'owene'. Zettersten (Studies, p. 173) comments on frequent oa spellings in certain words in Nero, used as a diacritic to distinguish long [??] from long o. There are no such spellings in the tremulous glosses, but oa occurs three times in 'woanep' and 'woaning' in The Soul's Address. The i in 'siggen' is regular in Nero, but both i and e are found in D and The Soul's Address. Spellings with w after ouh or auh as in 'wouhwes' and 'lauhwinde' in Nero are not found in D ('lauhinde'). Nero shows the development of ei > long i in 'drien' where D has 'dreien' and The Soul's Address has 'driaeen' and 'dreizen'. Parasiting between r or l and w or h is perhaps more common in Nero and more commonly spelt with u. 'Need' is much more consistently spelt with eo in D than in Nero. Nero's preferred spelling for the voicing of initial f seems to be u while D prefers v and seems more likely to retain initial f than Nero. In the later glosses and the copied texts of the tremulous scribe, the v spellings become only sporadic. Assimilated forms such as 'pet te' and 'ipe' or 'ine' in Nero do not occur in the glosses where the scattered nature of the glossing and the tendency not to gloss such common words make comparison difficult; they do not occur in the copied texts either. Nor is there any evidence in the early D glosses, as far as I can tell, of survival of grammatical gender, apart from, perhaps, the very few cases where he updates the forms of the definite article, as noted above; compare Zettersten (Studies, pp. 27of.), citing, for instance, -ne inflections on adjectives. D's adjectival endings seem to be completely levelled. Butler also noted a similar pattern in the scribe's copy of AElfric's Grammar and Glossary: '... in this manuscript it is the adjectives, not the demonstratives, that have radically lost their inflectional endings' ('An Edition', p. 68).

There are also a number of similarities between the Nero scribe and the D layer of the tremulous hand in terms of lexical choice. Nero substitutes 'euer' for 'aa' in all cases (Zettersten, Studies, p. 161); D frequently glosses 'a(a)' with 'euer'. Nero regularly substitutes forms of 'kecchen' for 'lecchen' (Zettersten, Studies, p. 60); D glosses forms of Old English gelaeccan with forms of 'kecchen'. Nero uses 'nimen' where other manuscripts have 'taken' (Zettersten, Studies, p. 34); D and the later B and M layers use forms of 'nimen' to gloss a variety of Old English verbs, but never use 'taken'. Nero substitutes 'schelchine' for 'puften' ('handmaid') twice (Zettersten, Studies, p. 154); D glosses 'wyln' with 'schelchine' (Hatton 115, [30.sup.v]/17). In the MED entry for 'shelchene', this noun is attested elsewhere only in a1300 'I-herep nv one' and c1300 'SLeg'. Nero has substituted 'mid' for 'wid'; (30) the tremulous scribe glosses a number of Old English prepositions, for instance, 'fram' is very frequently glossed 'of', and 'wid' is commonly glossed in Latin, usually with 'contra', but 'mid' is never glossed and is clearly still part of his active vocabulary as it is used by D, for example, to gloss 'bearneacnigendum' : 'mid childe' (Hatton 115, [38.sup.r]/8).

It is more difficult to know how to interpret the evidence on the use of hine. Nero has a number of occurrences of hine which are not present in the other early manuscripts of the Ancrene Wisse (Zettersten, Studies, pp. 269f.), suggesting that the form was part of Nero's active repertoire, or that of an exemplar of Nero. The form occurs in the tremulous scribe's copied texts where it could, however, just be a relict. He never altered 'hine' to 'him' when glossing, but twice a genitive direct object 'his' is glossed 'him', once in pencil and once in the B layer. Personal pronouns were rarely glossed but three forms were frequently distinguished using marks. The vowel in Old English him dat. pl. was very frequently altered to a to distinguish Old English him dat. pl. from Old English him dat. sg., and less frequently, the vowel in hyra/hira was altered to o to indicate that the gen. pl., not the f. sg., was intended. The ge- prefix and the ge personal pronoun were distinguished by i over the former and either 3 or, more commonly, vos over the latter.

If we look at Smith's table ('Tradition and innovation', p. 61), which compares forms in the Corpus, Cleopatra, and Nero manuscripts of the Ancrene Wisse, the D layer glosses generally agree with Nero where there is evidence in D: 'heo' ('she' and 'they'), 'hore' ('their'), 'bo' ('both'), 'mon', 'mucbel(e)' (D has one 'muche' as well), 'beod', 'was', 'pauh', 'heie', 'eien', and 'dawes'. Nero's 'ueole' with sporadic 'feole' occurs in D as 'feole' (1x) and 'veole' (1x) with the eo vowel consistent in this word throughout the tremulous scribe's work but the voicing of initial f indicated only sporadically after the D layer. The same is true of 'urom' in Nero with sporadic 'from'; the word is not glossed in D and appears in the glossator's later work as 'from'. Because the words in Smith's list are common ones, they are not words which are likely to he glossed, but some gaps can be filled in using evidence from the B and M glosses and the copied texts: Nero 'eni' (The Soul's Address 'eni'; but D 'el'); Nero and AElfric's Grammar and Glossary 'ert'; Nero and The Soul's Address '3if'; Nero and The Soul's Address 'sulf'; Nero and a later gloss in crayon 'er'; Nero and The Soul's Address '3et'; Nero and The Soul's Address 'hwar'; Nero and B 'lesse'; Nero 'hwon' and AElfric's Grammar and Glossary 'hwonne'. Of the rest of the words in Smith's list, Nero 'puruh' shows up in the glosses only in the M layer where it is abbreviated p, 'purharn' : 'porn' (Hatton 113, [142.sup.v]/14); the same abbreviation for this word is also found in the tremulous scribe's copy of the Nicene Creed, for example, line 7, and in Nero, for example, Day, English Text, frontispiece, line 2; The Soul's Address has both 'purh' and 'puruh'. Nero 'hwule' is again inconsistent in The Soul's Address. 'hwule' (3x) and 'hwile' (2x). Nero 'a3ean' ('again(st)') is in The Soul's Address as 'a3an' and 'on3ean'. Nero has 'dei' but The Soul's Address has '(domes)dai' and AElfric's Grammar and Glossary 'dai' and 'daei'. Nero 'auh' ('but') is consistently 'ac' in The Soul's Address and The St Bede Lament. For Nero 'uort' ('until') The Soul's Address has only a reconstructed 'op'. Without any evidence in D it is difficult to know whether, for instance, 'ac' ('but') represents the scribe's own form or is simply a relict; The Soul's Address differs in a number of the forms listed above, having 'dea3es' ('days'), 'hei3e' as well as 'heie', and 'ei3en' and 'e3en'.

That the dialects of Nero scribe and the tremulous scribe are very close has never been in doubt. The D layer glosses simply make the comparison very much clearer and closer. One last piece of evidence also helps to confirm how close these two scribes seem to be.

The script in general and the individual letter-forms in the Nero manuscript are virtually identical to those used in the D layer glosses. Because this layer of glossing is the earliest one by the tremulous hand, it is also the least affected by his infirmity. The disjointed, splayed look of the later glosses and the characteristic tremble are only occasionally evident here. There is no leftward lean. It is, however, difficult to get a general impression of his hand at this stage because so many D layer glosses have been erased. In Figure 2, enlarged details from the Nero manuscript have been placed side by side with enlarged details of D layer glosses from Hatton 115 and Hatton 113. Figure 2(a) shows that both Nero and D have a very short descender on 'wyn' which curves slightly to the left at the bottom. It is easy to see how this could degenerate into the two short strokes often used as a mark in the later layers of glosses. Figure 2(b) shows that both Nero and D use an identical form of the insular g, written on the line, (31) with a nearly straight top stroke. In Figure 2(c) the general aspect of the hands may be compared: both Nero and D have a heavy appearance with the letters very close together, and the vertical strokes in, for example, p, l, h, b and in the minims are very straight. The proportions in Nero and D are also very similar: the ascenders and descenders are quite short in both and the main body of the letters relatively tall. Split ascenders are not found in Nero or D, only small tags at the top of ascenders. The crossed and sign in D (not illustrated in Figure 2(c)) is similar to the one in Nero; the uncrossed form is used in the Worcester Fragments. As was true of the spellings and inflections discussed above, it is important to stress that these similarities between the scripts of Nero and the tremulous hand are clearest in the D layer glosses; in his later glosses, his infirmity makes comparison impossible as his writing becomes increasingly sprawling and disjointed with a definite lean to the left and often exaggerated ascenders and descenders. (32)


I am not trying to argue that the tremulous hand is the scribe of the Ancrene Wisse Nero manuscript, just that the spellings, inflectional systems, and scripts of Nero and D are very close. There are a sufficient number of minor differences between the two which make it seem unlikely that they are the same scribe; furthermore there is no evidence at all of any tremble in Nero, while in D the tremble is occasionally very clear, for example, in Figure 2(c) 'qued'. What I am suggesting is that the Nero manuscript and the D layer glosses cannot be far apart in either time or place. They may be contemporary or nearly contemporary. It seems that many of the features that make the tremulous hand look earlier and less progressive than the Nero scribe belong only to his later work and may be archaized, consciously or unconsciously, as the result of his reading and studying of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Jeremy J. Smith's contrast between the two scribes is valid for the tremulous hand's work in the Worcester Fragments:. 'Whereas texts such as the Worcester Fragments, the Caligula manuscript of La3amon, or even the Corpus manuscript of Ancrene Wisse look back to the traditions of the Anglo-Saxon past, the Nero scribe converts the language of his exemplar into a language which he, and presumably his local readership, found easier to understand. Nero reflects a new, dialectally-confident handling of the vernacular ...' ('Tradition and innovation', p. 65). But the evidence from the early D layer English glosses of the tremulous hand suggests that the Ancrene Wisse Nero scribe was not the only scribe at the time capable of translating an exemplar into the early Middle English West Midlands dialect.

It is, unfortunately, very difficult to date either scribe. As I said above, attempts to date the tremulous hand have ranged from the late twelfth century to the second quarter of the thirteenth century, possibly close to 1250. (33) Dates given for the Nero manuscript are usually in the second quarter of the thirteenth century, and sometimes close to the middle of the century, but it is not clear what these are based on. (34) The internal evidence for dating Ancrene Wisse, summarized by Millett (Annotated Bibliographies, pp. 12f.), is equally difficult to interpret, but a date after the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 is very likely for the original version. Dominican influence on the Nero version, as suggested by Millett (Annotated Bibliographies, p. 8n.), would push the date for Nero after the arrival of the Dominicans in England in 1221, and probably some years after. A date in the second quarter of the thirteenth century may therefore be likely for Nero, but is not certain. The very close similarity of the language and script of the D glosses and Nero suggests to me that whatever the date for Nero might be, D cannot be very far from it.

The implications of these close similarities between Nero and D are potentially far-reaching, particularly because in many other ways these scribes seem to have very little in common. They seem to be working in very different ways, on very different sorts of material, and for very different potential audiences. The tremulous hand seems likely to have been attached to Worcester Cathedral, either the bishop's household or the Benedictine priory, because some, but not all, of the manuscripts he worked on can he attributed to Worcester on various grounds. (35) The surviving evidence suggests he was mainly interested in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, particularly homiliaries, glossing them in order to make this old material intelligible to someone (himself, monks, priests?) for some reason or reasons (antiquarian interest, preaching material, private reading?). The only surviving evidence of the Nero scribe's work is a copy of a text aimed at women recluses which was probably originally written in the early thirteenth century and has been variously attributed to Augustinian, Victorine, and Dominican authorship, but seems to have no connection with the Benedictines. But if we ignore the copied texts and the later glosses of the tremulous scribe and concentrate only on his early D layer glosses, some of these differences disappear: both D and Nero are working in English, bringing older English material up to date and translating it into their own dialect. In the case of D all that survives is marked-up exemplars, with changes in spelling, inflections, punctuation, and vocabulary indicated; for Nero, only the copy, which has undergone a similar process of updating, survives.

The rest can only be speculation given how little we know about the production of vernacular manuscripts or the training of scribes at this time. But I would suggest that it may indicate that these two scribes, writing a consistent and nearly identical form of early West Midlands Middle English using a nearly identical script, may have had a common training in the writing of English. (36) That is, somewhere in Worcestershire (probably in Worcester itself) (37) in the first half of the thirteenth century (very likely after 1215 and possibly in the second quarter), there may have been a centre for the production of vernacular manuscripts in which scribes were trained to produce, perhaps among other things, up-to-date English books in the local dialect from older, and sometimes much older, English material. The most intriguing aspect of this is that two scribes who may have been trained in such a centre seem to be dealing with English material from very different sources and religious milieux and for very different audiences. Whether these two scribes produced their surviving work while at such a centre or elsewhere, having moved on to join, for example, the bishop's household or the Benedictine priory in Worcester, is not clear. Nor is it clear what religious affiliation, if any, such a centre may have had. But further work on the dialects of these scribes and on book production in the West Midlands in the thirteenth century may help to answer some of these questions.


(1) On the work of this scribe in general, see my monograph: Christine Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester: A Study of Old English in the Thirteenth Century (Oxford, 1991). The evidence for the layers of glossing and for their attribution to him is on pp. 5-28; the manuscripts are listed on p. 29, and there are detailed discussions of all the manuscripts on pp. 29-83. Wendy E. Collier has studied the annotations and his use of these manuscripts; see, for example, 'The tremulous Worcester scribe and his milieu: a study of his annotations' (unpub. Ph.D. thesis, University of Sheffield, 1992) and 'A thirteenth-century user of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 79 (1997), 149-65.

(2) For the tremulous scribe's copy of AElfric's Grammar and Glossary, see Marilyn Sandidge Butler, 'An edition of the early Middle English copy of AElfric's "Grammar" and "Glossary" in Worcester Cathedral MS. F. 174' (unpub. Ph.D. thesis, Pennsylvania State University, 1981). A recent account of The St Bede Lament is in S. K. Brehe, 'Reassembling the First Worcester Fragment, Speculum, 65 (1990), 521-36, and also in Smith, cited in n. 21 below. The Soul's Address to the Body has been edited, with glossary and an account of the language, in The Soul's Address to the Body: The Worcester Fragments, ed. Douglas Moffat (East Lansing, Mich., 1987).

(3) There is a facsimile and transcription of the tremulous scribe's copy of the Nicene Creed in S. J. Crawford, 'The Worcester marks and glosses of the Old English manuscripts in the Bodleian, together with the Worcester version of the Nicene Creed', Anglia, 52 (1928), 1-25.

(4) Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester, pp. 119-31.

(5) Fuller details on the medical opinions of his infirmity are given ibid., pp. 198f.

(6) Crawford ('The Worcester marks', p. 3) described him as 'close of the twelfth or earlier part of the thirteenth century'. N. R. Ker, "The date of the "tremulous" Worcester hand', Leeds Studies in English, 6 (1937), 28-9, placed him in the second quarter of the thirteenth century, perhaps not much, if at all, earlier than 1250, though he thought the duct of his script might have been formed in the late twelfth century. Ker's date of second quarter of the thirteenth century is the date he gives to a Latin table of contents added in the margin of Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 114, fol. [10.sup.r]; the tremulous hand added an item to it and must, therefore, be later than the scribe who wrote the table of contents. Ker attributes this date to N. Denholm Young. Professor Malcolm Parkes, in a personal communication in April 2001, said he believes that the date Ker gave for the Latin table of contents is too late and that it could be around 1200.

(7) For more details on the layers and their chronology, see Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester, pp.5-28.

(8) The references to manuscripts throughout are in the form: page or folio number/line number. After the first few references I have dropped the 'p.' and 'fol.' preceding. Hatton 116 and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 178 are paginated; the rest of the manuscripts are foliated.

(9) Problems with Dorothy Bethurum's glosses in Hatton 113 are noted in Ian McDougall, 'Some remarks on Dorothy Bethurum's treatment of glosses in MS. Bodleian Hatton 113', American Notes and Queries, 8/4 1995), 3-4.

(10) Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester, pp. 84-102.

(11) Crawford, 'The Worcester marks'.

(12) N. R. Ker, 'Old English Hrohian', MAE, 1 (1932), 208, notes Crawford's misreading of 'hrohode' as 'prohode', and comments that errors and omissions are numerous in Crawford's lists. Some corrections to Crawford's lists are in Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester, ch. 2, nn. 11, 16, 25, 27, 30, and 44.

(13) William Schipper, 'Middle English glosses in CCCC MS 198', Annual Reports, the Division of Languages, International Christian University (Tokyo), 10 (1985), 96-110.

(14) Homilies of AElfric: A Supplementary Collection, ed. John C. Pope, 2 vols, EETS, OS 259 and 260 (London, 1967-8).

(15) Noted by Andreas Fischer (p. 38), in "The vocabulary of very late Old English', in Studies in English Language and Literature: 'Doubt Wisely': Papers in Honour of E. G. Stanley, ed. M. J. Toswell and E. M. Tyler (London, 1996), pp. 29-41.

(16) These include: the Hatton Gospels in Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 38 (The Old English Version of the Gospels, I: Text and Introduction, ed. R. M. Liuzza, EETS, OS 304 (London, 1994), discusses the Hatton MS, pp. xxxvii-xli); the Winteney Benedictine Rule in London, BL, MS Cotton Claudius D.iii (Die Winteney-Version der Regula S. Benedicti, ed. A Schroer (Halle, 1888)); the Lambeth Homilies in London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 487 (Old English Homilies and Homiletic Treatises, ed. Richard Morris, EETS, OS 29, 34 (London, 1867-8; Kraus repr. 1973), pp. 1-183); the Trinity Homilies in Cambridge, Trinity College, MS B 14.52 (Old English Homilies of the Twelfth Century, ed. Richard Morris, second series, EETS, OS 53 (London, 1873; Kraus repr. 1973)); and the Vespasian Homilies in London, BL, MS Cotton Vespasian A.xxii (Old English Homilies and Homiletic Treatises, ed. Morris, pp. 217-45). Details on all the above manuscripts may be found in Margaret Laing, Catalogue of Sources for a Linguistic Atlas of Early Medieval English (Cambridge, 1993). Some recent publications on lexical substitution in these manuscripts include: Saara Nevanlinna, 'Lexical variation in the Old English Gospel manuscripts and a note on continuation', in To Explain the Present: Studies in the Changing English Language in Honour of Matti Rissanen, ed. Terttu Nevalainen and Leena Kahlas-Tarkka (Helsinki, 1997), PP. 135-48; Andreas Fischer, 'The Hatton MS of the West Saxon Gospels', in The Preservation and Transmission of Anglo-Saxon Culture, ed. Paul E. Szarmach and Joel T. Rosenthal (Kalamazoo, Mich., 1997), pp. 353-67; also Fischer, 'The vocabulary of very late Old English'; Roy Michael Liuzza, 'Seribal habit: the evidence of the Old English Gospels', in Rewriting Old English in the Twelfth Century, ed. Mary Swan and Elaine M. Treharne, Cambridge Studies in AngloSaxon England 30 (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 143-65; and Robert McColl Millar and Alex Nicholls, 'AElfric's De initio creaturae and London, BL Cotton Vespasian A.xxii: omission, addition, retention, and innovation', in The Preservation and Transmission of Anglo-Saxon Culture, ed. Szarmach and Rosenthal, pp. 431-63.

(17) See Bella Millett, Annotated Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature, II: 'Ancrene Wisse', the Katherine Group and the Wooing Group (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 49-59, for details of the Ancrene Wisse manuscripts. They are also described in Laing, Catalogue, along with the Ormulum, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 1; Worcester Cathedral, MS F.174; and the manuscripts of the Brut, London, BL, MS Cotton Caligula A.ix (dated fourth quarter of the thirteenth century) and MS Cotton Otho C.xiii (dated third quarter of the thirteenth century).

(18) On the distinctions in scribal habits, see Michael Benskin and Margaret Laing, 'Translations and Mischsprachen in Middle English manuscripts', in So meny people longages and tonges: Philological Essays in Scots and Mediaeval English Presented to Angus McIntosh, ed. Michael Benskin and M. L. Samuels (Edinburgh, 1981), pp. 55-106.

(19) For the full transcription, see Crawford, 'The Worcester marks', p. 5.

(20) Moffat (The Soul's Address, p. 21), in his general discussion of the language, pp. 7-25.

(21) Jeremy J. Smith, 'Tradition and innovation in south-west-Midland Middle English', in Regionalism in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts: Essays Celebrating the Publication of 'A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English', ed. Felicity Riddy (Woodbridge, 1991), pp. 53-65; on The St Bede Lament, pp. 56f.

(22) But see n. 34 below on the problems of dating this MS.

(23) Smith, 'Tradition and innovation', p. 65.

(24) Butler, 'An edition', p. 62.

(25) Examples from The Soul's Address are quoted by fragment and line number from Moffat's edition.

(26) A number of early French loanwords are also found in the D layer glosses, for example, 'aunte' and 'balaunce'.

(27) Edited by Mabel Day in The English Text of the 'Ancrene Riwle'." Edited from Cotton MS. Nero A.xiv, EETS, OS 225 (London, 1952 (for 1946); repr. 1957).

(28) Arne Zettersten, Studies in the Dialect and Vocabulary of the Ancrene Riwle, Lund Studies in English 34 (Lund, 1965), pp. 294f.

(29) Ibid.

(30) Ibid., p. 269, and George B. Jack, 'Archaizing in the Nero version of Ancrene Wisse', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 80 (1979), 325f.

(31) Confirmation that the insular gin the tremulous hand is written on the line may be found in Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester, pl. 10, line 6.

(32) See ibid., pl. 1, for examples of the more characteristic late tremulous glosses. As well as the uncrossed and sign, another archaic feature possibly carried over from the exemplar is the use of upright rather than roundback ds through much of Worcester Cathedral, MS F.174; see ibid., pp. 13f.

(33) See n. 6 above.

(34) Smith ('Tradition and innovation', p. 60) says around 1240. Millett (Annotated Bibliographies, p. 52) gives: 'Day ..., ix (with advice from Ker) dates Nero. A.xiv to the second quarter of the 13th century, Doyle ... to the mid 13th century ...' Earlier Millett says, '[t]he exact date and localization of the earliest MSS are also hard to establish with any certainty. The very precise MS dates given by some editors and commentators have no palaeographical basis; the margin of error in dating book hands of this period can be up to fifty years, and the datings by professional palaeographers are correspondingly elastic' (p. 11).

(35) See Franzen, The Tremulous Hand of Worcester, pp. 30-74.

(36) For the case against such a standard and training for the AB language, see Merja Black, 'AB or simply A? Reconsidering the case for a standard', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 100 (1999), 155-74.

(37) Laing (Catalogue, p. 78) originally placed Nero in south Worcester, not far from the Gloucester border: 'In the opinion of MLS (pers. comm.) the language is S Worcs not far from the Gloucs border. It could conceivably belong to N Gloucs, but going on the later evidence it seems to have more in common with Worcs than Gloucs in an area where there are later some crucial divides.' Her current opinion (pers. comm., March 2003) is that the tremulous hand and the Nero scribe belong in virtually or actually the same place: 'In my opinion, the language [of Nero] has more in common with texts from Worcester itself ... than any other contemporary texts.... The language perhaps comes from Worcester itself, and has been provisionally placed just west of it for the purposes of mapping ...' Millett (pers. comm., April 2003) suggests the bishop would be the one most likely to bring together this range of interests.

Christine Franzen

Victoria University of Wellington
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Author:Franzen, Christine
Publication:Medium Aevum
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2003
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