Transcription Policy for
the Spenser Letters

The manuscripts are predominantly in secretary hand, represented in this transcription by unadorned Roman; local passages in italic (proper names, signatures, etc.) have been rendered in italic face when they occur within larger documents primarily in secretary hand. Presentation letters written in an italic hand-particularly those of the Lord Deputy to Elizabeth-have also, for ease of reading, been transcribed in plain Roman. In every case, the predominating hand of the manuscript has been noted at the head of the 'Textual Notes' section.

All margins, indentations, blanks, line breaks, page breaks, catchwords, and capitals have been preserved. Due to computer font limitations and a desire for clarity, most line-filling ornamentation has not been reproduced, save for the frequent use of a virgule (/) for final punctuation. Deletions are marked in the text with a bullet (•) for each character deleted; all deletions and insertions are flagged in the text with a blue dot hyperlink (), and are explained in the 'Textual Notes' section.

Some damage to the manuscripts has obscured letters, whole words, or in some cases large sections of a page. The missing characters or words have been hypothesised where advisable, and are given in square brackets [ ].

Brevigraphs, contractions, and abbreviations have been expanded and all superscripts lowered, in order to make this version of the text as readable as possible to the modern eye. Such changes are represented in the transcription in blue face. A full table of expansions is provided below.

Table of Expansions
Symbol/Contraction Expansion
Brevigraphs terminal -es abbreviation es
s abbreviation (ß) ser, sur
p abbreviation per, pre, par, pro
xx- Christ- (as in xxendome, xxian, etc.)
initial ff F
Superscripts wch which
wt, wth with
yt that
ye the
yei thei
ym, yem them
yen then
yer, yeir ther, their
yis this
a a
m um, m
n n
r r, ar, er, or, ur, re, ri, our
rs rs, ors
u u
w w
mr(s) master(s)
matie(s), matye(s) maiestie(s), maiestye(s)
mrss mistress
terminal mt -ment
q{ qua
State(s): Statute(s)
Sr Sir
St St
Abbreviations Vidzt Videlicet
& Tildes lo(s):, l., L. lord(s), lord(s), lordship(s), Lord(s), Lordship(s)
Hig., High.; Dep.; Irel., etc. Highnes, Deputy(e), Ireland, etc.
supralineal tilde inserted n, m, i
supralineal tilde reduplicated letter group (ti, en, em, etc.)
supralineal tilde supplied letters in common or familiar words
(co'en for comen, l'res for lettres, p'nt for present, ten'tes for tenantes, Will'm for William)

nb: Superscript 'a' has not been lowered in the case of Celtic patronymics, such as 'Pheagh ma Hugh', as this formatting preserves pronounciation. St has been lowered but not expanded in the case of Sir Anthony St Leger, as this reflects the common spelling of his name.

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