Illegible signature


Can anyone read this? Just the signature, not the rest!

2 Responses to “Illegible signature”

  1. James Freeman Says:
    April 5th, 2011 at 16:45

    Well, as no-one’s replied yet, shall I set the ball rolling?

    The first letter, I think, is W – and this is followed by H. The rest seems to be prffr (or prssr?). This presumably is a deliberate distortion of the correct letter forms, or omission of vowels, or a cipher? I’ve tried playing around with the letters – moving them up or down one in the alphabet – but haven’t landed upon anything yet.

  2. Arnold Hunt Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 14:42

    The signature is ‘W. Herlle’, i.e. William Herle (d. 1588/9), diplomat and political intelligencer. For another example of the same signature, see Herle’s letter to Lord Burghley, 18 April 1571, BL Cotton Caligula C. III, f. 176v.

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