Sunday, May 28, 2017

Aildreda's Pelican Scroll

Aildreda de Tamwurthe's persona is mid-13th century English.  That presented a slight challenge, as all of the legal documents of mid-13th century England that I've found so far are in Latin.   I still haven't mastered Latin well enough to write in it.  I can translate out of it, laboriously, with a dictionary in hand, but I can't compose in it.

I started with a Latin legal text from the 1260s, used multiple translations to confirm my own sense of what it said, and then put the modern English into pre-1300 Middle English.  The end result still reads a little more modern than I'd like, but I didn't want to hold up the scroll-making process while I fiddled to a standard of perfection that I probably couldn't meet.

The text contains deliberate internal spelling inconsistencies, mirroring the variability in spelling found in period documents.  For example, I used every spelling of "and" found in Middle English prior to 1300, just as a present for Dreda.

The ȝ character is a yogh.  It's pronounced like a modern 'y'.   ð and þ are both pronounced like 'th'.

All of the footnoted definitions of terms are based on the definitions in the Middle English Dictionary.

Ioannes, by rihte of armes Kinge of Estlonde, & Ro Honig, by þe samen rihte þe Quene, ȝif gretunge to alle whamm þe present leattre schal rahte.  For þe onour & þe auantage off oure selues ond off oure reaume, We, by þe consil of oure magnates, scilicet[1] þe worþssipuol Ordre off þe Pellican, herbi & heonne-forthþeward astoll[2], staþel[3] & bifeste[4] Aildreda de Tamwurthe as maistresse of þe ordre afoure-named.  Ant we do herbi conferme & ifaste[5] þe leattres patents biforen-ȝifenn[6] onto þe fornseid Aildreda, wið alle þe rihts, freodoms, freoscipes[7], remissiuns[8] & largesce[9] as schal belongeþ to a Peer off þis reaume.  Ant we ferþer comaunde þat þe sygnacle[10] & bagge[11] of þe Pellican be beren her-æfter uppe on þe fornseid Aildredas persone euere-more, þe hwich commandement schal be obeied on peine of such deseritisun[12] & remevement[13] off benefices as we demað soðfeste[14] & fair.  Ant þis ure leattre preouyng þe samen we sened wiþ vre seel uppe-on þis twenty- seueþe dai of Mæi, in þe fifti- secunde ȝer.

[1]  scilicet = that is, namely

[2]  astoll =  to set up, establish, institute

[3]  staþel = to establish

[4]  bifeste = to endow with, give

[5]  ifaste = to confirm, as an agreement

[6]  biforen-ȝifenn = previously given

[7]  freoscipes = rights or privileges; also freedom from servitude or obligation

[8]  remissiuns = immunities, freedoms

[9]  largesce  = freedom, liberality

[10] sygnacle = a seal, sign of genuineness, hallmark

[11]  bagge = yep, that's how you spell badge in the 13th century

[12]  deseritisun = deprivation or loss of possessions or privileges

[13] remevement = bet you've never been threatened by your own scroll before

[14]  soðfeste = primary meaning is "real, actual; genuine, authentic;"  it is used in here in its secondary meaning of proper, just and righteous

1 comment:

  1. "[13] remevement = bet you've never been threatened by your own scroll before"

    Footnote win!