Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Oliver Cromwell's signature, of course. It's an interesting thing. I don't know enough about paleography to say whether his habit of writing his lower-case 'e's as epsilons (more time consuming, but perhaps more classical) was widespread; but that line through his terminal two 'l's is a regular-enough feature of 17th century handwriting. That, nevertheless, does give his name something of the look of 'Cromwitt'. Since a 'crom' (or 'cromb') is an old English word for 'hook', or 'crook' (or sometimes 'talon') that means he's signing his name with a classic Villain's monkier: Oliver Crookwit'. It's almost Dickensian.