Letter e

Secretary Hand e's look a bit like the Greek letter theta. Once the brain of a palaeographer begins to recognize the secretary hand e, without having to stop and think, or refer to a key, his or her reading speed increases markedly, if only because, the letter e is the most commonly used letter in Scots documents (that's enough es, ed).

Here are some examples of the Secretary Hand e.

Secretary Hand es

When ink fades from paper or parchment, very often what is left of a secretary hand e on the page are the remains of the two heavier strokes which formed the letter (the lower of the two curves and the stroke through the middle. A Secretary Hand e which has faded in this way can stump the unwary reader, but a way to coach yourself to spot one when you come across it, is to picture in your mind the two curves as smiles. So, remember: 'two little smiles make an e'.