Charter Date

The Electronic Sawyer gives the dates of charters with varying degrees of complexity, and this information has been fully entered into the LangScape database in a number of specific fields.

However, in Browse/Search for bounds, in the Concordances resulting from Headword or Free Text searches, and in the Metadata accompanying each text, some dates are simplified to the date or range of dates within which the charter is most likely to fall.

Examples (showing eSawyer date and LangScape date range)
S126: A.D. 786 or 589 for ? 779 or 789 x 790 ? 779 x 790
S323: A.D. 833 x 839, perhaps 833 x 836833 x 839
S327: A.D. ? 860 (altered to 790)? 860
S343: A.D. 852 for ? 878? 878
S411: c. A.D. 935 x 938 (? 937)935 x 938
S1288: A.D. 924, probably for 905 (or 920)? 905 x 920

In the third of these examples, the date 790 is impossible because inconsistent with the internal evidence of the charter. It is, however, of interest to anyone studying the charter at a closer level, and in all cases the user can refer to the full eSawyer entry via a LangScape link.

Note: Date ranges could logically take either the first or the last date to order by. In order to allow users to do both, in Browse for bounds they order by the last date in the range and in Search for bounds they order by the first date in the range.

General note: These dates are the purported dates of the transaction and need to be treated with a certain amount of caution, since many charters were to some degree or other embellished or fabricated.

Manuscript Date

The LangScape database contains several fields of data based on the dates of the manuscripts given in eSawyer. However, the dating of the major cartularies from which many of our texts are taken is currently subject to scholarly review, and the forthcoming version of the Revised eSawyer will reflect this. For this reason we have decided not to display the data refining the part of the century (e.g. s. xv in.), leaving this for revision and inclusion in any further phase of the LangScape project.

The manuscript date in LangScape, therefore, will be the century within which the manuscript lies, or, where it spans the centuries, we will give both, including queries where these are present in eSawyer (e.g. 11, 11/12, ?12). The user is advised to refer to the full eSawyer entry for the current position on manuscript dates for each document.