While transcribing entries in a 16th century Latin probate act book, I have come across a symbol that commonly appears at the end of entries, and sometimes within entries:

Probate Act Book example, 1596

What does it represent? Is it a word, symbol, or form of punctuation? How is it best transcribed using a standard keyboard?

  • 2
    It seems almost like a really deformed and hollow hedera, but the use of paragraph breaks would make it redundant.
    – HDE 226868
    Feb 27, 2016 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


Could it be et cetera? That is often abbreviated as e(t)c in manuscripts: although I've not seen this exact form before, and Cappelli does not seem to have it (consulted at the University of Cologne), it looks like it could be ec. I've read most of the text, and et cetera would fit the context (although et cetera easily fits any context).

  • 1
    @Nathaniel: I've fleshed it out a bit more, explaining what I've done to 'research' it. Although unless someone finds this exact abbreviation with the exact same shape somewhere, I doubt whether much will come up... I could transcribe the whole text, but that would seem superfluous, since Harry is already doing that.
    – Cerberus
    Feb 27, 2016 at 2:56
  • Ah, you could be right, I should have thought of that! Though why they thought it was necessary to add every time is beyond me. It might be abbreviated "&c"? Feb 27, 2016 at 12:26
  • @HarryVervet: It sure might be: is that curl at the beginning how your scribe write the & sign? The scribe is probably adding etc. to abbreviate certain standard formulae? The entries in this document are rather standardised.
    – Cerberus
    Feb 27, 2016 at 16:48
  • I can't specifically see any other use of & in the document, the scribe always seems to use "et" instead. Anyway I am confident your answer is correct, I have now found a couple of examples that have the same format with &c. at the end - e.g. books.google.com/books?id=8FQMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA195 Feb 27, 2016 at 20:24

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