Researchers encounter an amazing variety of script (or sometimes more like scratch!) amongst the handwritten documents produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. To become adept at interpreting historical cursive writing, readers must develop particular skills over time. The art of reading and analyzing historic handwriting and manuscripts is called palaeography.
“A letter of marque came from the king to the scummiest vessel I’d ever seen,” is a line which rings familiar to many ears thanks to Stan Roger’s popular song, Barrett’s Privateers (1976). Letters of marque were issued by nations during times of war allowing privateering activity, which consisted of the seizure of valuable cargoes or whole ships belonging to enemy nations, an approach to war often termed guerre de course. The Loyalist Collection contains a wealth of material linking Loyalists to the large