Reading the Court Script of Louis XIV


Our last post focused on the court script of Ferdinand and Isabella.  This looks at an important document of Louis XIV, and French of the 18th century.  This document, signed by the Sun King, grants a distant plot of land the abuts the American Colonies. The plot was given to a man (Thomas Lefevre) who had been kidnapped by the English in relation for the Deerfield Raid, which had killed more than 50 English settlers. This has fewer abbreviations than the other post. The script is cleaner and easier to read but still has its challenges.


Above: Lefevre had been given authority by the King in 1804. But, as this document notes, his original grnat had been “brulee lors de l’Incursion des Anglois” or “burned at the time of the English incursion.”  Note the old French adds “s” in brulee and the unique form of “r” in “incursion.”  The final “s” of anglois is typical of this time period in France.


Above: “Nouvelle France laquelle concession.”  “N” and “V” can be easily confused.  And the “F” of France looks more like an “S.”  In fact, that whole word takes a minute to unravel.


Above: “Gouverneur et Lieutenant General.”  This is a tough line.  The “G” of “Gouverneur” looks like a 6.  The “e” and “r” run right into each other.  “Et” looks like “a.” This latter is typical of a final “t,” which often just trails off.  And the “r” looks more like a “v.”

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