The Norwich Day-Book is the name given by Jacobs and Wolf, Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica, xviii., to four rolls preserved in the Muniment Room at Westminster Abbey, which contain the trans? actions of the Norwich Jewish Exchequer day by day for the years 9-11 Hen. III. The documents are mentioned in the Historical MSS. Commission, Fourth Report, Appendix, p. 182, and have hitherto been officially known as Nos. 140, 145, 147, and 157 ; these numbers being written in dorso of each in pencil. But according to Dr. Scott's new catalogue now in process of making, they become Nos. 6686, 6687, 6673, and 9013 respectively. Dr. Scott describes No. 140 as follows: " Register of bonds for loans due from Christians to Jews, December to April, 10 H. III."?a description equally adequate for the remaining rolls, though the points in which No. 157 differs from the others will be noted later.
This roll consists of two or three membranes sewn end to end, making an entire length of 25 inches, its width being 8 inches. Unlike the remaining documents it possesses neither heading nor endorsement. No doubt at the date of its compilation it formed part of a larger roll, which, including No. 145, gave a complete year's enrolment (10 H. III.), just as No. 147 is a full year's enrolment for 11 H. III. It has no tag or elongated strip for fastening when rolled. The first dated entry is given as December 23rd, the last as April 26th. The number of entries for each month varies consider? ably ; the lowest number being four for January, and the highest sixteen for February. The name of the month is given in capitals and a margin is left for the date?exactly as in the specimen entries published herewith. The handwriting throughout is apparently the work of one scribe, and the fact that the document is an enrolment based upon the original instruments of the loan-tallies, charters, cyrographs, etc.?explains its contracted nature.
The scribe does not follow in detail the usual methods of con? traction found in the official documents of the period, for he re? peatedly gives particles without the slightest contraction mark. The following may be cited as examples:-
(a) de stands for the preposition de and also for debit,
(b) da for dabit.
(c) an for annus (and cases).
(d) s for scilicet, solvit, and solvendum.
(e) (more rarely)^?for filius or filia.
In point of formation the letters " a " and " o," " e," " t," and " r," bear a great resemblance to one another; so that in the case of place and proper names, it is often a somewhat difficult matter to decide with accuracy upon the correct letter, A further peculiarity to be noticed is the sign t9, which evidently is equivalent to primus. These peculiarities are common to Nos, 145 and 147 ; for the same hand is found, amongst others, in these two rolls.
Nothing in the manner of spelling the names of persons and places calls for attention.