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Letter Endorsements

Endorsements allowed the recipients of letters to be reminded of their contents without having to unfold and read them.


The endorsement on the address leaf of this letter from Lady Paisley to her cousin—“Lady Paisley about Sir Johns funeral”— provides a quick summary of the letter’s contents. Before opening the letter, the recipient would already have known by the black seal that the letter contained news of a death or that it was written by someone in mourning.

Autograph letter signed from Katherine Hamilton, Lady Paisley, to Colonel Robert Warcupp. Manuscript, November 1681

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