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Hand and Seal

.

When writing was limited to a few clerks, documents were authenticated by the impression of the hand dipped in ink, and then the seal was duly appended. As dipping the hand in ink was dirty, the impression of the thumb was substituted. We are informed that “scores of old English and French deeds still exist in which such ‘signaturesʹ appear.” Subsequently the name was written, and this writing was called “the hand.”

Hubert: Here is your hand and seal for what I did.

King John: Oh, when the last account twixt heaven and earth

Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal

Witness against us to damnation.”


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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iv. Hand
v. Hand
Hands
Hands
Hand - book
Hand-gallop
Hand Paper
Hand-post (A)
Hand Round (To)
Hand and Glove (They are)
Hand and Seal
Hand-in-Hand
Hand of Cards
Hand of Justice
Hand over Hand
Hand the Sail
Hand Down to Posterity (To)
Handfasting
Handicap
Handkerchief
Handkerchief and Sword