A rubric is a flourish embellishing a signature; it's both decorative and a security feature. Today, signatures are still used, but rubrics seem to have gone out of style. Who used the rubrics?

an old signature

  • 1
    I suspect that this may fall foul of evidential bias since documents that survive the passing of time are more likely to be important. Signatures on important documents (esp. legal docs) are more likely to carry embellished signatures than common correspondence. For example, Queen Elizabeth I included one in her signature, as did John Hancock whose fame largely comes from his signature. The result is that rubics may appear to be used more commonly than they actually were. – Steve Bird Aug 16 '17 at 6:22
  • @SteveBird, if rubric use was concentrated among the wealthy and politicians, that would go a long way towards answering the question. i wonder why they stopped though. – Aaron Brick Aug 16 '17 at 15:18
  • Sometimes you'll see fancy initials or drawings instead of a simple "X" for "his mark" on documents. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any examples to link to. – bgwiehle Sep 8 '17 at 13:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.