I'm reading "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour" by Joshua Ferris, and the narrator/author talks about looking over the shoulder of someone studying the Bible on the subway, and noticing that there are "notes in a friar's hand" written in it, along with highlighting and underlining. The text seems to intimate that the studier did the highlighting, so I'm assuming they also made the notes.
I don't think I've encountered that phrase before, and googling it returns excerpts from this book or Shakespeare snippets with 'friar' in them.
What does this mean? Is it a misprint? I'm guessing it means careful penmanship or something like that.