Henry II of England:
Grant of a Gild to the Tanners of Rouen, 1170
The last years of the reign of Henry II of England were troubled by rebellions and
wars. In return for what assistance was rendered him he gave a charter to the tanners of
Rouen who had supported him against his rebellious sons. The particular advantages
obtained by this craft were a grant of a monopoly in the industry within the district of
Rouen, and special protection to be afforded them by the king in the future.
Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count
of Anjou, to his earls, barons, justiciars, sheriffs, ministers, and all his faithful
Be it known that I have granted and confirmed with this my charter to my tanners of
Rouen their gild and tan and oil, and all the gild's customs and duties, freely and
quietly, fully and honorably; and (I have commanded) for the sake of the service which
those tanners do me that no one shall ply their craft in Rouen, nor within the district of
Rouen except with their permission. Wherefore, I wish and firmly command that no one
molest nor disturb them, nor take action against their craft except before me.
From: Gustave Fagniez, ed., Documents Relatifs à l'Histoire de l'Industrie et du
Commerce en France, (Paris: Alphonse Picard et Fils, 1898), Vol. I, p. 89; reprinted
in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for Medieval Economic
History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo
& Tannen, 1965), p. 237.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998