Philip, Count of Flanders:
Charter Granted to the Men of Bruges, 1190
Bruges was an important Flemish city on a stream flowing into the Gulf of Zwyn at
the southern extremity of the delta of the Rhine. In this position it was admirably
situated for the commerce of the main trade routes by land and water. Like other Flemish
communes, it tried to obtain its liberty in the twelfth century as this charter
illustrates. Its gild merchant was instrumental in forming the Flemish Hanse.
This is the law and custom which the burgesses of Bruges ought to have, and which has
been drawn up by Count Philip.
C.18. If the bailiffs, with the assent of the court of the count, decree a toll on
bread and wine and other merchandise for the improvement of the town, half the money which
comes from the toll shall go to the count, and the other half to the castellan and the
C.19. If a merchant or other foreigner should come before the bailiffs for justice,
and if those about whom the complaint is made are present or are able to come within three
days, or at least within eight days, the bailiffs shall do full justice to him according
to the law of the town.
C.20. No one is allowed to put stalls in the market place of the count; but if he
does so and is convicted on the word of the bailiffs, he shall give sixty solidi to the
From: J. M. Kemble, The Saxons in England, (London: Quaritch, 1876), Vol. II,
Appendix, p. 533, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for
Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed.,
New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), p. 207.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998