Grant of Privileges to the Flemings at Cologne, 1197
Be it known to all that the merchants of Cologne and Flanders have agreed that, if any
Fleming be prepared to depart by land or water, if any one seek a debt from him, and have
witnesses, he should prove it by the law of Cologne, and should not delay him further: but
if he have no witnesses he, who is accused, without aggression and without delay will
purge himself on his own oath that he is byvanc and will be free. No one from their
land can be provoked to fight a duel, or to go to the judgment commonly called ordeal
except by chance he commit homicide, or wound any one, or be taken by reason of false
money, or except he break the peace. Nothing shall be taken from them for the debt of
another except he promise of his own will to repay, or except there be pledges.
Done in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1197. Given at Cologne on the 25th of
From: Gustave Fagniez, ed., Documents Relatifs à l'Histoire de l'lndustrie et du
Commerce en France, (Paris: Alphonse Picard et Fils, 1898 ), Vol. I., p. 97; 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. 222
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998