Count Alberto of Tuscany:
An Oral Grant of Inheritance, 1210
The manner of drawing up a will leaving both movables and immovables
by dictating one's wishes in the presence of witnesses is illustrated by the following
document. Count Albert was of sufficient importance to ask the counts of the city to act
as guardians for his son but as, according to the law, the Countess could not inherit, she
was made usufructuary.
In the name of God, Amen.
In the presence of Catalano, son of the late Melliorello, and Adimaro, son of the late
Giovanni Leto, and Sinibaldo de Scolario and Uguiccio, son of the late Ildibrandino, and
Albertino de Inpoli, and Veltrello, and Reniero son of Albertino, and Ranucino, son of the
late Anbrosco, and Pietro, witnesses especially asked and convened for this.
In the presence of these and of others, Count Alberto, sane in mind but sick in body,
desiring to make a will by word of mouth and without writing, decrees in the first place
that his son Alberto shall be the heir of all his lands and castles, goods movable and
immovable, adscripticii and all men of whatsoever condition they be, which he has
on that side of the Arno and in Capraria (an island), or elsewhere in Tuscany, and of all
that he has in the city of Bologna and the bishopric or commune thereof, or in Romagna or
elsewhere, with rights of possession, purchase, taxation, uses of all kinds, belonging
thereto or connected in any way or by any means. And he left as guardians to his said son
Alberto, all the consuls who were in oflice at that time in Florence or who will be in the
future, until he comes of lawful age. And he commanded and wished that his wife, the
Countess Tavernia, should be usufructuary and mistress free and quit of the control of any
one, as long as she should betake herself to and should stay continuously and honestly at
the house of the said Count Alberto. Moreover he said, wished, and commanded that if all
the said things were not valid in the law of wills, they should at least be valid by the
law of codicils or in some way or other of the last wish of any one.
Done in the castle of Mangono in the house of the Count. Signatures, etc.
From: P. Santini, ed., Documenti dell'Antica Costituzione del Comune di Firenze,
in Documenti di Storia Italiana, (Florence, 1895), Tome X, Vol. I, p. 375;
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), pp. 345-346.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
This text is part of the Internet
Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and
copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright.
Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational
purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No
permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall, October 1998