Agreement Between Hamburg and Lübeck for Protection, 1241
One of the chief concerns of the merchants of the thirteenth century was piracy and
robbery, and energetic measures were taken to suppress this evil by concerted action on
the part of mercantile cities. This was a distinct step toward a stronger and more perfect
The advocate and common council of Lübeck.... We have made an agreement with our
beloved friends the citizens of Hamburg.
1. That if by chance robbers or other evil men rise against our citizens or
theirs, from that place where the river which is called the Trave flows into the sea to
Hamburg, and thence along the Elbe to the sea, and if they assail our citizens or theirs,
whatever costs or expenses are incurred for extirpating those robbers we ought to share
with them, and they with us.
2. If by chance any criminal should outrageously kill, wound, beat, or, God
forbid, in any way ill-treat outside the city any burgess of Hamburg or Lübeck whom he
has accused, whatever expense is incurred in taking him and punishing him, we shall share
with them and they with us, this condition being added, that whatever happens to their
citizens near their city, and to our citizens near our city, they with their citizens, and
we with ours, shall punish at the expense of the city.
3. Further, if any burgesses of theirs near our city of Lübeck, or our
burgesses near the city of Hamburg, should be ill-treated, we shall surrender the doer or
doers of the deed for punishment, and they will surrender such people to us at the expense
of the commune likewise.
From: F. Keutgen, ed., Urkunden zur Städtischen Verfassungsgeschichte, (Berlin: Emil
Felber, 1901), p. 521; 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), pp. 232-233.
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