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Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy:
Remission of a Day's Service, 932


The diminishing of the boon work of serfs was a laudable thing at a period when their treatment was not universally good. It was a recognized fact that serfs of the Church had fairer treatment accorded them than was customary with secular lords.

[Halsall Note: The above comment from  Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, that the Church treated serfs more fairly, would not be accepted by many historians. The much greater ability of ecclesiastical institutions to keep good written records, and their institutional longevity compared to most noble families, meant that dependent peasants might have far less room to escape imposed obligations.]

While Lord Rotaud the seneschal and Hascerus the deacon and other brethren fighting for God were at the monastery of Stavelot, a certain steward of ours named Remigius and another man named Geroard, beseeching our clemency, came to us and asked that we would release certain of our men resident in Xhoris from the heavy burden of servitude, both for the remedy of our soul and so that they could serve our successors better. From this day forward, therefore, we grant to them and their sons and their descendants every week the remission of one day's work just as they have asked us. And so that this gift may remain firm and stable and may be perpetually kept we have ordered this charter to be written and have confirmed it with our hand and we wish that it be perpetually observed.

Witnesses, etc.


Source:

Jos. Halkin & C. G. Roland, eds., Recueil des Chartes de l'Abbaye de Stavelot-Malmedy, (Brussels: Académie Royale de Belgique, 1909), p. 141; 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. 294-295.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Sourcebook. 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
halsall@fordham.edu