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Medieval Sourcebook:
The Taxes of the Kingdom of Jerusalem


Assises de Jerusalem. Tome H. Assises de la cour des Bourgeois, p. 173, (Paris, 1843)
Old French.

[TR] The following is a list of taxes of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The list of articles taxed forms an excellent index of the character of the commerce conducted by the Mediterranean powers of the time.

1. The old duties command that one should take at the custom house for the sale of silk for every hundred Besants, 8 Besants and 19 Karoubles, [Henceforth the coins are indicated by B and k] as duty.

2. For the duties oil cotton the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 10 B. and 18 K. as duties.

3. For the duties of pepper the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 11 B. and 5 K. as duties.

4. For cinnamon the rule commands that one should take per hundred 10 B. and 18 K. as duties.

5. For wool the rule commands that one should take per hundred B., 11 B. and 10 K. as taxes.

6. For the duties of alum the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 11 B. and 5 K. as duties.

7. For the duty on varnish the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 10 B. and 18 K. as duty.

8. For the duties on nutmegs or on nutmeg leaves, the rule commands that one should take as duty per hundred B. 8 B. and 1/3 by law.

9. Of flax the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 8 B. and 8 K. as duty.

10. For the duties upon cloves and the leaves of cloves the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 9 B. and 1/3 by law.

11. For the duties on Indian hens one should take the tenth.

12. For the wares which are brought by sea from the coast of Syria and which cannot be sold the rule is that they can be withdrawn and taken out of the country, but if the merchandise which cannot be sold be taken out beyond the chain they must be paid per hundred for as much as may then be in the country 8.B., per hundred, and for that which may have been sold duty must be paid to the custom house according that which is established for each kind and which one would have to pay. And be it understood that these duties shall be paid by the Saracens and by all the Syrians who may come with wares into this kingdom.

13. For the duties on muse the rule commands that one should take per hundred B. 8 B. and 1/3 as duty.

14. For the duty upon aloe wood the rule commands that on should take 9 B. and 1/3 per hundred as duty.

15. For the duties on sugar for that which is imported and exported by land and by sea, the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 5 B. as duty.

16. For the duties per camel's load of sugar the rule commands that one should take 4 B. as duty.

17. For the duty on sugar which is brought by beasts of burden the rule commands that one should take 1 raboin per load as duty.

18. For all things which are exported by land to be taken to the Paynims the rule commands that one should take as duty per Besant, 1 K.

19. For the duty for the salt fish which is imported from Babylon one should take the quarter, that is of 4 B. one of the four, as duty.1

20. For the duty on flax which is imported from Babylon to Damascus the rule commands that one should take in transit for each camel 1 B. and 2 K. as duty.

21. For the duty on alcana the rule commands that one should take give for each sack a duty of 18 1/2 K.

22. For the duty on all the spices of retail shop-keepers the rule commands that one should take as duty per besante 1 K.

23. For the duty of sesamum the rule commands that one should on importation per hundred, 10 B. as duty.

24. For the duty on oil of Sesamum the rule commands that on should take per hundred, 11 B. as duty.

25. For the duty upon incense the rule commands that on should take per hundred. 11 B and 5K. as duty.

26. The rule for cardemome the law commands that one should take per hundred 11B and 5K as duty.

27. For the duty on ivory the law commands that one should take per besante 2 K as duty.

28. For the duty on Sarcocoll the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 11B and 5K as duty.

29. For the duty on Galega the rule commands that one should take per hundred 4 B. and 4 K.

30. For the duty upon the twigs and the leaves of lavender the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 4 B. and 4 K.

31. For the duty on Myrodolan the rule commands that one should take per hundred 4 B. and 4 K.

32. For the duty on cinnamon the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 4 B. and 4 K.

33. For the duty on rhubarb the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 4 B. and 3 K. as duty.

34. For the duty on ginger the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 4 B. and 4 K. as duty.

35. For the duty upon camphor the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 11 B. and 8 K. as duty.

36. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on borage per hundred, 11 B. and 5 K. as duty,

37. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on aspic per hundred, 4 B. and 4 K. as duty.

38. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on gariophylus per hundred, 4 B. and 4 K. as duty.

39. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on ammonia, internal tax that is to say per hundred, 11 B. and 5 K.

40. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on Nabeth sugar, an internal tax.

41. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on dates, an internal tax.

42. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on emery per hundred, 10 B. in duty.

43. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on licorice Saracen and Syrian 1 and 1/2 tenths, but of French one should take only 13 B. per hundred as duty.

44. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on sulphur of arsenic per hundred, 11 B. and 5 K. as duty.

45. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on camphor root which is underneath per hundred, 11 B. and 5 K. as duty.

46. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on straps and saddles which are exported from the city per B, 1 K. as duty.

47. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on Yellow sulphur of arsenic, an internal tax.

48. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take On libanotis per hundred 10 B. and 8 K. as duty.

49. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on all planks and beams which are exported by land, as duty the quarter of what they cost.

50. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take as duty on planks used to construct threshing floors the tenth of what they cost.

51. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take upon salt fish exported from the city the quarter of what it cost as duty.

52. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on fruit per hundred, 14 B. as duty.

53. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on hens exported from the city and upon ? one Should take an internal tax.

54. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take as duty on rafters per besant, 2 K.

55. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on olives, 20 B.

56. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on wine which is brought from Nazareth and from Saphouric and from Safran, per camel load as duty 12 drachmans.

57. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take of thread of Damascus an internal tax.

58. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take of senna per hundred, 20 B. as duty.

59. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take of red currants per hundred, 8 B. and 1/3 which is the amount of the duty.

60. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take of wine which is imported from Antioch or from Lische or this side per besant, 1 K. as duty.

61. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take, of the shoes which the Saracens purchase as tax of sale, the tenth.

62. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take as duties on wheat, the tenth .

63. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on eggs the tenth as duty.

64. It is understood that the rule commands that one should take on hens and pullets as duty the tenth, that is to say per hundred, 10 B.

65. On the goats which are imported from the Paynime the rule commands that one should take the tenth as duty.

66. On geese which are brought into the city the rule commands that one should take the tenth as duty.

67. On the oil which comes to the custom-house the rule commands that one should take per hundred, 8 B. and 4 K. as duty.

68. On nut gall the rule commands that one should give and take as duty 5 B. and 18 K. per hundred.

69. On the wool which is imported from various parts the rule commands that one should take by law per hundred 10 B. and 18 K.

70. On wax the rule commands that one should take per hundred 2 B. and 5 K.

71. On pens the rule commands that one should take as internal tax that is to say 11 B. and tax, that is to say 11B an 5K. per hundred.


Source:

Roland Falkner, "Taxes of the Kingdom of Jeruslem", pp. 19-23, in "Statistical Documents of the Middle Ages ", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 3:2, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, [n.d.] 189?), 1-23

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© Paul Halsall December1997
halsall@murray.fordham.edu