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Hospitaller Diplomatic Texts in French


A little over one percent of the diplomatic texts housed among the collections of the Hospitaller’s legal documents appear in French. These texts worked to establish the rights and privileges accorded to the Order as well as to document agreements and negotiations among third parties, who relied on the Hospitallers as a neutral party in their affairs.

The central archives for the Hospitallers were moved from their initial repository in Jerusalem to Tyre (in 1187), to Acre (in 1191) and then to Cyprus (1291), Rhodes (1310), and finally to Malta (1530), with a large collection of charters moved to southern France in the late thirteenth century, until a number of them were sent the central archive in Malta in the eighteenth century. The collection from Southern France never arrived but the remaining documents are a testament to the importance of the French language to the Hospitaller Order. The peripatetic nature of the archives, however, does lead to some difficulties in pinpointing the locale of production for many of these French texts.
 
The diplomatic texts written in French from the Hospitaller archives demonstrate how the Order interacted with a varied and expansive group of organizations and individuals over the course of its history. French language diplomatic texts were produced in the greatest numbers between the 1250s and the 1280s. During this period, the Hospitallers exchanged documents with many different types of interlocutors, for purposed that might include the transfer of land, an arbitration, or the re-confirmation of privileges first documented in Latin-language texts. After the 1280s, most Hospitaller French-language texts were created for an internal audience, not for exchange with outside interlocutors.
The links below provide a summary of individual documents according to their locale of production, with accompanying bibliography and manuscript citations.

The texts listed below have no known location of production.
 
Links to Hospitaller's Diplomatic Texts:


From the Levant

From Acre


Printed Source Editions:

Delaville le Roulx, J. Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. Paris : Leroux, 1894-1906, vol. 1-4.

Secondary Sources:


Burgtorf, Jochen. The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars. History, Organization and Personnel, 1099/1120-1310. Leiden: Brill, 2008. 

Johnathan Riley-Smith, The Knights of St. John in Jerusalem and Cyprus, 1050-1310. London: Macmillan, 1967. 

Anthony Luttrell, "The Hospitallers' Historical Activities: 1291-1400," Annales de l’ordre Souverin Militaire de Malte, XXIV. Rome, 1966, 126-9.
Ibid. "Fourteenth-Century Hospitaller Lawyers," Traditio 21 (1965), 449-465.
Ibid."The Hospitallers' Early Written Records,"in The Crusades and their Sources: Essays presented to Bernard Hamilton,ed. J. France and W.G. Zajac, Aldershot, 1998, 135-54. 

 
Hospitaller Diplomatic Texts - Production Locale Unspecified


Date: 1 March, 1254
Locale: unspecified, but probably near Tripoli
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 34.
Type/Summary:
agreement - land transfer
Agreement between Jean of Bubie, chatelaine of Margat, and Sir Hughes de Barlais, concerning the properties of Bocombre and de Remesque, situated near Tripoli.
SourceEdition:
Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 755.
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Date: August, 1254
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 39.
Type/Summary:
property transfer
Julien, lord of Sidon and Beaufort, with the assent of his wife, Euphemia, sells the Castle Robert to Guillaume of Chateauneuf, Grand Master of the Hospitallers, for 24,000 Saracen bezants of Acre.
Source Edition:
 Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 761-63.
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Date: April, 1255
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 48.
Type/Summary:
property transfer
Jean the German, lord of Cesaria, and Marguerite, his wife and daughter of Jean, lord of Cesaria, sell the Castle of Chatillon to the Hospitallers, for 50 bezants.
Source Edition:
Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906),vol. 2, 776.
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Date: June, 1255
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 46.
Type/Summary:
 oath
Jean the German, lord of Cesaria, and Marguerite, his wife, heving become confreres of the order, promise to defend the order and, in the case of charges against them, to take recourse to an arbitraitor to settle the charges.
Source Edition:
 Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 783.
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Date: July, 1255
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 43
Type/Summary:
property transfer
Henry, Archbishop of Nazareth, donates four properties, including Rome, Romene, Cafreezeir and Cane Galilee, owned by the diocese of Nazareth for cultivation by the Hospitalers.
Source Edition:
Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 787
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Date: August, 1255
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 44.
Type/Summary:
 property transfer
Jean III of Ibelin, lord of Asur, constable of Jerusalem, cedes two pieces of land on the plain of Acre to the Hospitallers, for 2,000 bezants.
Source Edition:
 Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 790-91.
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Date: March, 1256
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 47
Type/Summary:
 bestowal and confirmation of privileges
 Bohemond IV, prince of Antioch and count of Tripoli, gives to the Hospitallers, represented by Hughes Revel, grand commander of Acre, a concession of water to tend to the Gloriette gardens, which are in front of the gates to their house in Tripoli, and the tithe on the fish taken in front of this garden and the right to unload their goods in front of their residence in Tripoli, and a confirmation of all their possessions in the county of Tripoli.
Source Edition:
 Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 807-8.
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Date: April, 1256
Locale: unspecified
MS: Malta, Archives of the Order of St. John, div. 1, vol. 5, no. 50.
Type/Summary:
 renunciation of grievances
.Bohemond IV, prince of Antioch and count of Tripoli, declares to Guillaume of Chateauneuf, grand master of the Hospitallers, that he renouces all grievences that he and his predecessors had levied against the Hospitallers.
Source Edition:
 Delaville le Roulx, J.Cartulaire Général de l’Ordre  des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906), vol. 2, 813.
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