Cartulary of Saint Trond:
A Complaint About the Tithe of Ryckel, 1232
The tithe which was paid on staple commodities such as wine and wheat was the
greater tithe; that paid on smaller things such as eggs and poultry was called the lesser
tithe. Both could be transferred by him in whose right they were.
To all the faithful of Christ who may see these presents, to the bailiffs, judges,
and citizens of Saint-Trond, and to the deans of the lazar house of the said town, namely,
Walter, son of Hermen gard, Guntram Crukebout, and Otto of Jamine, greeting.
In order that those things which pertain commendably to the glory and usefulness of the
church of God may remain unchanged, it is agreed that they should be secured by writing
and perpetuated. Therefore, we make known to all of you that the saintly man, Samuel,
priest of the lepers of Saint-Trond, has sought for the use of the chapel of the lepers,
the greater part of the great tithe of
Ryckel and the third part of the lesser tithe, God willing. For this cause he has sold
a missal and a gradual and a bell. Moreover, he has pledged a chalice and a chasuble which
he acquired by his industry. These things are necessary to a priest and a scholar. So, I
say, that the aforesaid greater and lesser tithe shall be freely given to that chaplain.
Nor may the lepers of that house contradict this statement since this has been done with
the consent of the lepers and of the deans of that house. If, God willing, other things
are sought by just means, so that two priests may be maintained in that place to teach
them, let them give to them what they have sought and acquired. Nevertheless let the
priests keep in mind the welfare of the infirm, by hearing confessions, administering the
sacraments, bestowing on them the Eucharist, unction, burial, and other rites; and thus
two priests shall take care of that house with out the burden of increased expenses to the
said house. And in order that these things may be safe and secure, we have confirmed this
charter by fixing our seal and the seal of Samuel, the priest.
Drawn up and signed on the octave of St. John before Epiphany, in the year of the Lord,
C. Piot, Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Trond, (Brussels: Academie Royale de
Belgique, 1870), p. 191; 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. 388-389.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998