Cartulary of Saint Trond:
A Cession of Meadow-Lands to Tenants, 1243
Grants of allodial land, like grants in free alms, carried no condition of service,
though they were often subject to a quit-rent. Such land was common before A.D. 400 and
again in Charlemagne's time, but the late invasions compelled the holders of allodial land
to commend themselves to an overlord. Their usual holding was not more than 120 acres.
Thomas, by the grace of God, Abbot, and the whole community of the monastery of
Saint-Trond, to all people, present and future, eternal greeting in the Lord. Since those
things which are done in our time are swiftly forgotten by men, it is necessary that they
be made more lasting by being put in writing. Let all know, therefore, that our two
holdings of allodial land at Donck, i.e., the one around our demesne and houses at Donck,
the other between Corpt and Donck---we have divided so that what we have chosen there will
be for our special use. As for what is left, both the marsh around our demesne of Donck,
and the pasture between Corpt and Donck, we have bestowed it on our tenants there, and on
the tenants residing at Haelen, to be held in common by them and us forever. The
conditions of this tenure are that all those tenants shall pay annually to us, within the
octave of Easter, one gold denarius of five Louvain solidi, or, at their option, five
Louvain solidi, in recognition that we have conferred that allodial land upon them. Let
them appoint, by common consent, a bailiff who will be responsible to us for that money,
or, if he be negligent in collecting it, for the amount imposed on each tenant. Moreover,
it was agreed in our presence, Thomas the abbot, Henry of Villeke our advocate, Robert of
Tane our bailiff of Donck, Henry, knight of Velpen, Christian the advocate of Saint-Trond,
William, knight of Montenake, Henry, knight of Duras, George, knight of Zelck, the reeves
of our court, and all the tenants in general court, that if any of the said tenants should
take to the pastures any herd which had not been bought by him, or which had not been in
his care during the winter, he should be considered as being in debt to the court of Donck
to the extent of five solidi as often as he was known to have done this thing. Moreover,
if any one, which God forbid, should chance to molest us or the said tenants in this
matter of the allodial land, we and the same tenants bind ourselves to take care of our
rights at mutual expense.
C. Piot, ed., Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Trond, (Brussels: Academie Royale
de Belgique, 1870), p. 211; 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. 323-324.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998