The De Manduels:
Loan to a Master Mason, 1252
The de Manduels protected themselves from loss when making loans by such elaborate
contracts as the following. There were many laws protecting the debtor, a certain
indication of the widespread practice of borrowing. Though no interest is specifically
mentioned, it is very probable that it is concealed in an overstatement of the loan made
or in the clause concerning payment of loss and damage if the loan is not paid on time.
In the name of the Lord, amen. In the year of the Incarnation 1252, November fifteenth.
Be it known to all, both present and future, that we, Raoux, master mason, and Pellegrine,
his wife, in good faith and without fraud, equally and together, confess and acknowledge
for the truth to you, John de Manduel, that we have had and received from you by reason of
our mutual friendship and love fifty solidi in royal crowns, renouncing with full
knowledge of our action all claim to money not named by us and not received from you. We
promise to you, John de Manduel, with your consent, that we shall both pay those fifty
solidi to you or to your messenger between now and next Lent. But if we do not do that,
and if you or your servants incur loss or sustain damage in exacting the said debt by
process of law or otherwise, then all losses and damages which you incur we promise to
repay you, believing your simple word without any kind of proof. And we swear that we will
not go against, or attempt to overthrow or combat this arrangement, and this we do upon
the Gospels, and we pledge ourselves to you in all our goods both present and future. We
promise you that we shall accept the command or injunction, whenever it pleases you, of
the judge of the city of Marseilles, for paying to you the said fifty solidi in the said
period. We renounce all benefit of the new law De duobus reis and the respite of
twenty days and four months and all laws by which we might proceed against the said
arrangement. And I, the said Pellegrine, renounce the benefit of the Velleian
senatus-consult and the law of mortgage and the Julian law of the dowry. Done in the court
of Master Frassius.
From: L. Blancard, ed., Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age,
(Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. I, p. 194; reprinted in Roy C.
Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee:
The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998