A tithe was sometimes set aside for a particular charitable purpose, but, being of permanent institution, might revert to those who originally received it.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen. Since near the town of St. Omer a lazar house has grown up in a most unusual way and it has been very troublesome, and since it is indiscreet to live with men of this kind, God's charity has inspired a certain rich man, named Vumrad, to undertake to construct another house at his own charge in a remote place, suitable enough to be occupied by men so afflicted; and since that place is on the land of the church of St. Mary the Mother of God and St. Omer, and St. Peter and St. Bertin, let no man usurp the tithes of the church in that place, against the wish of the abbot and the reeve of the said churches, which with pious assent Lord Arnulph, pastor of the church of St. Mary and St. Omer, and Lambert, Lord Abbot of the church of St. Peter and St. Bertin, have given to the poor living at any time in that place which is bounded on the south side by the public road. And they wished to have their own church and priest and cemetery, with full liberty and with no exaction of any kind of rent; so that none shall be taken there for burial except lepers and their servants, and those who associate with them, disdaining the secular mode of life.
But if by any chance, which God forbid, the place should fall into decay, so that the church and cemetery there should be less honored, the church of St. Omer and the church of St. Bertin shall receive the tithes in common as they were accustomed to do of old. Moreover, this has been agreed upon with their common consent, by the authority of John, the Lord Bishop of Terouenne, confirmed with his seal, so that it shall remain intact for all time.
Pascal being Roman pontiff, Manassa Archbishop of Rheims, King Philip ruling in France, Count Robert in Flanders, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1106, with the help of Him whose years are not measured by the ages.
Seal of John, Bishop of Terouenne.
B. E. C. Guerard, ed., Collection de Documents inédits sur l'Histoire de France, Cartulaire de Simon, (Paris, 1840), Book II, pp. 237-238; 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. 384-385.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998