Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy:
Remission of a Day's Service, 932
The diminishing of the boon work of serfs was a laudable thing at a period when
their treatment was not universally good. It was a recognized fact that serfs of the
Church had fairer treatment accorded them than was customary with secular lords.
[Halsall Note: The above comment from Roy C. Cave & Herbert H.
Coulson, that the Church treated serfs more fairly, would not be accepted by many
historians. The much greater ability of ecclesiastical institutions to keep good written
records, and their institutional longevity compared to most noble families, meant that
dependent peasants might have far less room to escape imposed obligations.]
While Lord Rotaud the seneschal and Hascerus the deacon and other brethren fighting for
God were at the monastery of Stavelot, a certain steward of ours named Remigius and
another man named Geroard, beseeching our clemency, came to us and asked that we would
release certain of our men resident in Xhoris from the heavy burden of servitude, both for
the remedy of our soul and so that they could serve our successors better. From this day
forward, therefore, we grant to them and their sons and their descendants every week the
remission of one day's work just as they have asked us. And so that this gift may remain
firm and stable and may be perpetually kept we have ordered this charter to be written and
have confirmed it with our hand and we wish that it be perpetually observed.
Jos. Halkin & C. G. Roland, eds., Recueil des Chartes de l'Abbaye de
Stavelot-Malmedy, (Brussels: Académie Royale de Belgique, 1909), p. 141; 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.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998