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Medieval Sourcebook:
Theoderic, King of the Franks:
Grant of Tolls at Arras, 1036

An elaborate and classified toll list for the district of Arras was drawn up by the order of King Theoderic for the use of the Monastery of St. Vaast, which was to receive the revenues thus obtained. The duties imposed were of a specific and ad valorem type, and were imposed at roads and bridges, in the market place, and on practically any type of business transaction.

The customs and laws of thelony of Arras, which for remedy of his soul, and for the souls of his predecessors and successors, Theoderic, King of France, bestowed in charity on the church of Vaast, confessor of Christ, for the use of the brethren there serving God.

All those owe thelony who live outside these boundaries, whether they pay dues to the monastery of St. Vaast or not, namely, beyond the bridge of Biez, beyond Pont-a-Vendin, beyond the bridge of Oignies, beyond the bridge of Sailly, beyond Denpree, beyond Transloy, beyond Miralmont, beyond Petrosa which is near Monchy, beyond Les-Escaminels-en-Ternois, beyond the water of Chocques, and all those who live within those boundaries, both cleric and lay, who are merchants, owe thelony to St. Vaast, except they pay dues to St. Vaast or to St. Mary of the city, whether they buy or sell.

From cloth and larger merchandise thelony:

From 20 solidi worth---4 denarii;

From 5 or 4 solidi worth---1 denarius;

From 1 mark worth---6 denarii;

from ,1 worth---4 denarii;

From 5 solidi worth---1 denarius;

From 4 solidi worth---1 denarius;

From 3 solidi worth---1 obole;

From 2 solidi worth---1 obole.

Of Fish

From a sturgeon---4 denarii

From a porpoise---2 denarii

From a salmon---1 denarius

From a pound of sardines---2 denarii

From a small cartload of herrings, or plaice, or mackerel---1 denarius

If the cart be loaded with fish---4 denarii for the cart and one for the ship, i.e.---5 denarii

A cartload of hake only---4 denarii

A centenum of mussels---4 denarii

A centenum of pieces of lean whale flesh---4 denarii

One slice of whale---1 denarius

Of Different Things

All stalls on which victuals are sold in the market owe every Saturday, or for the place for selling merchandise---1 obole

For a small cartload of grain---2 denarii

For a small cartload of all fruits---2 denarii

For a small cartload of boards---2 denarii

For a small cartload of charcoal---2 denarii

For a small cartload of wooden vessels---2 denarii

For a small cartload of salt for thelony---2 denarii

and for weighing it---1 denarius

For a large cartload of salt for thelony---4 denarii

and for weighing it---2 denarii

Once a year for a measure of salt---1 denarius

Whence we owe 2 muids of salt per annum to the Count.

A small cartload of wine---2 denarii

A large cartload of wine---9 denarii

If wine be bought or sold for equating, i.e., for proving it, the vender owes for each tun---2 denarii

and the buyer owes for each tun---2 denarii


Of Beasts

For a horse---2 denarii

For a cow---1 denarius

For an ass---1 obole

For a sheep---1 obole

For a ram---1 obole

For a goat---1 obole

For a pig---1 obole

From a sow with sucklings---1 denarius

There are three things, which if anyone buy or sell them, will in no way be free from thelony, whether they pay dues to St. Vaast or not, namely, gold, goats, and serfs, male or female.


Of Butchers

For bacon---1 denarius

For fat---1 obole

For 5 solidi worth of salt meat which is taken to market---1 denarius


Of the Stalls in the Market

Stalls for linen cloth or woolen cloth, whether it is new or old, each month---1 denarius

Stalls for ropes, each month---1 denarius

Stalls for long and short knives, per annum---3 solidi

Stalls for wax, whether there be one or several, per annum---3 solidi

The stall of every smith on the feast of St. Remigius---4 denarii

For an iron point---1 obole

For a steel point---1 obole

The smith who sells pruning knives---one pruning knife per annum.

The smith who sells the iron part of the spade---one part a year

He who sells the hafts of the spades---one haft per annum.

He who sells spears---one spear per annum.

The stall of the pastry cook in the market, every Saturday, if he sells anything---1 obole

A centenum of lamb skins---4 denarii

Lamb fleece or woolen garments---1 denarius

Vair or small pieces of fur---4 denarii

Fur of cats or rabbits---2 denarii

Stag hide---1 denarius

Tanned leather---1 obole

New leather---1 obole

A bundle of hides---2 denarii

A measure of honey---4 denarii

An unmeasured quantity of oil---4 denarii

A measured quantity of oil---4 denarii

A measure of wheat---1 obole

A measure of fish---1 obole

A measure of fruit---1 obole

An iron or steel point---1 obole

Five solidi worth of wool---1 denarius

Five solidi worth of flax---1 denarius

Five solidi worth of salt meat---1 obole

A stall of ropes a month---1 obole

A stall of wax a month---1 obole

A large weight of wool, flax, fat, butter, English cheese, for thelony---3 denarii

For those who owe thelony---1 denarius for tax

For those who who do not owe theloney---1 obole for tax

A weight of Flemish cheese---2 denarii

For thelony and for tax from all---1 obole

From the bridge of Enard to the Walls of St. Mary's, St. Vaast has half the thelony and the bishop half: within the domain of St. Mary's there is freedom from thelony. In all other places in the vicinity, if any transaction takes place, the whole of the thelony goes to St. Vaast.

But if any one conducts his business in another land, if the business be negotiated in this city, or if the buyer negotiated in this city, or paid the price here, he will give half the thelony.

St. Vaast is also able to take its thelony and to seize the merchandise of those who are unwilling to pay the thelony in the city of Arras or outside, without writ and without the aid of secular officers, and to pursue those who by stealth do not pay their thelony as far as Douai, to Pont-a-Vendin, to La Bassee, to Bethune, to Hondain, to Saint-Pol, to Currierum, to Albert, to Arrouisse, and to Lecluse, and those who are thus taken and arrested for stealthily avoiding the thelony of St. Vaast, shall be expected to pay to St. Vaast 60 solidi as emendation of the wrong, on condition that if he who has been arrested should have come from the land of the Count, the Count should have half the forfeit.

But if they come from the land of St. Vaast all the forfeit should go to the monastery.

All those who pay dues to St. Vaast are free from thelony, and all who do not pay dues shall pay thelony if they are merchants.

Whoever wishes to prove that he is on the tax list of St. Vaast ought to do so by oath and by that of six men and women about his birth.


From: Gustave Fagniez, ed., Documents Relatifs à l'Histoire de l'1ndustrie et du Commerce en France, (Paris: Alphonse Picard et Fils, 1898), Vol. I, pp. 57-60; 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. 404-408.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, October 1998
[email protected]

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