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Medieval Sourcebook:
Pledge of Land as Security for a Loan of Money, 1169

Loans on security of land were common during the Crusades among the class of people who went to the Holy Land, and among merchants. In the case of failure to repay the loan the pledge reverted to the creditor.

In the name of God. In the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1169, June the First.

It has pleased Master Viviano, sometimes called Guiducci, to pledge, grant, and concede to you, Hugh by the grace of God, Archpriest of the Holy Church of Volterra, receiving under that name, and by profession a Canon, for seven marks and five and a quarter ounces of good silver of the mark of Monterius (?) two pieces of land in the field of Martius next to the public road, one of which is bounded on the one side by the land of Gipilliuti and on the other by that of Orlandini, at one end being the wall of the city and at the other the public road. The other piece is bounded on the one side by the land of Sacchetti and on the other by that of John Chiociole, at one end being the wall of the city. And also one silver box which you have by this charter and with this agreement: that if I, the said Viviano or my heirs or any person acting for us, should pay the said silver to you, the said Archpriest, or to your heirs, or to a known messenger of yours from your house . . . from today up to the next feast of All Saints or before, the pledge will be returned to me together with the bond. But if it be not paid by then, as has been said, the whole of the said pledge shall fall into your possession, and into that of your successors and of the Canons, and you shall have power and right to sell it and of making arrangements about it without any contradiction from me or my heirs and without the interference of any person. And I, the said Viviano, promise together with my heirs to you the said Archpriest and to your successors, and to whomsoever you may wish to pledge or to sell it, always to defend the said pledge from everyone, and to hold the said sale firm and fixed.

But if we should be unwilling to do this, or if we should wish to be able to contend or molest the said pledge on any occasion, and if we do not always remain quiet and peaceful about the said sale, I promise to give you as a penalty double the said amount of silver.

Done in the cloister of the Canon in the presence of Olivier of Burgo S. Mary, and of Borletti and Tignosi Castaldi and Roger de Vignola, who . . . witnesses.


From: Pagnini della Ventura, Giovanni Francesco, Della Decima e di Varie Alltre Gravezze Imposte dal Comune di Firenze, (Lisbon, Lucca, 1765), Tome I, Appendix, p. 253, 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. 174-175.

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, September 1998
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