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King John of England:
Prisage on Wine, 1205

Royal rights of prisage were ill defined in the reign of John, since he abused most of his rights, but they were commuted into money payments and were finally regulated by Parliament in A.D. 1275.

The King, etc., to Reginald de Cornhill greeting.

We command you that you take our prise of all wines which come to London. So that if any one who ought to have it claims freedom from this, he shall swear with three or four witnesses that he bought that wine, which he claims to be his, by himself, or by his men beyond the sea, and that his own proper chattel is in those things; and not otherwise shall those things remain without our prise. And you shall take care of such for our use so that we can commend your diligence in this matter and so that we ought not to blame you for any defection on your part.

Witness: Geoffrey Fitz-Peter at Lambeth, the 30th day of April in the seventh year of our reign.


Joseph Hunter, ed., Rotuli Selecti, (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1834), p. 32; 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), p. 413.

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

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Sourcebook. 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