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King John of England:
Royal Licenses to Export and Import, 1205-1206

The kings of England had the right in feudal times of taking tolls on imports and exports. As the taking of a share of the cargo was commuted into a money payment, it became customary to obtain a license at the Exchequer at a rate which became more or less fixed. Such payments were eventually regulated by Parliament.

C.13. The King, etc. Know you that we have given license to Raun, a monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, that he may send from England, wheresoever he will, one hundred pounds of corn once within Easter week, in the seventh year of our reign. And we command you that on receipt of this you do not impede him.

Witness: Geoffrey, Count of Essex, at Canterbury, 11th day of December.

C.18. The King to all, etc. Know you that we have received into our protection a certain ship of the Lord Bishop of Norwich with 80 tuns of wine until the Purification of Blessed Mary, in the seventh year of our reign. And we command you meanwhile that you cause no mol estation or harm to it or to those bringing it.

Witness: the Lord Bishop of Norwich, at Westminster, on the 7th day of December.

C.49. The King to all his wardens of the ports of the sea, etc. Know you that we have given a license to Alexander de Warham to take out of our land of England one ship of salt and hides to Normandy on paying the ancient lawful and due customs. And we command you that you permit him to do that freely and without impediment.

Witness: I myself at Gillingham by Peter of Stoke on the 12th day of January.


Joseph Hunter, ed., Rotuli Selecti, (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1834), pp. 4-5, 11; 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.412.

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