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Medieval Sourcebook:
Memorandum of Arbitration Concerning a Freight Charge, 1230

Marseilles, like Barcelona, grew rich at the time of the Crusades by trading with the East, and families like the de Manduels drew great revenues from financing this trade. Navigation was confined to the spring and summer and was, for those times, of huge proportions, though the cost of freight, as may be seen in this document, was not light.

In the name of the Lord. Upon the complaint or petition which existed between Martin Castagne, on the one hand, and Stephen de Manduel, on the other, on behalf of himself and his son Bernard, about the freight charge of thirty-one bundles of skins, which belonged to Paul Sicard, concerning which skins the said Martin and his associates said that they had retained them until the charge they demanded was paid; but on the other hand the said Stephen said that the charge should be paid by Paul Sicard, or by some one on his behalf, and that Bernard de Manduel, son of Stephen, had bought or otherwise acquired the said thirty-one bundles free from freight charges, on the ship Falchoneti, and free from all other burdens, for which charge Stephen placed twenty-four pounds in the keeping of Bernard Peter for the charge on the thirty-one bundles, and this was done by agreement between Stephen and Martin. This money ought to be in the possession of Bernard Peter, for the charge on the thirty-one bundles if it appears that the said charge was not paid. For this charge or for the complaint about the charge Stephen and Martin have agreed before Bernard Peter and John of St. Maximin, judges chosen freely by both contestants, under penalty of one hundred solidi in royal crowns, promised and agreed upon by both of them. Under this penalty both promised to submit to the judgment or decision of the judges, however the judges might wish to settle the matter according to equity, requiring the truth, and, according to what appeared from the hearing of the complaint, to disregard the due order of legal process and the solemnity of the law. The said judges, having required the truth, and having heard the testimony of William Richavo, and having taken counsel with him, according to the wish of both parties, and having arrived at a compromise about the matter, between Stephen de Manduel on behalf of his son and himself on the one hand and Master Martin on the other, under penalty of one hundred solidi agreed and promised by both sides, and having reached a compromise upon the complaint of the said freight in the presence of the judges between the contestants under penalty of ten pounds, under which penalty, as has been said above, the two parties agreed to place themselves under the decision or amicable agreement of the said judges and of William Richavo concerning the said charge the said judges agreed and gave their decision as below, having heard the complaint and having taken counsel together upon inquiry into the truth of the matter, according to what seemed just and honest to them. Wherefore the said Bernard Peter and John of St. Maximin, the said judges, on the advice of William Richavo, absolved Stephen for himself and his son from paying the freight, ordering besides that the twenty-four pounds, which Bernard Peter had in his possession, should be restored to Stephen by Bernard, without objection by any one, especially by the owners of the ship Falchoneti.

This decision was made by the said judges in the shop of William Aicard, in the year 1229, February eighteenth. Witnesses, etc.


From: L. Blancard, ed., Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age, (Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. I, p. 29; reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 157-158.

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
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