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Medieval Sourcebook:
James I of Aragon:
Grant of Trade Privileges to Barcelona, 1232

James I, King of Aragon, did much to establish order and good civil government at the expense of feudal dignitaries. This grant of a charter is the equivalent of the establishment or confirmation of a gild. Freedom from the attentions of such a variety of officials must have had a favorable reaction on the commerce of the city.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be it known to all, both present and future, that we, James, by the grace of God, King of Aragon, and of the kingdom of Majorca, Count of Barcelona and Urgell, and Lord of Montpellier, mindful of the many and praiseworthy services and kindnesses, which you, our beloved and faithful citizens of Barcelona, have always shown to us and to our predecessors, and which, with faith and devotion, you freely show today, and wishing to show you special favor, the benefit of which both you and yours may enjoy forever, we, therefore, by this charter, given on behalf of us and our successors, enfranchise and make free in every way each and all of our beloved and faithful citizens, both now and in the future, the inhabitants of Barcelona, with all your goods and merchandise from all tolls, bridge tolls, municipal tolls, and all tolls and customs, new and old, decreed or to be decreed, and from all taxes on your goods everywhere throughout all places in our kingdoms and lands and all places under our dominion, both by land and sea, and on the river, and going from, staying at, or returning to the harbor.

Therefore we decree and firmly ordain that no toll-gatherer, collector, taxgatherer, prefect, majordomo, treasurer, justiciar, bailli, justice or judge, alcalde, mayor, or bailiff, or any other official of ours, or servant, present or future, shall impede, take or detain, you, or any one of you, or your officials or messengers, or any of your goods or merchandise, in any place, by reason of those things from which, as we have said, we have enfranchised you and yours, but you shall be free, exempt, and quit of all the said things everywhere, always, and to the innermost parts of our kingdom. And whoever, against the tenor of this our charter, shall attempt to tax you, or your servants or messengers, or your goods or merchandise, which you have or shall have in the future, let him know that he will have incurred without any remedy both our anger and a penalty of a thousand marabotins, to his cost and at his expense, and that he must make restitution to you fully and in double.

Given at Barcelona on the 12th of April, in the year of the Lord 1232.


From: A. de Capmany, ed., Memorias Historicas sobre la Marina Comercio y Artes de la Antigua Ciudad de Barcelona, (Madrid, 1779), Vol. II, p. 13; 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. 215-216.

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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