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Cartulary of Saint Trond: Robert, Bishop of Liège:
Protection of Fishing Rights, 1246

The days of primitive agrarian economy were long past when owners of property protected even their fishing rights by the serious penalty of excommunication. As early as Carolingian times seigneurs and abbots sold the fish taken from streams on their property, thus obtaining no small revenue. Fishing in feudal times was an important manorial right.

Robert, by the grace of God, Bishop of Liège, to all his beloved sons, the priests of Saint-Trond, greeting in the Lord.

We admonish each of you and command you to prohibit in general, publicly and solemnly, all people from fishing in the waters of Willebempt and in the other streams of our beloved and faithful son, the Abbot of Saint-Trond, situated in the town of Saint-Trond, without permission or without the command of the said abbot. Those who do otherwise you shall excommunicate, and with lighted candles and bells ringing you shall announce the excommunication publicly on each Sunday and Holyday---a general excommunication for those not known to you, and particular excommunication for those known to you. This you shall do as often as you may be asked to do it by the said abbot, or ordered to do so at his command.

Given in the year of the Lord 1246, on the Thursday after the feast of Saint Lambert.


C. Piot, ed., Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Trond, (Brussels: Academie Royale de Belgique, 1870), p. 225; 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. 332-333.

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