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Medieval Sourcebook:
Apprenticeship Agreements: To a Money-Changer, 1248

The function of a money-changer was the highly specialized business of calculating the values of the diverse currencies which came into his hands. The changers were organized in gilds for membership in which apprenticeship was a necessary preliminary. The bankers gradually usurped the position of the money-changers.

May twelfth, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, 1248.

I, John of St. Maximin, lawyer, place with you John Cordier, money-changer, my son William Deodat, as an apprentice, so that you may teach and instruct him in the art of money-changing, for two complete and continuous years from this date. I promise by this agreement that I will take care that my son will serve his apprenticeship with you and that he will be faithful and honest in all his dealings for the whole of the said period, and that he will not depart from you nor take anything away from you. And if it should happen, which God forbid, that the said William should cause you any loss I promise to reimburse you by this agreement, believing in your unsupported word, etc. Also I promise to give by this agreement for the expenses of the said William food, that is bread and wine and meat, fourteen heminae of good grain and fifty solidi of the money now current in Marseilles, at your request, and to provide the said William with clothing and necessaries, pledging all my goods, etc.; renouncing the benefit of all laws, etc.

To this I, the said John Cordier, receive the said William as a pupil and promise you, the said John St. Maximin, to teach your son well and faithfully the business of money-changing, etc., pledging all my goods, etc.; renouncing the benefit of all laws, etc.

Witnesses, etc.


From: L. Blancard, ed., Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age, (Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. II, p. 155; 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. 144-145.

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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