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A List of the Tolls at the Port of Colibre, 1252

Colibre, a small island off the northeast coast of Spain, was under the jurisdiction of Rousillon in the thirteenth century. As there was seemingly some difficulty about the tolls levied there, lists were sent out to interested people so that they might know what was expected of them. The list is of interest by reason of the duty free section, and of the division of that part of the duty which was returned.

To the venerable and worthy man, Brother William of Montegrino, Commander of Tortosa, or to his locum tenens, the mayor and council, and other honest men of Colibre, greeting and all good fortune. The mayor and citizens of Valencia have asked us by letter to send to them, and to you, a copy of the tolls of Colibre. Therefore, we send to you, and to them a copy of the tolls, which, you may see, we have appended below so that you may know for certain what toll should be given and paid there; and, according to the copy, toll shall be paid for those things and not for others; and merchants and buyers should show respect for those who pay the toll. And in order that there may be no doubt in your minds about the toll, we send to you, and to them, a charter, sealed by our seal, about the toll.

This is the list of the tolls to be taken for goods arriving by land or sea at the villa of Colibre:

A cargo of pepper---2 solidi

A cargo of cumin---2 solidi

A cargo of anise---2 solidi

A cargo of grain---2 solidi

A cargo of wax---2 solidi

A cargo of sweet alum---2 solidi

A cargo of feather alum---2 solidi

A cargo of Castile alum---2 solidi

A cargo of ginger---2 solidi

A cargo of cinnamon---2 solidi

A cargo of chervil---2 solidi

A cargo of resin---2 solidi

A cargo of papyrus---2 solidi

A cargo of brasil wood---2 solidi

A cargo of spices---2 solidi

A cargo of new hemp---2 solidi

A cargo of nutmeg---2 solidi

A cargo of old silver---2 solidi

A cargo of kermes---2 solidi

A cargo of indigo---2 solidi

A cargo of orpiment---2 solidi

A cargo of coral---2 solidi

A cargo of linseed---2 solidi

A cargo of Ysembrun---2 solidi

A cargo of cotton---2 solidi

A cargo of incense---2 solidi

A cargo of liquorice---2 solidi

A cargo of mastic---2 solidi

A cargo of gum---2 solidi

A cargo of sugar---2 solidi

A cargo of red dye---2 solidi

A cargo of blue dye---2 solidi

A bundle of leather---2 solidi

A bundle of clothing---2 solidi

A bundle of muslin---12 denarii

A bundle of pillow cases---2 solidi

A large bundle of cloth---2 solidi

A large bundle of bed-linen---2 solidi

A large bundle of lamb-skins---2 solidi

A large bundle of goat-skins---2 solidi

A large bundle of small merchandise---2 solidi

A large bundle of rabbit-skins---2 solidi

A covered ship---2 solidi as toll; but when returning to the town gives nothing.

A horse worth one thousand solidi---20 solidi; but if no value is given it pays not less than 15 solidi.

A horse worth from one thousand solidi or less---10 to 12 solidi

A palfrey---7 solidi

A nag---5 solidi

A mule---2 solidi.

A mare---12 denarii as passage.

A small boat---12 denarii, but pays nothing on the return trip to the town.

A colt---12 denarii.

A cargo of bronze---3 solidi

A ship or sailing boat---1 maravedi for each topsail.

One hundred goat-skins---18 denarii

Fifty goat-skins---9 denarii.

A cargo of wool---18 denarii; if there be no more, 6 denarii.

French cloth---4 denarii for each length, as if it were skins or tapestries, and it does not pay toll or tax if not taken out of the city by a foreigner.

A cargo of silk---2 solidi

A cargo of saffron---2 solidi

A quintal of Caningo clay---1 denarius

Fifty chests---2 denarii

Seed of gourds, cucumbers, or pumpkins, per quintal---2 denarii

A large bundle of finished skins---2 solidi

A bale of sheep-skins---18 denarii

A thousand panes of glass---18 denarii

A cargo of finished hemp---18 denarii

A cargo of melons---12 denarii

A small cargo of fustian---12 denarii

A cargo of rice---12 denarii

A cargo of oats---12 denarii

A cargo of red dye---12 denarii

A cargo of soap---12 denarii

A cargo of alum---12 denarii

A Jew or Jewess---12 denarii

A male or female Arab---12 denarii

A cargo of whitening---12 denarii

A cargo of archil---12 denarii

A load of ox-hides---10 denarii

A thousand Castile ropes---8 denarii

A cargo of salted fish or eels---8 denarii

A cargo of salmon---8 denarii

A cargo of wine, of sixteen quarters---4 denarii

A saccus of hazel-nuts---8 denarii

A male or female mule, when sold by a foreigner---12 denarii

A cargo of linseed oil---12 denarii

A box of Murcian glass, of three quintals---6 denarii

A measure of wheat, which is a caficium of Valencia---4 denarii

A measure of peas, i.e., three quarters of Tarragona---6 denarii

A measure of flax---6 denarii

A measure of barley or flour, or of any vegetables---3 and one half denarii

A cargo of resin---6 denarii

A cargo of crystal alum---6 denarii

A quintal of lead---4 denarii

A quintal of copper---4 denarii

A quintal of borax---4 denarii

A side of bacon---4 denarii

A boat without a rudder--4 denarii as toll, and it does not pay more for that voyage

A quintal of dates---4 denarii

A quintal of tallow, or grease---4 denarii

An ox pays---4 denarii

An ass or a she-ass---4 denarii

A cargo of ox-horns, or ram-horns---4 denarii

A quintal of hemp, finished, or to be finished---4 denarii

A quintal of cheese---4 denarii

Avignon cloth---4 denarii

Leghorn cloth---4 denarii

Geneva cloth---4 denarii

A basket of Malaga or Alicante figs---3 denarii

A large basket of Denia or Tortosa figs---3 denarii

A basket of Mallorca figs---2 denarii

A basket of pitch---3 denarii

Small cattle---1 denarius

A goat-skin of oil---3 denarii

A load of glass---2 panes of glass

A barrel of oil---2 denarii

A cargo of purging cassia---12 denarii

A barrel of tunny fish---2 denarii

A cargo of fuller's earth---4 denarii

A goat-skin of tar---2 denarii

A quintal of honey---2 denarii

A quintal of timber---2 denarii

A quintal of lead---2 denarii

A quintal of tin---4 denarii

A quintal of resin---2 denarii

A quintal of brass, or metal---4 denarii

A quintal of wax---2 denarii

A hog, as passage money---1 denarius

A quintal of southern-wood---2 denarii

A quintal of artichokes---4 denarii

A quintal of sulphur---2 denarii

A quintal of iron---2 denarii

A quintal of iron, if finished---4 denarii

A quintal of alcohol---2 denarii

A quintal of oakum---2 denarii

A quintal of soda---2 denarii

A quintal of goat-skins---2 denarii

A large basket of mackerel---2 denarii, or 1 denarius a thousand.

A bundle of ash-sticks---3 denarii

From a hundred cruets---4 cruets

I hereby make known to you the things that do not pay duty at the castle of Colibre:

Baskets, palm-leaves, rushes, handmills, lumber, whether dressed or not, nails, cordage, anything made of feather-grass, anything made of palm, unused palm, earthen-ware, coal, hempen rigging carried on the ship (provided there is no hemp on the ship to be made into rope); nor shall any master of a vessel who buys his anchor, or fashions a mast here, give toll for it.

I also hereby make known to you that from no other things other than those mentioned in this charter, have we taken toll, or been accustomed to take toll.

Also know that in every case where the toll-gatherer takes toll, he ought to return to him who paid the said toll 1 denarius from each solidus; of which denarius the merchant shall have half and the host the other half, and they will always give from 6 to 8 denarii to the mariners.

Done at Colibre on the twenty-fifth of June, in the year of the Lord, 1252.


A. de Capmany, Memorias Historicas sobre la Marina Comercio y Artes de la Antigua Ciudad de Barcelona, (Madrid, 1779-1792), Vol. II, p. 18; 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. 416-421.

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
[email protected]


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© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 5 June 2023 [CV]