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Dagobert, King of the Franks:
Grant of an Estate to Monks of St. Denis, 635

A grant of an estate in the seventh century was perhaps the gift of greatest value that could be given by one person to another. No land was granted as a rule without the accompanying forms of wealth described by Dagobert in this charter. Note that serfs and bondsmen were not excluded in making the gift. Twenty-seven estates were given at one time by Dagobert to the Abbey of St. Denis.

Dagobert, King of the Franks, illustrious monarch, to Wandelbert, the Duke. Whatever we have devoutly granted for the relief of the poor, we believe we shall have returned to us with profit in the next life. Therefore be it known that we have exchanged our villa called Saclas, situated on the River Juine, in the district of Etampes, and which we have received from Lord Ferreol, Bishop of the diocese of Autun, and from Abbot Deodatus, the clergy and church or basilica of Symphorian, in whose care it is known to have been, for another villa called Amica, which is in the district of Marseilles, to the increase of our fortune. And that same Saclas we have devoutly granted in its entirety to the monks of St. Denis, the martyr, at the monastery where his precious body now rests, being within their gates. Therefore we have ordered that from the present date they shall possess the villa of Saclas, with its houses, serfs, bondsmen, woods, meadows, pastures, mills, flocks, shepherds, wholly and entirely, just as it was formerly held by the church of Autun and Symphorian until we, as has been said, exchanged it for another. Therefore, because it has been granted of our bounty, for the salvation of our soul, to the monks of St. Denis, according to God's will, neither the abbot nor any other person shall at any time presume to destroy this gift to the monks; but let it be administered in the name of God by the hand of their abbot in whose assiduous care the monks live. And in whatever way the fisc can augment its aid to the poor monks let it do so, so that they and their successors may delight in the stability of our kingdom and pray for the salvation of our soul. And that this charter may endure for all time we have decreed that it be signed with our signature. Ursin obtained it. Dagobert granted it.

Given on July 28th in the fourteenth year of our reign, at Clichy.



J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1850), Vol. LXXX, p. 535; 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. 308-309.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

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