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Restrictions on Tolls, 805

The nuisance of too frequent tolls was a subject for legislation by Charlemagne, who made at the same time, various exemptions from toll throughout his empire as an encouragement to trade.

Capitulary given at Diedenhofen (Thionville):

C.13. As to thelony, it pleases us to exact old and just thelony from the merchants at bridges, and on ships and at markets. But let new or unjust thelony be not exacted where ropes are stretched or where ships pass under bridges, or in other similar cases in which no aid is lent to the travellers. Likewise concerning those who bring their goods from one house to another, or to the palace, or to the army, without idea of selling them, but if there be any doubt let it be enquired into at our next court which we shall hold with the missi.

Capitulary of Aix-la-Chapelle:

C.1. Where thelony should be exacted and where not. We firmly wish it to be made known to all in our kingdom, committed to us by God, that no one shall exact thelony except in markets where common goods are bought and sold; and not on bridges except where thelony was exacted in the past; and not on banks of rivers where ships are wont to stay only for several nights; and not in forests, nor on roads, nor in fields, and not from those going under the bridge, and not anywhere except where anything pertaining to common use is bought or sold for any reason whatever. And where the buyer of anything uses the grass or wood or other village commodities, let him recompense him who owns the things used according to their estimate; and let him pay him what is just for such things. But if any one fleeing the decreed markets in order not to be forced to pay thelony, either wish to buy something outside the said place or be found doing it, let him be bound and forced to pay the duty of thelony. And if any one protect or hide one declining to pay just thelony, let him be compelled to make amends for this according to his law; but let him whom he hid pay the duty of thelony. As for the rest, what has been said above holds-except in the places mentioned no one shall exact thelony from any one. And if any one do this against these orders of ours, let him consider himself condemned to the sum of sixty solidi.


Monumenta Germaniae Historiae, Legum, Alfredus Boretius, ed., (Hanover, 1883), Tome I, pp. 124, 228; 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. 399-400.

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.

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© Paul Halsall, October 1998
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