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A letter from Adelaide/Aleid of Holland (1260, October 13)


Translated letter: 

I Adelaide, formerly wife of lord John of Avesnes, defender of Holland and Zeeland, to all faithful of Christ both present and future who will view the present letter, greeting everlasting in the Lord.
Since the lady Marie of celebrated memory, formerly empress of the Romans, our maternal aunt, for the promotion and salvation of her husband William of bright memory, count of Holland, our uncle, in the district of Dordrecht, which is called “scrodeambacht” (schroodambacht) in the vernacular, granted to the abbess and convent and monastery in Rijnsburg five pounds of the currency of Holland each year, and our father of good memory count Floris caused the same grant to be confirmed, and also said monastery, namely in Bogarden, should have two more pounds from the county of Holland perpetually as annual alms, and we have caused the aforesaid five pounds and two pounds to be released from our uses and the uses of our dearest relative Floris, heir of Holland, for the exchange, we wish to notify all that as in restoration of the aforesaid incomes, for the salvation of the soul of happy memory of the lord and our brother William renowned king of the Romans, as well as for the salvation of the soul of John of Avesnes, our dearest husband, and for the promotion of my own salvation and of our other ancestors, we give and concede perpetually to the aforesaid monastery, abbess and convent the tithe in Wandinghen extending between Leiden and Dodinslane, both larger and smaller, belonging to the county of Holland, wishing that the aforesaid convent should enact the memory of the aforesaid each year in masses and vigils, penances and in allowance of wine; moreover, wishing to make special favor to those same ones we give and concede to them that before the toll of Niemandsvriend they may pass through freely and peacefully with wine and grain and any other things belonging to the monastery itself without any exaction of toll.
Witnesses who were present at this grant: lady Elizabeth, venerable queen, lady Matilda, our mother, countess of Holland, lord Theodore of Teylingen, lord William of Brederode, and many other nobles who were present at the aforesaid granting.
In testimony of this deed I have thenceforth written the present document and commanded that it be secured with our seal.
Dated in Rijnsburg in the year of the Lord 1260, Wednesday after the feast of blessed Dionysius, in the month of October.(1)

Original letter: 

Ego Aleidis quondam uxor domini Iohannis de Auesnis, tutrix Hollandie et Zelandie, universis Christi fidelibus tam presentibus quam futuris presens scriptum inspecturis salutem in Domino sempiternam.
Cum inclite recordationis domina M. quondam Romanorum imperatrix, matertera nostra, pro incremento et salute clare memorie mariti sui W. comitis Hollandie, avi nostri. in officio de Durdrecht quod scrodeambacht vulgaliter nuncupatur abbatisse et conventui ac monasterio in Rinsborgh quinque libras Hollandensium annis singulis concesserit eandemque concessionem bone memorie pater noster comes Florentius duxerit confirmandam, ac alias eciam dictum monasterium, videlicet in Bogarden, a comitatu Hollandie duas libras perpetualiter habeat in elemosinam annuatim nosque predictas quinque libras ac duas libras nostris ac karissimi consanguinei nostri Florentii heredis Hollandie usibus per commutationem duxerimus vendicandas, ad noticiam universorum volumus pervenire quod tam in restaurationem proventuum predictorum, pro remedio anime felicis recordationis domini et fratris nostri W. Romanorum regis illustris necnon pro salute anime Iohannis de Auesnis mariti nostri karissimi ac incremento proprie salutis ac aliorum predecessorum nostrorum predicto monasterio, abbatisse et conventui decimam in Wandinghen inter Leiden et Dodinslane extendentem, tam maiorem quam minorem, comitatui Hollandie attinentem perpetualiter concedimus et donamus, volentes ut in missis et vigiliis, disciplinis et in caritate vini predictus conventus agat annis singulis memoriam predictorum; volentes insuper eisdem gratiam facere specialem ipsis concedimus et donamus ut ante theloneum de Nimansvrinth cum vino et frumento et aliis rebus quibuscumque ad ipsum monasterium pertinentibus sine omni exactione thelonei libere transeant et quiete.
Testes qui huic concessioni interfuerunt sunt: domina Elizabeth veneranda regina, domina Machthildis mater nostra comitissa Hollandie, dominus Theodoricus de Theilinghen, dominus Willelmus de Brederode, et quamplures alii nobiles qui predicte interfuerunt concessioni.
In cuius rei testimonium presens scriptum exinde conscribi et sigillo nostro iussimus communiri.
Datum in Rinsborgh anno Domini M° CCo LX°, feria quarta post festum beati Dionisii. mense octobris.

Historical context: 

The countess confirms the annual gift made by her maternal aunt, Marie, to a convent, and adds her own. Marie of Brabant, a sister of Adele’s mother, was married to the emperor Otto IV in 1214, and later to William I, Count of Holland. Among the witnesses are Adele’s sister-in-law, Elisabeth wife of William II, and her mother Mathilde.

Scholarly notes: 

1 This translation was provided by Ashleigh Imus.

Printed source: 

Oorkondenboek van Holland en Zeeland tot 1299, ed. A.C.F.Koch (Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoo, 1970), ep.1243, 3.248-49.


1260, October 13