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A letter from Abbot Bernard of Castres

Translated letter: 

This is the the charter of exchange and agreement which abbot  Bernard and the monks of Castres made with Bernard-Ato viscount and his wife Cecilia and their children Roger and Raymond and Bernard.   Abbot Bernard and his monks permit and grant to viscount Bernard and his wife and their said sons  the town of Sainte Sigolène of Asoal, which is the allod of St. Benedict of Castres, that that Bernard Ato and his wife and their children may do their will there.  But that abbot and monks retains for themselves the church of Sainte Sigolène in that town in their control with all offerings, all first-fruits, and burial and all tithe; in all these the viscount and his man will have nothing, but only the abbot. The protector of the vassals of this honor  will be the viscount Bernard-Ato and the viscountess and their sons; ofall the fiefs of Asoal, the viscount will have no rent, the abbot will have one penny of that money in recognition of the allod of St. Benedict.  The viscount or his son will never give their town and this allod of Assoal [sic] which is St. Benedict’s, to any daughter, nor sell nor mortgage [them] to any man unless to St. Benedict.  In that town the abbot may retain for himself one casal (house) with its courtyard next to the church of Sainte Sigolène, as it is needed for monks and clerics, and beside that casal another where they may buy and sell whatever they wish from their possessions without tax.  Similarly in that town the abbot will have another casal which they may use only to collect the tithe and make a garden.  Because of this that the abbot grants to the viscount and his wife and their sons to do their will in Assoal, as said before, and similarly the viscount and his wife Cecilia and their children all release and relinquish to the Lord God and St. Benedict and the monks of Castres, present and future, all that they had in every allod of Sais, anything further they had there, any dominion at all, and no men for them, nor do they take or seek anything, no dwelling, their servants may not distrain any man there, may not seek payment.

I Bernard Ato viscount and my wife Cecilia and our above-inscribed children release and relinquish the town of Sais with its every allod, as written here, to almighty God and his saints and monks of Castres by faith without deception, without retaining anything from us and ours, as God help us.  Witnesses and approvers of this agreement are the bishop of Carcassonne, Ger. Of La Redorta, Bernard of Miraval, Ugo of Paulin, Arnald Peter, Arnold of Castres and the whole town of Castres, monks and laymen.

Original letter: 

Haec est carta del escambis & de la convenenza quam fecerunt inter se Ber­nardus abbas & monachi Castrenses cum Bernardo-At vescomte & uxor sua Caecilia & infantes eorum Roger & Raymundo & Bernardo. —Bernardus abbas & monachi ejus permittunt & concedunt Bernardo vicecomiti & uxori ejus & filiis eorum supradictis villam Sanctae Sigolenae d'Asoal, quae est allodium Sancti Benedicti Castrensis, ut faciant ibi voluntatem suam ipse Bernardus At & uxor sua & infantes eorum. Sed ipse abbas & mona­chi ejus retinent sibi in ipsa villa in dominio ecclesiam Sanctae Sigolenae cum omni offerende, cum omnibus primitiis & omne cimiterium & totum decimum; in his omnibus nihil habebit vescoms ne hom, sed solus abbas. Dels fevaters istius hono­ris erit guyrens lo vescoms Bernardus-Ato & la vescomtessa & filii eorum; de tos loz foez d'Asoal, ni i aura cens lo viscoms, ha­bebit abbas unum denarium ejusdem mo­netae pro recognitione allodii Sancti Be­nedicti. Istam villam & istud allodium d'Assoal, quod est Sancti Benedicti, numquam dabunt vescoms ni si fil ad ullam filiam neque vendent neque impignorabunt ad ullum hominem, nisi ad Sanc­tum Benedictum. In ipsa villa sibi retinet abbas juxta ecclesiam Sanctae Sigolenae unum casal ab sa cort, sicut opus est monachis vel clericis, & juxta ipsum casal item alium casal, ubi emant & vendant quidquid voluerint de suo aver absque leida. Similiter in ipsa villa habebit abbas alium casal ubi faciant solum ad congregandum decimum & faciendum ortum. Propter hoc quod ita concedit abbas vicecomiti & uxori ejus & filiis eorum facere voluntatem suam in Assoal, ut jamdictum est, & illi similiter vescoms & uxor ejus Caeciliae & infantes eorum omnes laxant & relinquunt Domino Deo & sancto Benedicto & monachis de Castris praesentibus & futuris hoc totum quod habebant in omni alode de Sais, ut amplius ibi ullam rem habeant, ullum dominium omnino nec hom per els, nec facient ibi tultam nec quistam ni alberc, ni lor sirvent ullum hominem ibi distringent, nullum usum quaerent. —

Ego Bernardus At vescoms & uxor mea Caecilia & infantes nostri suprascripti istam villam de Sais cum omni allodio suo, sicut hic scriptum est, laxamus & relinquimus omnipotenti Deo & sanctis ejus & monachis de Castris per fidem sine engan, sine ulla retinentia de nos & de nostros, sic nos Deus adjuvet. Testes & laudatores sunt de ista convenenza episcopus Carcassensis, Ger. de la Redorta, Bernard de Miraval, Ugo de Paulin, Arnaud Petri, Arnold de Castras & tota villa de Castras, monachi & laici.

Historical context: 

The abbot and monks of Castres  grant the town of Sainte Sigolène to the count and countess and their family, but retain all rights in the church there and buildings around it.  The count and countess in return give them the town of Sais.  The document includes a number of words and phrases in Provençal.

Printed source: 

Histoire générale de Languedoc, 5.946-47, 496.2, CCCCVI.