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A letter from the abbot of St. Vito


Translated letter: 

I, Louis, abbot of St. Vito of Verdun and the whole convent of that place wish to be known to all future as well as present that, with the common assent of our chapter, we have joined our venerable lady Blanche, countess of Troyes, and her heirs, the lords of Champagne in the mediation of bans, justice, and assizes of the town which is called Chaud-fontaine (Calida-fontana), and in the mediation of held lands, wherever we have them, in woods or on the plain, within the confines of said town, and in the mediation of rents beyond the 24 solidos which we received before.  – We also retained the poll-tax of the men of St. Vito who are now living there or will be, and the ovens, and mills, tithes, altars, meadows, fields, and waters, and three carrugia (plough-measures of land); but we could not have more than three carrugia since the lady countess and her heirs, the lords of Champagne, have mediation in them.  Said countess and her heirs can have the waters fished, as often as they are in the country.  In other exits and entries, however, by which the town will grow in the future, they will have mediation. – It should be known that all men of the town owe cavalry duty and military service to the countess and her heirs, the lords of Champagne, according to the usage and custom of Ste. Menehould. –To this we add that the monk-prior of Chaud-fontaine and the provost of Ste. Menehould by common consent appoint the mayor and municipal officers in the town of Chaud-fontaine; and if they cannot agree in the selection of the mayor, they should compromise by agreement of the municipal officials of Chaud-fontaine on this. This however in which she is associated, she and her heirs, the lords of Champagne, may in no way alienate from her hand or exchange in any way, or give in fief or in alms except to the church of St. Vito.  All the rights which come into that town are brought into that town by the mayor and the justiciaries of the town, except for the rights which exist in the pledge of a duel; and then the rights of the duel are brought  to Ste. Menehould, except in all things by mediation of the monks.  And because of this, our rights, wherever they may be, said countess and her heirs, the lords of Champagne, may be held to protect in their power as their own. – Which, that it remain in force and in the future, we have confirmed by witness of our seals.  Enacted in the year of the Lord’s incarnation, 1206, in the month of July.

Original letter: 

Ego Ludovicus Sancti Vitoni Virdunensis abbas et totus ejusdem loci conventus omnibus tam futuris  quam presentibus notum esse volumus quod nos, de communi assensu capituli nostri, associavimus venerabilem dominam nostram Blancham comitissam Trecensem et heredes suos dominos Campanie ad medietatem banni, justicie et assisie ville que dicitur Calida-fontana, et ad medietatem terragiorum, ubicumque ea habeamus, in bosco vel in piano, infra fines ville jam dicte, et ad medietatem censuum, preter xxquatuor solidos quos nos prius capiemus. — Retinuimus etiam capitagia hominum Sancti Vitoni qui nunc ibi sunt manentes, vel de cetero sunt mansuri, et furnos, et molendina, decimas, altaria, prata, corveias, et aquas, et tria carrugia; sed plus quam tria carrugia non poterimus habere quin domina comitissa et heredes sui domini Campanie in illis habeant medietatem. — In aquis vero piscari facient dicta comitissa et heredes sui, quotienscumque erunt in patria. — In aliis autem exitibus et redditibus quibus villa crescet in futurum, medietatem habebunt. — Sciendum etiam quod omnes homines ville cavalchiam et exercitum comitisse et heredibus ejus dominis Campanie debent, secundum usus et consuetudinem Sancte Manehuldis. —Ad hoc autem adjecimus quod propositus monacus de Calida-fontana et prepositus Sancte Manehuldis per communem assensum in villa Calide-fontane majorem constituent et scabinos; et si de electione majoris non possent insimul convenire, per concordiam scabinorum de Calida-fontana in hoc se concordarent. — Ista autem in quibus associata est, ipsa et heredes sui domini Campanie nullo modo de manu sua alienare poterunt vel quomodolibet commutare, aut in feodum vel in elemosinam dare nisi ecclesie Sancti Vitoni. —Omnia autem jura, que in eadem villa evenient, deducentur in ipsa villa per majorem [et] justiciarios ejusdem ville, nisi talia essent illa jura que essent de vadio duelli; et tunc ducerentur jura duelli ad Sanctam Manehuldim, salva in omnibus medietate monachorum. Et prop­ter hec, jura nostra, ubicumque sint, dicta comi­tissa et heredes sui domini Campanie, in posse, tanquam sua propria, custodire tenentur. — Quod ut ratum permaneat et futurum (sic), sigillorum nostrorum testimonio confirmavimus. Actum anno incarnationis Dominice M° CC° VI°, mense julio.

Historical context: 

This charter records an agreement between the abbot and his convent on the one hand, and the countess, on the other, to share control over the town of Chaud-fontaine (Calida-fontana).

Printed source: 

Layettes du Trésor des Chartes, 1.305-06, #311.


1206, July