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Medieval Sourcebook:
Henry II of England:
Concerning Loans From The Jews

24. Chapter Concerning the Jews: All debts and pledges of Jews shall be written down, lands, houses, rents, and possessions. But a Jew who conceals any of these things shall be in forfeit to the lord king both in his person, in what he has concealed, and in all his goods and chattels. Nor shall it be lawful for the Jew ever to recover what he has concealed.

And let six or seven places be provided where they may make their declarations; and let two lawful Christians, and two lawful Jews and two lawful clerks be appointed. Let the Jews make their declarations in the presence of those men and in the presence of the clerk of William of the church of St. Mary and of William of Chimilli, and let the charters of their declarations be made in the form of a chirograph. One part of the chirograph shall remain with the Jew, signed with the seal of him to whom the money is lent; and the other part shall remain in the common chest to which there are three locks, to which the two Christians shall have one key, the two Jews another, and the clerk of William of the church of St. Mary and of William of Chimilli shall have the third. Moreover let there be three seals and let those who have the keys affix the seals. But the two clerks shall have a roll of the copies of all charters, and as the charters are changed so let the roll be changed. Three denarii shall be given for each charter; half by the Jew and half by him to whom the money is lent; and the two clerks shall have two denarii and the keeper of the rolls shall have the third denarius. No declaration shall be made in future, no payment made to a Jew, nor shall any change be made in the charters except in the presence of those mentioned or of the greater part of them, if they are not all able to be present. And the said two Christians shall have one roll of receipts of payments to be made to Jews in future, and the two Jews shall have one, and the keeper of the rolls shall have one.

Also every Jew shall swear upon his roll that all his debts, pledges, rents, goods, and possessions have been written down by him, and that he has hidden nothing, as we have said. And if any one learn that some one has hidden something, let him reveal it secretly to the judges sent to him, and let them detect and expose forgers of charters, and clippers of coins, and likewise concerning false charters.


From: William Stubbs & H. W. C. Davis, ed., Select Charters of English Constitutional History, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), p. 256, 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. 176-177.

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

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, September 1998

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