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Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume IV (1876-1877)

Allen, William F.
Department of social and political sciences,   pp. [1]-6 PDF (1.8 MB)


Page 5


Peasant Comnmunities in France.
  There remain two documents considerably later and far less
complete in this respect than the two Polypticha, but which com-
pletely support the view already taken, that there is not likely to
be found any near approach to uniformity in the peasants' hold-
ings. In the Cartulary of the Abbey of St. Pere de Chartres
there is a complete lack of uniformity. Grants of land are, to be
sure, usually stated in mansi; but marnsus has not necessarily, like
hyde, the meaning of a definite share in a village community, but
means a peasant's property of whatever extent. And when we
come to the detailed description of estates, there is hardly a ves-
tige of uniformity as between the several estates. This descrip-
tion is very meagre in amount, and is copied into the Cartulary
from some old papers, the copyist himself professing himself unable
wholly to understand them. The date of these document is as
signed by the learned editor, Guerard, to some time before A. D.,
1000.
  In one or two of the estates there are to be sure some indica-
tions of uniformity in the condition of the peasants of the same
estate: e. g., in Cavanuis Villa (p. 37), are given the names of
twenty-one peasants (agrico7ae), all of whom paid the same dues
to the convent; nothing is said as to the size of their holdings.
In Cipedum there are ten peasants, all paying the same dues.
But next follows Comonis Villa, with four peasants, two holding
five bunuaria and paving three measures of corn; two holding six
bunuaricd and paying four measures. On the next page, Abbonis
\Tilla has thirty-three peasants; twenty-one of these paid one
shilling, and the rest sums varying from six pence to three shil-
ings. On page 40 begins the enumeration of seventeen holdings,
paying ten different sums, varying from six pence to fifteen shil-
lings. Only two of these, to be sure, are called manst bust these
two pay respectively two and five shillings, and one mansellus
three shillings.
   There remains the Cartulary of the Monastery of St. Bertin
 at St. Omner, in the extreme north of France, therefore in a terri-
 tory largely settled by Germans. The date of these registers is
 about the middle of the ninth century. Here we find, as might
 be expected. a uniformity almost as great as in England. The
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