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An Abbot Negotiates with his Rural Subjects – Weingarten (Upper Swabia) (1432)
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[11] Further and lastly, we three have unanimously decided that if it should happen that one or more of the aforementioned serfs of the abbey becomes disobedient to the abbot and the monks of Weingarten, and refuses to obey their will, whether once or several times, and when this is known, such folk shall not enjoy the protection of our judgment. In that case, the aforementioned Lord Abbot and the monks might repossess all their rights from such persons, according to their charters and ancient custom. And the Imperial bailiff in Swabia shall protect the abbot and the monks in this matter.

Further, because matters that are not written down or fixed by charters may easily be forgotten, therefore, for the permanent preservation of an authentic record of what we have decided, we, the aforementioned Markwart von Königsegg, Provincial Commander in Alsace of the Teutonic Order, Jakob Truchseß von Waldburg, and Haupt zu Pappenheim, hereditary marshal of the Holy Roman Empire, have voluntarily placed our seals on this letter, without prejudice to us and our heirs. Two identical copies of it have been prepared and given to the two parties.

This happened, and this letter is dated, on Tuesday before the feast of St. Lucy the virgin [December 9], in the year of Our Lord 1432.



Source of original German text: Peter Blickle and André Holenstein, eds., Agrarverfassungsverträge. Eine Dokumentation zum Wandel in den Beziehungen zwischen Herrschaften und Bauern am Ende des Mittelalters. Stuttgart, 1996, pp. 34-37.

Translation: Thomas A. Brady Jr.
Thanks to Peter Blickle for this text.

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