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Jérôme [Hieronymus] Napoleon, King of Westphalia, Decree on the Abolition of Personal Serfdom in the French Satellite Kingdom of Westphalia (January 23, 1808)

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Article 10. If the farmer is called to public labor-service [Burg-, Landfrohn-, or Commun-Dienst] on a day when he is obliged to work for the former lordship, he is obliged neither to provide a substitute nor work on another day.

Article 11. Without the former lordship’s agreement he may not alienate, exchange, or divide the landholding he cultivates, nor burden it with labor-service or mortgage, if the occupancy contract or register of dues does not empower him to do so.

Article 12. He must also, upon change of the landholding’s possessor and in other instances specified by contract or the register of dues pay, as before, the entry-free, or so-called Weinkauf.

Article 13. All remaining rights possessed by the former lordships pertaining to the land may be dissolved, either by amicable agreement or according to provisions still to be determined. [ . . . ]

Source: Klaus Rob (ed.), Quellen zu den Reformen in den Rheinbundstaaten [Sources on the Reforms in the States of the Rhine Confederation]. Volume 2: Regierungsakten des Königreichs Westphalen 1807-1813 [Government Laws of the Kingdom of Westphalia], published by the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities © 1992 Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich.

Reprinted in Walter Demel and Uwe Puschner, eds., Von der Französischen Revolution bis zum Wiener Kongreß 1789-1815 [From the French Revolution to the Congress of Vienna, 1789-1815]. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, Volume 6. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1995, pp. 318-21.

Translation: William Hagen

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