Edict of Regulation Regarding the Relationship between Manorial Lordships and Subject Farmers
September 14, 1811
§1. All peasant farms not yet held as personal property shall be converted into hereditary freehold property according to the rules and conditions outlined in this edict, and the labor services and other claims resting on them dissolved through mutually just compensation. To avoid all misinterpretation and abuse, however, we expressly declare that no owner of these rural livelihoods shall be authorized to take possession of such property of his own accord, nor refuse preexisting obligations to render dues and labor services, until a settlement has taken place in accordance with the following rules, either by mutual agreement or [through the mediation of] the responsible agencies. Failure to comply will result in the punishments legally mandated for impermissible unilateral action [“self-help”]. [ . . . ]
First section concerning previously hereditary tenures
[ . . . ] §4. All current inhabitants of hereditary farms and holdings—whether they be full-holdings, half-holdings, or cottager-holdings, or bear another local name, and whether they belong under ecclesiastical, royal, or private seigneurial lordship—shall have property rights to their farms transferred to them and be obligated to compensate their former landlords according to the stipulations which follow here.
On the same condition, labor services, with the sole exception of auxiliary services outlined in §16, shall be abolished in exchange for compensation.