Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-568f69f84b-pl66f Total loading time: 0.468 Render date: 2021-09-20T03:40:22.245Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Article contents

‘Judei nostri' and the Beginning of Capetian Legislation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2016


The ordinances on the Jews of 1223 and 1230 are generally described as the beginning of effective general legislation by the Capetians, yet agreement on the constitutional importance of the ordinances has not produced agreement on their precise meaning and significance. On the one hand, historians such as Esmein, Viollet, Declareuil, Chénon, Perrot, Fawtier, and Olivier-Martin, who followed Flammermont and Luchaire's analysis of royal legislative power, have held that all the provisions of both the 1223 and the 1230 ordinance bound both those who had consented and those who had not, and were applicable throughout the kingdom. On the other hand, an older view stemming from Brussel and Petiet, followed hesitantly by Glasson, and most recently advanced by Petit-Dutaillis, has maintained that, although the 1230 ordinance was applicable in its entirety throughout the kingdom, the ordinance of 1223 either applied in its entirety only to those who had consented to it, or else contained only one provision applicable to those who had not sworn to observe it. This disagreement results partly from ambiguities in the texts, but it is also a result of a failure to set the ordinances in the context of their avowed purposes.

Copyright © Fordham University Press 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1 Esmein, A., Cours élémentaire du droit français , 5th ed. (Paris 1903) 477; Viollet, P., Histoire des institutions politiques et administratives de la France (Paris 1890-1903) II 193; Declareuil, J., Histoire générale du droit français (Paris 1925) 795-796; Ch, E.énon, Histoire générale du droit français (Paris 1926-1929) I 522-523; Perrot, E., Les institutions publiques et privées de l'ancienne France (Paris 1935) 365; Fawtier, R., Les Capétiens et la France (Paris 1942) 185-186; Olivier-Martin, F., Histoire du droit français (Paris 1948) 119-120; Lot, F. and Fawtier, R., Histoire des institutions françaises au moyen âge (Paris 1957-1958) II 175-176, 291; Flammermont, J., De concessu legis et auxilii tertio decimo saeculo (Paris 1883) 13-17; Luchaire, A., Histoire des institutions monarchiques, 2nd. ed. (Paris 1891) I 243, 272; Manuel des institutions françaises (Paris 1892) 487-491, 508.

2 Brussel, Nouvel examen de l'usage général des fiefs en France (Paris 1750) I 39-40, 320-321, 583-590; Petiet, R., Du pouvoir législatif en France (Paris 1891) 41-50; Glasson, E., Histoire du droit et des institutions de la France (Paris 1887-1903) V 338-339; Petit, C.-Dutaillis, La Monarchie féodale en France et en Angleterre (Collection L’Évolution de l’Humanité; Paris 1933) 343-344.

3 E.g., Flammermont, De concessu legis 13; Petit-Dutaillis, Monarchie féodale 343. There is no satisfactory general study of the Jews in medieval France, as has been pointed out by Lot and Fawtier, Histoire des institutions II 175 n. 1. Most of the regional studies are cited in Richard Emery, W., The Jews of Perpignan in the Thirteenth Century (New York 1959). The brilliant work of Georg Caro, Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Juden im Mittelalter und der Neuzeit (Leipzig 1908-1920 = Sozialgeschichte) is the best account of royal policy towards the Jews in France. Guido Kisch, The Jews in Medieval Germany (Chicago 1949) contains the best general bibliography on the Jews in medieval Europe. James Parkes, The Jew in the Medieval Community (London 1938) is a useful if very general account with considerable bibliography. Many of the documents to be discussed here have been published and examined in a different context by Solomon Grayzel, The Church and the Jews in the XIIIth Century (Philadelphia 1933).

4 ‘Possessory rights over Jews’ should be stated more accurately as possession and exercise of numerous and extensive rights over particular Jews. The possessory language used throughout this article — possession, possessors, possessory rights, etc. — has been employed to refer briefly to the legal relationship expressed in the documents by phrases such as Judeus meus, and to avoid the tedious repetition of a number of more accurate circumlocutions. It also emphasizes that conflict arose not over the nature of the rights exercised by lords over Jews but over the claim of particular lords to exercise these rights over particular Jews whom they described as ‘their Jews.’ I do not, however, wish to imply by this language that I equate the status of Jews in medieval law either with that of things in medieval law or with that of slaves in classical Roman law, although the right to capture Jews for purposes of extortion approaches a concept of physical possession (see below, n. 105).

5 Fawtier, Capétiens 185: ‘Très tot, d'ailleurs, le roi laissa entendre que sa requête devait être accueillie et qu'il prendrait en mauvaise part tout refus. Dès 1223, dans une ordonnance sur les Juifs, le roi déclare que cet établissement est valable, non seulement pour ceux qui l'ont « juré », c'est à dire accepté, mais aussi pour ceux qui ne l'ont point « juré

6 Latouche, Robert, Les origines de l’économie occidentale (Collection L’Évolution de l’Humanité; Paris 1956) 179181, 188-190, 193, 195; Parkes, The Jew in the Medieval Community 27-29, 44-52; Kisch, Jews in Medieval Germany 136-137, 318.

7 Duby, Georges, La société aux XI e et XII e siècles dans la région maçonnaise (Paris 1953) 2930, 119-121.

8 Parkes, The Jew in the Medieval Community 37-44, 62-89; but cf. Kisch, Jews in Medieval Germany 323-327.

9 Decretum D. 54 cc. 13, 14; C. 17 q. 4 c. 31; Deer. Greg. IX 5.6.1-3, 5; Kisch, Jews in Medieval Germany 58-64; Trachtenberg, J., The Devil and the Jews (New Haven 1943) 1135; Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millenium (London 1957) 58-63.

10 Balladore, G.-Pallieri and Vismara, G., Acta pontificia juris gentium (Milan 1946) 209217, nos. 231, 236, 237, 239, 253, 271; Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 76-78.

11 PL 189.368; The Letters of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, tr. Bruno Scott James (London 1953) nos. 391 and 393.

12 Kisch, , Jews in Medieval Germany 107-145.

13 Cecil, Roth, , A History of the Jews in England (Oxford 1941) 6.

14 Kisch, , Jews in Medieval Germany 318; Duby, La société aux XI e et XII e siècles 35, 352-354; R. Génestal, Rôle des monastères comme établissements de crédit, étudié en Normandie du XI e à la fin du XIII e siècle (Paris 1901) passim.

15 Parkes, , The Jew in the Medieval Community 83.

16 Genestal, , Rôle des monastères 79-84; N. Nelson, Benjamin, The Idea of Usury (Princeton 1949) 616; John Noonan, T., Jr., The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge, Mass. 1957) 15-20.

Google Scholar

17 See Decr. Greg. IX 5.6.4, 5, 7, 8.

18 Potthast 327; Decr. Greg. IX 5.19.12.

19 Potthast 2373, 3274.

20 J. Hefele, C., Histoire des conciles , ed. and tr. Leclercq, H., V 2 (Paris 1913) 1385; Decr. Greg. IX 5.19.18.

21 Raymond of Pennaforte, Summa de casibus 2.10 (p. 241 ed. Rome 1503; p. 216 ed. Verona 1744); cf. Nelson, Idea of Usury 16-18.

22 Roth, , History of the Jews in England 16.

23 E.g., Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, ed. F. Delaborde, H. and Petit-Dutaillis, C. (Paris 1916-1943 = Recueil) II no. 900.

24 Buisson, Ludwig, König Ludwig IX., der Heilige, und das Recht (Freiburg 1954), particularly ch. 3.

25 Luchaire, , Histoire des institutions I 272; Lot and Fawtier, Histoire des institutions II 290. The banishment of baptized Jews who had reverted to Judaism in 1144, the promulgation of a peace for ten years for certain classes of people and property in 1155, and the prohibition of the use of Brabançons in 1164 were clearly connected with the protection of the faith, the Church, and the religious movement of the Peace of God: Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France, ed. Delisle, L. (Paris 1869ff. = HF) 16.8; 14.387; 16.697. The same is true of the crusading ordinances of 1188, 1201, and 1215, even though they affected secular rights of great importance. The obvious religious inspiration of these ordinances, the special circumstances of their appearance, and their close relationship with the development of canon law on the subject place them in a class apart: Recueil I no. 228; II, no. 681; Ordonnances des roys de France de la troisième race, ed. Laurière, E. et al. (Paris 1723ff.) 1.32; Bridrey, E., La condition juridique des croisés et le privilège de croix (Paris 1900) 202.

26 Rigord, in Œuvres de Rigord et Guillaume le Breton, ed. F. Delaborde, H. (Société de l'histoire de France; Paris 1882-1885) I 14-16, 24-29. Alexander Cartellieri, Philipp II. August, König von Frankreich (Leipzig 1899-1922) I 58, makes the surprising statement that in 1180 the Jews throughout the whole kingdom were captured by royal command; Vuitry, A., Études sur le régime financier de la France (Paris 1878) I 317, speaks of the Jews being chased from the kingdom in 1182. Both measures applied only to the royal domain, or Francia, not to the kingdom as Rigord misleadingly states: Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 360-362. That Philip's actions only affected the domain is clear from the events of 1198.

27 Rigord, ed. cit. I 25; Robert of Auxerre, MGH Scriptores 26.243; William the Breton, ed. cit. II 22.

28 Villehardouin, La conquête de Constantinople, ed. Faral, E. (Les classiques de l'histoire de France, 18-19; Paris 1938-1939) I 2.

29 of Auxerre, Robert, MGH Scriptores 26.258.

30 Rigord, , ed. cit. I 141.

31 Recueil II no. 582; Layettes du Trésor des Chartes, ed. Teulet, A. et. al. (Paris 1863-1909) I no. 479.

32 Recueil II no. 583, incorrectly dated September 1218 by Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 352.

33 Recueil II no. 678; Brussel, Nouvel examen II xxii.

34 Recueil II, no. 776.

35 Delisle, L., Catalogue des actes de Philippe Auguste (Paris 1856) nos. 890, 890A; Layettes I nos. 723, 724.

36 Recueil II no. 955; Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 364-365.

37 Rising ecclesiastical concern over Jews and Jewish usury found expression in the synodal canons of the bishop of Paris about 1200 (Mansi 22.685), in Innocent III's letter to Philip Augustus of January 16, 1205 (Potthast 2373), and in his letter to the archbishop of Sens and the bishop of Paris of July 15, 1205 (ibid. 2565). Philip Augustus’ opposition to ecclesiastical pressure can be seen in his efforts to define lay and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in 1205-1206: Recueil II nos. 899-900.

38 An undated order to the bailiffs of Francia and Normandy, apparently falling between 1206 and 1219, further defined procedure for Jewish loans and ordered bailiffs to enforce legitimate debts to Jews without delay. Parkes, The Jew in the Medieval Community 396, gives the date of 1190; in Ordonnances 11.315 note a, it is related to the ordinance of 1206; Delisle, Catalogue no. 1874, relates it to the ordinance of 1219 and tentatively dates it February 1219.

39 Layettes I no. 873. The ordinance of 1164 prohibiting the use of Brabançons (HF 16. 697), although concerned with the peace and backed by the sanction of excommunication, directly affected secular prerogatives; the adhesion of all lords within the area concerned was claimed by Louis VII.

40 Layettes I nos. 922, 923; Brussel, Nouvel examen I 579 note a. R. de Lespinasse, Le Nivernais et les comtes de Nevers (Paris 1909-1914) II 44, states that Hervé ‘… signa avec d'autres barons la promesse de ne pas retenir sur ses terres les juifs du roi ou de la comtesse de Champagne.’ Neither in Teulet's abstract (Layettes I 923) nor that of Delisle (Catalogue No. 1215) is there any suggestion of anything more than a reciprocal promise between Hervé and the king. There was no single covenant subscribed by several barons, only a series of charters between individuals.

41 Brussel, , Nouvel examen I 580 note a.

42 d’Arbois de Jubainville, H., Histoire des ducs et des comtes de Champagne (Paris 1859-1869) V no. 743; printed in Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 351.

43 Brussel, , Nouvel examen I 581.

44 Jubainville, , Histoire des comtes de Champagne , Y nos. 953, 1163; Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 352, 353.

45 Le traité ‘De usurade Robert de Courçon, ed. and tr. Lefèvre, G. (Travaux et Mémoires de l’Université de Lille 10.30; Lille 1902) 5, 23, 51-55, denies Jews the right to take usury from Christians. Nelson, Idea of Usury 10-13, discusses the development of arguments against usury around Paris. For royal-baronial reactions to Robert's activities see Innocent Ill's letter to Philip Augustus of May 14, 1214: Potthast 4922.

46 Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des conciles V 2. 1385-1388.

47 Ordonnances 1.36.

48 Caro, , Sozialgeschichte I 367-368.

49 Jubainville, , Histoire des comtes de Champagne V no. 1209; printed in Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 353.

50 Jubainville, , Histoire des comtes de Champagne V no. 1277.

51 Maxamilien, Quantin, , Cartulaire générale de l’ Yonne (Auxerre 1854-1872) III no. 254.

52 It would be interesting to know how far this change should be attributed to Blanche of Castille. Certainly she must have been largely responsible for the ordinances of 1227 and 1230, as well as for policy towards the Jews thereafter, to her death in 1252. It is more difficult to estimate the extent of her influence, as Louis VIII's wife, on the ordinance of 1223, or the extent to which Louis VIII himself initiated the new policy towards Jews. Petit, C.-Dutaillis, Étude sur la vie et le règne de Louis VIII (Paris 1894) 1415, mentions Louis VIII's saintly reputation, but see below, n. 55.

53 Layettes II no. 1610.

54 ‘Nullum debitum Judeorum curret ad usuram ab hac die octobarum Omnium Sanctorum in antea. Nec nos nec barones nostri faciemus de cetero reddi Judei usuras que current ab hac die … in antea.’ Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 369, interprets this clause as a prohibition of any usury in the future. Strayer, J. R., The Administration of Normandy under Saint Louis (Publications of the Mediaeval Academy of America 13; Cambridge, Mass. 1932) 49, says that usury was forbidden only during the term provided for the payment of outstanding debts and that ‘… in 1235 the king took the final step of forbidding the Jews to live by usury.’ Auguste Dumas, DDC 5.1489, seems also to hold that the prohibition of usury applied only to debts contracted as of November 8. Both interpretations are possible, but that of Caro seems more likely. Apparently both the 1223 ordinance and the domain ordinance of 1228 (below, p. 223) expressed a policy of undermining Jewish money-lending by prohibition of usury and its enforcement. By 1230 the king went as far as to prohibit enforcement of debts to Jews, a considerable step beyond the prohibition of usury. By 1234 there seems to have been a new royal policy of trying to force Jews out of money-lending and into other occupations, which can first be seen in a charter of Archambaud of Bourbon of May 1234 (Layettes II no. 2284): ‘… ego, de voluntate et assensu … regis Francie illustris, pro salute mea et predecessorum meorum, volo et concedo quod omnes Judei, qui in terra mea voluerint de cetero morari, propriis vivant laboribus et negociationibus licitis ab usuraria exactione penitus abstinentes.’ It is this new policy which appears in the domain ordinance of 1235 cited by Strayer.

55 Vuitry, Régime financier 324, attributes the ordinance to Louis’ desire to enforce the Church's condemnation of usury. Petit-Dutaillis, Louis VIII 417, says that ‘In sum, it was an ordinance of almost purely fiscal inspiration,’ and points out that in August 1225 Louis granted privileges to citizens of Asti whereby they made much money by usury. Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 369-370, sees both religious and fiscal motives.

56 Louis VIII 417.

57 Ralph of Coggeshall, Chronicon Anglicanum, ed. Stevenson, J. (Rolls Series; London 1875) 197.

58 See above n. 1.

59 Vuitry, , Régime financier 323-324; Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 369.

60 Louis VIII, 426; Monarchie /éodale 343-344.

61 Du pouvoir législatif 49. According to the preamble, those who had been present, but had not sworn, had consented to the making of the ordinance.

62 See n. 60 above.

63 Louis VIII, Alix duchess of Burgendy, Peter count of Brittany, Robert III count of Dreux, Mathilde countess of Nevers, Archambaud of Bourbon, William of Dampierre, and Guy count of Saint-Pol, who swore the ordinance, are indicated as possessors of Jews: nn. 40, 41, 44, 108.

64 Layettes II no. 1615: ‘Excellentie vestre notum facimus quod nos stabilimentum quod factum est de Judeis juravimus, sicut alii barones, bona fide observandam, prout nobis per vestras litteras mandavistis; et super hoc litteras nostras patentes per clericum vestrum vobis transmittimus.’ The letter suggests both the possibility of royal pressure on some of the jurors and the possibility that not all the jurors had been present. But it testifies even more strongly to the king's consciousness of the necessity of individual consent, however obtained, to validate the ordinance in the lands of a magnate.

65 Ibid. no. 1612.

66 Ibid. no. 1620; ‘Ego Theobaldus comes Campanie et Brie palatinus, notum facio universis me craantasse karissimo domino meo Ludovico regi Francie illustri quod non retinebo aliquem de Judeis suis nec baronum nec hominum suorum qui stabilimentum de Judeis a domino rege factum juraverunt tenendum. Nec dominus rex, nec barones nec homines sui, qui dictum juraverunt stabilimentum, possunt retinere Judeos meos nec aliquam de Judeis meis.’

67 Above p. 212. 68 Above p. 212.

69 Petit-Dutaillis, Louis VIII 456 no. 55, 459 no. 79; Strayer, Administration of Normandy 49-50; Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 370.

70 Jubainville, Histoire des comtes de Champagne V no. 1646.

71 Layettes II nos. 1619, 1648.

72 Fazy, Max, Catalogue des actes concernant l'histoire du Bourbonnais (Moulins 1924) no. 674; Layettes II no. 1996; Brussel, Nouvel examen I 586.

73 Layettes II no. 2049.

74 Mart, E.ène and Durand, U., Veterani scriptorum … amplissima collectio (Paris 1724-1733) I 1294. Martène includes this order among documents of 1245, but Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 507, places it between the death of Louis VIII and June 24, 1227, doubtless because, although it mentions the ordinance of 1223 of Louis VIII, then dead, it does not mention the ordinance of 1227, whereas the domain ordinance of 1228 mentions both the ordinances of 1223 and 1227.

75 Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 370.

76 Martène, Amplissima collectio I 1222: ‘… nos volumus et statuimus quod stabilimentum factum de Judaeis a clarae memoriae genitore nostro anno primo regni sui super debitis contractis ante illud stabilimentum firmiter observetur. De novo autem statuimus et volumus de debitis post illud stabilimentum contractis usque ad festum Johannis, S. praeteritum, de quibus litterae inde confectae testificantur, quod sint catallum, adterminentur ad tres annos et novem terminos, sicut fuit stabilitum in stabilimento anni praecedentis …’

77 Above p. 217.

78 Above pp. 211, 213.

79 See Appendix. It has seemed advisable to give the text of the bull in full because it has not been discussed in connection with French constitutional history before. It also provides valuable evidence, different from that of the royal-baronial documents, of the impact of these ordinances.

80 Below p. 226.

81 Whereas the final payment ordered by the 1227 ordinance was due on May 16, 1230, the final payment under the 1230 ordinance was due on November 1, 1233, more than six months after the date of the bull. Yet the bull clearly states that the assigned term of four (in fact three) years had already been completed some time previously. At the end of those four years, according to the bull, the Jews were captured and their debts totalled, which could refer to the enrollment of debts by November 1, 1231, ordered by the ordinance of 1230. The bull also mentions that at this time there was a demand for money from the Jews in connection with the enforcement, or non-enforcement, of their debts. This may be associated with the conclusion of Strayer, Administration of Normandy 50, that in 1231 royal Jews probably had to pay for the privilege of collecting their debts after the royal intervention of 1230.

82 The fact that in 1233 and in 1247 both Gregory IX and Innocent IV regarded ordinances on the Jews as conventions or oaths between certain magnates is interesting evidence of the way informed contemporaries viewed such embryonic general legislation: see Appendix; Potthast 12563; Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 272 no. 117.

83 Layettes II 2083: ‘Noverint universi, presentes pariter et futuri, quod nos pro salute anime nostre et inclite recordationis regis Ludovici genitoris nostri et antecessorum nostrorum, pensata etiam ad hoc utilitate totius regni nostri, de sincera voluntate nostra et de communi consilio baronum nostrorum statuimus …’

84 Sozialgeschichte I 371.

85 ‘… nos et barones nostri Judeis nulla debita de cetero contrahenda faciemus haberi….’ Depping, G. B., Les Juifs dans le moyen âge (Paris 1834) 190, interprets this phrase to mean that the king and the barons would no longer force Jews to lend them money. Jean Richard, Les ducs de Bourgogne et la formation du duché (Dijon 1954) 361, says that the ordinance prohibited barons ‘de retenir les juifs d'autrui et de faire contracter à leur profit de nouvelles dettes.’ Comparison of this phrase with the phrase in the bull of 1233, ‘servari non facient ipsis pactiones initas vel ineundas inter Christianos et illos’ (see Appendix), and with Hugh of Lusignan's promise in 1232, ‘et tenemur eis facere haberi debita que legitima probare poterunt’ (below n. 102), confirms that the provision meant that those authorities would not use their power to enforce loan contracts contracted with the Jews in the future.

86 The canonical origin of the definition needs no comment: see Noonan, , Scholastic Analysis of Usury 18-20.

87 See the bull of 1233 (Appendix) and Innocent IV's bull of July 6, 1247 (Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 272, no. 117): ‘… mutuatam ab eis pecuniam non obstantibus talibus iuramentis a Christianis sicut quibuslibet tuis subditis facias sibi reddi et conservari eos in bonis consuetudinibus predecessorum tuorum temporibus observatis.’

88 By the Capetians. There had been Carolingian prohibitions of usury: Latouche, Origines de l’économie occidentale 180-182.

89 Kisch, Jews in Medieval Germany 147-148.

90 Potthast 2565; Compilatio III 5.3.1; Decr. Greg. IX 5.6.13.

91 Philippide, ed. cit. (n. 26 above) II 22: ‘Et poterat totum sibi tollere si voluisset, / Nec prejudicium super hoc fecisset eisdem, / Tamquam servorum res et catella suorum.’ For the probable date that this was written, see ibid. I. lxx-lxxi.

92 Kisch, Jews in Medieval Germany 148-152, argues that the concept was transmitted from theology to canon law by the inclusion of Innocent's decretal of 1205 in the Decretals of Gregory IX in 1234, when the decretal ‘for the first time found admission into papal legislation,’ and that regulation of the status of the Jews was postponed by Frederick II from 1235 to 1236 when the concept ‘canonized by incorporation in the papal code, could influence the formulation of the servitus camerae in 1236. But the decretal was included in Compilatio III ‘die erste offizielle Dekretalensammlung’; Stephan Kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik 1140-1234 (Vatican City 1937) 355. It is worth noting that the phrase, tanquam servi, which appears both in William the Breton and the ordinance of 1230, was used in the bull of 1205, which strongly suggests that the concept in French secular law came from the bull and was current around the royal court by 1217.

93 See nn. 1 and 2 above. The only clear exceptions among those cited there are Luchaire and Petiet. Luchaire, Manuel des institutions 490-491, only discusses thirteenth-century legislation in general terms, suggesting that some were applicable to the whole kingdom. Petiet, Du pouvoir législatif 49-51, thinks that the ordinance only bound those present and, because of the enforcement clause, their vassals. Lot and Fawtier are ambiguous on the point: see below n. 109.

94 Histoire du droit 120. Philip Augustus’ ordinance pro communi utilitate on champions, of 1215, which he ordered Blanche of Champagne to observe in her lands, although her consent is not recorded, apparently applied only to her lands and the royal domain despite the reference to common utility. Further its imposition on Blanche was the result of special circumstances: Ordonnances 1.35; Williston Walker, On the Increase of Royal Power in France under Philip Augustus (Leipzig 1888) 109; Flammermont, De concessu legis 12; Viollet, Histoire des institutions II 193; Petit-Dutaillis, Monarchie féodale 343. Reference to common utility probably did not make an ordinance universally binding but expressed a royal attitude. It is difficult to conceive that mention of this consideration in the preamble of the 1230 ordinance would make the magnates realize that the ordinance was therefore meant to be universally binding; a clear statement that the provisions were to be observed throughout the kingdom would have had a more obvious legal significance.

95 ‘Hec vero statuta servabimus et faciemus servari in terra nostra, et barones nostri in terris suis; et si aliqui barones noluerint hec servare, ipsos ad hoc compellemus: ad quod alii barones, cum posse suo, bona fide nos juvare tenebuntur. Et si aliqui in terris baronum invenirentur rebelles, nos et alii barones nostri juvabimus ad compellendum rebelles predicta statuta servare. Hec autem in perpetuum volumus illibata servari a nobis et baronibus nostris, et barones nostri similiter concesserunt se et heredes suos hec perpetuo servaturos. Ego Ph. comes Bolonie ea que premissa sunt volui, consului et juravi.’ Lot and Fawtier, Histoire des institutions II 291, state that this provision says that only those who had sworn would be constrained; the provision does not say so explicitly, although that is its meaning according to our interpretation.

96 The ordinance was sealed by only fifteen of the seventeen magnates whose statements of consent appear in the text; there are four seals of persons not named in the text. Lot and Fawtier, ibid., say that twenty barons subscribed the ordinance. There are twenty seals, but one is the royal seal. Twenty-one persons, other than the king, are indicated by the text or by seals. There are statements of adhesion by Louis IX, Thibaut IV of Champagne Hugh X of Lusignan, Hugh IV of Burgundy, Hugh V of Saint-Pol, Henry II of Bar-le-Duc, Archambaud of Bourbon, William of Dampierre, and Guy of Dampierre, who are indicated as possessors of Jews by other evidence: see nn. 40-42, 44, 50, 105.

97 See above pp. 217f., 219.

98 ‘De Christianis vero statuimus quod nullas usuras de debitis contrahendis eos faciemus habere, nos seu barones nostri. Usuras autem intelligimus quicquid est ultra sortem.’

99 See Appendix.

100 Painter, Sidney, The Scourge of the Clergy Peter of Dreux , Duke of Brittany (Baltimore 1937) 54ff.

101 Cf. Viollet, Histoire des institutions II 193: ‘En 1230, il proclame une seconde fois ce même droit souverain …’; Petit-Dutaillis, Monarchie féodale 343: ‘Louis VIII, en 1223, va bien plus loin … Le comte de Champagne n'ayant pas assisté à l'assemblée de 1223, le roi Louis VIII exigea de lui la promesse de respecter la clause susdite; s'il y était refusé, les vingt-quatre signataires de l'ordonnance eussent aidé le roi à l'y contraindre’; Olivier-Martin, Histoire du droit 120: ‘Les établissements royaux les plus importants sont ceux qui sont faits pour l'utilité du royaume et qui sont applicables, par la même, per totum regnum.’ (Italics mine). and Fawtier, Lot, Histoire des institutions 291, take a more moderate if ambiguous position: see below n. 109.

102 Correspondence administrative d'Alphonse de Poitiers, ed. Molinier, A. (Collection de documents inédits sur l'histoire de France; Paris 1894-1900) I, nos. 667-670. The prohibition of enforcement of debts to Jews became known within the royal domain, as can be seen from a complaint of 1247. Querimoniae Turonum, Pictavorum et Santonum, anno 1247, HF 24, no. 745: ‘Petit Guillermus … XI libras, quas compulit solvere cuidam Judaeo Paganus de Sancto Venancio, tunc praepositus, a XX annis citra, cum jam facta esset prohibicio a rege, ut dicitur, quod non compellerentur christiani per baillivos ad solvendum. Juratum est, et credit Mathaeus quod a XX annis fuit facta prohibicio praedicta, et tempore eciam regis Philippi.’ See also ibid. nos. 72, 553, 1086, 1097, 1103, 1104, 1260, 1343, 1456, 1459, 1461, 1530, 1535, 1883 and 1884. In the complaint quoted the reference may be to the prohibition of 1226-1227 (see above p. 222) rather than to that of 1230, although the memories of the witnesses seem vague and inaccurate. It is clear from other complaints that some royal officials continued to enforce debts and usury after 1230.

103 The impact of the change of policy from profitable enforcement of debts to Jews to denial of the validity of Jewish debts and usury seems to have been very gradual. The Coutume de Touraine-Anjou, probably composed about 1246, stressed possessory rights over and profits from Jews. Les établissements de Saint Louis, ed. Viollet, P. (Société de l'histoire de France; Paris 1881-1886) II, 249-251: ‘Se aucuns hom estoit qui deüst deniers au juif lou roi, et lit juis s'an fust clamez à la joutise le roi et li bers en qui chastelrie li hom seroit en demandast la cort à avoir, se il bien le trovoit defendant, si n'en avroit il point, car li mueble au juif sunt au roi…. Et einsinc se li bers avoit juif qui se plainsist des homes au vavasor … car tuit li mueble au juif sunt au baron.’ Beaumanoir, about 1280, does not discuss these profitable rights but stresses the illegality of usurious contracts whether by Christians or by Jews. Philippe de Beaumanoir, Coutumes de Beauvaisis, ed. Salmon, A. (Collection de textes pour servir à l’étude et à l'enseignment de l'histoire; Paris 1899-1900) II 474: ‘II est defendu as crestiens, pour ce n'est il pas abandonné a juis, car en toutes manieres et a toutes gens usure doit estre defendue ne, puis qu'ele soit prouvee, nule justice ne la doit fere paier.’

104 Richard, Ducs de Bourgogne 361.

105 In 1246 the abbot of Saint Remi of Reims issued a vidimus of the royal letters of 1228-1229 containing mutual non-retention promises of the king and Thibaut of Champagne: Grayzel, The Church and the Jews 355 no. 15. In 1247 the abbot of Saint Loup of Troyes and the abbot of Pruillé separately conducted inquests to prove that Jews had lived in the lands and been under the dominium of Thibaut for over nineteen years: ibid. 356 no. 18; Layettes III no. 3591. In all three instances, the right seems to be based on the non-retention charter of 1228-1229 (above n. 72), not on the ordinance of 1230. Thibaut was probably protecting his possessions against a royal capture of Jews of 1246, for Louis IX ordered his officials to return the Jews of others who had been captured with royal Jews: De Vic, Claude and Vaissete, Joseph, Histoire générale de Languedoc , new ed. (Toulouse 1864-1889) VIII 1191. A similar problem arose between Thibaut and the king from the capture of Jews of 1268: Layettes IV no. 5488. The officials of Alphonse of Poitiers in 1257 and 1268-1269 captured the Jews of other magnates, who complained, and the officials were ordered to return their Jews: Antoine Thomas, ‘Les plaintes de la comtesse de la Marche contre Thibaud de Neuvi, sénéchal de Poitou (vers 1257),’ Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes, 68 (1907) 509-524; Correspondence administrative d’Alfonse de Poitiers I nos. 646-650, 658, 761, 888, 1047, 1459; II, nos. 1747, 1817. See also the cases in Les Olim ou régistres des arrêts rendus par la cour du roi, ed. A. Beugnot, A. (Collection de documents inédits sur l'histoire de France; Paris 1839) I 122 no. 13, 791 no. 4, 793 no. 7, 811 no. 32, 821 no. 16, etc. In none of these documents is there any reference to the ordinance of 1230, or to its reaffirmation in Saint Louis’ reforming orders of 1254: Ordonnances I 75.

106 It should be clear that the rule, that no one could take the Jew of another, neither inaugurated rights over Jews nor laid down a criterion for rightful exercise of such rights over particular Jews. Proof of rights over a particular Jew consisted in proof of seisin of such rights, proof that a Jew had lived in the lands and been under the dominium of a lord for a length of time. The ordinance of 1230 may have tended to make 1230 the date from which seisin had to be proved, but it did not define which rights exercised for what length of time would substantiate a claim that a Jew was Judeus meus. All that the rule demanded was that possession of rights over particular Jews, already a recognized concept when Philip Augustus spoke of Judei nostri in 1198, should be respected by all.

107 Painter, Scourge of the Clergy 88.

108 Brussel, Nouvel examen I 590 note a.

109 Lot and Fawtier, Histoire des institutions II 175, say that the ordinance of 1223 was intended to apply to the whole kingdom, but later (ibid. 291) they say that the texts of the ordinances of 1223 and 1230 do not absolutely prove that absent barons were bound to observe the ordinances. They suggest that absent barons were morally bound to observe them. This distinction between the legal and moral obligations of the absent confuses the legal issue of whether barons were legally bound to observe ordinances intended to bind them, but made in their absence and without their consent. Although Thibaut had consented to the ordinance, the non-retention provision was intended to be legally binding through the kingdom, and there is little reason to think that Louis would have made any distinction between those who had been present and those who had been absent if they failed to observe this provision. Any difference in treatment would probably have depended purely on the importance of the case and the practical possibility of enforcement. Any other supposition makes the careful wording of the non-retention provision meaningless. It is difficult to believe that a baron in 1230 would feel a moral obligation to observe a secular law not legally applicable to him. He might feel a moral obligation if the law was intended to accomplish a recognized religious purpose, but then it would be the authority of the Church, not of the king, which would make it morally binding.

110 The ordinance of 1230 might be said, with some exaggeration, to be the limit of legislative memory in thirteenth-century France inasmuch as St. Louis’ reforming orders of 1254 (Ordonnances 1.74-75) rehearsed only two previous ordinances: an ordinance commanding, inter alia, the burning of Jewish books and therefore promulgated after the campaign to burn the Talmud which began in 1239 (Caro, Sozialgeschichte I 376); and the ordinance of 1230. The ordinance of 1223 is not mentioned. On the other hand, Beaumanoir, ed. cit. I 212, does refer to an ordinance on dowry of 1214-1215 which, according to Beaumanoir, Philip Augustus commanded to be held throughout the kingdom with certain exceptions. Beaumanoir is probably wrong; Lot and Fawtier, Histoire des institutions II 291, believe that it was only a domain ordinance. There were also memories within the domain of the prohibition of usury and enforcement of debts to Jews, which did not apply to the whole kingdom either: above n. 103.

111 Langlois, C. V., Le règne de Philippe III le Hardi (Paris 1887) 285.

112 Histoire des institutions I 243.

113 Although the sworn associations of the peace should not be forgotten as an indication of the instinctive tendency to common regulation when strong secular authority was lacking.

114 Potthast 347.

115 Auvray, Lucien, Les registres de Grégoire IX (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d’Athènes et de Rome, 2nd series 9; Paris 1896-1908) I no. 1216. Discussion of the bull above pp. 223-225.

Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

‘Judei nostri' and the Beginning of Capetian Legislation
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

‘Judei nostri' and the Beginning of Capetian Legislation
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

‘Judei nostri' and the Beginning of Capetian Legislation
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *