Hiring of a Suit of Armor, 1248
Movable goods of durability and value as well as immovable goods were subject to
hire. In the troublous times of the seventh crusade (Louis IX) Italian merchants utilized
the opportunity to follow in the wake of the armies for the sake of trade, and a suit of
armor was a necessity. The rental in this instance was almost 25 per cent of the value.
July twenty-seventh. In the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1248.
I, Bonfils Manganelli, of Gaeta, acknowledge and confess to you, Atenoux Pecora, of
Gaeta, that I have taken and received from you a certain suit of armor at a rent of
seventeen solidi in mixed money now current in Marseilles, which seventeen solidi I have
already paid you, renouncing all claims, etc. This armor I should take on the next voyage
I am to make across the sea, for the price mentioned, at your risk and for your profit,
going across the sea and returning to Marseilles. But if, on the completion of the said
voyage, I should make another voyage with the said armor, I promise to pay you by this
agreement, as hire for the said armor, one augustal of gold, and on the return from the
said voyage to pay you that augustal and to return the armor or its value, namely seventy
solidi in mixed money now current in Marseilles, if by chance the armor should be lost
through my fault. Or I promise to bring the said armor to your profit under pledge of all
my goods, present and future, renouncing the protection of all laws, etc. Witnesses, etc.
From: L. Blancard, ed., Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age,
(Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. II, p. 305, in Roy C. Cave &
Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The
Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 110-111.
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