Henry II of England:
Concerning Loans From The Jews
24. Chapter Concerning the Jews: All debts and pledges of Jews shall be
written down, lands, houses, rents, and possessions. But a Jew who conceals any of these
things shall be in forfeit to the lord king both in his person, in what he has concealed,
and in all his goods and chattels. Nor shall it be lawful for the Jew ever to recover what
he has concealed.
And let six or seven places be provided where they may make their declarations; and let
two lawful Christians, and two lawful Jews and two lawful clerks be appointed. Let the
Jews make their declarations in the presence of those men and in the presence of the clerk
of William of the church of St. Mary and of William of Chimilli, and let the charters of
their declarations be made in the form of a chirograph. One part of the chirograph shall
remain with the Jew, signed with the seal of him to whom the money is lent; and the other
part shall remain in the common chest to which there are three locks, to which the two
Christians shall have one key, the two Jews another, and the clerk of William of the
church of St. Mary and of William of Chimilli shall have the third. Moreover let there be
three seals and let those who have the keys affix the seals. But the two clerks shall have
a roll of the copies of all charters, and as the charters are changed so let the roll be
changed. Three denarii shall be given for each charter; half by the Jew and half by him to
whom the money is lent; and the two clerks shall have two denarii and the keeper of the
rolls shall have the third denarius. No declaration shall be made in future, no payment
made to a Jew, nor shall any change be made in the charters except in the presence of
those mentioned or of the greater part of them, if they are not all able to be present.
And the said two Christians shall have one roll of receipts of payments to be made to Jews
in future, and the two Jews shall have one, and the keeper of the rolls shall have one.
Also every Jew shall swear upon his roll that all his debts, pledges, rents, goods, and
possessions have been written down by him, and that he has hidden nothing, as we have
said. And if any one learn that some one has hidden something, let him reveal it secretly
to the judges sent to him, and let them detect and expose forgers of charters, and
clippers of coins, and likewise concerning false charters.
From: William Stubbs & H. W. C. Davis, ed., Select Charters of English
Constitutional History, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), p. 256, reprinted 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.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998