Front Page Titles (by Subject) FIRST FRAGMENT OF THE COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED MEMORIALS OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIERS ÉTAT. (A DESCRIPTION OF ANCIENT MUNICIPAL FRANCE.) * - The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 2
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FIRST FRAGMENT OF THE COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED MEMORIALS OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIERS ÉTAT. (A DESCRIPTION OF ANCIENT MUNICIPAL FRANCE.) * - Augustin Thierry, The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 2 
The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France, translated from the French by the Rev. Francis B. Wells, Two volumes in One (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1859).
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FIRST FRAGMENT OF THE COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED MEMORIALS OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIERS ÉTAT.
Summary: The actual Extent of France, divided with a view to the History of the Municipal System into Three Zones and Five Regions, viz.:—1. The Northern Region; 2. The Southern; 3. The Central; 4. The Western; 5. The Eastern and South-eastern.—The Northern Region, comprising Picardy, Artois, Flanders, Lorraine, Champagne, Normandy, and the Ile-de-France—The Southern, comprising Provence, Comtat-Venaissin, Languedoc, Auvergne, Limousin and Marche, Guienne and Périgord, Gascony, Béarn and Basse-Navarre, Comté de Foix and Roussillon—The Central, comprising Orléanais and Gâtinais, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, Berri, Nivernais, Bourbonnais and Burgundy—The Western, comprising Britanny, Poitou, Angoumois, Aunis and Saintonge—The Eastern and South-eastern, comprising Alsace, Franche-Comté, Lyonnais, Bresse, and Dauphiny.
The municipal history of ancient France, which forms the foundation and principal part of the history of the Tiers Etat, has only lately obtained the high degree of importance and consideration which it deserved in public opinion. It was necessary for this purpose that modern revolutions, by displaying themselves before our eyes, should have taught us to observe and understand the revolutions of the middle ages. It is thus that a new historical meaning has been given to that which was called, by too modest a name, the enfranchisement of the communes; and that we have recognised all the characteristics of a real revolution in an event which had been hitherto classed among the administrative reforms of the French Crown. The complex question of the revival of the free municipalities in the twelfth century has from the first been treated in an imperfect, if not a partial, manner. There were different and, apparently, contradictory solutions—according to the point of view in which each author was placed by choice or chance—one considering, above all things, the uninterrupted duration of the municipal system, another, its sudden rejuvenescence, caused by a new spirit and by new constitutions; the latter, the act of concession or arrangement which emanated from the royal or seigneurial power; the former, the initiative taken by the bourgeoisie and the revolutionary tendency.* Next, in proportion as the problem has been introduced into scientific discussion, these divergent views approached one another; a more enlarged and superior position was adopted, comprising them both, which, taking into consideration all the principles of the great municipal movement of the twelfth century, admits, at the same time, in order to explain it in its causes and its results, the traditional element and the inspiration that gave it new life, a spirit of wise liberality on the part of the rulers, and the exercise, irresistible when it is just, of the popular will.
The present state of our information enables us to consider two points in the communal revolution; on the one hand, the ground of this revolution or its spirit, on the other, the new forms of municipality which it has created. The ground is the same from one end of actual France to the other; it is, in the case of all the cities where it makes itself felt, in the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the need of progress and of a guarantee for civil liberty, a more or less ardent desire of substituting an elective magistracy for the feudal powers: as to the form, it varies according to the zones of the territory. As we have seen, in the Essay on the History of the Tiers Etat,* a municipal constitution borrowed from Italy, in which the magistrates bore the title of consuls, spread itself from city to city in the south; in the north, there was extended in the same manner a constitution of a different origin, the commune, properly so called, or the municipality organised by an association and mutual assurance of the citizens under the guarantee of an oath.* These two currents of constitutional propagandism, advancing, the one from south to north, the other from north to south, and stopping at certain distances, left neutral an intermediate zone, in which the urban administration preserved its ancient forms, either intact, or variously and slightly modified. Such is the picture of municipal France in the middle ages. Three great divisions are marked out in it by lines drawn from east to west,—the zone of the consular government, the zone of the communal government, and the zone of municipal towns left unreformed, and of cities governed simply by the bourgeoisie. I ask the reader’s pardon for these obscure forms. I do not dilate upon them here, I only recall to memory, in as few words as possible, what I have expressed and developed elsewhere.†
Under the division of the French territory into three zones, a secondary one may be traced, which divides it into five regions, each composed of many provinces, and presenting essential differences as to the origins and organisation of the municipal system. These are according to the names which I give them, and the order in which I propose successively to describe them,—the regions of the North, the South, the Centre, the West, and the East and South-east.
The region of the north, which is the cradle, and, if I may use the expression, the classic ground of the communes jurées, comprises Picardy, Artois, Flanders, Lorraine, Champagne, Normandy, and the Ile-de-France, provinces, of which each presents in its municipal institutions, together with general characteristics which are common to all, certain peculiarities of its own.
Among these provinces, Picardy is the one which comprises the largest number of communes, properly so called, in which this form of government attains the highest degree of independence, and in which it presents the greatest variety in its applications.* It is here that we can observe the curious fact of the filiation of the communal charters, and of their diffusion by the force of example, either in the same province or beyond its boundaries, and, sometimes, at great distances.* French Flanders, dismembered from Belgian Flanders, and Artois, anciently placed under the same seigniory as the latter province, have a common type of municipal organisation. The principal trait of this resemblance consists in the fact that the commune jurée does not appear alone, but is in a manner accompanied by the Institution of Peace, a relic of the Truce of God, maintained as an establishment of urban police under the authority of special magistrates.† In Lorraine, the three ancient episcopal cities, especially Metz, present, together with institutions which are not found elsewhere, the most decided character of municipal independence.‡ With regard to the rest, there is a fact worthy of remark, viz. that all, with scarcely an exception, have received their charter, or, as it is expressed, la loi, from Beaumont-en-Argonne, a small city of Champagne, founded towards the end of the twelfth century. In this last province, with the exception of Rheims, an old municipal city, which attempted to add the communal liberty to its traditional immunities, with the exception, too, of Sens and Meaux, which became communes jurées, the one by insurrection, the other by concession, the urban organisation displays but little strength, and is limited to the guarantee of purely civil rights. In Normandy, Rouen, and the other great cities, are communes constituted after a remarkable type: they have a mayor, twelve échevins, twelve councillors, and seventy-five peers, making in all one hundred members for the municipal body. This constitution was thence adopted in the south, on the lands in the possession of the English. In the Ile-de-France we observe the constitutional type of the communes of Southern Picardy reappear;* Paris, together with its municipality of time immemorial, presents a character of its own, in which the Roman tradition subsists under forms originating in the middle ages, in which liberty, complete in regard to civil right, has little influence in regard to political right.
The second region, that of the south, is the field in which the form of municipal constitution which I have designated by the name of consular government was propagated on its arrival from Italy. The provinces which we can range in this division of the country are, Provence, Comtat-Venaissin, Languedoc, Auvergne, Limousin and Marche, Guienne and Périgord, Gascony, Béarn and Basse-Navarre, the county of Foix and Roussillon. I except from this list Lyonnais, Bresse, and Dauphiny, for reasons which I shall mention later. In the region of the south, the title of Consuls implies the same offices as the title of Echevins in that of the north;* but, generally, the power attached to these offices is more extensive and more independent; it raises itself, in the case of the greater part of the cities, to a kind of divided sovereignty, and in the case of some, even to the plenitude of the republican government. This region, in which the continuance of the municipal system from the times of the Romans manifests itself more clearly than anywhere else, is that which presents the greatest monuments of urban legislation: laws for the administration of justice and police, laws of election to the magisterial offices, and organic laws for constitutional reforms. The ancient statutes, corresponding to the communal charters of the cities of the north, are drawn up with more copiousness, skill, and method. A great number among them are real civil and criminal codes, remains of the law or the Roman jurisprudence preserved, in isolated instances, as common law.*
Provence and Comtat-Venaissin were, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the focus of Italian tradition; it was there that, after the establishment of the consular municipality, the strange institution of the Podestat† was implanted in three great cities. Marseilles, Arles, and Avignon, stand alone in this respect, as well as in that of their municipal independence and power. Inferior to them in different degrees, the other cities of the same provinces still have this in common with them, that the consulate there presents itself as a more energetic form given to immemorial liberties, and that this change of constitution there appears as the work of the nobility as well as of the bourgeoisie. Almost everywhere the urban magistracy is divided between these two classes, who exercise it conjointly and with a good understanding;* we perceive that there was much less distance between them there than elsewhere. In the cities of Provence, as well as in those of Comtat, the college of consuls, which varied as to number, was attended by two councils, of which the most numerous had the name of General Council.† Besides, when a matter of high importance was being treated of, extraordinary meetings, convoked under the name of parlement, and composed of all the heads of families, were held in the churches or in the open air.
It is curious to observe with what rapidity the movement, which spread the reform, or, to speak more accurately, the consular revolution reached the cities in Languedoc which were farthest from Italy. The consulate, established at Arles in 1131,* appears at Béziers in that same year; at Montpellier in 1141; at Nîmes in 1145; at Narbonne in 1148; and at Toulouse in 1188.† As regards equality in the development of municipal institutions, Languedoc ought to be placed before all the other provinces; the small cities were there on a level with the great in this respect, and a number of boroughs and villages bore a comparison with the cities. In its prerogatives the consulate, almost everywhere, answered to the idea of a complete government. This magistracy was surrounded with a senatorial magnificence, the insignia of which often formed a contrast with the condition and daily life of those who were invested with them by universal suffrage.* In Languedoc as well as in Provence the high bourgeoisie were scarcely distinguished from the nobility; the bourgeois, from time immemorial, and without having experienced the necessity of a dispensation or express permission for the purpose, were able to acquire and possess, with full liberty, the lands of nobles. Toulouse, with its twenty-four consuls, to whom the more ancient name of capitouls was commonly given, was the one which had the greatest importance and splendour of all the municipal cities. At Nîmes there were, at first, two distinct cities, the cité and the quartier des arènes, and each possessed its several consulate; these two municipalities were united in 1207. It was the same with Narbonne, where there existed the city properly so called, and what was named the borough; but their union was not so readily effected, and even to the middle of the fourteenth century there existed two colleges of consuls. At Montpellier, the consular government, established by means of an insurrection against the then Seigneur,* at first only lasted two years, the period of the revolt. A counter-revolution brought back the former government with the old title of Prud’hommes; that of consuls reappeared after sixty-three years,† but this time in perpetuity, and with a magnificence which seems to prove how popular this title was. There were in the definitive constitution as many as twelve consuls mayeurs for the general governments, consuls de mer‡ to execute the regulations of the customs, and commercial relations with maritime powers, consuls to judge causes of traders by sea,§ and, lastly, a consul for each of the seven classes, in which the inhabitants of the city were arranged according to their different callings.
Auvergne, Limousin, and Marche, in the southern region, form the boundary to the north of that which I have named the zone of the consular system, a boundary which is continued to the east in another municipal region by Forez, Lyonnais, and Bresse. Still farther to the north the appellation of consuls disappeared; we only meet with those of Maires, Echevins, Prud’hommes, Jurés, Syndics, Conseillers, Procureurs, Gouverneurs, or Elus. The municipalities of Auvergne present no prominent feature; they possess consuls whose prerogatives are everywhere almost the same, and whose powers are restricted, at Clermont, by the officers of the bishop, at Aurillac, by those of the abbé, and at Riom, by those of the count, or the king. In Marche, a country of petty boroughs rather than of cities, the consulate, established subsequently to the thirteenth century, is a name of scarcely any importance. In Limousin, we find again this system in its southern energy; it appears at Limoges in the twelfth century, and continues there in full freedom till towards the end of the thirteenth. At that period, after a struggle maintained by the bourgeois against the claims of the viscount, a struggle remarkable from the part which the confederated association of the cities of the north took in it, the bourgeoisie, compelled to yield, makes a treaty of peace which mutilates its constitution and the rights of its magistrates.* Périgord presents in its capital the example of a destiny very different, of a municipal independence which may be called absolute, and the history of which abounds in particulars which are full of interest. We find there, as at Nîmes and Narbonne, the separation into two cities, but with this difference, that the most ancient of the two, the cité, preserves, up to the middle of the thirteenth century, a government of immemorial tradition, free under the patronage of the bishops, with aristocratic forms, and with a magistracy undistinguished by any special name;* while the borough† followed the movement of the period, by assuming the consular constitution. We observe, moreover, the spirit of this revolutionary constitution introduce between these two cities, which were already rivals, a political antagonism and struggles carried on in arms which are terminated in 1240 by the ascendancy of the reforming principle, and their union in one common democratic community, under the government of the consulate. Besides, this system itself undergoes a reform; it is rendered more active and concentrated by the addition of a mayor to the twelve consuls, a practice of which the cities of Guienne, under the Anglo-Norman dominion, had learnt the advantages in their relations, which had become more frequent with the communes of the north.‡ Under this constitution of mixed origin, the city of Périgueux possessed, up to the revolution of 1789, a complete municipal sovereignty, liberty in everything, except the homage due to the Crown, such as was rendered by the feudatories for the time being: this is what is expressed by the official formula of the public deliberations—the citizen seigneurs of Périgueux.
At Bordeaux, the office of mayor, introduced into the municipal organisation towards the end of the twelfth century, encountered there, not the consular system, but a more ancient form of municipality, in which the principal title of the magistracy was that of Jurats, a title which is found in a number of cities from the Gironde to the midst of the chain of the Pyrenées. It appears that this constitution, existing beyond memory at Bordeaux, was there very freely and extensively developed; and it was there that it had strength to resist the spirit of reform which propagated the consulate. In 1244 the corporation was composed of a mayor, whose office was annual, fifty jurats, thirty councillors, and three hundred citizens, elected by the people, with the name of Defenseurs, to lend assistance to the government. Towards the end of the thirteenth century, the number of jurats was reduced to twenty-four, and that of the defenseurs to one hundred. At different periods all the cities of the Bordelais modelled their constitutions on that of the capital, and the great part of them were called alliées and filleules of Bordeaux.* Besides, the imitation of the same constitutional type, extended itself into western Gascony, towards the south; it is found at Réole, Mont-de-Marsan, Saint-Sever, and Dax. There exists there a whole family of urban constitutions, whose common character is the association of the mairie with the jurade, and though it occupies a territory of small extent, it deserves to be separately classed. In the rest of Gascony we observe the consulate reappear, not in its highest degree of independence, but with restricted powers and a divided jurisdiction. These cities of eastern Guienne present in their history some peculiarities worthy of remark; Cahors, a municipal city reformed by the consular propagandism, is one of those which struggled with the greatest constancy for the maintenance and development of their new constitution; Agen, a municipal city, not reformed, whose traditional government was a college of twelve prud’hommes, saw the collective title of those magistrates, the conseil, changed, by a mere alteration of expression, into that of consuls;* at Rhodez, where the cité and the bourg formed, as at Périgueux, two cities and two distinct municipalities, this separation continued entire and absolute up to the middle of the eighteenth century.
Béarn, united to lower Navarre, presents a class of communities governed uniformly by the fors, or municipal statutes, analogous to the fueros of Spain. The cities, both great and small, have jurats to the number of six or four, and these magistrates administer freely and without division civil and criminal justice.* In the midst of this unity of administrative and judicial organisation the city of Bayonne detaches itself and forms a contrast with all the others. We observe it, at the commencement of the thirteenth century, abandon its indigenous municipal system and look abroad for a foreign constitution, that of the Norman communes, imported and perfectionised in the cities of Poitou and Saintonge. There was a twofold motive—the suzerainty of the kings of England, extending from Normandy to the Pyrenées, and the commerce of a maritime city, which thus brings back to the extremities of the municipal zone of the south the commune jurée in its native form, with all its rules and usages. In the terms of the royal charter granted in 1215,† the corporation of Bayonne was composed of a mayor, his lieutenant, twelve échevins, twelve councillors, and seventy-five peers. Together with the new municipal officers, the foreign nomenclature which served to designate them was introduced; but, with regard to the collective designation of the citizens, custom preserved under the communal system the same title as before: those who, in the cities of the north, were distinguished by the name of jurées, were called voisins at Bayonne; and this word received the political meaning of the other—that of members of the commune associated by oath.*
The consulate reappears in the cities of the county of Foix; we see it at Pamiers invested with very extensive prerogatives; it is in the mountain close to this city that we find the curious republican federation of the six communities of the Val-d’Andorre. The cities of Roussillon, all governed by a small number of consuls,† present this particular characteristic, that the most prominent feature of their municipal existence is its military organisation. A long time previous to the definitive reform of their political constitution, they exercised the right of war to avenge and satisfy wrongs inflicted on the generality of their inhabitants, or on some of them, or even on an individual member.‡ Elne, the ancient episcopal city, obtained from its bishop, in 1155, a charter which guaranteed this right to it in full, without yielding any part of the jurisdiction, which it reserved absolutely to the bishop. In all the cities of this province, whatever might be in other respects the degree of their independence, the first consul was hereditary commandant of the urban militia, and, in this character, he had the right of life and death over the citizens. At Perpignan, the consular government, established in 1196 by the general will, and after deliberation among the inhabitants,* was independent on all points and completely democratic. The five consuls, elected for a year, at first alone, afterwards with a council of twelve, then of sixty and ninety members, possessed the judicial power in its full extent, and the legislative power, with the necessity, however, of taking the advice of the whole body of the citizens in matters of importance. Although divided into three classes, which were called mains,† and whose rivalry frequently induced discords and acts of violence, the citizens were all equal in political rights.
I now pass on to the third municipal region, to that which I have named the central region: it comprises Orléanais and Gâtinais, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, Berri, Nivernais, Bourbonnais, and Burgundy. This vast portion of the territory is, in a manner, the kernel of the intermediate zone, situated between the two great zones of the communal association to the north, and of the consulate* to the south. The commune jurée is not found, except with very rare exceptions, and the title of consuls only appears twice, in the twelfth century, in Burgundy, in a small city which revolted, from which it soon disappeared again;† and in the thirteenth century in Bourbonnais, in a municipality close to Auvergne, and constituted under the influence of that neighbourhood.‡ Here the general rule is no longer in favour of one or other of the two forms of government created by the municipal revolution of the twelfth century; it is, in the first place, in favour of earlier constitutions, more or less free, more or less democratic, whose origin is lost in the night which separates the great movement of renovation and urban independence from the municipal system of the Roman times. It is, in the second place, in favour of the civil liberties, either absolutely free, or joined to a certain amount of administrative rights, but without political guarantees, without jurisdiction, without an independent magistracy, without that half-sovereignty which was the primitive character, the ideal object, at least, if not always attained, of the consulate and the commune.* When we approach this region of the centre, in which almost all the cities, great or small, old or recent, escaped the action of the reforming propagandism of the twelfth century, we touch the problem of our municipal history, which is the most difficult and the least cleared up at the present time. It is here that we need, more than anywhere else, a scrutinising attention, and a great accuracy of analysis. It is no longer required to describe institutions which originated at a certain time, and were spread over large districts by the power of example. That which requires to be pointed out and understood are constitutional changes effected in the old municipal towns at an unknown period, the written proof of which has long since entirely disappeared, and which can be ascertained by inference alone.
The municipality of Chartres, in the middle ages, was composed of ten prud’hommes, administrators of the common affairs of the city, a number which seems to be a traditional continuation of the part which was filled by the ten of the senate decemprimi, decaproti, in the Roman municipal system.* The jurisdiction and police were entirely in the hands of a prévôt—first, under the seigneur, afterwards under the king. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the prud’hommes were increased to twelve, and took the name of échevins; in the sixteenth century they obtained the right of administration of the police. At Orléans the same number of ten, designated by the same title, denotes an original conformity in the municipal government of the two cities. The second of them attempted, about ad 1137, to follow the movement of the period; it constituted itself into a commune jurée, without the acknowledgment and even to the detriment of the royal authority, which punished it severely in consequence.† Every vestige of a communal constitution then disappeared, and Orléans resumed its ancient system, entirely free as far as its urban administration was concerned, while justice, both in regard to civil and criminal matters, was committed to a bailli and a prévôt of the king. As at Chartres, and at the same period, the ten prud’-hommes, increased to twelve, changed their name; they were called procureurs de ville, and some time afterwards échevins. Etampes obtained from Philippe-Auguste the liberty which his predecessor had refused to Orléans, of raising itself to a commune; but the small city, better treated in this respect than the great, did not long enjoy this privilege. Its commune was abolished for ever in 1196, at the request of the ecclesiastics and nobles whose serfs it enfranchised. In the other cities of the province we only discover some rude sketches of a municipality without any decisive character, and, for the most part, of no great antiquity.
Lorris in Gâtinais presents the curious example of the greatest amount of civil without any political rights—without any jurisdiction, and even without the prerogatives of administration. The position given to that small city from the first years of the twelfth century, by its charter of customs, anticipated, in some sort, the greater part of the essential conditions of modern society. Largely endowed with immunities for person and property, it did not form a corporation, and had not, in any degree, a police belonging to it. Notwithstanding, its charter was the object of ambition to a multitude of cities which solicited and obtained it, either of the kings or the seigneurs. The popularity of this charter increased and spread during the centuries in which the municipalities with political privileges gradually declined. As its nature was exclusively civil, adapting it to pass from the state of urban law to that of territorial custom, it took that part in the jurisprudence, and ended by regulating not only the condition of the bourgeois, in such or such a place, but the law of the commonalty of a whole province.*
The city of Mans is one of three which, prior to the twelfth century, gave the first example of the communal insurrection, and it preceded the two others; its commune, confederated in 1072 against the power of the count, and in agreement with the bishop, did not last longer than a year.† After having made head against the local seigneur, it sank without a struggle under the power of William the Conqueror, who came from England with considerable forces to enforce his claims upon the county of Maine. After that we find in Mans nothing but the government of spurious municipalities, deprived of all peculiar jurisdiction, till the day when the city obtained a charter from Louis XI., which raised it into a community, under a mayor, six peers, and six councillors, having the right of a police, and very extensive rights of administration of justice. In this province, in which almost all the municipalities were incomplete, that of Ferté-Bernard can be quoted as a type of the urban organisation reduced to its most simple form,—an elective syndic charged with the receipt and outlay of the public funds. Anjou is still more feeble than Maine, as to the development and the liberty of its municipal institutions. Towards the end of the twelfth century Angers appears to have an organised militia; but its whole government is limited to a city council, dependent on the officers of the count, deprived of jurisdiction, and without a claim to any special office for any of its members. This immemorial municipality continued, or rather dragged on, its existence, which became weaker and weaker, to the time when Anjou was definitively united to the Crown; then, by a grant of Louis XI., it gave place to a more complex constitution, more elaborate in regard to its form, and, in regard to its foundation, perfectly free. It possessed a mayor, a sub-mayor, eighteen échevins, and thirty-six councillors, together with all the rights, famous for their extent, which the commune of Rochelle possessed.* Louis XI. granted to the bourgeois of Angers these considerable privileges thirteen years after having made the same concession to the bourgeois of Tours.
Tours, in the twelfth century, and still earlier, formed two distinct cities—the cité and the bourg of Saint-Martin, which was called Châteauneuf. There was in the case of the cité an immemorial constitution, in which all the powers, with certain restrictions difficult to determine, belonged to four prud’hommes, elected annually by the entire body of the citizens. Châteauneuf revolted about ad 1125 against the seigneurie of the chapter of Saint-Martin, adopted a communal organisation, which some forced capitulations and the royal mediation reduced, after a long struggle, to the government of ten prud’hommes, without judicial competency.† In the thirteenth century the two cities were united, and the constitution with the greatest freedom, that of the cité, then became their common government; only the four prud’hommes, the administrators and judges, were increased by two, who were henceforward chosen by the inhabitants of the bourg.* It is this constitution, of a simplicity, so to speak, elementary, which in 1461 replaced the municipal government of Rochelle; a mayor, twenty-four échevins, and seventy-five peers, having full jurisdiction, both civil and criminal.† In the case of the other cities of Touraine, the most general and earliest form of municipality is the financial administration, with or without the rights of a police, discharged by two persons elected for the purpose.
Bourges is the one of the episcopal cities in which appear in the most striking manner the signs of a democratic revolution prior to the great movement from which issued the consulate and the commune,—a revolution of which no historical evidence exists, and which, reviving, perhaps, the remains of the Roman senate, had ejected at the same blow the power of the bishop and the count from the municipal government. From remote antiquity up to the twelfth century the city had been governed by four prud’hommes, annually elected, having the right of dispensing justice in all causes,* and administering all matters of common interest, on their own responsibility, up to a certain amount, and, above that, with the obligatory co-operation of the general meeting of the inhabitants. This constitution, rendered frequently subject to stormy struggles by its very nature, was destroyed by Louis XI. after an émeute, in which the royal officers, constrained to treat with the general meeting for the assessment of a tax, had been maltreated and threatened with death by the people. Whatever resentment the king—who was little inclined to pardon—might have felt at this circumstance, his spirit of liberalism, in regard to the bourgeoisie, which formed one of the most remarkable traits of his character, did not desert him. He granted the same privilege to the citizens of Bourges as to those of Tours and Angers—a government modelled after the commune of Rochelle;† and he formed the new corporation of a mayor, twelve échevins, and thirty-two councillors—the latter nominated by all the citizens, and themselves nominating the other magistrates. There were, perhaps, as many effective guarantees in this as in the old constitution of Bourges; but the latter was so deeply rooted in the recollections and affections of the people, it was so pressingly demanded again at the death of Louis XI., that his successor re-established it. By an ordinance—the terms of which are curious, from the earnestness which they disclose—Charles VIII. restored the government of the Four, with the same conditions as had existed from time immemorial; only as these magistrates had no fixed title, since the name of prud’hommes had fallen into desuetude,* it was appointed that they should hereafter be called échevins.† Some years after the office of mayor was perceived to be a useful innovation, and a mayor, appointed annually, was added as president to the four members of the échevinage.*
The constitution of Bourges has been the type of municipal liberty not only for the cities of Berri, but also for cities situated beyond that province. In the same manner as the municipalities reformed after the model of the consulate and the commune, it was a centre of propagandism, an object of emulation and imitation to those around it, an imitation which was naturally limited to the measure of their ability, and which was only found almost completely carried out in the city of Nevers. In 1231, this city, in a treaty made with its seigneur, and perhaps forced upon him, stipulated that four bourgeois, elected by the whole community, and called in the subsequent charters sometimes jurés,† sometimes échevins, should be invested with the rights of jurisdiction, administration, and police, in all degrees. These four powers, as if supreme, chose, as at Bourges, as many notables as they wished, to assist them in their judgments and deliberations. By a singular coincidence with the history of this last city, some serious disorders occurring at Nevers in the reign of Louis XII. caused the suppression of the direct election in general meeting, and the appointment of thirty-two councillors, chosen to the number of eight by each of the quarters of the city, and charged with the election of the four échevins. This constitution, which it is necessary to distinguish here from the communal government, although it contains all the same political guarantees, appears at Moulins attended by immunities purely civil, and by an administrative competency to which the jurisdiction of police was not added till very late.* The number of four for the municipal officers, whatever might be their power, generally forms the rule in the cities both great and small of Berri, Nivernais, and Bourbonnais,† and it there tallies with the division into four quarters, which ascends very far back, and seems to belong to the castrum of the Roman times.‡
In Burgundy the forms of the municipal government present a greater variety; there are some remarkable examples of an earnestness to appropriate the constitution of cities situated at a distance from the province, and of an assiduous industry to develope the primitive foundation of the indigenous municipalities. By a revolution brought about, as it appears, in the twelfth century, by agreement between the Duke of Burgundy and the inhabitants of Autun, the seigneurial office of the Viguier, or the Vierg, as it was called in that city,* was rendered municipal and elective. The Vierg of Autun, nominated annually from that time by the whole body of the citizens, and appointed first magistrate of the city, preserved all his rights as representative of the ducal power—the high, mean, and inferior jurisdiction, and the supreme command of the urban militia. Every year a very popular fête, which, from its immemorial antiquity, was associated by the Autunois with traditions derived from the Eduen republic,† the Vierg on horseback, clothed with a robe of violet-coloured satin, with his sword at his side, and a sort of sceptre in his hand, preceded by the standard of the city and followed by the bourgeois in arms, went from his house to one of the Roman gates of Autun, administering justice on the way; on his return he held a review of the militia, and presided in the great square at a mock fight.* The military authority of the Vierg of Autun lasted longer than any other of his ancient prerogatives; he was fully invested with it in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while his civil and criminal jurisdiction was first disputed and then taken away by the royal officers.
About the year 1183, the inhabitants of Dijon, struck with the reports which they heard of the cities enfranchised by the communal revolution, sought a model of a commune jurée which appeared in all respects to suit their wants, in Picardy, the focus of this revolution. It is not known from what motive they chose the commune of Soissons, nor whether the applications which they addressed to the Duke of Burgundy, in order to obtain his consent to this change of government, were made in a rebellious or pacific spirit; at all events, the Duke Hugo II. granted them, under the guarantee of the King of France, his authority to organise themselves into a commune according to the form of that of Soissons.† It is a curious fact, that they requested of the city of Soissons itself a memorandum of its rights and constitutional usages, which was forwarded to them in the form of a charter, under the seal of the commune, which they took as their model.* This constitution, which had but a short period of success in the city where it originated,† had a very different fortune at Dijon: there it had full development, and, far from losing any of its guarantees in the crisis through which it passed, it increased in liberty and power. At first, the municipality of Dijon, strictly formed on the model of Soissons, was composed of a maire, or mayeur, and of jurés, whose probable number was twelve; afterwards the jurés took the name of échevins, and their number was increased to twenty. Besides the échevinage, there were city councillors, who were joined to them to the number of twenty, then of thirty, and four prud’hommes, who appear in the case of Dijon to be a remnant of the government prior to the communal constitution. The maire conducted, with full authority, the civil and military government: he had the high jurisdiction, the high police, the exclusive command of the urban militia, and the custody of the keys of the city. From the fourteenth century, he took the title of Vicomte-Mayeur, on account of the Vicomté of Dijon, in right of seigniory over certain streets of the city, which the Duke of Burgundy had acquired and afterwards ceded to the commune;* in the seventeenth century he still wore, in the public ceremonies, a part of the costume which may be seen on the seals of the middle ages which represent him.
The city of Beaune obtained, in 1203, authority to constitute itself into a commune, according to the form of Dijon; the entire administration of justice, high, mean, and inferior, was guaranteed to it by its charter, with the exception of capital punishments, and the enjoyment of certain fines.† In 1231 the same constitution and the same liberties were granted without reserve to the inhabitants of Montbar, and in 1276 to those of Semur-en-Auxois, with two exceptions, that the Duke of Burgundy should nominate the mayor of the city, and that all the fines should belong to him.*
Auxerre had had fifteen years before Dijon the desire and opportunity of raising itself into a commune jurée; the count favoured this undertaking, probably from jealousy of the bishop—his co-seigneur, who was opposed to it, and who successfully pleaded his cause at the court of Louis le Jeune.†
This opportunity, once lost, was never recovered by the city, henceforth limited, in matter of municipal liberty, to its traditional system, a government of twelve elected magistrates, who had not even a common hall, and assembled for their deliberations in the open places or in the churches. These twelve city councillors, deprived of all jurisdiction, named from among themselves three gouverneurs for the despatch of affairs. The city of Châlon-sur-Saône succeeded in raising the power of its four prud’hommes, existing from time immemorial, to the right of administering justice in every department, sharing it with the châtelain of the Duke of Burgundy. The municipality of Mâcon presents no clearly defined form before the middle of the fourteenth century, and, since that time, the authority of its six prud’hommes, without jurisdiction, continued always dependent on the ducal or royal bailli.* At Tonnerre, there existed in the same way six elected magistrates, without judicial power, who were named échevins, and to whom there was added, towards the end of the sixteenth century, a mayor, having the jurisdiction of police. Châtillon-sur-Seine presents a new example of those cities which were divided into two parts, municipally distinct; the two communities which were called Chaumont and the Bourg had the same form of government—four magistrates,† whose powers, on one side or the other, were unequal. Those of Chaumont possessed a certain jurisdiction, those of the Bourg had no right of administering justice; the two municipalities were merged in one in the seventeenth century. It is necessary to remark the frequency of this government of four persons, which, in the cities of central France, was anciently held in high esteem, applying itself to all the degrees of municipal independence, from the entirely free government which prevailed at Bourges and Nevers to the system of a simple urban police, or to the mere management of the common interests in pecuniary matters.*
The fourth region, the western, comprises Britanny, Poitou, Angoumois, Aunis, and Saintonge; it is distinguished from the central and southern regions by two peculiarities. The first is the original and uniform type of the municipalities of Britanny; the second is the establishment of the communal constitution of Rouen and Falaise, in four of the provinces annexed to the Anglo-Norman dominion in the twelfth century. Had it not been for this adoption of the commune jurée according to the type given by the great cities of Normandy,—an event favoured, without doubt, by the policy of the Kings of England,—Poitou, and the provinces bordering on it to the south, would have followed the southern reform, and renewed their municipal government by the institution of the consulate.
The traditions of Roman law and municipal government, preserved in all the provinces of Gaul, did not exist in Armorica; this country received a new spirit and new social forms from the emigration from beyond the sea, which gave it the name of Britanny. Two of its cities, Nantes and Rennes, are the only ones which were able to retain anything of the Gallo-Roman municipality. In the case of the others, and especially in the case of the simple boroughs, the traditional municipality was at once a civil and ecclesiastical government, in which the parochial church was the centre of administration, and in which the conseil de fabrique filled the place of the common council. Besides, in Britanny, no jurisdiction was joined to the urban administration; in the cities, the right of justice, in all its branches, belonged to the duke or the bishop; and, in the villages, to the seigneur of the locality.* In the history of this province there was no struggle of the bourgeoisie to obtain political rights—no trace of the communal revolution; the name of commune does not appear there in public or private acts till after its union with the Crown. From that time the forms and titles of the French municipal offices are seen to penetrate different parts of Britanny, and to replace or modify the ordinary type of the native municipality; six civic councillors, a syndic, a miseur,* and a controller of the common funds.† In 1560 the city of Nantes, abandoning this old system, petitioned for and obtained from Francis II. the municipal constitution of Angers, with all its privileges, but with a less numerous magistracy—merely a mayor and ten échevins.‡ A reform analogous to this, but not so directly imitated, had already taken place at Rennes. By grant of Henri II., the city was constituted into a regular corporation, under the government of thirteen magistrates, who subsequently were reduced to seven—six échevins and a procureur-syndic.* Quimper, in the seventeenth century, obtained an échevinage, like Nantes and Rennes, and yet remained, as before, under the temporal jurisdiction of its bishop.† At Saint-Malo this jurisdiction remained full and entire up to the last century; and, according to all appearance, it was the same with Vannes and Saint-Brieux.
When we pass from Britanny to Poitou, the aspect of the municipal government entirely changes; and we find the commune jurée under not only the freest, but, to use the expression, the most elaborate form. It was from Normandy that the cities of Poitiers and Niort, subject to the Anglo-Norman Crown, took the pattern of their communal constitution, in the twelfth century. They imitated, as I have said, Rouen and Falaise, and they had this government, which was adopted by them in the reigns of the sons of Henri II., conceded and assured to them by Philippe-Auguste, after his judicial conquest of Normandy, Anjou, Poitou, and Saintonge. Such is the meaning of the two charters given by this king in 1204,* to which was added a copy of the constitutional rules of the communes of Rouen and Falaise.† The communes of Poitiers and Niort followed these rules to the letter in the organisation of their political corporation; they had a municipal college of one hundred members,—viz. a mayor, two échevins, twelve councillors, and seventy-five peers;* but, whether at once or gradually, they exceeded without finding opposition the degree of rights and power accorded to the Roman municipalities. While at Rouen and Falaise the mayor was nominated by the King on a list of three candidates, and the urban jurisdiction was limited by restrictions,† at Poitiers and Niort the jurisdiction was absolute, and the mayor elected of their own direct authority. There were in these cities two sorts of municipal assemblies—one convoked every week, and consisting of the mayor, the twelve échevins, and the twelve councillors; the other every month, in which the seventy-five peers sat in addition, and which bore the name of the Monthly Meeting and that of the Hundred‡ (Assemblée des Mois et des Cent). The mayor, chosen annually by and from among the one hundred members of the college, was captain-general of the city, and judge, together with the échevins, in all civil and criminal causes. The college, a kind of bourgeois patriciate, appointed all the magistrates, and recruited itself by election. At Niort, the whole of these privileges, corresponding to the greatest amount of municipal independence, had, as at Périgueux, assumed the seigneurial form, under the immediate vassalage of the Crown. According to ancient acts, the officers of the commune of Niort held of the King, “in right of barony, in faith and liege homage, on acknowledgment of a glove, or five sous of Tours, in place of all fees, payable at each change of seigneur,” the mairie and capitainerie of the city, and the superior, mean, and inferior jurisdiction, both in matters civil and criminal.* The other cities of Poitou, Châtellerault, Loudun, and Montmorillon, were far from enjoying similar immunities, and their municipalities, of a date comparatively recent, do not deserve mention.
In Saintonge and Aunis we see the constitution of the Norman cities reappear with the same privileges as at Niort and at Poitiers, except the unrestricted jurisdiction, and the independent election of the mayor by the municipal college.* The charter granted by Philippe-Auguste to the bourgeois of Saint-Jean-d’Angely, as a perpetual guarantee of their commune, imports that that commune shall be governed according to the form of that of Rouen,† and, at their request, an authentic copy of the constitutional statute of Rouen and Falaise was despatched to them by the royal chancery. No trace of a similar demand exists in the case of Rochelle, and the act which guarantees to it its commune under the French Crown does not mention that of Rouen,‡ an omission which is also observable in the charter of Poitiers, but which has no more importance in one case than in the other. The communal system of Normandy was, in the case of these two cities, a part of their customs, which every charter of confirmation granted in general terms was understood to comprise. Rochelle rendered itself celebrated among all the communes governed by the same constitution, and became the type of municipal liberty for the cities of the centre of France. Under the government of its college of one hundred members, mayor, échevins, councillors, and peers, having full jurisdiction, this commercial and warlike city raised itself to the highest point of power and prosperity. It is well known to what boldness of designs it was hurried on during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by a constitution, almost republican, devoted to the service of the Protestant cause, and how it required a long siege, conducted by Richelieu, to reduce it. Harshly punished for its revolt, Rochelle lost in 1628 its constitution and municipal privileges: Saint-Jean-d’Angely, where the same constitution existed with less brilliancy, lost its privileges also, for the same cause. At Saintes we find the communal government of Poitou and Normandy modified by an organisation prior to the establishment of the commune. In the place of a mayor, there are two jurés, invested conjointly with the principal authority; the city corporation has only twenty-five members, of which a part has the title of échevins, and the other that of peers. In the thirteenth century a kind of struggle commences, with various results, between the principle of the unity of executive power and the ancient municipal usages: the office of mayor is instituted in the place of the twofold magistracy of the jurés; but the latter soon reappears, brought back by the force of habit. It was not till the end of the fifteenth century that the institution of the mairie, demanded of Charles VIII. by the city of Saintes, was definitively established.*
The capital of Angoumois was one of the cities which, with Reims, Bourges, Toulouse, and Marseilles, boasted of being in possession of a right of administration of justice prior to the establishment of the monarchy. In the thirteenth century its old constitution received an increase of liberty and reforms inspired by the municipal law of Rochelle; and in the last half of the fourteenth century it was entirely renewed, by the adoption of the communal government as it then existed at Saint-Jean-d’Angely.† Angoulême preserved, up to the last century, all the constitutional forms of that government, and the supreme jurisdiction in all cases, except in that of high treason. Cognac, the second city of the same province, had only the mean and inferior jurisdiction, and it only appropriated two things—the mairie and the échevinage—from the system of institutions, artistically complicated, which flourished in the great municipalities of the surrounding country.
I now come to the last of the five regions of ancient municipal France, the one, namely, in which I range Alsace, Franche-Comté, Lyonnais, Bresse, and Dauphiny. Besides their geographical position, these provinces have this in common, that they once belonged to the empire of Germany,* a circumstance which has, in appearance, little to do with the question of the municipal system, but which has in reality exercised an influence in various ways upon the conditions of that system.† At variance with the policy of the kings of France and counts of Flanders, the emperors were systematically hostile to the municipalities created by the revolutionary means of insurrection and mutual assurance, under the pledge of an oath.* In their northern territories they had withstood and forbidden the commune jurée, and, in their southern territories, every popular combination tending either to the erection or the normal development of the consulate. In the provinces, moreover, which were at a distance from the centre of the empire, and strangers to German nationality, they had, by all possible means, strengthened the power of the ecclesiastical seigneurs, and weakened that of the lay seigneurs, of whom they entertained greater distrust. They had, in consequence, protected the municipal autocracy of the bishops against all revolution, even though consented to by the sovereign counts of the country.* It is to the continually increasing weakness of the ties of vassalage which attached it to the empire, that Provence owed the establishment of its great municipalities, and the conception, free and complete in this case, of the consular constitution. But Dauphiny, less fortunate, because its subjection to the empire was more tangible, found itself checked in this career of municipal renovation by the support which the bishops of the principal cities received in the elections, in opposition to the spirit of independence and attempts of the bourgeoisie. In this province, and in consequence of the circumstance which I point out, where the consulate appears at all, it is as a new title, and not as a new power; we find it reduced to something mediocre and subordinate, deprived of jurisdiction, having nothing of the semisovereignty which is its essential privilege in the cities of Provence and Languedoc. The remark which is here made in the case of Dauphiny, is partly applicable to Lyonnais and Bresse; and such is the reason which has made me detach these three southern provinces from the region of the free municipalities under the consular government.
The movement of the communal revolution, originated in the north of France, and thence propagated over the territories of the empire, was stifled at Trèves,* in 1161, by the Emperor Frederic I.; there is no proof that it ever penetrated into the cities of Alsace. These cities, which for the most part hardly date beyond the twelfth century, acquired their free constitution piecemeal, by grants of the sovereign, and in accordance with a law of progress common to all the cities of Germany. The principle of their quasi-republican independence was not, as elsewhere, an enthusiastic spirit of reformation, a violent and successful struggle with the seigneurial power, but the exemption, legally obtained, from all jurisdiction except that of a delegate of the emperor, and the gradual change of the imperial officer into municipal magistracies. It is in this manner that even inconsiderable cities, such as Haguenau, Colmar, Mulhouse, Schelestadt, Wissembourg, Seltz, and others of less importance, came to possess the right of a militia, and of the administration of justice in its highest departments, the right to raise taxes, to create magistrates, to make statutes of political organisation, to afford an asylum to refugees, to declare war and peace, and to form alliances even out of the empire. Similar municipal rights were accorded in the case of the imperial cities subject to the continual presence of a representative of the sovereign under the titles of count, prætor (préteur), provost (prévôt), and protector (avoué),* a strange combination, which is only found there, and which proceeded from the entirely federative nature of the German empire.† Another peculiarity of the municipal system of Alsace is, that, among the urban magistracies, many are hereditary fiefs, and that the bourgeoisie of the cities are composed of nobles and commons, between whom the administration is divided with sufficient equality, up to the middle of the fourteenth century: at a later period the plebeian classes gain the preponderance, and democracy prevails. This change, effected more or less completely in the course of struggles more or less vigorous, is the only revolutionary fact in the history of the cities of Alsace, with the exception of that of Strasbourg.
Strasbourg, which was the most ancient of these cities, the only one whose existence was traced to the times of the Romans, had a municipality of immemorial standing, the elements of which were absorbed in the temporal seigniory of the bishop. Even towards the end of the twelfth century, we find the corporation of the city limited to officers and noble vassals of the episcopal house, who formed a class of patricians and an hereditary senate. In the following century the first revolution took place; the municipality received an organisation distinct from, if not entirely independent of, the seigneurial court; there was a senate, whose election was annual, which was replaced by self-election, and taken according to proportions which varied, partly from the noble vassals of the bishop, and partly from the highest class of the bourgeoisie, properly so called.* After about a century and a half this aristocratic municipality was overturned by an insurrection of the middle and inferior classes of the bourgeoisie; a second revolution took place, and from it sprang a new municipal constitution, founded upon the political existence of corporations of arts and trades, which were called Tribus,* and the number of which, at first variable, was fixed at twenty by a definitive statute. The administration of the law of the city was now confined to only two classes, the nobles and artisans; the bourgeois pursuing commerce and the liberal professions necessarily blended with the latter, by forming a part of one of the companies (tribus). The senate, or great council, was composed of thirty-one members, ten nobles, twenty plebeians, representing the twenty companies, and a head of the government (Ammeister† ), who was of necessity a plebeian. These inferior colleges, having special privileges, and called the chambers of the thirteen, the fifteen, and the twenty-one, were similarly composed—one-third of nobles and two-thirds of plebeians.‡ Lastly, above all these powers, the council of the three hundred échevins,§ formed by the election of fifteen of its members by each of the twenty tribes, or plebeian sections of the community, was supreme, as invested with the municipal sovereignty. This singular municipal constitution, whose foundations were laid in 1334, but which did not receive its final shape till 1482, existed up to the revolution of 1789.* The annexation of Strasbourg to France made no fundamental change.
Besançon, the capital of the county of Burgundy, or of Franche-Comté, a city of the empire beyond the countries of the German language, presents a leading example of the frequently strange effects of this political position upon the extension of the development of the municipal existence. When the emperors succeeded to the states of the kings of Burgundy,† they thought that the best means of securing to themselves that foreign possession was by giving the chief cities of the country in feudal tenure to the bishops, who thus became princes of the empire, invested with royal prerogatives and with the municipal autocracy in each city. Thus, at Besançon, the temporal power of the archbishop was absolute, both by right and in fact, up to the last years of the twelfth century. At that time the complaints of the citizens against the abuses of this power attracted the attention of the Emperor Henry VI., who, in order to ensure good order, and to regulate the seigniory of the archbishop, authorised the institution of a kind of jury to take part with the seigneur in the administration of justice, and the creation of an elective municipality, with the management of the police and charge of the city.* When put in possession of this first degree of independence, the bourgeoisie of Besançon did not stop; it proceeded to attack whatever remained of the ancient autocracy of the archbishop, and it succeeded. It assumed, by successive encroachments, the civil and criminal jurisdiction, the political government within the walls, and the power of war and peace without. The whole of the thirteenth century was employed on this revolution, which was effected by means of a persevering determination, numerous insurrections, and defensive alliances with one or other of the great seigneurs of the country.* The imperial sovereignty was endangered by these confederations; the emperors believed that they could trace in them the interference of the King of France; they attempted to dissolve them, and to support the power of the archbishop by threatening edicts;† but the city refused to obey, placed itself under the protection of the Counts of Burgundy, and even dared to carry on a siege against the sovereign who refused to admit it as a free city, and entitled to be its own representative.‡ Under the influence of such powerful arguments, the emperors changed their policy; they no longer persisted in upholding the cause of the archbishop, but let the seigneurial rights pass from the prelate to the corporation, and be consolidated by prescription in the hands of the bourgeoisie.* From the fourteenth century down to the second half of the seventeenth, though the archbishop of Besançon still remained nominally a prince of the empire, the city exercised all the powers which were originally attached to that dignity.
It is a remarkable thing that, during nearly five centuries, no change was made in the organisation of the municipal powers at Besançon. One and the same form of constitution was sufficient for the first commencement, and for all the after progress, of its political liberty, and the government established by grant of the Emperor Henry VI. continued up to the conquest of Franche-Comté, by Louis XIV. In the seven quarters of the city termed Bannières, in consequence of each having its own flag and colours, the citizens chose every year twenty-eight notables, who, in their turn, named fourteen persons, two for each bannière, to form the magistracy of the year. These fourteen representatives, who were at first called prud’hommes, next recteurs, and last of all gouverneurs, were the ordinary council who conducted the municipal police and administration of justice; none of them possessed superiority over the others—all presided in turn. The fourteen magistrates on duty, together with the fourteen who had just quitted office, and the twenty-eight notables of the current year, composed the council of state representing the people, and invested with the sovereign authority. The meetings of this great council, which were only held for affairs of the highest importance, were publicly announced many days beforehand, together with the matters necessary for discussion. Its acts were regarded as the expression of the public will.* Under this sober and moderate form of democratic government, there were developed in the city, which became continually freer, without becoming less united on that account, habits of sturdy independence, and a spirit of calm devotion to the general interest, which seems to have left its stamp in the inscriptions engraved on the tombstones of two citizens who died in battle in the thirteenth century.*
The city of Poligny, to which the rights of franchise and community† were guaranteed by a charter of the thirteenth century, was at first governed by four prud’hommes, annually elected, and having no jurisdiction beyond the police. In the fifteenth century it obtained the power of adding twelve councillors to its four original magistrates, and of administering justice in the inferior courts. Lastly, by a charter granted in 1525,* full powers of administration of justice was allowed to it; and a mayor, who took the title of viscount, as at Dijon, was placed at the head of the civic corporation, which was composed of two councils. Dôle and Salins experienced the same train of progress in their municipal constitution. At Monbelliard the common council was composed of nine master-citizens (maîtres-bourgeois), and of one elected as chief to preside over them. The mayor was an officer of the count, by whom he was nominated, and accredited to take his place with the municipal magistrates, but having only a consultative voice in the deliberations of the council. A singular instance of a community of immemorial existence is offered by the city of Pontarlier, which was united from remote antiquity in one common body, with twenty villages situated around it. These villages shared the rights of the city in the election of magistrates, and its liabilities in the expenses of the common administration.† All the inhabitants of this territorial circonscription were bourgeois of Pontarlier; they took the title of barons, and their community was named the Baroichage; that is, the Baronnage of Portarlier.* This name—joined to the right of self-government, and of having judges of its own appointment in the case of the population of a whole territory—displays a fact, if not unique, at least very rare, through the whole extent of France Proper, namely, the preservation, through the course of many centuries, of a remnant of the Merovingian institutions, of a hundred (centaine), together with its freemen, such as is presented to us by the legislative monuments of the first and second races.† As a general rule, the charters of privileges in the villages of the second order, and the boroughs of Franche-Comté, do not ascend higher than the second half of the thirteenth century; the title of échevins—foreign to the province—does not appear till late, and the office of mayor still later; the municipal period does not extend beyond the limits which the Roman laws assign to it; lastly, the number of four magistrates, which almost universally prevails, seems, as I have already remarked, a type derived by tradition from the municipality of the Roman times.
I now come to provinces in which the municipal law belonged much more to periods prior to the twelfth century than to the renovation effected in that century, and continued to the thirteenth. The revolutionary movement, the tendency of which was everywhere to give to the bourgeoisie a part of the urban sovereignty, only produced some transient commotions in the great cities of Lyonnais and Dauphiny; it did not change the foundations of the traditional constitution, or establish new powers or new political liberties. After the period of litigation and struggle between the bourgeois and the seigneur, the amount of those liberties continued the same as in past times; but they were now guaranteed to them in a more secure and express manner by an actual compact, and by written agreements.
The most striking example in France of the uninterrupted continuance of Roman law is displayed by Lyons, in which the tradition of that continuance throughout the course of the middle ages appears most strongly impressed on its manners, its public acts and documents of every kind. Invested at its origin with privileges which were conjointly designated by the name of droit Italique, this great city preserved them with a pious and courageous perseverance; at all periods of its existence it desired the maintenance of them, and, it is worthy of remark, that it never demanded more.* The most complete immunity of person and property, the exemption from all taxation beyond the municipal expenses, the right of forming a corporation which taxed itself, and administered its common funds by elected representatives, which watched over its own security by means of an urban militia, and managed the police of the streets and superintendence of trades, but was without criminal or civil jurisdiction: such are the liberties which the bourgeoisie of Lyons called its hereditary customs, and which it energetically defended against the temporal power of the archbishops, without encroaching upon the seigneurial sovereignty, without allowing itself to be hurried away by the example of the cities which, under the influence of the great movement of the communal revolution, had increased their civil liberty by political guarantees, and acquired, either in whole or in part, the right of jurisdiction. * After a violent struggle between the bourgeoisie and the church of Lyons, which lasted more than a century, when a definitive pacification took place, nothing was stipulated for in the charter which sealed this peace, but the respect and perpetual maintenance of the customs which were said to date far beyond the memory of man† The terms of this charter, granted in 1320 by the archbishop Peter of Savoy, are curious, and deserve to be quoted:—
“Considering that it is written in the old law of the philosophers, that the inhabitants of Lyons are among those who, in Gaul, enjoy the rights of the Roman law, we heartily desire, in a friendly spirit, to maintain our illustrious city of Lyons and its citizens in possession of their liberties, usages, and customs, and to testify more and more favour and grace towards them, to the glory of God, for the interests of the peace and tranquillity of the Church, the city, and the whole country.*
“The following are the liberties, immunities, customs, franchises, and usages of the city and citizens of Lyons, for a long time acknowledged . . . . .
“That the citizens of Lyons have power to assemble and elect counsellors, or consuls, for the despatch of the affairs of the city, to appoint syndics or procureurs,† and to keep a common chest for the preservation of their letters, privileges, and other subjects of public utility.
“Item, the said citizens of Lyons can impose taxes on themselves for the necessities of the city . . . . . .
“Item, the said citizens can mutually constrain one another to take up arms whenever necessity shall require it . . . . . .
“Item, the citizens have had the custody of the gates and the keys of the city from the time of its foundation, and shall continue to have them.*
“Item, the citizens cannot be assessed or taxed, and never have been taxed by the seigneur† . . . . . .”
These rights, which were violated and disputed in the thirteenth century, only triumphed by means of the important assistance which was afforded by the kings of France, who made themselves the protectors and guardians of Lyons; and it was by the free will of its inhabitants that the city became part of the kingdom.‡ The restriction of the sovereignty of the archbishop within its ancient limits, and the subjection of his jurisdiction to an appeal to that of the king, formed the conclusion of the municipal history of Lyons, and the result of a struggle which had the aspect and the violence of the most revolutionary insurrections.§ It was during this struggle that the traditional government of the municipal party, the Council of Fifty (la cinquantaine), the shadow of the senate of the Roman times, concentrated itself, in order to act more effectively, in a small council of twelve persons, which, after the peace was concluded, maintained a separate existence, and the members of it, by a sort of eclecticism between the systems of the north and the south, received indiscriminately, besides the name of counsellors, that of consuls, or échevins.* But this consulate was not to be compared with that of the cities of Provence and Languedoc, since it did not possess the administration of justice either in the upper or inferior courts. The jurisdiction remained entire in the hands of the archbishop; the city never claimed a share of it; it only wished that the right of the administration should remain in the hands of the prelate, to the entire exclusion of the chapter. On this point the public spirit of the inhabitants of Lyons, true to the spirit of the Roman law, showed itself energetically opposed to the practice of the piecemeal division of authority which characterised the feudal system.*
This constitution, which was derived by successive evolutions from the most ancient form of the municipal system, and into which nothing really new had been introduced, unless it were the concession of the right of election to the companies of arts and trades, was succeeded, towards the end of the sixteenth century, by a foreign constitution, namely, that of Paris, imposed on it by letters patent of Henri IV.† The college of twelve counsellors, equal in power, and presided over by one of themselves, was abolished, and in its place there were appointed a prévôt des marchands and four échevins, who received from usage the collective title of consuls.‡ With respect to the urban militia, it continued down to the revolution of 1789, forming, under the name of pennonage, companies, one belonging to each of the quarters of the city, whose particular standard it assumed. Thence, ascending by its traditions from century to century, we might trace its uninterrupted existence, even to the times of the Gallo-Roman municipality.
The city of Lyons may, in a manner, be considered as the mirror from which the municipal law was reflected upon all the countries situated between Burgundy, Auvergne, and Dauphiny. This grand community, having the full enjoyment of civil rights, but limited in its political rights to that of self-administration, without possessing any jurisdiction, became the model which, according to their measure and importance, the greatest part of the cities down to the boroughs of Lyonnais, Forez, and Bresse, aspired to imitate. Their charters of immunities, whether obtained by free grant or by payment, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, are remarkable for the distinctness and liberality of the guarantees which they afford for person and property. The number of four, the annual duties, and the direct election by the entire body of the bourgeois, form the general rule for the municipal magistrates, who are designated by all the titles successively or simultaneously in use at Lyons—syndics, procureurs, conseillers, consuls, échevins.* One other peculiarity, due to the neighbourhood of the great city, in which numerous civilians were formed by the practice of the law, is the spirit of Roman law, which breathes, if I may be allowed the expression, in the charters of franchises and customs, especially in those of Bresse. Many of these last provide, that if any case unprovided for in the charters should occur, it shall be decided by the custom of the neighbouring free cities, or, if the bourgeois prefer it, by the written law. Among the numerous charters of enfranchisement of the boroughs of Bresse, there is a sort of affiliation which is traceable to two or three models, which were reproduced one after the other, either without any variation, or with additions of more or less importance.* The compilation of these acts, as prepared for simple villages, is very superior to that which corresponds to them in the neighbouring territories of the northern division, and the formulas of the Roman law are found in them with a frequency and accuracy which we only observe in the same degree in the charters and written customs of Provence and Dauphiny.†
Vienne, the metropolis of this last province, the rival city of Lyons from early times, affords a second example of the same municipal destiny. We there see the Gallo-Roman constitution, in which the administration of the inferior courts of justice belongs to the civic magistrates, and that of the superior ones to the imperial officers, changed under the influence of the privilege of urban sovereignty which was obtained by the archbishops, and so remaining without allowing an opportunity, at a later period, to the democratic movement of the twelfth century. At Vienne, as at Lyons, the charter of franchises which definitively prescribed the limits of the temporal power of the archbishop was not an act of concession, but the formal recognition of immemorial liberties. Only it is to be observed, that this recognition took place, not at the conclusion of protracted disturbances, but previous to any civil war.* In the arrangement of the respective rights of the archbishop and the community of the citizens of Vienne, the latter had in some respects less, and in other greater, privileges than those of Lyons. They had less, inasmuch as they did not possess the custody of the keys of the city; and greater, as they enjoyed an exemption from indirect as well as immunity from direct taxation.† The city of Vienne, like that of Lyons, had full liberty to tax itself; but being also, like it, without any jurisdiction, it possessed no means of compulsion with respect to the tax-payers, and it was necessary that the archbishop should render them the assistance of his officers and his agents in the administration of justice.* Lastly, the municipal authorities at Vienne consisted of eight magistrates, annually elected by the whole body of the citizens. Their official title was syndics and procureurs, but they assumed, of their own choice, that of consuls, which, in the fourteenth century, became, in the south of France, the generic appellation of the urban magistrates, as the title of échevin in the north.
The city of Valence was one of the most agitated, and yet with the least effect, by the breath of the municipal revolution of the twelfth century. From the middle of this century we see confederations (associations jurées) formed against the temporal power of the bishops, confederations which, on two occasions, were dissolved and forbidden by decree of the emperors of Germany.† In spite of this formidable interference, a revolt of the citizens against the autocratic government of their bishop took place in the first years of the thirteenth century.* Appeased for the time by a compromise, it was followed, within twenty years, by a more violent insurrection, which compelled the bishop to quit the city,† and gave birth to a curious form of revolutionary government,—two magistrates, a recteur, invested with full powers, except that of jurisdiction, and a judge strictly confined to judicial duties, were created. They had counsellors elected as their assessors, and a public crier placed at their orders. A vast building was used for the meetings of the municipal magistrates and the people, which was called the Hall of the Fraternity, from the name assumed by the confederation of the citizens, who all possessed the right of suffrage.‡ This government did not last long, and while the bishop, on quitting the city, was employed in collecting troops to besiege it, powerful parties interposed, the dispute was referred to arbitration, when it was decided that the hall of the confrérie should be razed, that no municipal meeting should take place without the authority of the bishop, and that the citizens should pay him a fine of 6000 marks.*
This treaty of peace was concluded in 1229, and at that time the inhabitants of Valence were again placed under the episcopal autocracy, modified by their traditionary franchises. In the fourteenth century they were enabled to get the latter reduced to writing, with promises of their maintenance, but without political guarantees, and almost without municipal organisation.† These franchises, purely civil, were the same as those of Vienne, affording them, together with liberty of person and property, exemption, not only from all direct taxation, but from all indirect.‡ Valence, however, continued to think that such rights were not sufficient, or that they were precarious while there was no municipal power capable of defending them. It never rested till it had obtained, under the protection of the King of France, become Dauphin of the Viennois, a certain shadow of that power,—an example which shows, in the most striking manner, what part we ought to assign to the desire of political liberty in the revolutions of cities in the middle ages. In the year 1425,* the citizens of Valence acquired in this respect some very reasonable rights, which they never lost. They were permitted to rebuild their common hall, and to assemble to the number of twenty-four persons, without the permission of the bishop or the presence of his officers.† The custody of the city keys was declared to belong to them when the bishop was not in residence. This personage, on his appointment, and all his officers on entering upon duty, were to take an oath on the four gospels to protect, and see protected, the franchises, liberties, usages, and customs, of the city, borough, and faubourgs.‡ Lastly, the municipal body, few in number, and without jurisdiction, was composed of syndics and counsellors, commonly called consuls, a secretary, and a Mandeur, an officer charged with issuing the orders for service to the urban guard, and giving notice to the magistrates of the time when they would have to meet in council.*
It is in the series of the municipal charters of Die that we find the greatest amount of information, enabling us to fix the extent of the immemorial liberties which, in the case of the cities of the south of France, are derived from a twofold tradition, namely, that of the Gallo-Roman municipality, and that of the Gallo-Frank of the times of the second race.† To judge of it by the charters of Lyons, Vienne, and Valence, this municipal system seems reduced to the mere rights of governing and guarding the city, without any right of jurisdiction, either assumed by force or voluntarily conceded; but this appearance is only produced by the scarceness of documents, or the rule is not general. At Die, on the contrary, an ancient municipal city and an episcopal seigniory, an immemorial right of jurisdiction is recognised in the city, not only in the case of the non-payment of the municipal dues, and of refusal or neglect of service in the urban guard, but also in the case of every crime and offence committed by a citizen on guard during his hours of duty, with the exception of homicide and adultery.* The authentic proofs of this fact are very valuable, because they enable us to infer the self-same fact in the case of other cities of the southern provinces, in which it is otherwise impossible to establish it, either from the want of original documents, or because the introduction of the consular constitution, together with its full jurisdiction, or, at least, with that of the inferior courts, throws some doubts upon the antiquity of the partial rights which it absorbed, while it enlarged them, and induces us to suppose that all the degrees of the municipal jurisdiction date from the same period, and proceed from the same origin. It is curious to follow, in the numerous fundamental statutes of the city of Die, as in the municipal history of Lyons, the destiny of a traditional constitution, which maintains itself, although exposed to violent pressure, on the one side, from the ambition and jealousies of the seigneurial power, and, on the other, from the passion for self-government which, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, spread from city to city the example of the revolutions which were commenced for the establishment of the Consulate.
It is a remarkable circumstance that, in the first charter acknowledging and confirming the immemorial franchises of Die, a charter which was granted in 1218, and was a compromise between the citizens and their bishop, after a quarrel of which we possess no historical detail, the title of consul is found joined with those of syndics and procureurs.* Is this a sign of tolerance towards a designation which, introduced at first with the revolutionary changes which it expressed in the twelfth century, had lost all its offensive signification in the eyes of the ruling party by the abandonment of those constitutional reforms? or, did this promiscuous use of the new title and the old names of the municipal magistrature, which we observe in the cities of Lyonnais and Dauphiny beyond the middle of the thirteenth century, exist at Die before 1218?† However this may be, the quarrel between the bishop and the citizens having been at that time appeased, was renewed in a more violent manner about the year 1245; an insurrection resulted from it, the result of which was probably to transfer to the civic body a share of the temporal jurisdiction of the bishop. A fresh compromise by arbitration put an end to the civil war, when a pardon was declared for all injury committed during the troubles, and matters were replaced on the same footing as they were before.* At the end of this peace, in 1246, a general compilation of the liberties and privileges of the city of Die was prepared by common agreement to serve as law to the city. According to the provisions of this code, which was compiled from the ancient charters and unwritten customs, the municipal authority was still limited to its traditional duties, the police, the public ways and buildings, the guard and fortifications of the city. But a right which, if not new, was at least announced for the first time in its full force, was now recognised—that of modifying the present statute, and forming others from it, not only relative to the urban administration, but also to the practice and constitution of the temporal court of the bishop.* In this way the civic body, though almost entirely deprived of jurisdiction, enjoyed the legislative power concurrently with the seigneurial court,—a circumstance which, in spite of its eccentricity, is not without analogous instances in the municipalities of the middle ages. We cannot say whether the troubles which subsequently took place resulted from the conflicts of authority produced by this distribution of power; but before the end of the thirteenth century a new civil war burst out, which was followed by a fresh agreement, by an amnesty for the outrages committed by the citizens, and by the most solemn engagements on the part of the bishop for the maintenance of the municipal privileges.†
If the effectual establishment of the consulate is obscure and doubtful in the case of the city of Die, it is certain that Gap, anciently placed under the same municipal law as Die, Valence, and Vienne,* was gained over in the first quarter of the thirteenth century by the great revolutionary movement, which at that time extended to all the cities of Provence. For the purpose of revolting against its bishop, it took advantage of the embarrassment in which he was involved by the quarrel of Frederic II. with the Pope, and by the resentment of that emperor against a great part of the clergy; it inaugurated within its walls the new constitutional reform, by which the magistrates elected with the title of consuls were invested with full political powers, with the right of direct and indirect taxation, with the absolute military command, with the possession of a municipal territory, formed or enlarged at the expense of the episcopal property; lastly, with the full and complete jurisdiction in the city and over the lands in its precincts.† In consequence of this constitution, the work of the popular will, which took the place of the ancient traditional government, the immemorial rights of the civic body were absorbed in the new prerogatives which it received by its usurpation of the seigneurial authority. All intervention of the bishop in the municipal government became nul in law, as well as in fact, and this might appear an advantage; but, by way of retaliation, the claims of the city to its former share of immunities and privileges were nonsuited in the same manner, and this was an evil which they had eventually to regret. When, after the defeat and ruin of the consular government, they wished to fall back upon the ancient right, and to reclaim it as such, they were no longer able to do so; it had perished in the same shipwreck as the revolutionary institution, whose object was at the same time to recover and enlarge it. The victorious party was unwilling to recognise it, preferring that everything should remain unsettled, and waiting for the best opportunities which some ulterior transaction might offer.
The early existence of the consulate of Gap was prosperous, and the absolute authority which it exercised in the city was sanctioned in 1240 by a charter of Frederic II., by which its liberties, its jurisdiction, and its lands, were confirmed to it.* This supreme sanction of the system, which was produced by a revolution, was, in the case of the inhabitants of Gap, the reward of the promise which they had made to render all the duties of homage and service to the empire; their city was thus raised to the position of a free town, independent of any intermediate lord, according to the German law. But less than ten years after, this independence being no longer supported by the protection of the imperial power, became less secure and difficult to be upheld.* The bishop, who had been dispossessed by the city of his temporal seigniory, negotiated with a foreign state, and sought assistance capable of co-operating with him towards the re-establishment of his power. In the year 1257, he concluded with the Dauphin, the Count of Vienne and Albon, an offensive and defensive treaty of alliance, in which the two contracting parties divided between themselves beforehand all the rights of the consulate and the lordship over the city.† This treaty, the execution of which remained in suspense, for reasons with which we are not acquainted, during the life of the Dauphin Guigues XII., hung as a continual menace over the head of the citizens. In order to deliver themselves from it, and to anticipate the renewal of a similar agreement between the heirs of Guigues XII. and the bishop, they took a resolution which, though strange in appearance, was not without adroitness. It was to renounce on their own part all the rights of the consular government, and to transfer them by a formal donation to the widow of the Dauphin, as guardian of his children, who were minors. They reckoned, not without grounds, that that alienation would not be literally accepted; that it would not take effect except in the assertion of prerogatives which might be of benefit, and in the exercise of the last appeal in matters of justice, while the magistracy of the consuls, and the essential guarantees of the municipal liberty, would be still allowed to exist. The deed of this donation was prepared on the 11th of December, 1271, in a general assembly of the inhabitants of Gap.* All took place as was expected; no change was made, except that the city passed nominally under the seigniory of the heirs of the Count of Vienne. The bishop, Eudes II., deceived in his political projects, sought for other assistance, and while awaiting the effect of his new negotiation, he conformed to circumstances, and recognised in full the powers of the consulate, subject to the condition that the number of consuls should be increased from four to five, and that one of them should be annually elected from the members of the cathedral chapter.*
The Count of Provence and Forcalquier, formerly suzerain of the city of Gap under the sovereignty of the empire, was the person to whom the bishop, Eudes, appealed for aid, promising to do him homage for his temporal seigniory, if he were re-established in it by his means. The sénéchal of Provence, in the name of the Count Charles of Anjou, who had lately gone into Italy, accepted the offer of the bishop, and promised to supply him with assistance against the citizens who had revolted from his authority.† This compact of vassalage on one part, and of protection on the other, remained dormant till the year 1281, when a quarrel, more violent than ever, between the city of Gap and its bishop, determined the latter, who had been put into prison by the citizens, to demand a prompt and efficient protection from the Count of Provence, who was become King of the two Sicilies. In order to interest him more strongly in his cause, the bishop made the same treaty of division as he had made with the Dauphin Count of Vienne, in 1257. The Prince of Salerno, son of the King of the Two Sicilies, quitted Provence with his troops, marched on Gap, and made himself master of it by capitulation, in 1282. The seigniory, which thus became his by conquest, was divided, according to the previous treaty, between him and the bishop, a revolution which this time enforced the political depression of the municipal government, and was intended to reduce it to the strictest limits of the urban administration.* But after the departure of the prince, the treaty of division became a dead letter in the eyes of the Bishop of Gap, who secured to himself the entire rights hitherto belonging to his seigneurial power. A long quarrel ensued between him and the Count of Provence on this subject, in which the Papal authority interposed without success, and which was complicated by a difference not less important with the family of the Counts of Vienne. In effect, this family refused to renounce the rights which it had received from the donation of the citizens of Gap, and asserted that, in default of the city itself, none but one of its own members was entitled to possess the jurisdiction and the revenues of the consulate. It appears that the danger became more urgent on this side than on that of Provence, for at the end of the thirteenth century the bishop, Geoffrey of Lansel, gave way, and under the mediation of umpires concluded a new treaty for the division of the superior lordship of the city with John, count of Gapençois, son of the Dauphin Humbert I. All the dues of tolls and markets, hitherto collected by the consuls, all departments of justice over a part of the precincts, and a share of the civil jurisdiction within the walls, were given to the count; the bishop retained the supreme power in criminal cases, the right of issuing ordinances and proclamations, the custody of the keys, and all the police of the city.* In this act, which did away with the last existing remains of the consular government, an indemnity was stipulated for in behalf of the chapter of the cathedral, in compensation for the advantages which they had till then derived from the election of one of its members as consul, on each renewal of the consulate.*
Every seigniory divided between two seigneurs had a tendency, from the natural course of things, to become concentrated in the hands of the one who was nearest, and to be merely nominal in the case of the other, however powerful he might be in other respects. This change was experienced in less than half a century in regard to the government of Gap, and that city fell again, as formerly, under one effective domination, namely, that of its bishop. But the municipal right of early times no longer existed to serve as a check to the seigneurial authority; the city had renounced it, of its own accord, when it adopted the consular form of government, and now, when it demanded again the advantage of the traditional government, it was resolutely refused. This was the cause of new troubles, but before the war broke out between the citizens and the bishop mediators interposed, and decided in favour of their demand for their immemorial franchises. In 1378 the bishop, Jacques Artaud, found himself compelled to accept, whether he would or not, a decision of arbitration, by which he was obliged to allow, in writing, the ancient customs of the city, and to promise the observance of them under authority of law for himself and his successors.* The deed, which was solemnly prepared, became the great charter of the city of Gap; but, differently from those of Vienne, Valence, and Die, quoted above, this charter had less the character of a pure and simple declaration of rights than of a party transaction. Previously to the twelfth century the municipal rights of Gap were, beyond doubt, identical with those of the neighbouring cities; but in the compilation of 1378 they are dissimilar and inferior on two fundamental points: the elections, when made by the city, required the confirmation of the episcopal judge, and the superintendence of the duty of the urban guard belonged to the officers of the bishop.* In every other respect the charter of Gap is almost the same as the statutes with which we are concerned. With regard to the titles of the municipal magistrates, this charter only grants those of procureurs, syndics, and counsellors; the title of consul seems purposely omitted as unsuitable, from the nature of its origin, and as expressive of rights and powers which were no longer in existence; but it was retained in practice, and even reappeared in the fifteenth century in the wording of the official acts.
At Embrun, as at Gap, the consular government was established in its full exteut at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The citizens maintained, in defence of this revolution against their two seigneurs, the Dauphin and the archbishop, unsuccessful wars, which were only brought to a conclusion by the surrender of all the liberties which they had recently acquired.* The consulate of Embrun, similar, as it seems, to that of Gap in its constitutional prerogatives, had a shorter duration; it was abolished in 1257, and since that period nothing is seen in its place but a civic body, without jurisdiction, and subject, in all its acts, to the control of the seigneurial officers. If the title of consul is still found, it is but a form without value, consecrated by the popular regret. Besides, as we have already seen, the municipal vanity was sufficient to introduce this title into cities where the consulate, properly so called, never existed for a single day.* It is thus found at Grenoble, which may be reckoned the least free of all the cities of Dauphiny, and placed at an early period under the double seigniory of the Dauphin and its bishop, was either more effectually restrained, or more resigned to its fate than the other cities, and was satisfied with the recognition of its traditional immunities as its only statute, without any guarantees being given for the precise form of its municipal organisation.†
I have enlarged upon the cities of Lyonnais and Dauphiny, because their history may throw light upon that of the ancient cities, not only of the south, but also of the centre and the north of France. Their statutes and their charters of privileges are the only authentic proofs, the only monuments which remain to us, of a municipal right prior to the great renovation of the twelfth century. In the case of other cities, we discover the continuance of the urban administration from the Roman times, whether these cities, undergoing a regeneration at the period of the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, adopted the government of the consulate, or that of the commune jurée, or whether they then escaped all constitutional reform: but it is a fact which presents nothing definite, and is only proved by inference. We perceive the trace of an immemorial government, but it is impossible to ascertain either the extent of the powers of this government, or the extent of the civil and political rights of the citizens. In fine, what is clear in the case of Lyons, Vienne, Valence, and Die, is involved in greater or less obscurity in the case of Marseilles, Arles, Nímes, Toulouse, Limoges, Tours, Angers, Chartres, Paris, Rheims, Amiens, Beauvais, and all the cities of the same origin. I do not mean to say, that we can here draw the inference in a positive manner, and conclude, for instance, that the immunity from taxes to the seigneur, which was enjoyed by Lyons and almost all the cities of Dauphiny, was common to the towns of the other parts of Gaul; but, as far as liberty of person and property is concerned, we can affirm, in the absence of proof to the contrary, that it was, before the municipal revolution of the twelfth century, the right of the metropolitan or episcopal cities of France. This revolution, which gave them on one side the consulate, and on the other the commune jurée, found them, in respect of civil rights, at the same point as a quarter of a century before the consular reform which arose in Italy had found the cities of Tuscany, Lombardy, and Piedmont.*
The establishment of magistrates, named consuls, and invested with the whole powers of government, put an end, in the Italian cities, to the seigniory exercised by the bishops in the character of imperial vassals.† Such was the simple and unique character of this revolution when it overflowed into Gaul. When it spread on this side the Alps, it was followed by new and different consequences, because the condition of the cities, in which its influence was felt, was not the same as in Italy, and varied according to different countries. As feudalism was then prevailing over the territory of Gaul in its full force and development, the ancient towns were subjected to different kinds of seigneuries; some to that of their bishop; others to that of families of greater or less power; others, lastly, to a dominion divided between two or even three seigneurs. Thence it occurred that the consular revolution introduced into Southern Gaul was at war, not simply as in the Italian cities, with the temporal power of the bishop, but sometimes with this power, and sometimes with secular seigneurs: there were instances in which the bishop, far from resisting it, favoured it with his connivance and support. In the second place, in the provinces of the north, where the urban population had less generally preserved its liberty from the Roman times, the municipal regeneration, effected no longer under the Italian form of the consulate, but under the native form of the commune jurée, assumed a double character,—that of instituting political liberties for those who were already civilly free, and that of enfranchising those who were demi-serfs, or in complete servitude.
In this way the communal revolution, one of the results of the shock produced by the struggle of the Papacy with the Empire, was altogether political in Italy; in France, it was at once political and civil, or, to speak more accurately, political in its principle and in the movement of opinion which it propagated, it led to instantaneous consequences on the purely civil government. We have evidence which results from the facts themselves, and which can be shaken by no objection drawn from the nature of such or such a sentiment, which is implied by them, but which persons will not allow, because it appears too ancient or too modern for those who lived in the twelfth century. As to those who maintain that the idea of independence and civic devotion is a pure anachronism in the history of the French communes, I ask them to what category of sentiments and ideas they refer these formulas of the municipal law of Saint-Quentin:—
“Common assistance, common counsel, common detention, and common defence, were sworn by each to his confederate.
“We have resolved that whoever shall enter into our commune, and shall aid us with his means, whether in case of flight, or fear of enemies, or from some offence, which may be unpremeditated, shall be free to enter into the commune, for the gate is open to all; and if his seigneur shall have unjustly detained his property, and shall continue to do so, we will execute justice.
“And if it happen that the seigneur of the commune have a castle within the borough, or within the town, and desire to make wards there, the wards shall belong to the commune at the will, and by the permission, of the mayor and échevins, for none shall be permitted to the injury of the bourgeois.
The bourgeois of Saint-Quentin owe no kind of military service to their seigneur, nor can they be summoned together for the purpose of paying him dues; but if any choose to give him anything of his own accord, when requested by the seigneur, it will be considered as of free will.*
[* ]This fragment is the Preface to the second volume of the Collection.
[* ]See the Lettres sur l’Histoire de France, 1827; The Histoire Critique du Pouvoir Municipal, by M. Lebert, 1828; the Histoire du Régime Municipal en France, by M. Raynouard, 1829; and the Histoire de la Civilisation en France, by M. Guizot, t. v., 1830.
[* ]Chapter i., p. 37 and following.
[* ]Upon the German institution of the Ghilde, and on the primitive meaning of the word Commune, see the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. v., 3d edit., p. 217 and following, p. 229 and following.
[† ]Essay on the History of the Tiers Etat, chap. i. Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. v., 3d edit., p. 212 and following.
[* ]The communes of Picardy had, in general, the entire administration of justice, haute, moyenne, and basse. Not only did the municipal charters of the cities in this province apply to simple villages, of which some no longer exist, but there were also confederations of many villages or hamlets united together in municipalities, under a charter and magistracy collectively. Such were Vaisly, Condé, Chavones, Celles, Pargny, and Filain, in the Soissonnais; and, in the Laonnais, Cerny Chamouilles, Baune, Chevy, Cortone, Verneuil, Bourg, and Comm. Le Marquenterre, a vast canton of Ponthieu, received, in 1199, the communal charter of Abbeville. See the eleventh volume of the Recueil des Ordonnances des Rois de France, pp. 231, 237, 245, 277, and 308.
[* ]From the charter of Amiens are derived those of Abbeville, Doullens, and many cities of Ponthieu. The charter of Soissons is repeated or imitated in those of Crespy in Valois, Compiègne, Senlis, Meaux, Fisme, Sens, and Dijon. The charter of Laon was brought to Rheims, and extended through the whole of the Laonnais; that of Saint Quentin served as a model for those of Corbie, Roye, and Chauny.
[† ]Apaiseurs was the title given to them.
[‡ ]These three cities, subject to the German empire, have, on that account, and others which I shall mention later, a great affinity of municipal existence with the cities which I have ranged in the fifth region, that of the east. It would be possible, on account of them, to include Lorraine in this region, by detaching it from that of the north.
[* ]A mayor and twelve peers. See, on the titles of Maire, Echevins, Pairs, and Jurés, the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. v. and vi.
[* ]The titles of Syndics, Prud’hommes, Jurats, Capitouls, which here and there accompany the title of Consuls, are the more ancient of the two. (See the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. v. and vi.)
[* ]By the terms of the municipal statutes of Montpellier, drawn up at the commencement of the thirteenth century, judgments were required to be delivered according to custom, and when custom was silent, conformably with the written law. “Et aqui ont las costumas defailhiran, segon orde de dreg.” (The Petit Thalamus of Montpellier, register of the municipal statutes, published by the Archæological Society of Montpellier, 1st part, art. vi., p. 7.)
[† ]The Podestat, (in Italian, Podestà,) who could only be elected among foreigners, was a sort of Dictator, not substituted for, but superimposed, on the municipal government. (See Sismondi, History of the Italian Republics of the Middle Ages, passim.)
[* ]We must except two cities, Tarascon and Brignolles. At Tarascon, the division of the consulate between the nobles and the bourgeois was the subject of violent disputes, and in 1238 of a struggle with arms. At Brignolles, a solitary instance, the whole municipality was in the hands of the nobles; the consuls could only be chosen from their body. In 1222, they sold the consulate to the Comte de Provence, as a right which was their property. This sale was balanced by a popular revolution; and from that time, the roturiers, admitted into the municipal council, sometimes formed the whole body of it.
[† ]At Marseilles, if I am not mistaken, the highest number was twelve for the consuls, forty members for the municipal council, and one hundred and fifty for the great council of the city.
[* ]This date is that of the legal establishment of the new constitution; it marks the epoch when the consulate, instituted by the citizens of Arles in opposition to the power of the archbishop, was, after a resistance more or less prolonged, recognised and agreed to by the last. In the case of Marseilles and Avignon there is no certain date, but the tradition of both cities refers the institution of consuls to the first years of the twelfth century.
[† ]These dates are those at which the first mention occurs of the title of consuls in the acts which have been preserved down to our times; it is probable that the political establishment was, in the case of all these cities, some years anterior to the acts which prove their existence.
[* ]Racine wrote from Uzès to one of his friends in 1661: “What do you wish me to talk about? If I were to tell you that we have the loveliest weather in the world, you would not care much about it; to tell you that they are going this week to make consuls, or conses, as they call them, would not interest you much. It is, however, an amusing thing to see that gossip the carder, and that jolly fellow the joiner, with their scarlet robes like a president, issue their decrees and go up first to the offertory: you don’t see that in Paris.” (Œuvres Complètes de Racine, édition Lefèvre, t. ii., p. 304.)
[* ]William, son of William and of Ermessinde, in 1141.
[† ]Under the seigniory of the royal house of Aragon.
[‡ ]Cossols de Mar. See the Petit Thalamus of Montpellier, 2d part, p. 114.
[§ ]Cossols dels mercadiers que van per mar. (Ibid., 3d part, p. 274.)
[* ]The consuls of Limoges had been originally invested with the administrative, legislative, judicial, and military powers.
[* ]In the acts in which the body of the inhabitants of the city of Périgueux designate themselves, we find in their designation no other formula than this—Omnes clerici, milites et donzelli et alii laici civitatis.
[† ]It was called Le Puy-Saint-Front, from the name of the church round which it had been built.
[‡ ]The commune of Beauvais, constituted originally under the government of twelve peers, took in the same manner the institution of the mayoralty, borrowing it from the neighbouring communes. In its charter, revised in 1182, it was appointed that thirteen peers should be elected each year, and that one of them should be appointed mayor; the charter said one or two, but, after experience, the appointment of only one prevailed.
[* ]These cities were Blaye, Libourne, Saint-Emilion, Podensac, Bourg, Castillon, Cadillac, Rions, and Saint-Macaire.
[* ]In the customs, drawn up in 1369, we find, Lo cosseth d’Agen, los Pros-homes del cosseth; the title of consuls, employed about the same period by the royal chancery, only appears in use in the fifteenth century and afterwards.
[* ]Except the high jurisdiction of the fors of Morlaas, which was a kind of supreme court for the whole province. The word fors had the double meaning of law and tribunal.
[† ]By John Lackland.
[* ]The municipal registers of Bayonne contain a number of deeds of admission of voisins and voisines. The same formalities are observed for men and women.
[† ]Two in general, and never more than five.
[‡ ]It is this that the customs of Perpignan call the privilege de main armée—privilegium manus armatæ.
[* ]“Notum sit cunctis . . . . quod nos omnes insimul populi totius ville Perpiniani, . . . . . constituimus inter nos quinque consules . . . . . qui bona fide custodiant et defendant ac manuteneant et regant cunctum populum ville Perpiniani, tam parvum quam magnum.” (Code of the Customs of Perpignan, quoted in the researches of M. Henry into the ancient constitution of this city, Mémoire Presenté par divers Savants à l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, t. i., 2 série, p. 233.)
[† ]The main majeure, the main moyenne, and the main mineure. These modes of expression belong to a political phraseology in use in Aragon, which, representing the kingdom as a body, made of the king the head, of the states-general the arms, and of the inhabitants of the cities, distinguished by classes, the hands.
[* ]In the political language of the southern municipalities this word had the two meanings which I give it. It signifies equally the college of the magistrates, called consuls, the constitution which had admitted this title of magistracy, and the community governed by a similar constitution. (See the Charte du Consulat d’Arles, published by M. Giraud, Essai sur l’Histoire du Droit Français au Moyen Age, 1. ii, p. 1 and following.)
[† ]At Vézelay, in the department of the Yonne, about the year 1150. (See the detailed account of this municipal revolution in the Lettres sur l’Histoire de France, Letters xxii., xxiii., and xxiv.)
[‡ ]At Gannat, in the department of the Allier. A charter of privileges granted in 1236 to the bourgeois of this city, by Archambault VIII., sire de Bourbon, gives them the right of electing annually four from among those who govern the city, and who should be competent to name and appoint consuls and have the consulate instituted.
[* ]I do not mean to say that the unreformed municipes, and the communities invested with purely civil rights, are entirely wanting in the territories which I have considered up to this point. As has been seen, these two categories of municipal existence there meet, the one in the condition of an exceptional fact, the other in the condition of a secondary fact.
[* ]See Digest, lib. l., tit. v., l. 1, § 1, 3, § 10 and 18, § 26.
[† ]“Celeriter Aurelianensem regressus civitatem, cum ibidem comperisset, occasione communiæ, quorumdam stultorum insaniam contra regiam demoliri majestatem, compescuit audacter, non sine quorumdam læsione.” (Hist. Ludovici VII., apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xii., p. 121.)
[* ]Charles VIII. had the customs of Lorris published in 1493. In the sixteenth century they were termed the customs more ancient, famous, and celebrated than any others in France. Louis XIII. reformed them in 1631; they were then common to almost 300 cities, boroughs, or villages of Gâtinais, Orléanais, Pays-Chartrain, Blaisois, Berri, Touraine, Nivernais, Champagne, and Burgundy. (See the Coutumier General of Richebourg, 1724, t. iii., 2e partie, p. 829 and following.)
[† ]“Facta igitur conspiratione quam communionem vocabant, sese omnes pariter sacramentis astringunt.” . . . (Gesta Pontif. Cenoman., apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xi., p. 540.)—The commune of Cambrai dates from 1076, and that of Beauvais from 1099. (See the Lettres sur l’Histoire de France, Letters xiv. and xv.)
[* ]See the letters patent, in form of a charter, granted in February 1474. (Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xviii., p. 87.) In the sixteenth century the municipality of Angers was reduced to a mayor and twenty-four échevins.
[† ]See the letters granted by Philippe-Auguste in 1181. (Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xi., p. 221.)
[* ]At each meeting of the municipal council there sat, together with the six elected members, a representative of the archbishop, delegates of the Chapter of Tours and the Abbey of Saint-Martin, the judge of Touraine, and many bourgeois notables.
[† ]. . . “We give and grant, by these presents, to the said mayor and échevins, who shall be thus elected for the government of our said city of Tours, similar power, justice, prerogatives, and pre-eminences, in our said city of Tours and elsewhere, to those which are possessed by the inhabitants of Rochelle, in that city and elsewhere.” (Letters patent, in the form of a charter, granted by Louis XI., February 1461; Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xv., p. 332.) The charter of Louis XI. mentions expressly only a mayor and twenty-four échevins, which, under Henri III., served as a pretext for reducing the municipal corporation of Tours to that number.
[* ]“Postquam per probos homines ipsius civitatis, ad quos omnia judicia villæ ejusdem et septenæ ab antiquo dignoscantur pertinere facienda, judicatum fuerit.” (Charter of Philippe-Auguste, granted in 1811; Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xi., p. 223.) See the Olim published by the Count Beugnot, year 1262, t. i., p. 544.
[† ]And since our said city of Bourges has not been governed in time past by a mayor and échevins, and it is our desire that it should henceforward be exactly in the same form and manner as our said cities of Rochelle and Tours have been, and still are. . . . (Letters patent, granted in the month of June, 1474; Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xviii., p. 23, art. 5.)
[* ]Their title was by turns that of the four elect, the four of the city, the four commis and elect, the four governors and syndics.
[† ]These petitioners have humbly petitioned and requested that we may be pleased to reinstate them in the same position as they were formerly, without, however, making any so frequent meeting of the people. . . . We grant to the said petitioners and their successors for ever, power, faculty, ability, and authority, to elect hereafter to the government of the common affairs of the said city . . . . every year four notables . . . . who shall be called échevins. (Letters patent, of the 14th February, 1483; Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xix., p. 628.)
[* ]This definitive change took place in 1491.
[† ]The word jurés, in the sense of sworn functionaries, as well as its southern form, jurats, is an expression which is connected with the remains of the Roman municipal government. Jurés, in the sense of bourgeois confederated by oath, is a more recent expression, which appears in the charters when the Germanic association, or the Ghilde, is applied to the renovation of the municipal government. (See the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. v.)
[* ]In 1518 by a charter of Anne of France, duchess of Bourbonnais, who, on the petition of the inhabitants, gave them permission to adopt a mayor.
[† ]At Vierzon and at Issoudun, the Four have the title of gouverneurs; at Châtre they are named prud’hommes; in the other places they only bear the vague title of élus.
[‡ ]It is thence that the word quartier is derived, to designate, without respect to number, all the divisions of a city.
[* ]The words vigerius and viarius (for vicarius) occur in the Latin charters of Autun, and the words viers, vyer, and vierg, in the French charters.
[† ]On the Fète of the First of September, and the opinion which, supported by the resemblance of certain letters, traced up the name and office of Vierg to the Vergobret, the supreme magistrate of the Eduens, see the History of the City of Autun, by Joseph Rosny, p. 148 and following, and the Latin Commentary of the President Chasseneuz, on the Customs of the Duchy of Burgundy, 1574, in fol. p. 26.
[* ]See an extract of the letters patent granted by Louis XIV. to the city of Autun, in 1644, Histoire d’Autun, by J. Rosny, p. 155.
[† ]“Noverint universi præsentes pariterque futuri, quod ego Hugo, dux Burgundiæ, dedi et concessi hominibus de Divione, communiam habendam in perpetuum, ad formam communiæ Suessionis, salva libertate quam prius habebant.” (Charter of Hugo III., granted in 1187, Rec. de Pièces Curieuses pour l’Histoire de Bourgogne, by Pérard, p. 337.)—See two charters of Philippe-Auguste, granted the one in 1183, the other in 1187; Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. v., pp. 237 and 238.
[* ]“Noverint universi præsentes et futuri, quod hæc instituta et has habet consuetudines communia Suessionis . . . . Ut autem hoc ratum et constans habeatur, communia Suessionis hanc cartam appositione sui sigilli certificavit. (Collection of Pérard, p. 336.)
[† ]See in the Lettres sur l’Histoire de France, letter xix., the History of the Commune of Soissons.
[* ]“Item, cum discordia verteretur inter nos, ex una parte, et homines dictæ communiæ, ex altera, super hoc quod petebant a nobis vicecomitatum Divionensem quem acquisieramus, quod non poteramus facere, ut dicebant.” . . . . (Charter granted by Duke Robert, 1284, Coll. of Pérard, p. 348.)
[† ]“Noverint universi præsentes et futuri, quod ego Odo, dux Burgundiæ, dedi et concessi hominibus de Belna communiam habendam in perpetuum, ad formam communiæ Divionis.” . . . (Coll. of Pérard, p. 274.)—See the suit of the city, adjudged in 1459, ibid., p. 281 and following.
[* ]The charters of these two cities have the words: Communiam et libertatem habendam in perpetuum, ad formam communiæ et libertatis Divionensis. (See the Collection of Pérard, pp. 419, 422, and 529.)
[† ]“Idem comes, de assensu regio, communiam Autissiodori de novo instituere voluit: cui item præsumptioni præsul insignis se confidenter opponens, super hoc in regia curia causam ventilandam suscepit.” . . (Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xii., p. 304.)
[* ]Letters of Philippe de Valois, February 1346, which authorise the inhabitants of Mâcon to assemble to treat of their affairs, and to choose among them six prud’hommes, or counsellors, procureurs and syndics, import that they had neither corporation nor commune (ne corps ne commune), and terminate thus:—“It is by no means our intention that through this they have, or ought to have, corporation, or commune, or ordinary jurisdiction.” (Rec. des Ordonn. de Rois de France, t. iii., p. 594.)
[† ]They were named échevins in the Bourg, and at Chaumont prud’hommes, or maires.
[* ]This number is not a peculiarity limited to the central region; we find it here and there in the cities and boroughs of the south, and it appears to be a tradition of the Roman municipality. The curiæ had two or four magistrates chosen annually, duumviri, quatuorviri juridicundo. The tradition of the number two has likewise left some traces, but the examples of it are very rare.
[* ]Guincamp is the only city which could form an exception, and this had a municipal administration of justice granted to its bourgeois by the Dukes of Britanny, probably in the fifteenth century.
[* ]The officer charged with the receipt and disbursement of the taxes. The word mise properly signifies expenditure.
[† ]These municipal offices were indiscriminately filled by the clergy, the nobility, and the bourgeoisie. In many cities, at Morlaix, especially, the offices of miseur and controller were exercised by noblemen of ancient family.
[‡ ]“The bourgeois, sojourners and inhabitants of our town and city of Nantes, having informed us . . . . . that . . . . . they have not a civic corporation, nor any heads to take the superintendence and administration of affairs, . . . . . we would readily provide, according to our pleasure, to grant them a corporation, college, and civic body, composed of a mayor and ten échevins, to conduct, manage, and govern the police and general affairs of the said city, with the same powers, privileges, immunities, and liberties, as the mayor and échevins of Angers.”—(Letters patent of Francis II., Archives of the Hôtel de Ville at Nantes. Livre doré, 2e part, p. 3.) In the same register, at the end of this charter, is found that of the city of Angers, granted by Louis XI. in 1474.
[* ]1548, 26th March; Letters of Henri II., forming the community of the city of Rennes into a regular corporation.—1548, March 30; Extract of the roll signed by the King at Chantilly, by which he permits the inhabitants of Rennes to elect thirteen to provide for the government of the city.—1592; Letters of Henri IV., forming the community of the city of Rennes into a regular corporation. (Archives of the Hôtel de Ville at Rennes.)
[† ]“The King, having respect to the said request, has permitted, and does permit, to the said inhabitants, to nominate and elect, for the management and government of the said city (Quimper-Corentin), four échevins, like those of Nantes and Rennes.” (Decree of the Council of the 31st August, 1634. National Archives, Administrative Section, E, 119.)
[* ]“Noverint universi . . . . . quod nos concedimus burgensibus nostris de Niorto . . . . . ut communiam suam habeant ad puncta et consuetudines communiæ Rotomagensis” . . . . . (Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xi., p. 287.) The charter given to the inhabitants of Poitiers simply confirms the grant of a commune jurée, which was made by Queen Eleanor, without specifying the form of this commune: “Concessit universis hominibus de Pictaviâ et eorum hæredibus in perpetuum communiam juratam apud Pictaviam.” (Ibid., p. 290.) That Philippe-Auguste, in designating in an express form the communal constitution of the bourgeois, did not grant them anything new, is proved by the fact that, in the letters of confirmation of the privileges of the city, given after him, his name is not found joined to those of the princes of England. (See Ibid., p. 327.)
[† ]This document, addressed to the inhabitants of Poitiers on their petition, still exists in the archives of the city. We there find it printed twice in the Recueil des Ordonnances des Rois de France, in t. i., p. 306, note b, and in t. v., p. 671. Its compilation proves that it was the work of the municipal magistrates of the two cities: “Si quis juratorum nostrorum communiæ sit in misericordiâ positus . . . . . si quis dixerit se esse nostrum juratum, et nos exinde minimè certi summus.”
[* ]The name of peers was given in general to the hundred members of the college, and, in particular, to those who had not been raised by election to the various magistracies—viz. the offices of mayor, échevins, and counsellors.
[† ]“Si oporteat majorem in Rothomagensi sive in Falesia fieri, illi centum qui pares constituti sunt eligent tres proborum hominum civitatis, quos dommo regi presentabunt, ut de quo illi placuerit majorem faciat.” (Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. i., p. 306, note b.)—“Volumus et concedimus quod dicti major et illi de communia et eorum successores habeant, teneant et exerceant omnimodam juridictionem ad nos pertinentem . . . . . . retenta nobis justitia mortis, mehagmi et vadiorum belli quum secuta fuerint.” (Letters of Philip III., confirming the administration of justice to the mayor and bourgeois of Rouen. Ibid.)
[‡ ]The constitutional statute of Rouen and Falaise conveys that there shall be two meetings a week held by the mayor and the twelve échevins; that at the second, held on Saturday, the twelve counsellors shall be present; and that every fortnight, on the Saturday, the meeting of the hundred peers shall be held. (See Recueil des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. i., p. 306, note b.)
[* ]Acknowledgment rendered to the King, 13th July, 1579. Archives of the city of Poitiers. A similar act of fidelity and homage was performed by the corporation of the city of Niort, July 2, 1611.
[* ]The judgment of crimes of high treason belonged to the officers of the crown, and the mayor was named by the Sénéchal of the province from a list of three candidates elected.
[† ]“Noverint universi . . . . quod nos concedimus in perpetuum dilectis et fidelibus nostris universis juratis communiæ sancti Johannis Angeliacensis et eorum hæredibus perpetuam stabilitatem et inviolatam firmitatem communiæ suæ juratæ apud sanctum Johannem Angeliacensem. Præcipimus autem ad ultimum ut communiam suam teneant secundum formam et modum communiæ Rotomagensis” (Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. v., p. 674.)—“Noveritis quod nos, ad petitionem vestram, mittimus rescriptum communiæ Rotomagensis in hunc modum.” (Ibid.)
[‡ ]See the letters granted by Louis VIII. in 1224, Recueil des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xi., p. 318.
[* ]“And for this purpose the said petitioners have humbly petitioned and requested us, and had us petitioned and requested, that we may be pleased to change and alter the said two jurés to the condition and office of mayor, and that every year they may be able to elect him on such day as shall seem good to them.” (Letters granted by Charles VIII., May 1492. Recueil des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xx., p. 330.)
[† ]See, in the t. v. of the Ordonn. des Rois de France, pp. 581 and 670, the letters granted by Charles V. to the bourgeois of Angoulême, in January 1372 and March 1373. The second of these documents contains, together with the royal ordinance, some charters despatched from the city of Saint-Jean-d’Angely, among which is found the communal statute of Rouen and Falaise.
[* ]The four last were annexed to the empire in 1032, by the grant which Rodolphe III., king of Burgundy, made of his states to the Emperor Conrad le Salique.
[† ]We might, as I have said above, here comprise Lorraine, by detaching it from the region of the north, where its three episcopal cities, Metz, Toul, and Verdun, form, by the character of their institutions and history, a kind of anomalous intrusion. (See above, p. 6, note 3.)
[* ]See the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. vi.—“Conventiculas quoque omnes et conjurationes in civitatibus et extra, etiam occasione parentele et inter civitatem et civitatem et inter personam et personam, seu inter civitatem et personam, omnibus modis fieri prohibemus.” (Constitutio pacis Frederici I., apud Pertz, Monumenta Germaniæ historica, Leg., t. ii., p. 112.)—“Quod nulla civitas, nullum oppidum, communiones, constitutiones, colligationes, confederationes vel conjurationes aliquas, quocumque nomine censeantur, facere possent; et quod nos, sine domini sui assensu, civitatibus seu oppidis in regno nostro constitutis auctoritatem faciendi communiones, constitutiones, colligationes vel conjurationes aliquas, quæcumque nomina imponantur eisdem, non poteramus nec debebamus impertiri.” (Henrici regis sententia contra communiones civitatum, ibid., Leg., t. ii., p. 279.)
[* ]A curious charter of the Emperor Frederic II. is the one of 1226, which declares null and void all the consulates and other free governments of the cities of Provence. “Pervenit nuper ad notitiam nostram quod quarumdam civitatum, villarum et aliorum locorum universitates in comitatibus ipsis degentes proprio motu et voluntate constituerunt juridictiones, potestates, consulatus, regimma et alia quædam statuta, quæ ad suæ arbitrium voluntatis exercent; et cum jam apud quasdam . . . in abusum et pravam consuetudinem inoleverunt . . . nos ex imperiali auctoritate tam juridictiones, consulatus, regimina, potestates et statuta cætera per universitates civitatum inventa, atque concessiones super his, per comites Provinciæ et Forcalquerii ab eis obtentas, ex certa sciencia revocamus, et inania esse censemus.” (Papon, Histoire de Provence t. ii., preuves, p. 50.)
[* ]“Communio quoque civium Trevirensium, quæ et conjuratio dicitur, quam nos in civitate destruximus . . . quæ et postea, sicut audivimus, reiterata est, cassetur et in irritum revocetur, statuentes ne deinceps, studio archiepiscopi vel industria comitis Palatini reiteretur.” (Hontheim, Hist. Trevir. Diplomat., t. i., p. 594.)
[* ]It is by a contraction of the Latin advocatus that the German word vogt is formed.
[† ]The cities, free and with a power of direct appeal to the emperor (immédiates), had, like the states of the empire, a place and deliberative voice in the diet.
[* ]“Statutum est ut duodecim vel plures, si necesse fuerit . . . . . tam inter ministeriales quam inter cives ponantur annuantim consules civitatis, inter quos unus magister vel duo, si necesse fuerit, eligantur.” (Episcopal statute of the first years of the twelfth century, Grandidier, Hist. de l’Eglise de Strasbourg, t. ii., p. 37, note 1.) The word consules, in the Latin acts of the German municipalities, does not denote any imitation of the Italian cities; it is the simple translation of the word R then—counsellors. The title of the municipal magistrate was Meister, from which is formed Stettmeister, Burgmeister, &c. Senate and Council are the same thing.
[* ]In German, Zünfte.
[† ]By contraction for Amman-meister.
[‡ ]They were called the three secret chambers, die drey geheimen Stuben.
[§ ]In German, Schæffen.
[* ]Before the definitive constitutional charter of 1482, there were not less than sixteen organic statutes promulgated successively. Bodin, in his work de Republicâ, frequently mentions the constitution of Strasbourg, especially in the sixth book, ch. 4; but he is mistaken in saying that, in order to be a plebeian magistrate, it was absolutely necessary to follow a trade. He has confounded the description on the rolls of a company with the actual exercise of the trade of which that company bore the name.
[† ]By donation of Rodolphe III., in favour of Conrad le Salique, husband of his niece, Gisèle.
[* ]“Si vero cives prædicti vel aliquis ipsorum civium coram archiepiscopo seu coram vicecomite seu majore fuerint accusati vel accusatus, vel quoquumque alio modo in judicio coacti vel coactus, capti vel captus . . . et in causa fuerit conclusum, ex tunc vocatis aliis civibus dictæ civitatis, dicti cives vel civis, per cives non inimicos et minus favorabiles, sed communes ad hoc specialiter electos, de prædictis civibus vel cive judicabunt, et quod judicatum fuerit per judicem coram quo fuerint convicti vel convictus, mandabitur executioni . . . . Volumus et concedimus ut custodia nostræ civitatis Bisuntinæ penes cives remaneat, ut eam custodiant et defendant pro nobis . . . . Liceat ipsis civibus de seipsis eligere meliores et discretiores, qui jurati regant et procurent negotia civitatis, prout faciunt cives et burgenses per regnum nostrum constituti.” (Diploma Henrici VI., 1190. Hist. de la Ville, Eglise et Diocèse de Besançon, by Dunod, t. i., preuves, p. 53 and foll.) We observe that, at Besançon, there was nothing municipal in the title of mayor; it belonged, like that of viscount, to a feudatory officer of the archbishop; there were three courts of seigneurial justice in the city, two inferior ones, and one of appeal—the vicomté the mairie, and the régalie.
[* ]The city concluded treaties of alliance with John, count of Châlons, and William, sire of Apremont, in 1224 and 1225; with Hugo IV., duke of Burgundy, and his son, Eudes, count of Nevers, in 1264; with Otho, count palatine of Burgundy, in 1279; and with his brother, Hugo of Burgundy, in 1290.
[† ]A letter addressed by Rodolphe I. to the citizens of Besançon, in 1277, contains the following passage: “Sicut ad culminis nostri pervenit notitiam, rex Franciæ, fermento persuasionis suæ, sinceritatem fidei vestræ molitur corrumpere, vos a fidei nostræ et imperii debito avertendo, et servitium sui secularis dominii accrescendo.” (Chiffletii, Vesontio Civitas Imperialis Libera, t. i., p. 229.)
[‡ ]In 1288, on the occasion of a league formed between the city of Besançon, the Count of Montbelliard, the sire of Ferrette, and other seigneurs, against the Bishop of Basle, who supported the Emperor Rodolphe.—There may be seen, in the collection Droz, of manuscripts of the Bibliothèque Impériale, Franche-Comté, Archives et Franchises des Communes, a great number of imperial acts of the thirteenth century, for the defence of the temporal power of the archbishops.
[* ]See in the collection Droz, Franche-Comté, Archives et Franchises des Communes, a series of acts of the emperors, recognising, in their full extent, the rights acquired by the city, and declaring that the archbishops claim unlawfully to have the seigneurie of it. The first of these acts is that of Adolphe, king of the Romans, in 1296; the last, of the Emperor Maximilian, in 1503. In 1435, under the weight of an interdict denounced against them by the archbishop, the citizens entered into a composition with him; but they recovered their full liberty a short time afterwards.
[* ]See Dunod, Hist. de la Ville, Eglise et Dioc. de Besançon, t. i., p. 170. There is in the collection Droz an organic statute decreed, in 1544, by the twenty-eight notables, at the time of their election, and before they could have proceeded to that of the fourteen gouverneurs of the year. The following is the preamble of this act, which regulates the prerogatives of the municipal magistrates: “We, the twenty-eight of the seven bannières of the imperial city of Besançon, elected by the people of this city, and holding at present the entire administration of it, . . . . have, with the consent of the said people, and on their requisition . . . . appointed and ordained, and now appoint and ordain, for ever, the following articles.” . . . (Biblioth. Imp. Collect. Droz, Archives et Franch. des Communes, t. ii., fol. 283.) By being annexed to the kingdom of France, the city of Besançon lost all its political privileges: the high municipal jurisdiction was transferred to the parliament.
[* ]“Anno Domini m.cc.lxxiii, vi kal. Maii, interfectus fuit Johannes Gravius, civis Bisuntinus, pro libertate civitatis Bisuntinæ, gerendo ipsius civitatis negotia. Anima ejus requiescat in pace.” (Chifflet, Vesontio Civitas Imperialis, &c., t. i., p. 227.) The second epitaph, translated in the same words, and placed in the same church, bore the name of Otho of Berne. Ibid., p. 226.
[† ]This charter was granted in 1288 by Otho V., count of Burgundy. I use the word communauté in this place instead of the word commun, which is the one found in the charters of Franche-Comté:—Et pour tel commun gouverner . . . . prœdicti communis et franchisiœ. . . . . This kind of municipality, which was not the commune jurée of the cities of the north, and which we must take care not to confound with it, cannot be indifferently called by that name. In the middle ages, the word commune had not, as I have already said, the generality of signification which it has obtained since the fifteenth century, and which still belongs to it.
[* ]By Marguerite, archduchess of Austria and countess of Burgundy.
[† ]This administration consisted, in the sixteenth century, of a mayor, four échevins, and eight councillors.
[* ]In the dialect of the country they used the word barois for barons. The charters of the thirteenth century have indifferently bourgeois or barons of Portarlier; we also find in them the formula chevaliers et barons de Pontarlier; and in this case the words barons has an inferior signification to chevaliers—it means the simple bourgeois. The union of the baroichage of Pontarlier was dissolved towards the middle of the sixteenth century in 1537 the villages refused to pay their proportion of the expenses of the city, and pleaded before the parliament of Dôle for the separation of their interests, and the independence of their administration.
[† ]An exactly analogous circumstance is met with in Belgian Flanders, where we find the Franc de Bruges and of other territories similarly constituted in a community of immemorial standing. The communes formed of many villages in virtue of a charter bearing a date, of which Picardy affords a special example, are of an entirely different nature. (See the Histoire de Pontarlier, by Droz, and Du Cange’s Glossary, on the word Centena.)
[* ]On the cities of the provinces which partook of the jus Italicum, i.e. of the right which, according to rule, would belong only to Italy, see the Histoire du Droit Romain, by Savigny (French translation), t. i., p. 49; the Essai sur l’Histoire du Droit Français au Moyen Age, by M. Charles Giraud, t. i., p. 94 and following; and the Recherches sur le Droit de Propriété, by the same author, t. i., p. 299 and following.
[* ]An agreement in the year 1208, between the citizens of Lyons and the archbishop, has the following expression:—Juraverunt cives nullam conspirationem vel juramentum communitatis vel consulatus ullo unquam tempore se facturos,—a remarkable form of expression, since it aims at the two forms of constitution introduced by the revolution of the twelfth century—that of the north and that of the south—the commune and the consulat.
[† ]The appearance of the title of consul during this civil war may be urged as an objection to this account; but every thing seems to prove that the revolutionary government of the consulate was embraced at Lyons only from despair, and not from any real affection for the political rights inherent in that form of government. The insurgent city assumed it as the most energetic expression of its revolt, and resigned it as soon as sufficient guarantees for its immemorial constitution had been secured. At that time nothing remained of the consular system but the name, and the thing itself disappeared without leaving regret.
[* ]“Considerantes etiam in lege philosophorum veteri scriptum quod Lugdunenses Galli juris Italici sunt . . . .” (Charter of the archbishop, Peter of Savoy, Histoire de Lyon, by the P. Ménestrier, preuves, p. 94). This passage of the charter is in allusion to the Digest, Law viii., § 1, Paulus de censibus, where it is said, “Lugdunenses Galli, item Viemenses in Narbonensi, juris Italici sunt.”
[† ]The following is the formula of procuration used in this case:—“Nos cives et populus civitatis Lugduni, more solito congregati, facimus et constituimus atque creamus nostros syndicos, procuratores et actores . . . .” (Histoire de Lyon, by the P. Ménestrier, preuves, p. 100.)
[* ]“Custodiam portarum et clavium civitatis habent cives a tempore creationis civitatis et habebunt.” (Ibid., p. 95.)
[† ]“Cives non possunt talliari, vel collectari, nec unquam fuerunt collectati per dominum.” (Ibid.)—The revenue of the archbishop consisted of the tolls, the droits de mutation, the charges for justice, and the fines.
[‡ ]“Nos, supplicationibus civium Lugduni civitatis de regno nostro existentis favorabiliter annuentes, eosdem cives et eorum singulos sub nostrâ speciali gardiâ et protectione suscipimus . . .” (Charter of Philippe le Bel, in the year 1292; Histoire de Lyon, by P. Ménestrier, preuves, p. 99.)
[§ ]See, together with the Histoire de Lyon of P. Ménestrier, the two publications entitled De la Commune Lyonnaise, by M. Auguste Bernard, and l’Hôtel de Ville de Lyon, by M. Jules Morin.
[* ]In all the charters confirmative of that of 1320, and especially in the charter of Pierre de Villars, granted in 1347, the municipality of Lyons is designated by this one term—the counsellors (consiliarii). The series of public acts, since the fourteenth century, presents the following titles:—consuls, rectors, and governors, of the university of Lyons, counsellors for the direction of the police and common matters of the city, and counsellors échevins.
[* ]“Item, juridictio temporalis Lugdini omnino dicta pertinebit semper et in omni tempore ad archiepiscopum Lugduni, et capitulum nullam juridictionem habebit.” (Charter of Pierre de Savoie, Histoire de Lyon, preuves, p. 95.)
[† ]Issued in the month of December 1594.
[‡ ]In 1764 twelve municipal counsellors were added to the four échevins, and the prévôt des marchands; at Paris there were twenty-four.
[* ]At Montbrison the municipal body was formed of six persons. Bourg, in Bresse, had in early times two syndics, two procureurs, and twelve civic counsellors. In 1447 a general assembly of the inhabitants decided, that each year twenty-four bourgeois should be elected, charged with making a list of candidates for twelve places of counsellors, two of syndics, and four of auditors of accounts; these twenty-four notables were, besides, on the demand of the syndics, to be joined to the council on important occasions.
[* ]See the Recherches Historiques sur le Départment de l’Ain, by M. de la Teissonnière, t. ii., p. 228 and following.
[† ]See the second volume of the Essai sur l’Histoire du Droit Français au Moyen Age, by M. Ch. Giraud.
[* ]Under the archbishop Jean de Bournin, between the years 1221 and 1266.
[† ]“In primis, quòd quicumque habens Vienne domum non solvat Leydam vendendo vel emendo.—Item, habitatores Viennenses non solvant pedagium.” (Confirmation of the privileges of the city of Vienne, Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. vii., p. 430.)
[* ]“Item, quòd cives et habitatores Vienne predicti si facere voluerint collectam ad opus ville et pro necessariis ejusdem, hoc facere possint et valeant, et dictus dominus archiepiscopus consentire debeat et ibi illos qui solvere noluerint compellere teneatur.” (Ibid., p. 434.)—“Et, collectâ impositâ, ad requisitionem dictorum civium, dominus archiepiscopus administrabit duos badellos pro dictâ collectâ levandâ et executioni demandandâ.” (Customs, franchises, and privileges of the city of Lyons, Hist. de Lyon, by the P. Ménestrier, preuves, p. 95.)
[† ]“Cives communitatis nullum faciant juramentum, nec aliquam jurent societatem, sine arbitrio et consensu episcopi, et si fecerint, component pro penâ centum libras auri, medietatem imperiali fisco, medietatem episcopo.” (Charter of the Emperor Frederic I., in the year 1178. Essais Historiques sur la Ville de Valence, by M. Ollivier, p. 242.)—“Prohibemus ne aliquâ occasione civibus Valentinis licitum sit inter se aliquam communem jurare societatem, vel aliquando contra aliquem vel aliquos ordinare conspirationem, nisi id specialiter de arbitrio et consensu ipsius episcopi.” (Charter of the Emperor Philip II., in the year 1204; ibid., p. 243.)
[* ]In the episcopate of Humbert de Meribel, which commenced in the year 1199.
[† ]William of Savoy, whose episcopate commenced in 1226.
[‡ ]Histoire Générale de Dauphiné, by Chorier, t. ii., p. 107. In a charter granted, in the year 1212, to the city of Sisteron by the Count of Forcalquier, we find: “Consulatum confirmo vobis et ratum facio in perpetuum . . . . Item confratriam vestram confirmo.” (See the Histoire de Sisteron, by M. de Laplane, Appendix.)
[* ]Histoire Générale de Dauphiné, by Chorier, t. ii., p. 108.
[† ]See the Essais Historiques sur la Ville de Valence, by M. Ollivier, p. 62 and following.
[‡ ]“Item, plus ultra hec consuetudo est in civitate Valencie, burgo et suburbiis ejusdem, et usus longevus à tanto tempore observatus quòd in contrarium memoria hominum non existit, quòd nullus burgensium, civium, incolarum et habitantium ejusdem, tenetur ad solucionem alicujus layde, emendo, vendendo, neque alicujus vectigalis sive pedagii, in civitate Valencie.—Item, quòd nulla taillia, angarum, proangarum, seu aliud tributum vel subsidium, quandocumque eis imponi potest neque debet vel alia quævis collecta seu exactio.” (Confirmation of the privilege of Valence, Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xix., p. 193.)
[* ]By an agreement with the bishop, John of Poitiers.
[† ]“Item, quòd, quocienscumque de negociis communibus ejusdem civitatis est tractandum, congregari et convenire possint licite in domo communi ejusdem civitatis vel alibi, de burgensibus, civibus et habitatoribus ejusdem, usque ad numerum quater vigenti, etiam si pluribus vicibus et frequenter ac diverse persone eorumdem in diversis congregacionibus hujusmodi successivè convemant, et ibidem de eisdem negociis liberè tractare et disponere prout eis videtur opportunum.” (Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xix., p. 194.)
[‡ ]Ibid., p. 193.
[* ]“Syndicos et consiliarios, secretarios, et mandatores nominare.” (Ibid., p. 194.)
[† ]On the privilege of immunité, that is to say, of urban sovereignty granted by the kings and the Frankish emperors to the bishops, see the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, chap. v.
[* ]“Si vero contingat quod aliquis seu aliqui civium Diensium, tam de majoiibus quam de minoribus, nollet seu nollent solvere, aut occasionem aliquam inveniret seu invenirent quod non persolveret seu non persolverent pecuniam taxatam seu levatam, vel talliam aut taxationem quæcumque facta seu taxata fuerit, possunt et debent sine injuria aliqua, absque licencia alicujus domini . . . . Alterum concivem suum seu concives suos, tam meliores quam minores, quam etiam mediocres, auctoritate propria pignorare et pignus seu vadium vendere, alienare, aut pignori obligare, usque quo persolverit seu persolverint.
[* ]“Confitemur etiam et in veritate recognoscimus, nos predictus Desiderius episcopus, nomine nostro et successorum nostrorum, de voluntate predicti capituli quod cives Dienses vel saltem major pars civium Diensium, usi sunt et consueti fuerunt, per magnum tempus ita quod non extat memoria, eligere, facere, creare, constituere, seu ordinare et per se ipsos confirmare, consules, syndicos, vel actores, seu procuratores, quandocumque eis placet vel placuerit, et quandocumque eis necesse est vel fuerit.” (Charter of the bishop Didier, art. 10).
[† ]The first supposition seems confirmed by an article of the same charter, which acknowledges in the inhabitants of Die the right, not only of building ovens and mills, but also towers on their properties: Et etiam quilibet habitat in dictâ civitate et suburbiis ejusdem potest et debet turres, furna et molendina facere, seu edificare et reparare . . . . quotiescumque ei placuerit et quandocumque ei placuerit, dum in suo faciat seu edificet. (Ibid., art. 7.)—The custom of building houses flanked with towers in the cities was introduced from Italy with the consular constitution.
[* ]“Item, mandaverunt quod de omnibus malefactis que facta sunt a tempore cœpte guerre sit pax et finis inter utramque partem et valitores et adjutores eorum.” (Peace concluded by arbitration between the bishop. Humbert IV., and the citizens of Die, 1245, art. 20; copy made in the archives of the department of Drôme.)
[* ]“Item, statucrunt quod ipsi syndici, seu actores, vel procuratores, vel quicumque syndici, consules vel actores, vel procuratores electi fuerint in Diensi civitate in futurum, possint et debeant statuta nova facere et ordinare, corrigere et emendare ista statuta presentia pro libito voluntatis, tam super factis et ordinationibus curie Diensis quam super factis et ordinationibus Diensis civitatis, quandocumque eis placuerit faciendum, retinuerunt sibi plenariam potestatem.” (Statuta civitatis Diensis, art. 20., Archives of Drôme.)
[† ]“Item, omnes offensas factas per cives et clericos tempore guerre facte per predecessorem nostrum, vel ante guerram vel post, exceptis homicidiis commissis, nec non et damna infra civitatem Diensem predictam vel in territorio nostro ejusdem per predictos nostros cives et clericos, predicto predecessori nostro et terre episcopatuum nostrorum illatos et illate.’ (Charter of the bishop, William of Roussillon, 1298, art. 9; copy taken in the archives of the department of Drôme.—Ibid., art. 7, 8, and 15.)
[* ]A diploma of the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, dated 1180, confirmed the grant formerly made by the emperors to the bishops of Gap, of the right to the vacant preferments and the lordship of the city. (See the Histoire de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, t. i., p. 251.)
[† ]The rights of the consulate of Gap are enumerated in an act which accompanied its abolition, and by which these rights, taken away from the city, were divided between the bishop and the Comte de Gapençois, son of the Dauphin Humbert I.:—“Imprimis super consolatu prædicto et ejus jurisdictione ordinamus, quod dictus consolatus et jus civaeri, bladorum, leguminum et aliorum, prout et de quibus soliti sunt præstari, libragium herbæ; ac salinagium, quod olim dicebatur esse de juribus consolatus prædicti et percipiebatur ac tenebatur a consulibus, dum ipse consolatus per consules regebatur, necnon et medietas territorii Montis Alquerii, jurium et pertinentiarum ejusdem, cum mero et mixto imperio jurisdictione omnimoda, pertineant et pertinere debeant ad præfatum dominum comitem, et ejus in perpetuum successores. . . . .—Claves vero portarum civitatis Vapinci, quarum custodia sub certa forma olim erat consulum prædictorum, omnino pertineant et pertinere debeant ad dictum dominum episcopum et successores ejusdem. . . . .—Præconsationes vero quælibet fiant solum in civitate prædicta nomine ipsius domini episcopi et successorum suorum, et de cætero in solidum pertineant ad eosdem.—Costellus etiam qui similiter pertinere olim ad dictos consules dicebatur, sit ipsius episcopi et ad ipsum solum pertineat et pertinere debeat in futurum. . . . .—Mandatarii quoque in civitate prædicta, qui olim a dictis consulibus ponebantur, per eundem dominum episcopum solummodo eligantur de cætero et ponantur. . . . .—Banna vero civitatis et territorii Vapinci ad eosdem dominum episcopum et comitem similiter pertineant, et inter ipsos communiter dividantur, et bannerii sive custodes ab ipsis vel eorum locum tenente communiter deputentur. . . . .—Super cognitione quidem ac definitione realium questionum, quas moveri contingeret de cætero super domibus et possessionibus quæ in dicta civitate Vapinci vel ejus territorio tenentur sub dominio seu seignioria domini comitis supradicti, ordinamus præcipimus et mandamus in posterum observari, quod jurisdictio, cognitio, ac deffinitio quæstionum, hujusmodi, et latæ, ac quidquid emolumenti ex eisdem quæstionibus, vel ipsarum occasione provenerit, ad præfatos dominos episcopum et comitem debeant communiter pertinere.”—(Sentence of arbitration delivered in the year 1300; Valbonnais, Histoire de Dauphiné, preuves, t. i., pp. 54, 55.)
[* ]The terms of the imperial iploma are now lost, but there remains an extract in the cartulary of the Hôtel de Ville of Gap, entitled “Livre Rouge.” (See the Histoire de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, t. i., p. 251.)
[* ]The dispute between the Papacy and the Empire, together with all its political effects, ceased in 1247 with the death of Conrad IV., son and successor of Frederic II.
[† ]See the Histoire Générale de Dauphiné, by Chorier, t. ii., p. 136 and following.
[* ]“Notum sit omnibus præsentibus et futuris, quod dominus Hugo Macea miles, et Jacobus Martis consules universitatis hominum de Vapinco, et ipsa universitas ibidem præsens ad parlamentum per sonum campanæ more solito ad infra scripta specialiter prædicti homines et consules convocati. . . . Prædicti quidem consules nomine suo et universitatis prædictæ, et ipsa universitas ibidem præsens, et motu proprio et spontanea voluntate, et ex certa scientia donaverunt donatione simplici et irrevocabili domino Alamando de Condriaco et Johanni de Goncelino judici comitatus Viennæ et Albonis præsentibus et recipientibus nomine dictæ comitissæ, pro dictis liberis suis, et ipsorum liberorum nomine et ipsis liberis, consulatum civitatis Vapinci, cum omnibus juribus et rationibus et pertinentiis ad ipsum consulatum spectantibus, sive illa jura consistant in bannis, justitiis, censibus, civaeyriis seu in quibuslibet aliis rebus et bonis.” (Histoire de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, preuves, t. ii., p. 92.)
[* ]Treaty of peace concluded the 19th of January, 1274, between the bishop, Eudes II., and the city, in the Archives of the Hôtel de Ville of Gap, the original in parchment in the chest, side A, and copy in the bag, side B.
[† ]“Notum sit præsentibus et futuris, quod venerabilis pater dominus Oddo episcopus Vapincensis requisivit nobilem virum Guillelmum de la Gonessa senescallum regium in comitatibus Provinciæ et Forcalquerii, quod cum terra ecclesiæ Vapincensis sit in comitatu Forcalquerii, quod deberet eum et ecclesiam Vapincensem juvare et deffendere contra homines Vapinci, qui contra ipsum et ecclesiam memoratam rebellaverunt, nolentes ei ut consueverant obedire. Et aliqui ex eis donaverunt et concesserunt de facto, cum de jure non possent, nobili dominæ Beatrici comitissæ Viennæ et Albonis, et filiis ejus, consulatum Vapincensem qui consulatus ab ipso episcopo et ecclesia tenebatur.” (Charter of the 19th December, 1271, Histoire de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, t. ii., preuves, p. 93.)
[* ]Treaty of capitulation between the city of Gap and the Prince of Salerno: Archives of the Hôtel de Ville of Gap. (Livre Rouge, p. 175.)
[* ]“Dudum inter venerabilem patrem dominum Gauffredum, Dei gratia episcopum, et capitulum Vapinci ac universitatem hominum de Vapinco ex parte una, et egregium virum dominum Joannem magnifici viri Humberti Dalphini Viennensis, comitis Albonis, dominique de Turre primogenitum, Vapincesii comitem ex altera; super consolatu civitatis Vapincensis et ejus jurisdictione, necnon et super medietate territorii Montis-Alquerii olim ad consolatum ipsum, sicut dicitur, pertinente . . . suscitatis quæstionibus variis et diversis.” (Sentence of arbitration delivered September 5th, 1300, Hist. de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, t. i., preuves, p. 53.)
[* ]“Ad hæc, cum de capitulo ecclesiæ Vapincensis semper unus canonicus eligeretur in consulem annis singulis ab antiquo, ne ipsum capitulum, quod absque sua culpa ex ipsius consulatus depressione suum perdit honorem, commodo privetur omnino, mandamus, ut in hujusmodi recompensationem honoris, prædictus dominus episcopus triginta solidos turonenses in annuis redditibus, et præfatus dominus comes totidem eidem capitulo in sufficientibus et idoneis possessionibus sive feudis assignent.” (Sentence of arbitration delivered the 5th September, 1300, Hist. de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, t. i., preuves, p. 54.)
[* ]Among these umpires, four in number, were three ecclesiastics and one civilian: Videlicet in reverendum patrem in Christo fratrem Borelli, inquisitorem, ac venerabiles viros dominos Stephanum de Gimonte canonicum Vapincensem, Petrum Torchati, capellanum domini nostri Pape canonicum sistaricensem officialem Vapincensem et nobilem Jacobum de Sancto-Germano jurisperitum. . . . (Agreement of May 7, 1378, between the bishop, Jacques Artaud, of Montauban, and the city of Gap; Archives of the Hôtel de Ville, the original in parchment, and the copy in the red book.) “Inter alia sententialiter ordinaverunt, pronuntiaverunt et arbitrati fuerunt quod dictus dominus episcopus ante omnia super libertatibus, immunitatibus, privilegiis, exemptionibus, franchesiis atque consuetudinibus quantum cum Deo sibi esset possibile recognosceret bonam fidem. . . . . Quas quidem libertates, exemptiones, immunitates atque franchesias sic exacto multo tempore recollectas, examinatas et discussas et in scriptis redactas dictus dominus episcopus ibidem obtulit dicens asserens suo medio juramento secundum Deum et conscienciam suam fideliter et integraliter eas et ea recollexisse et examinasse et in scriptis nunc per eum oblatis redigi fecisse. . . . . Volentes et decernentes sub pena centum marcharum in compromisso et sententia compromissi contenta quod inter partes prædictas et eorum quoscumque in perpetuum successores de cetero vim, robur, auctoritatem efficacissimam habeant et deinceps habeant vim et nomen statuti intransgressibilis.” (Ibid.)
[* ]“Quod dicti cives possunt et consueverunt se in unum, tempore et locis idoneis, congregare et ibidem facere, creare et constituere procuratores et sindicos pro eorum negociis exercendis . . . . nec non operarios pro fortificatione civitatis consiliarios et prosequutores suarum libertatum, concilia facere, et tallias facere, et indicere pro suis negociis utiliter procurandis et exercendis . . . . dum tamen in confirmatione sindicorum interveniat judicis decretum.” (Agreement of May 7, between the bishop, Jacques Artaud, of Montauban, and the city of Gap, art. 31 and 32). “Item, quandoquidem cives vel incolæ dictæ civitatis per conrearium vel quoscumque domini mandantur pro faciendis excubiis quæ vulgariter nuncupantur sercha et non veniunt seu deficiunt quod non possit ab ipsis exigi nisi una parperholla loco pene.” (Ibid. art. 12.)
[* ]See the Hist. Générale de Dauphiné, by Chorier, t. ii., pp. 114, 115, 116, 137, and 138.
[* ]The towns of Provence and Languedoc had the honour of being legally authorised to change the name of their syndics into that of consuls; some claims to that effect were made up to the eighteenth century.
[† ]“Quod omnes homines nunc et in posterum in civitate Gratianopoli habitantes, vel in suburbiis ejusdem civitatis; videlicet in burgo ultra pontem sito in parochia sancti Laurentii, plena gaudeant libertate, quantum ad tallias, exactiones et complaintas, salvis nobis et retentis bannis et justitiis nostris et censibus.” . . . . . (Libertates concessæ civibus Gratianopolitanis per episcopum et Guigonem Dalphinum dominos ejusdem civitatis, 1244; Hist. de Dauphiné, by Valbonnais, t. i., preuves, p. 22.) The only mention of the municipality which is in this charter of Grenoble is the following: Ea vero quœ concessimus rectoribus et universitati ejusdem civitatis, sicut continetur in litteris quas eis tradidimus nostrorum sigillorum impressione sigillatis, in sua permaneant firmitate. (Ibid. p. 23.)
[* ]See the collection published by Count César Balbo, entitled: Opuscoli per Servire alla Storia delle Città e dei Communi d’Italia, Turin, 1838.
[† ]In the collection of Count César Balbo, see the remarkable memoir composed by him, under the title of Appunti per la Storia delle Città Italiane fino all’ Istituzione de’ Communi e de’ Consoli, p. 82 and following. What is here said has reference only to the early times of the Italian consulate; I have no concern here with the later struggles against the military nobility.
[* ]Note of the Establissements of the commune of Saint-Quentin, compiled for the benefit of the commune of Eu: Archives of the Mairie of Eu. (Livre Rouge.)