The Ancient Regime eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about The Ancient Regime.

[25].  National archives, G, 300, (1787).  “M. de Boullongne, seignior of Montereau, here possesses a toll-right consisting of 2 deniers (farthings) per ox, cow, calf or pig; 1 per sheep; 2 for a laden animal; 1 sou and 8 deniers for each four-wheeled vehicle; 5 deniers for a two- wheeled vehicle, and 10 deniers for a vehicle drawn by three, four, or five horses; besides a tax of 10 deniers for each barge, boat or skiff ascending the river; the same tax for each team of horses dragging the boats up; 1 denier for each empty cask going up.”  Analogous taxes are enforced at Varennes for the benefit of the Duc de Chatelet, seignior of Varennes.

[26].  National archives, K, 1453, No.1448:  A letter by M. de Meulan, dated June 12, 1789.  This tax on grain belonged at that time to the Comte d’Artois. — Châteaubriand, “Mémoires,” I.73.

[27].  Renauldon, ibid.. 249, 258.  “There are few seignioral towns which have a communal slaughter-house.  The butcher must obtain special permission from the seignior.” — The tax on grinding was an average of a sixteenth.  In many provinces, Anjou, Berry, Maine, Brittany, there was a lord’s mill for cloths and barks.

[28].  Renauldon, ibid.. pp. 181, 200, 203; observe that he wrote this in 1765.  Louis XVI. suppressed serfdom on the royal domains in 1778; and many of the seigniors, especially in Franche-Comté, followed his example.  Beugnot, “Mémoires,” V. I. p.142. — Voltaire, “Mémoire au roi sur les serfs du Jura.” — “Mémoires de Bailly,” II. 214, according to an official report of the Nat.  Ass., August 7, 1789.  I rely on this report and on the book of M. Clerget, curate of Onans in Franche-Comté who is mentioned in it.  M. Clerget says that there are still at this time (1789) 1,500,000 subjects of the king in a state of servitude but he brings forward no proofs to support these figures.  Nevertheless it is certain that the number of serfs and mortmains is still very great.  National archives, H; 723, registers on mortmains in Franche-Comté in 1788; H. 200, registers by Amelot on Burgundy in 1785.  “In the sub-delegation of Charolles the inhabitants seem a century behind the age; being subject to feudal tenures, such as mort-main, neither mind nor body have any play.  The redemption of mortmain, of which the king himself has set the example, has been put at such an exorbitant price by laymen, that the unfortunate sufferers cannot, and will not be able to secure it.

[29].  Boiteau, ibid.. p. 25, (April, 1790), — Beugnot, “Mémoires,” I. 142.

[30].  See end-note 2 at the end of the volume


I. Examples in Germany and England. — These services are not rendered by the privileged classes in France.

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