Collection of Letters: Detail
- the monks of Bonneval
It is known to all with no need of persuasion that in order to safeguard peace the truth of things done should be committed to writing. I, countess Adela, wife of count Stephen, . . . decreed by the notice of this charter how I strove to emend the injury I had done to those monks lest those who succeed me should presume to do anything similar. For at one time I was angry at them because of one of my men whom their servants had killed and as if in revenge I ordered a tax levied on the town of Bonneval, which is usually called a tallage. The abbot and monks did not take this well, and came to me and showed me the testimony of old writings that did not permit me or anyone to do this. But even then, I was not pacified, and anger led me on to persist in that purpose for some time. But they, with insistent and assiduous prayers that I not introduce a new and harmful custom into their town, as my anger was appeased, brought me to repent what I had done and make the satisfaction the monks sought. I came before the altar and offered a pledge, confessed before those who were present, and promised it would not be done any more.
Notum est omnibus, nec persuasione indiget, quod ad pacem et quietem custodiendam maxime valent rerum [gestarum] veritatem litterarum memorie commendare. Et ideo ego Adela comitissa, uxor Stephani comitis . . . per presentis carte notitiam decrevi certificare, qualiter injuriam quamdam quam illis monachis feceram studui emendare, ne illius exemplo posteri mei presumant similem attemptare. Aliquando enim erga ipsos propter unum meum hominem quem eorum servientes occiderant irata fueram et quasi in ultionem descriptionem pecunie que consuetudinarie tallia nominatur, in burgo Bonevallensi fieri preceperam. Quod graviter tolerantes abbas et monachi me adierunt, et antiquorum scriptorum testimonia nec mihi nec alicui hoc licere monstraverunt. Ego tamen non illico acquievi, et prout ira trahebat, aliquanto tempore in proposito perduravi. Illis autem instantibus et precibus assiduis rogantibus ne novam et nocivam consuetudinem in burgo illorum inducerem tandem ira sedata et penitudine ducta de hoc quod faceram, quam expetierunt monachi satisfactionem feci. Veni enim ante altare . . . et (?) vadimonio [followed by minor text loss] ante altare peracto, coram iis qui aderant confessa sum [minor text loss] ne ulterius fieret spopondi.
(!1) Professor LoPrete sent the information about the charter to me in a private communication. My translation is based on the Latin she cites, filled out by the working translation she gives.
the Bonneval cartulary transcribed by LoPrete, AD d’Eure-et-Loir, H.606, fo.1r-v (!1)