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38. ORDINANCE OF THE SALADIN TITHE (1188)

1. Every one shall give in alms for this year's aid of the land of Jerusalem a tenth of his rents and movables, except the arms, horses, and clothes of knights, and except likewise the horses, books, clothes, vestments, and all sacred furnishings[1] of clergymen, and [except] the precious stones of both clergymen and laymen.

2. Moreover, this money is to be collected within each parish in the presence of the parish priest and the archpriest,[2] one Templar and one Hospitaller, a serjeant of the lord king and a clerk of the king, a serjeant of a baron and his clerk, and a clerk of the bishop — after excommunication has been proclaimed by the archbishops and bishops and by the archpriests, each in his own parish, of every man who will not lawfully give the aforesaid tenth in the presence and with the knowledge of those who, as already stated, should be present. And if any one, to the knowledge of these men, gives less than he should, let there be chosen from the parish four or six lawful men who, being sworn, shall determine the amount that he should have declared; then he must make up the deficiency in his contribution.

3. Clergy and knights who have taken the cross, however, shall give nothing toward the said tenth except from their own property and demesnes; whatever their men may owe shall be collected for their use by the aforesaid persons and given to them entire.

4. Moreover, on the day of the Nativity, [the day] of St. Stephen, and [the day] of St. John the bishops shall have announcement made through their letters in each parish of their bishoprics that every one is to assemble the aforesaid tenth at his own home before the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, and on the following day or thereafter pay [it] at the place to which he is summoned and in the presence of the aforesaid persons.

(Latin) Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 189.


[1]Capella, whatever the priest needed for divine service.

[2] The chief priest of the diocese, otherwise known as the rural dean.